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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default What was that plant.......

    I saw fields of little flowers growing along the roadside in the Palm Beach Area last weekend.

    As I stared out the window of the car watching miles of this stuff go by I thought it would never end.

    I saw honey bees working it when we stopped for gas.

    I should have taken a picture, because now I have no idea what it was.

    Is anyone from the Palm Beach area? What are those tiny flowers growing all over down there?

    At a glance it looks like clover, but it is not. The flower is simpler and slightly blue/lavender colored. The plant is a vine-like plant and grows in the mowed area of the median and roadsides.
    Troy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    Sounds like it could be Crown Vetch, which is a popular ground cover for highway medians:

    http://inspirezone.org/hiking/crownvetch.jpg
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    207

    Default

    The more casual old timer name for it is henbit. It makes an extreemely sweet, thich very very flowery tasting honey. The only drawback is that it crystallizes in about 3 or 4 months.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    Hobie an CSbees,

    I appreciate the leads, but I looked up both henbit and crown vetch on Google images and neither of these look quite right.

    When comparing against images of the crown vetch - what I saw had a simpler flower. I would say that the vetch flower looks very much like a clover - I guess they would call that compound or a multiple layered flower. What I saw was single. Also, the vetch appears to have compound leaves, whereas the plant I saw was more of a horizontal growing v each leaf coming straight off the stem of the vine.

    Henbit looks even farther off. Are Henbit and crown vetch supposed to be the same plant? The pictures look very different.

    Do you know of any more pictures or ideas?
    Troy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    I should add that the color of the flower that I saw does indeed match the color of the crown vetch.

    Maybe what I saw was a simpler form? Maybe a wild form or something? the vetch appears to have pinnately compound leaves and that plant I saw did not appear to have complex leaves like this. I picked some, but did not attempt to identify it until a few days later and it is all shriveled up now. When I get home from work I will look at the shriveled bits more carefully.
    Troy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    707

    Default

    I'm going to say that it is a vetch (Vicia sp.), but not crown vetch (Coronilla varia) which you can see is in a totally different genus of plants. There are over 150 different species of vetch. Some are native to only central/south Florida, while others are invasives that grow everywhere.

    All in all, they are great plants for forage, nectar, and soil building. Cow vetch and hairy vetch are two really common ones.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    207

    Default

    I also have some hairy vetch up here. This is more of a sprawling vine. It has deep purple colored flowers coming off of only one side of the end. It also has hairy looking tendrils.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    I read up some more on this and it seems that Crown Vetch is predominantly a Northeast region plant and one page I read specifically said that it is NOT suited to the hot and humid southeast.

    Which lends some credence to the idea that it is a vetch of some kind, but not crown vetch or hairy vetch, but something similar that is more adapted to the hot and humid conditions of the Deep South.

    Please keep the ideas coming. I'm getting almost desperate enough to go drive back down there (2 1/2 Hour drive each way) to look at it again. It is driving me crazy.

    You mentioned Cow Vetch - I'll go look that up........
    Troy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    Well here I am a year later. I'm still trying to figure out what this is more precisely.

    I picked some again last weekend while down in the Stuart area.
    Troy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default Aeschynomene, deer vetch, joint vetch?

    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Waubun Minnesota USA
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Why dont you call the chamber of commerce down there. I am sure they could answer your question or tell you who planted it. Harold

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DeKalb Co. Alabama U.S.A.
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: What was that plant.......

    Bump from the archives.

    Did this ever get resolved?

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