Saturday, October 17, 2020

Rush featherling - Pleea tenuifolia

 Rush featherling (Pleea tenuifolia) looks a bit like a rush but is currently placed in a small family - the Tofieldiaceae. It was once included in the lily family and the flowers exhibit some of those characteristics. Rush featherling occurs in most of the counties in the Florida Panhandle but it also is recorded from Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas.  Throughout its range, this interesting wildflower occurs in moist habitats - flatwoods, savannas, and seepage areas. These photos were taken in a low depressional wetland edge in the Apalachicola National Forest. It is a perennial herb that forms clumps that spread slowly by underground rhizomes. The foliage, like many monocots, is grasslike, about 15-18 inches tall and about 1/4 inch wide. The foliage is pictured in the lowest photo above.

Flowering occurs most often in late summer and early fall. Individual flowers occur along the 2-foot-tall flower stalks from the lower portion of the stem towards the top in succession. Each is composed of 3 snow-white sepals and 3 petals and the overall flowers are about 1/2 inch wide. The yellow anthers are quite noticeable and they surround a broad green ovary. The flowers are pollinated by bees.

Though showy in an understated way, this wildflower has never been propagated to the best of my knowledge - at least not in Florida. It is one of many of Florida's wildflowers to be simply admired when encountered in the field.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please let me know if this site and the various postings have been useful to you.