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Tropical-puff
Neptunia pubescens
Fabaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also wildflower and butterfly gardens.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Small creeping herb with clusters of yellow flowers.
Dimensions:
About 2-6 inches in height. Spreading and forming small, open patches.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Southeastern United States west to Texas and south, mostly along the Florida coasts, to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. Rare in the Monroe County Keys and very rare or absent in the middle Keys.
Habitats:
Pinelands, open coastal uplands and disturbed sites.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, without humus.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Secondary line; tolerates significant salt wind without injury, but usually is somewhat protected.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Yellow.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy globose heads.
Flowering Season:
Spring-fall; peak in spring.
Fruit:
Brown flattened pod (legume), about 1" long, splitting open when ripe.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for ceraunus blue (Hemiargus ceraunus) butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed.
Comments:
The leaflets are sensitive, and will close when touched.


 


Roger L. Hammer