Over the last couple of weeks, I've taken the first two of what will hopefully become a series of walks around the University of Florida campus, so that I can start to learn the local flora. My guide has been Dr. Walter Judd, professor emeritus at UF and a walking encyclopedia of plant knowledge. The flora of Florida is very different from the floras I've lived with before (in New York, Wisconsin, and Arizona), so these walks are a fantastic introduction to the local plants. They will also come in particularly handy starting next fall, when I begin teaching Practical Plant Taxonomy, an undergraduate course covering systematics and taxonomy of vascular plants. It's always great to give students local examples in courses like this, so I'm taking lots of notes and pictures to incorporate into my lectures and the students' labs and field trips.
The plant diversity in Florida is staggering – even here in northern Florida, where the climate is not technically tropical (as it is in the very southern part of the state). As a result, there's no way I can post photos of all the plants we will see, but I'll include some highlights as our walks proceed over the weeks and months. There are many more angiosperms than ferns, of course, but I'll try to slip in some seed-free taxa whenever we see them! This first set is from October 30 and November 6, 2013, around Bartram and Carr halls, and north of McCarty Woods. Enjoy.
|Indigofera spicata |
|Solanum diphyllum – flowers|
|Solanum diphyllum – fruits|
|Solanum diphyllum – the leaves it's named for|
|Left, Tillandsia usneoides (Spanish moss); Right: Tillandsia recurvata (Ball moss)|