Signs of the End of Summer at PINWR

On our visit to Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge (PINWR) on 8-28-2016, we saw some floral signs of the end of summer …

Chalky bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus), pictured above with a cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto) in the background, was beginning to flower. Broom sedge is another common name for this plant, even though it is not a sedge. In the past, its brush-like inflorescences were cut, bound together & used to fashion a broom.
Its seeds aided by fluffy silken parachutes are distributed by the wind. This plant is common in ruderal areas and along roadsides including Oslo Road.


A few of the hercules club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) trees had flowered and fruited. What remained were the brownish husks; Each cell contained a tiny & shiny black seed.

Another name for this deciduous tree is toothache tree. Leaves can be chewed to release a pain-relieving, lemony compound. Be careful when picking leaves, as this plant has sharp thorns. Note the resin glands known as pellucid dots …
This plant is a member of the the citrus family (Rutaceae) and, like orange and grapefruit trees, is a larval host plant for the giant swallowtail.

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