Friday, June 1, 2018

Pineland Pinklet - Stenandrium dulce


Pineland pinklet (Stenandrium dulce) is a low-growing perennial wildflower reported from most of the southern half of peninsular Florida. It also has been reported from Georgia and Texas as well as much of Central and South America to Chile.  Throughout its range, it prefers moist open habitats such as seasonally wet savannas and pinelands.
Pineland pinklet is diminutive in stature. Normally its ovate to somewhat linear leaves hug the ground as a basal rosette. They are deep green in color and somewhat fleshy. Flowering in south Florida can occur in most months, but is limited to summer and fall further north.  The flower stalk typically stands 3-4 inches in height and the deep pink blooms measure about 1/2 inch wide. The center is white and some white streaking may occur on the 5 petals.  As its Latin name implies, they are sweetly fragrant. 
Currently, few south Florida native wildflowers are being propagated by members of FANN - the Florida Association of Native Nurseries. To me, the reason is unclear as most of the endemic and locally native woody species have found their way to market. Pineland pinklet would seem to be a wonderful wildflower for cultivation. Its low stature and beautiful blossoms would make it an ideal candidate for the outer border of a wildflower planting. It also is a reliable reseeder and spreads in sunny moist locations where it is most comfortable.  Regrettably, I rarely see it offered and none of the nurseries associated with FANN - the Florida Association of Native Nurseries, currently list it for sale. Hopefully, this will change soon as more demand for south Florida wildflowers (and wildflowers in general) increases.

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