Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Lonely Traveler: Pink Queen (Cleome hassleriana)

We drove down to the Redlands WMA in the Oconee National Forest at Fishing Creek/Oconee River. From the turnaround at the end of Forest Service road FS1245B,

it was a short walk down to Fishing Creek at a point where the creek is wide.

We spotted an unusual flower on an island where Fishing Creek empties into the Oconee River. It’s in the center of the photo, at the edge of the water

A closer view. Still in the center of the photo

W was able to get a better photo than I could. We’ve identified it as a Pink Queen (Cleome hassleriana). Seed pods are clearly visible in this photograph.

Cleome hassleriana (Pink Queen) is a native of South America, from Argentina to Brazil. In the United States, it’s found in states east of a line from Wisconsin, Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas with the exception of the New England state. It may also been found in Ontario, Canada.

It’s an unusual find. According to the USDA Plant Database, this plant has been documented in only three counties in Georgia - White, Harris, and Lowndes counties. It hasn’t been formally documented in Greene County The most probable explanation for finding it here was that it was planted in a garden upstream along Fishing Creek and seeds floated downstream and took root on this shore line.

Click on an image to view a larger image


- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Cleome hassleriana (Pink Queen)

- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Cleome hassleriana

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora: Pink Queen (Cleome hassleriana)

Related post:
- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower – Wildflower Index

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