Botanical Biodiversity in Florida’s Big Bend | Lilly Anderson-Messec

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One of my favorite milkweed species is having a real banner year. Large-Flowered Milkweed / Asclepias connivens is not easy to miss, despite its muted coloration. The large, 1inch wide blooms are fairly easy to spot, even in the grassy, wet prairies where they are found. The pale green, comically large hoods on this species softly curve in towards the gynostegium, a compound structure that includes the fused column of the stamens (male reproductive parts) and the heads of the styles (part of the female reproductive parts). Like most orchids, milkweeds have pollinia (sticky packets of pollen) rather than loose pollen grains. The pollinia are housed inside the stigmatic slit, visible in these photos at the base of & in between the five hoods of the bloom. Insects visiting for nectar accidentally slip a foot into the slit, and the pollinia stick to them as they pull it out (if they don’t get stuck for good and die ?) I have never seen so many individuals blooming as I have this year, they also seem to be especially robust, floriferous and large. Some plants reaching over 4ft tall. #asclepiasconnivens #largefloweredmilkweed #baldwinsmilkweed #floridanativemilkweeds #asclepias #floridanativeplants #apocynaceae #asclepiadoideae #nativemilkweed #baldwinsmilkweed

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Music: “Breathing” by Lee Rosevere

Podcast originally aired on Orange Blaze Podcast

Show Notes
+Lilly on the Wild Wander YouTube Show
+@Lilliumbyrd on Instagram
+The Other Florida by Gloria Jahoda
+What is the Cody Escarpment? via SRWMD
+The Rare Torreya Tree via Florida State Parks
+Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy


One thought on “Botanical Biodiversity in Florida’s Big Bend | Lilly Anderson-Messec

  1. Constance Rudy says:

    Lily B : We just learned of your father’s passing in 2016.. I have some 70s 80s photos of your parents you may not have.Let me know if you would like them .

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