Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also butterfly gardens.
Ecological Restoration Notes:
A somewhat rare understory herb in pine rocklands.
Grown by enthusiasts.
Small to medium herb with erect or sprawling stems and oblong leaves.
About 6-24 inches in height. Taller than broad, but then falling over and spreading.
Eastern and central United States west to Texas and south to central Florida; disjunct in Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County Keys. In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from Miami-Dade County to the pine rocklands of Big Pine Key, where very rare.
Moist, well-drained limestone soils, without humus.
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Green with purple hoods.
Showy, about 1/2" wide.
Winter-summer; peak spring.
Pod (follicle) with wind dispersed seeds, wide at the base and tapering toward the tip.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for monarch (Danaus plexippus) and queen (Danaus gilippus) butterflies; possible larval host for soldier (Danaus eresimus) butterflies. Nectar plant for monarch butterflies.
Can be grown from seed.
The plant is poisonous to livestock.
Roger L. Hammer
Gann, G.D., M.E. Abdo, J.W. Gann, G.D. Gann, Sr., S.W.
Woodmansee, K.A. Bradley, E. Grahl and K.N. Hines. 2005-2016. Natives For Your Neighborhood. http://www.regionalconservation.org.
The Institute for Regional Conservation. Delray Beach, Florida USA.