Sunday, February 26, 2023

Glade Windflower - Anemone berlandieri


Glade windflower (aka 10-petal thimbleweed) (Anemone berlandieri) is an early spring ephemeral native to Jackson and Washington Counties in the central Panhandle and five counties in the Big Bend region of western peninsular Florida.  In these areas, it is most common in well-drained sunny locations such as roadsides and open hammocks.  These photos were taken recently near Goethe State Forest in Levy County along a 2-lane highway.  This beautiful wildflower is also recorded in other states of the Southeast Coastal Plain from Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas to Virginia on the East Coast, though it is quite rare from Georgia north.

Glade windflower dies back to the ground by summer after blooming and setting seed and it is one of the first wildflowers to emerge in spring.  It produces a few basal leaves near the ground which can be difficult to detect amongst the other vegetation.  Their shape is detailed in the photo above.  A single flower stalk arises from these basal leaves in late January to early February in Florida.  This stalk stands between 6 and 12 inches tall.  The common name "Ten-petal thimbleweed" is a misnomer as the 10 "petals" are actually sepals - the parts of a flower bud that typically cover the petals before the bloom opens. There are no true petals in the case of this wildflower.  The sepals can be anywhere from white (as they are in these photos) to a deep lavender.  The center of the flower (the female pistils) is thimble-shaped and contains a great many anthers as well.  From this structure, many wind-borne seeds are produced by late spring - hence the common name of "windflower".

Glade windflower is not currently propagated by any nursery affiliated with FANN - the Florida Association of Native Nurseries, and is only rarely offered by sources outside of Florida. This puzzles me as the species is not listed, produces large amounts of seed and appears to be easy to provide for.  Hopefully, someone here in Florida will pick it up and begin to offer it to the public.

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