Saturday, December 14, 2019

Shrubby Primrosewillow - Ludwigia suffructicosa

 Shubby primrosewillow (Ludwigia suffruticosa) is a bit of an outlier among this genus with its pale yellow petals that do not lie "flat" in their open state. It also is not very "shrubby.".  This is a native herbaceous plant found nearly statewide in Florida in wet prairies and flatwoods as well as the upper edges of open marshes. This plant was photographed in early October at kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in south-central Florida. It also has been vouchered in Georgia, Alabama and the two Carolinas. 
Very little seems to have been written about this species and it is not included in most regional wildflower books. Despite its common name, it is herbaceous and rarely stands more than 2-3 feet tall. The leaves are very linear and clasp the stem. Each leaf is about 1/2-3/4 inch long.
Flowering occurs from spring through fall. Each bloom is no more than 1/4 wide. The flowers are somewhat rose-shaped, but comprised of 4 pale yellow to cream white petals. I suspect that they are mostly bee pollinated as others in this genus are. The weevils in the above photo were not pollinating the blooms.
Shrubby primrosewillow is an interesting, but not particularly attractive species. It has never, to my knowledge, been offered for sale commercially. I suspect it would be easy to propagate from the ripe seed once the capsules have matured. If you choose to try it in a landscape, make sure you are adding it to a very moist site.

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