Celebrate Gopher Tortoise Day with Friends of Split Oak – April 10th

Festivities are on April 10th, 2019 from 1-5pm at Split Oak’s Main Entrance, 12175 Clapp Simms Duda Road, Orlando, FL

NARCOOSSEE- Learn about gopher tortoises and their habitat with hands-on activities: science, arts, native plants, nature walks on the Florida National Scenic Trail at Split Oak Forest. Meet Sheldon, an ambassador gopher tortoise! Events will be taking place all afternoon from 1-5. This event is free and open to the public.

An adult gopher tortoise walks across Split Oak Forest’s Athena’s Meadow toward photographer Michael Snyder.

Gopher tortoises were relocated to Split Oak Forest when their homes were destroyed elsewhere in Central Florida to make way for development. Money from the now-defunct gopher tortoise entombment program was also used to purchase Split Oak Forest originally. Split Oak Forest is the perfect place to celebrate these amazing, long-lived herbivores.”

Valerie Anderson, President, Friends of Split Oak Forest

Gopher Tortoise Day increases awareness of this fascinating creature and the need to protect its habitat. Gopher tortoises are listed Threatened by the State of Florida and are experiencing rapid habitat loss. Gopher tortoises are a keystone species of North America’s longleaf pine forest, providing refuge for over 350 other species in their burrow, including native bees. Gopher Tortoise Day, April 10th, was designated by the Gopher Tortoise Council as an annual celebration of gopher tortoises.

The two major threats to gopher tortoises are habitat loss due to development and road mortality, for example, getting hit by cars. Gopher tortoises require open, dry, sandy upland habitats with abundant low-growing vegetation such as pine flatwoods, scrub, and coastal dunes. Split Oak contains all of those habitats except coastal dunes. Gopher tortoise habitat requires regular and careful management . Gopher tortoises have coexisted with native plants and animals of Florida for centuries.

Participating organizations include:

Press Release [odt] [pdf] | Official Event Page

About Friends of Split Oak Forest: Friends of Split Oak was founded in 2018 in response to plans by the Osceola Expressway Authority to build the Osceola Parkway Extension right through Split Oak to serve Tavistock’s Sunbridge development. Friends of Split Oak Forest is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the health and integrity of Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area, which is a 1700-acre conservation area managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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New Species Finds – January and February 2019

Thanks to all of the intrepid citizen scientists tireless documenting (and uploading) their observations, seven new species have been documented for Split Oak in the past two months: three plants, one moth, one mammal, a cicada, and a dragonfly! To see all of the species found in Split Oak by citizen scientists to date, check out the Project.

New Species

American Black Nightshade (Solanum americanum) by Stacy Klema Jan 15, 2019
Orange Virbia Moth (Virbia aurantiaca) by Rob Sena on Jan 13, 2019
Hispid Cotton Rat (Sigmodon hispidus) by species_spotlight on Dec 16, 2019 (uploaded Jan 24)
Dwarf Bayberry (Morella pumila) by Valerie Anderson on February 24, 2019
Northern Bluethread (Burmannia biflora) by jessical2 on February 3, 2019
Little Green Cicada (Cicadetta floridensis) by William Hull on May 19, 2016 (uploaded Jan 21)
Banded Pennant (Clithemis fasciata) by William Hull on May 19, 2016 (uploaded Jan 21)

Species Wanted

Agalinis fasciculata Beach False Foxglove (not on FWC list)
Amphicarpaea bracteata
American Hogpeanut (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Apios americana
Groundnut (not on FWC list, likely)
Asclepias curtisii
Curtis’s Milkweed (not on FWC list)
Asemeia grandiflora
Showy Milkwort*
Amphicarpum muhlenbergianum
Blue Maidencane
Aristida palustris
Longleaf Threeawn
Asimina angustifolia
Slimleaf Pawpaw
Bacopa caroliniana Carolina Water-Hyssop
Boehmeria cylindrica
False Nettle (not on FWC list, likely)
Calopogon tuberosus tuberosus
Tuberous Grass Pink
Campanula floridana
Florida Bellflower (not on FWC list)
Carphephorus carnosus
Pineland Chaffhead (endemic, not on FWC list, likely)
Carphephorus odoratissimus
var. subtropicanus Pineland Purple (endemic, not on FWC list, likely)
Centella asiatica
Gotu Kola (invasive)
Chamaecrista nictatans
Sensitive Pea (not on FWC list, likely)
Chapmannia floridana
Florida Alicia (not on FWC list, likely, endemic)
Clitoria mariana
Atlantic Pidgeonwings (not on FWC list, likely)
Conoclinium coelestinum
Blue Mistflower
Ctenium aromaticum
Toothache Grass (not on FWC list, likely)
Crocathemum carolinianum Carolina Frostweed (not on FWC list)
Crocanthemum corymbosum
Pinebarren Frostweed (not on FWC list)
Desmodium floridanum 
Florida Ticktrefoil (not on FWC list, likely)
Desmodium incanum Creeping Beggarweed (non-native, not on FWC list, likely)
Desmodium paniculatum Panicled Ticktrefoil (not on FWC list, likely)
Desmodium tenuifolium Slimleaf Ticktrefoil (not on FWC list)
Desmodium tortuosum Florida Ticktrefoil (not on FWC list, it’s nativeness is debated)
Desmodium triflorum Threeflower Ticktrefoil (not on FWC list, non-native, likely)
Desmodium viridflorum Velvetleaf Ticktrefoil (not on FWC list)
Dyschoriste angusta
Pineland Twinflower (not on FWC list)
Dyschoriste humistrata
Swamp Twinflower (not on FWC list)
Dyschoriste oblongifolia
Oblongleaf Twinflower (not on FWC list)
Epidendrum magnoliae
Green Fly Orchid
Eryngium aquaticum
Swamp Rattlesnake Master (not on FWC list)
Eupatorium album
White Thoroughwort (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Eupatorium compositifolium
Yankeeweed (not on FWC list, likely)
Eupatorium leptophyllum
False Fennel
Eupatorium serotinum
Late Boneset (not on FWC list, very likely)
Funastrum clausum
White Twinevine (not on FWC list, likely)
Harrisella porrecta, Needleroot Airplant Orchid (not on FWC list, likely)
Hydrolea corymbosa
Skyflower*
Hymenocallis palmeri
 Alligator Lily*
Hypolepis repens
Creeping Bramble Fern
Ilex ambigua
Carolina Holly
Ilex cassine
Dahoon Holly
Ilex coriacea
Large Gallberry
Indigofera caroliniana
Carolina Indigo (not on FWC list, likely)
Indigofera hirsuta
Hairy Indigo (not on FWC list, invasive, likely)
Indigofera spicata
Creeping Indigo (not on fWC list, invasive, likely)
Juncus effusus solutus
Eastern Soft Rush
Justicia angusta
Pineland Waterwillow
Lachnocaulon beyrichianum
Southern Bogbutton
Lechea torreyi
Piedmont Pinweed
Lindernia grandiflora
Savannah False Pimpernel (not on FWC list, likely)
Lobelia feayana
Bay Lobelia (not on FWC list)
Lobelia homophylla Pineland Lobelia (not on FWC list)
Lobelia puberula
Downy Lobelia (not on FWC list)
Ludwigia repens
Creeping Evening Primrose
Lycopodiella caroliniana
Slender Club-Moss
Lycopus rubellus
Water Horehound
Lyonia lygustrima foliosiflora
Maleberry
Malaxis spicata Florida Adder’s-Mouth (not on FWC list, likely)
Matelea floridana Florida Milkvine (not on FWC list)
Mitreola sessilifolia
Swamp Hornpod (not on FWC list)
Oldenlandia uniflora
Clustered Mille Graines
Oplismenus hirtellus
Woodsgrass
Opuntia stricta
Shell Mound Pricklypear
Osmunda regalis spectabilis
American Royal Fern
Oxypolis filiformis
Water Cowbane
Palafoxia integrifolia
Coastalplain Palafox
Panicum verrucosum
Warty Panicgrass
Passiflora lutea
Yellow Passionflower (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Passiflora suberosa 
Corkstem Passionflower (not on FWC list, likely)
Peltandra virginica
Green Arrow Arum
Penstemon multiflorus
White or Manyflowered Beardtongue
Pinguicula caerulea Blue Butterwort (not on FWC list, likely, Threatened)
Pinguicula lutea Yellow Butterwort (not on FWC list, likely, Threatened)
Platanthera ciliaris Orange-fringed Orchid (not on FWC list, likely, Threatened)
Pluchea foetida Stinking Camphorweed*
Physostegia leptophylla
Slenderleaf False Dragonhead (not on FWC list)
Pithecellobium unguis-cati
Catclaw Blackbead (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Polygonella robusta
Sandhill Wireweed (endemic)
Polygonella basiramia Hairy Jointweed* (endemic)
Polygonella gracilis Tall Jointweed
Quercus chapmanii Chapman’s Oak
Quercus geminata
Sand Live Oak
Quercus minima
Dwarf Live Oak
Rhexia alifanus
Savannah Meadowbeauty (not on FWC list)
Rhexia cubensis
West Indian Meadowbeauty (not on FWC list)
Rhexia lutea
Yellow Meadowbeauty (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Rhexia virginica
Handsome Harry(not on FWC list, unlikely)
Rhynchospora fascicularis
Fascicled Beaksedge
Rhynchospora inundata
Narrowfruit Horned Beaksedge
Ruellia caroliniensis
Carolina Wild Petunia (not on FWC list)
Rubus argutus
Sawtooth Blackberry
Sagittaria lancifolia
Lanceleaf Arrowhead
Schwalbea americana
American Chaffseed (not on FWC list)
Scoparia dulcis
Licorice Weed*
Setaria magna
Giant Bristlegrass
Sida acuta
Spinyhead Sida (not on FWC list, very likely)
Sisyrinchium nashii Nash’s Blue-Eyed Grass (not on FWC list, likely)
Sisyrinchium rosulatum Annual Blue-Eyed Grass (not on FWC list, likely)
Sisyrinchium xerophyllum Jeweled Blue-Eyed Grass (not on FWC list, likely)
Smilax glauca Cat Greenbriar (not on FWC list)
Smilax rotundifolia
Roundleaf Greenbriar (not on FWC List, unlikely)
Smilax pumila
Sarsparilla vine
Smilax smallii
Jackson vine (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Smilax tamnoides
Bristly Greenbriar (not on FWC list)
Smilax walteri
Coral Greenbriar (not on FWC list)
Spigelia loganoides 
Florida Pinkroot (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Stachytarpheta jamaicensis 
Blue porterweed (not on FWC list, likely)
Stylodon carneus
Carolina Vervain (not on FWC list, likely)
Syngonanthus flavidulus
Yellow Hatpins
Symphyotrichum adnatum
Scaleleaf Aster (not on FWC list, likely)
Tiedemannia filiformis 
Water Cowbane*
Tillandsia balbisiana 
Spreading Airplant
Tillandsia bartramii
Bartram’s Airplant
Tillandsia fasciculata
Cardinal Airplant
Triadenum virginicum V
irginia Marsh St. John’s Wort
Typha latifolia Common Cattail
Verbena scabra
Sandpaper Vervain (not on FWC list, likely)
Vittaria lineata
Shoestring Fern
Xyris fimbriata
Fringed Yellow-eyed Grass
Xyris platylepis Tall Yellow-Eyed Grass*
Zanthoxylum fagara Wild Lime (not on FWC list, possible)

Matelea floridana Florida Milkvine (not on FWC list)
Mitreola sessilifolia
Swamp Hornpod (not on FWC list)
Oldenlandia uniflora
Clustered Mille Graines
Oplismenus hirtellus
Woodsgrass
Opuntia stricta
Shell Mound Pricklypear
Osmunda regalis spectabilis
American Royal Fern
Oxypolis filiformis
Water Cowbane
Palafoxia integrifolia
Coastalplain Palafox
Panicum verrucosum
Warty Panicgrass
Passiflora lutea
Yellow Passionflower (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Passiflora suberosa 
Corkstem Passionflower (not on FWC list, likely)
Peltandra virginica
Green Arrow Arum
Penstemon multiflorus
White or Manyflowered Beardtongue
Pinguicula caerulea Blue Butterwort (not on FWC list, likely, Threatened)
Pinguicula lutea Yellow Butterwort (not on FWC list, likely, Threatened)
Pluchea foetida 
Stinking Camphorweed*
Physostegia leptophylla
Slenderleaf False Dragonhead (not on FWC list)
Pithecellobium unguis-cati
Catclaw Blackbead (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Polygonella robusta
Sandhill Wireweed (endemic)
Polygonella basiramia Hairy Jointweed* (endemic)
Polygonella gracilis Tall Jointweed
Quercus chapmanii Chapman’s Oak
Quercus geminata
Sand Live Oak
Quercus minima
Dwarf Live Oak
Rhexia alifanus
Savannah Meadowbeauty (not on FWC list)
Rhexia cubensis
West Indian Meadowbeauty (not on FWC list)
Rhexia lutea
Yellow Meadowbeauty (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Rhexia virginica
Handsome Harry(not on FWC list, unlikely)
Rhynchospora fascicularis
Fascicled Beaksedge
Rhynchospora inundata
Narrowfruit Horned Beaksedge
Ruellia caroliniensis
Carolina Wild Petunia (not on FWC list)
Rubus argutus
Sawtooth Blackberry
Sagittaria lancifolia
Lanceleaf Arrowhead
Schwalbea americana
American Chaffseed (not on FWC list)
Scoparia dulcis
Licorice Weed*
Setaria magna
Giant Bristlegrass
Sida acuta
Spinyhead Sida (not on FWC list, very likely)
Sisyrinchium nashii Nash’s Blue-Eyed Grass (not on FWC list, likely)
Sisyrinchium rosulatum Annual Blue-Eyed Grass (not on FWC list, likely)
Sisyrinchium xerophyllum Jeweled Blue-Eyed Grass (not on FWC list, likely)
Smilax glauca Cat Greenbriar (not on FWC list)
Smilax rotundifolia
Roundleaf Greenbriar (not on FWC List, unlikely)
Smilax pumila
Sarsparilla vine
Smilax smallii
Jackson vine (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Smilax tamnoides
Bristly Greenbriar (not on FWC list)
Smilax walteri
Coral Greenbriar (not on FWC list)
Spigelia loganoides 
Florida Pinkroot (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Stachytarpheta jamaicensis 
Blue porterweed (not on FWC list, likely)
Stylodon carneus
Carolina Vervain (not on FWC list, likely)
Syngonanthus flavidulus
Yellow Hatpins
Symphyotrichum adnatum
Scaleleaf Aster (not on FWC list, likely)
Tiedemannia filiformis 
Water Cowbane*
Tillandsia balbisiana 
Spreading Airplant
Tillandsia bartramii
Bartram’s Airplant
Tillandsia fasciculata
Cardinal Airplant
Triadenum virginicum V
irginia Marsh St. John’s Wort
Typha latifolia Common Cattail
Verbena scabra
Sandpaper Vervain (not on FWC list, likely)
Vittaria lineata
Shoestring Fern
Xyris fimbriata
Fringed Yellow-eyed Grass
Xyris platylepis Tall Yellow-Eyed Grass*
Zanthoxylum fagara Wild Lime (not on FWC list, possible)


New species found during the Fall Bioblitz 2018

For 48 hours, from 7pm October 26 through 7pm October 28 we had 26 participants who found 243 species of plants, animals, and fungi in a total of 627 separate observations. Our participants found 60 species completely new to Split Oak Forest and 10 additional species that had been seen by FWC but were not on iNaturalist (please see the Management Plan for their species list). This includes four threatened species: two butterflies, one grass, and one bird species.

Of course, species might continue to trickle in, we have a number of species within the project that have still not been identified to species level. Want to help? Jump in here.

This is less than the 88 new species we found during the Spring BioBlitz, but still good for a park that has been open to the public for 24 years and has already had multiple biological surveys.

Laura Goodding and Species_Spotlight led the pack in discovering new-to-Split Oak species, together finding 27% of our new species.

Species_Spotlight, with his focus on the lakes, found seven new fish species, only two of which were previously known to FWC.

Right behind him is Diane Willis, Ph.D., a grass expert. She found seven new species, including a State-Threatened grass, Florida Jointtail Grass.

Danny Goodding got a spectacular photo of a flying squirrel! He also found five new insect species.

See the species list and breakdown below, for a full species list visit our project’s species page:

Laura Goodding

Deathcap (Amanita phalloides)
Small Mocis Moth (Mocis latipes)
Brown Birch Bolete (Leccinum scabrum)
Dog Vomit Slime Mold (Fuligo septica)
Blood Red Russula (Russula rosaceae)
White Arrow Arum (Peltandra sagittifolia)
Broad-tipped Conehead (Neoconocephalus triops)
Live-oak Root Borer (Archodontes melanopus)

Species_Spotlight

Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambus clarkii)
Everglades Pygmy Sunfish (Elassoma evergladei)
Golden Topminnow (Fundulus chrysotus)
Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) already known by FWC
Warmouth (Lepomis gulosus)
Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) already known by FWC
Blue-spotted Sunfish (Enneacanthus gloriosus)
Least Killifish (Hederandria formosa)

Diane Willis

Hairy Bluestem (Andropogon longiberbis)
Torpedo Grass (Panicum repens) FLEPPC Category I Invasive already known by FWC
Warty Panicgrass (Panicum verrucosum) already known by FWC
Hilograss (Panicum conjugatum)
Shortbeak Beaksedge (Rhynchospora nitens)
Florida Jointtail Grass (Coelorachis tuberculosa) State-Threatened

Danny Goodding

Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans)
Starbellied Orbweaver (Acanthepeira stellata)
Eastern Subterranean Termite (Reticulitermes flavipes)
Florida Tortoise Beetle (Hemisphaerota cyanea)
Polopinus youngi a Florida-endemic Darkling Beetle
Short-winged Bush Cricket (Hapithus brevipennis)

Stacy Klema

Lunate Zale Moth (Zale lunata)
Veiled Polypore (Cryptoporus volvatus)
Diaperis maculata a Darkling Beetle
Moderately Sulcate Warrior Beetle (Pasimachus subsulcatus)
Brochymena arborea a rough stink bug
Sosippus floridanus a wolf spider

Valerie Anderson (me!)

Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) (already known by FWC)
Shoestring Fern (Vittaria lineata) (already known by FWC)
Slender Blazing Star (Liatris gracilis)
Byssus Skipper (Problema byssus) State-Threatened
Palmetto Skipper (Euphyes arpa) State-Threatened
Trametes cubensis a poroid bracket mushroo

Brian Silverman

Margined Leatherwing (Chauliognathus marginatus)
Lined Topminnow (Fundulus lineolatus)
Taillight Shiner (Notropis maculatus)
Apache Jumping Spider (Phidippus apacheanus)
Leafy Oak Gall Wasp (Andricus quercusfoliatus)

nonrandom

Water Cowbane (Oxypolis filiformis) (already known by FWC)
Nodding Clubmoss (Lycopodiella cernua)
Carolina Mantleslug (Philomicus carolinianus)
Theatops posicus a bark centipede
Humped Bladderwort (Utricularia gibba)

Mary Keim

Sarsaparilla Vine (Smilax pumila) (already known by FWC)
Laurel Dodder (Cassythia filiformis)
Odontocorynus larvatus (a flower weevil)
Licorice Weed (Scoparia dulcis) (already known by FWC)

Randy Snyder

Timulla vagans a species of velvet ant
Rabidoza hentzi (a species of wolf spider)
Violet Bromeliad Fly (Copestylum barei)

Michael Gaithe

End Band Net-winged Beetle (Calopteron terminale)
Honey Mushroom (Armillaria mellea)

Nathalie van Turnhout

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) State-Threatened (already known by FWC)
Tall Yelloweyed Grass (Xyris platylepis)

Press Release: Lawsuit Challenges Osceola’s Support of Road Through Split Oak Forest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [PDF]

Lawsuit claims that the decision was made in violation of Florida’s Sunshine Law

KISSIMMEE-  The first hearing for this lawsuit is scheduled for January 2, 2019, 2:00 pm in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, Osceola County Courthouse, Room 6A in Kissimmee, Florida.

In their most recent filings with the court, Friends of Split Oak Forest, Speak Up Wekiva and Valerie Anderson (Plaintiffs) allege that the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners (Defendant) violated “Florida’s Sunshine Law” when they issued official support for a major expressway route through Split Oak Forest at the request of Tavistock Development Company last April.

Plaintiffs contend that Osceola County officials took action on a proposition before the Board without allowing the public a fair opportunity to participate in the decision-making process, in violation of Florida Statutes Chapter 286.0114(2). Plaintiffs assert that the Board Chairman, Fred Hawkins, Jr., intentionally took steps to prevent the public from knowing that the proposition would be considered for approval at the April 16 meeting.

Gopher tortoise, a threatened species. Gopher tortoises were relocated to Split Oak from development sites. Photo: Robert Sena / Split Oak Forest.

The Government-in-the-Sunshine Law was enacted in 1967 and is designed to protect the public’s ability to access governmental meetings and be heard before decisions are made by elected officials. “It is important that local governments follow the law so that citizens can effectively engage with their government,” said Valerie Anderson, President of Friends of Split Oak Forest and one of the plaintiffs. The Friends of Split Oak Forest and Speak Up Wekiva have come forward to fight for the public’s right to be heard.

Background: Osceola County partnered with Orange County to purchase Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area in 1994 using public funding. Use of this type of funding required that the Counties agree to protect the lands forever (“in perpetuity”) for mitigation and conservation. The Deed Restrictions pursuant to the Grant Award Agreement, recorded in April of 1994, state:

“The Project Site shall be managed only for the conservation, protection and enhancement of natural and historical resources and for passive, natural resource-based public outdoor recreation which is compatible with the conservation, protection and enhancement of the Project Site.”

The original Deed Restrictions over this property are still in full force and effect. This property is also protected by various Conservation Easements which have their own set of legal conditions and limitations according to Florida Statutes.

During the past ten years, Osceola County, through the Osceola County Expressway Authority, has consistently favored and approved proposed Osceola Parkway Extension routes that would slash through Split Oak Forest in violation of the explicit Deed Restrictions, the clear intent of the original agreements and the public trust.

On April 16, 2018, the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners voiced their support of an alignment of the Osceola Parkway Extension through Split Oak Forest. The roadway project is currently in the process of a Project Development & Engineering Study by the Central Florida Expressway Authority.

Contact: Valerie Anderson, (386) 852-2539, valerie@friendsofsplitoak.org, website: friendsofsplitoak.org

Updated Burn Map from FWC

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission updated their burn map for Split Oak Forest to correspond with their two June burns from this year that resulted in the well-documented profusion of ground orchids.

Many-Flowered Grass Pink (Calopogon multiflorus) by Craig Duddles

These orchids depend on fire to flower, and are so rare that the State of Florida has them listed as Threatened.

Our excellent local managers of Split Oak Forest got in two burns this year before a FWC put a moratorium in place. Hopefully this moratorium will be lifted for the upcoming fire season.

October Flower is a bit early, hm?

During my August 13th hike with the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) employees and their consultants we walked around Lake Two, where I noticed a small scrubby-looking plant with white flowers. Peering down at the plant revealed a mass of delicate flowers.

October Flower (or Jointweed) flowers up close in Split Oak Forest near Lake Two

October Flower (Polygonella polygama), also known as Jointweed or Showy Jointweed, is a locally abundant plant that likes it dry. It’s a native member of the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae), which means it smells lovely. It can be found throughout the southeast.

Ten days after my hike, recent visitors to the park have reported that it is flowering en masse along the sides of the trail and makes a striking impression.

My observation is the first iNaturalist record for October Flower in Split Oak, though it was previously documented by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

See also

Huegel, Craig. 2010-08-27. October Flower – Polygonella polygama. Blog: Florida Native Wildflowers

MH Sub I, LLC. 2018. October Flower, Showy Jointweed. Webpage: Dave’s Garden

Cook, Will. 2015-07-11. Common October-flower. Webpage: Carolina Nature

Florida Native Plant Society. 2018. Polygonella polygama. Webpage: Florida Native Plant Society

New Species Finds – mid-August to mid-September 2018

Current Species County in iNaturalist: 574
iNaturalist Species Count August 15: 555

Twenty four new species to report!

New Endangered Plants

Eulophia ecristata Giant Orchid by Bryan Ames (found previously by FWC but first find in iNaturalist!)
Pinguicula lutea Yellow Butterwort by Danny Goodding (found March 17, 2018 but I must have missed it!)

New Herps

Hyla femoralis Pine Woods Tree Frog by Valerie Anderson (found July 8 but not positively identified until August 29, was on FWC list)
Hyla squirella Squirrel Tree Frog by Stacy Klema (was on FWC list but hadn’t been found yet!)
Pseudacris ocularis Little Grass Frog (found during the BioBlitz by Danny Goodding)

New Wildflowers

Crotalaria pumila Low Rattlebox by Valerie Anderson (found on March 13, 2018 but I must have missed it!)
Elephantopus elatus Tall Elephant’s Foot by Bryan Ames
Lobelia paduosa White Lobelia by Bryan Ames (not on FWC list and first iNaturalist record for Osceola County!!)
Liatris tenuifolia Shortleaf Blazing Star by Stacy Klema (not on FWC list)
Mimosa quadrivavis Fourvalve Mimosa by Valerie Anderson (not on FWC list)
Physostegia purpurea Eastern False Dragonhead by Dave Wegman
Polygonella polygama October Flower by Valerie Anderson
Sabatia difformis Lanceleaf Rose Gentian by Mary Keim (found July 14th but I must have missed it!)
Solidago odora var. chapmanii Chapmna’s Goldenrod by Stacy Klema
Toxicodendron radicans Eastern Poison Ivy by Valerie Anderson (not that you want to find this!)
Vigna luteola Hairypod Cowpea by Stacy Klema (not on FWC list)

New Trees

Quercus nigra Water Oak by Valerie Anderson

New Butterflies and Moths

Datana ministra Yellow-Necked Catepillar Moth by Valerie Anderson (not on FWC list)
Papilio polyxenes Black Swallowtail by Laura Bennet-Kimble (found on May 5th but I didn’t notice. Sorry Laura!)

New Insects

Megatibicen resonans Resonant Cicada by Stacy Klema
Polistes fuscatus Dark Paper Wasp by Stacy Klema
Trichodes ornatus Ornate Checkered Beetle by Stacy Klema
Trigonopeltastes delta
Delta Flower Scarab by travis-

New Fungi

Tylopilus felleus Bitter Bolete by Stacy Klema

Most Wanted Plants (on FWC list or seen nearby)

Agalinis fasciculata Beach False Foxglove (not on FWC list)
Agalinis filifolia Seminole False Foxglove
Amphicarpaea bracteata
American Hogpeanut (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Apios americana
Groundnut (not on FWC list, likely)
Asclepias curtisii
Curtis’s Milkweed (not on FWC list)
Asemeia grandiflora
Showy Milkwort*
Amphicarpum muhlenbergianum
Blue Maidencane
Aristida palustris
Longleaf Threeawn
Asimina angustifolia
Slimleaf Pawpaw
Bacopa caroliniana Carolina Water-Hyssop
Boehmeria cylindrica
False Nettle (not on FWC list, likely)
Calopogon tuberosus tuberosus
Tuberous Grass Pink
Carphephorus carnosus
Pineland Chaffhead (endemic, not on FWC list, likely)
Carphephorus odoratissimus
var. subtropicanus Pineland Purple (endemic, not on FWC list, likely)
Centella asiatica
Gotu Kola (invasive)
Chamaecrista nictatans
Sensitive Pea (not on FWC list, likely)
Chapmannia floridana
Florida Alicia (not on FWC list, likely, endemic)
Clitoria mariana
Atlantic Pidgeonwings (not on FWC list, likely)
Conoclinium coelestinum
Blue Mistflower
Desmodium floridanum 
Florida Ticktrefoil (not on FWC list, likely)
Desmodium incanum Creeping Beggarweed (non-native, not on FWC list, likely)
Desmodium paniculatum Panicled Ticktrefoil (not on FWC list, likely)
Desmodium tenuifolium Slimleaf Ticktrefoil (not on FWC list)
Desmodium tortuosum Florida Ticktrefoil (not on FWC list, it’s nativeness is debated)
Desmodium triflorum Threeflower Ticktrefoil (not on FWC list, non-native, likely)
Desmodium viridflorum Velvetleaf Ticktrefoil (not on FWC list
Diodia virginiana Virginia Buttonweed*
Epidendrum magnoliae
Green Fly Orchid
Eupatorium album
White Thoroughwort (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Eupatorium compositifolium
Yankeeweed (not on FWC list, likely)
Eupatorium leptophyllum
False Fennel
Eupatorium serotinum
Late Boneset (not on FWC list, very likely)
Funastrum clausum
White Twinevine (not on FWC list, likely)
Helianthemum carolinianum
Carolina Frostweed (not on FWC list)
Helianthemum corymbosum
Pinebarren Frostweed (not on FWC list)
Helianthemum nashii
Florida Scrub Frostweed (not on FWC list)
Hydrolea corymbosa
Skyflower*
Hymenocallis palmeri
 Alligator Lily*
Hypolepis repens
Creeping Bramble Fern
Ilex ambigua
Carolina Holly
Ilex cassine
Dahoon Holly
Ilex coriacea
Large Gallberry
Indigofera caroliniana
Carolina Indigo (not on FWC list, likely)
Indigofera hirsuta
Hairy Indigo (not on FWC list, invasive, likely)
Indigofera spicata
Creeping Indigo (not on fWC list, invasive, likely)
Juncus effusus solutus
Eastern Soft Rush
Lachnocaulon beyrichianum
Southern Bogbutton
Lechea torreyi
Piedmont Pinweed
Ludwigia repens
Creeping Evening Primrose
Lycopodiella caroliniana
Slender Club-Moss
Lycopus rubellus
Water Horehound
Lyonia lygustrima foliosiflora
Maleberry
Oldenlandia uniflora
Clustered Mille Graines
Oplismenus hirtellus
Woodsgrass
Opuntia stricta
Shell Mound Pricklypear
Osmunda regalis spectabilis
American Royal Fern
Oxypolis filiformis
Water Cowbane
Palafoxia integrifolia
Coastalplain Palafox
Panicum verrucosum
Warty Panicgrass
Passiflora lutea
Yellow Passionflower (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Passiflora suberosa 
Corkstem Passionflower (not on FWC list, likely)
Peltandra virginica
Green Arrow Arum
Penstemon multiflorus
White or Manyflowered Beardtongue
Pluchea foetida 
Stinking Camphorweed*
Physostegia leptophylla
Slenderleaf False Dragonhead (not on FWC list)
Pithecellobium unguis-cati
Catclaw Blackbead (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Polygonella robusta
Sandhill Wireweed (endemic)
Polygonella basiramia Hairy Jointweed* (endemic)
Polygonella gracilis Tall Jointweed
Quercus chapmanii Chapman’s Oak
Quercus geminata
Sand Live Oak
Quercus minima
Dwarf Live Oak
Rhexia alifanus
Savannah Meadowbeauty (not on FWC list)
Rhexia cubensis
West Indian Meadowbeauty (not on FWC list)
Rhexia lutea
Yellow Meadowbeauty (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Rhexia virginica
Handsome Harry(not on FWC list, unlikely)
Rhynchospora fascicularis
Fascicled Beaksedge
Rhynchospora inundata
Narrowfruit Horned Beaksedge
Rubus argutus Sawtooth Blackberry
Sagittaria lancifolia
Lanceleaf Arrowhead
Scoparia dulcis
Licorice Weed*
Setaria magna
Giant Bristlegrass
Sida acuta
Spinyhead Sida (not on FWC list, very likely)
Smilax glauca
Cat Greenbriar (not on FWC list)
Smilax rotundifolia
Roundleaf Greenbriar (not on FWC List, unlikely)
Smilax pumila
Sarsparilla vine
Smilax smallii
Jackson vine (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Smilax tamnoides
Bristly Greenbriar (not on FWC list)
Smilax walteri
Coral Greenbriar (not on FWC list)
Spigelia loganoides 
Florida Pinkroot (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Syngonanthus flavidulus
Yellow Hatpins
Tiedemannia filiformis 
Water Cowbane*
Tillandsia balbisiana 
Spreading Airplant
Tillandsia bartramii
Bartram’s Airplant
Tillandsia fasciculata
Cardinal Airplant
Triadenum virginicum V
irginia Marsh St. John’s Wort
Typha latifolia Common Cattail
Vittaria lineata
Shoestring Fern
Xyris fimbriata
Fringed Yellow-eyed Grass
Xyris platylepis Tall Yellow-Eyed Grass*
Zanthoxylum fagara Wild Lime (not on FWC list, possible)

Missing Invasive Plant Species

Psidium guajava Guava

Most Wanted Butterflies and Moths

Abaeis nicippe Sleepy Orange
Ancycloxypha numitor Least Skipper
Asbolis capucinus Monk Skipper (not on FWC list, highly likely)
Asterocampa celtis Hackberry Emperor (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Battus philenor Pipevine Swallowtail (not on FWC list)
Copaeodes minima Southern Skipperling
Danaus eresimus Soldier (not on FWC list, likely)
Dryas iulia Julia (not on FWC list, likely)
Endodeca serpentaria Virginia Snakeroot (not on FWC list, possible)
Epargyreus clarus Silver-spotted Skipper (not on FWC, likely)
Eumaeus atala Atala Hairstreak (not on FWC list, threatened, unlikely)
Euptoieta claudia Variegated Fritillary
Junonia coenia Common Buckeye
Junonia evarete Tropical Buckeye (not on FWC list)
Junonia genoveva Magrove Buckeye (not on FWC list, unlikely)
Lerodea eufala Eufala Skipper
Limenitis archippus Viceroy
Neonympha areolatus Georgia satyr (threatened)
Oligoria maculata Twin-spot Skipper
Papilio cresophontes Giant Swallowtail (not on FWC list,
Poanes aaroni Aaron’s Skipper
Phoebis agarithe Large Orange Sulfur (not on FWC list, possible)
Phoebis philea Orange-barred sulfur (not on FWC list
Phoebis sennae Cloudless Sulfur
Pyrgus albescens White-Checkered Skipper
Thorybes bathyllus Southern Cloudywing
Thorybes confusis Confused Cloudywing
Urbanus dorantes Dorantes Longtail
Vanessa atalanta Red Admiral (not on FWC list)
Vanessa virginiensis American Painted Lady (not on FWC list)

Missing Animal Species

Acris gryllus dorsalis Florida Cricket Frog
Kinosternon baurii
Striped Mud Turtle
Pantherophis alleghaniensis
Eastern Rat Snake
Plestiodon inexpectatus
Southeastern Five-Lined Skink
Pseudacris nigrita
Southern Chorus Frog
Thamnophis saurita sackenii
Peninsula Ribbon Snake

*If found in the Osceola County part of Split Oak, would be a first iNaturalist record for Osceola.

I wanted to check our progress for plants, and USF Plant Atlas lists a possible 1,501 species of plants in Orange and Osceola Counties. 1,192 of those are native. We’ve got a ways to go, guys!

So we have 102 “most wanted” plants and 251 already documented native plants = 353 plants that we (Friends of Split Oak Forest) know we need to find. That leaves 839 plants we don’t have on the above list!