Sunday, September 3, 2023

Pink Bogbutton - Sclerolepis uniflora


Pink bogbutton (Sclerolepis uniflora) is an aquatic plant native to most of the U.S Atlantic Seaboard. In Florida, its recorded distribution is mostly on the west coast south to Pasco County. It is the only member of its genus and can often go unnoticed because of its growth habits.  It is most likely to occur in freshwater ponds and innundated wetlands where it lives underwater, producing long stems and flaccid elongated leaves.  Under these conditions, it does not flower.  The erect stems, needle-like leaves and bright pink blooms only occur in years/times when the water recedes and exposes the now-muddy soil to the sun.  

Pink bogbutton is a perennial and it forms extensive vegetative mats in the shallow-water habitats it frequents.  There is little information on its habits as a submerged plant, but its striking aspect in its emergent form easily draws attention to it.  The emergent stems may reach 2 feet tall at maturity in early summer.  The tiny, simple, linear leaves are arranged in whorls up the stems.  As its Latin name implies, a solitary flower bud is formed at the tip of each stem. 

Flowering occurs in summer and fall, largely dependent on water conditions.  The individual flower heads are comprised of a great many spidery pink rayless blooms.  In many ways, they closely resemble those of Flyr's nemesis (Brickellia cordifolia).  I suspect, that like Flyr's nemesis, it is eagerly sought out by a variety of invertebrate pollinators, but I've found no information on this in the literature.

This unique and interesting plant is sometimes available from native plant nurseries outside of Florida. It has never been offered, to the best of my knowledge, by members of FANN - the Florida Association of Native Nurseries.

The above photos were posted on the Facebook site of the Florida Native Plant Society without reference to the photographer and have been shared elsewhere without reference as well.  I am using them here under the assumption that they are shareable.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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