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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
    5,125

    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

    Default

    If its really bugging and if its a native vetch, you go to this web site and enter vetch into the name search. Then, you work your way through the list. Most have photos.
    http://www.wildflower.org/plants/
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Kingston Springs, Tennessee
    Posts
    32

    Default Plant ID - have you done an internet search?

    Just a thought - a lot of state agricultural agencies have pretty knockout sites with searchable databases and pictures of plants that are common to the state. Some private colleges have them too. You might be able to google on the state name along with some other descriptors and hit the jackpot.

    Do I understand that this plant is something you saw in California though you are more commonly located in Florida? Just trying to get where this plant is located straight.

    Good luck!
    Think like a bee - focus!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default

    Take a photo and post it. I'm really curious as to what it is.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy View Post
    I saw fields of little flowers growing along the roadside in the Palm Beach Area last weekend.
    Quote Originally Posted by nutso View Post
    Do I understand that this plant is something you saw in California though you are more commonly located in Florida? Just trying to get where this plant is located straight.
    I believe that he is saying that he saw these plants around the Palm Beach area of Florida.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    Yes I saw them in the Palm Beach area of Florida.

    No I don't think it is the vetch based on the photo shown above. Leaves are not fern-like as shown.

    Also the description says the vetch grows to 30 inches tall.

    This thing is a vine and is happily blooming in the mowed roadside area.

    I did take some pictures. I will upload as soon as I can post links here.

    Thanks,
    Troy

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,366

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,121

    Default

    If its a pea or a vetch, it will have pea like seed pods you could collect & cultivate. Pick a few on you're next visit.
    Dan

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Blythewood, SC
    Posts
    149

    Default

    Could it be Borage?
    "To escape criticism-do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,121

    Default

    The borage here is a tall non vining plant, it does have fuzzy leaves though.
    Dan

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Richland County, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Vinca minor is a common ground cover with low growing vines and single blue flowers - it is also called periwinkle. Pretty stuff even when it isn't in bloom. And talk about durable! It survives drought, flood, freeze, kids walking all over it, and escaped goats gnawing it to the ground.

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