Monday, June 22, 2015

Beach Clustervine - Jacquemontia reclinata

Beach clustervine (Jacquemontia reclinata) is found in various coastal strands in four counties in extreme south Florida.  It is endemic to this region and classified as both a state and federal endangered species. The photographs above were taken in a Palm Beach County coastal scrub of plants introduced as part of a restoration effort.
Beach clustervine is a member of the morning glory family and shares many of those attributes.  Its herbaceous twining stems ramble across the open sand and intertwine with the stems of other vegetation.  Mature plants may spread many feet across.  It is evergreen and perennial in nature.  The elliptical, nearly succulent leaves alternate on the stem.  They are 1/2-3/4 inch in width and have a distinct pointed tip.
Flowering can occur all year. The plants above were blooming in mid-May. Like other members of this genus, the somewhat tubular blooms are composed of five petals. These are bright white, sometimes with a pink blush, and about 3/4 inch across.  They are attractive in appearance and draw the attention of various pollinators as well.
Though extremely rare in nature, beach clustervine is sold commercially by several nurseries affiliated with FANN - the Florida Association of Native Nurseries.  This is an attractive plant for beach dune projects or in landscapes with well-drained sandy soil. It is cold sensitive, however, and should not be used outside its native range.

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