Friday, April 27, 2012

Hancock County, Georgia: Yellow Carolina Milkvine (Matelea flavidula)

April 20th, 2012. We found the Maroon Carolina Milkvine (Matelea carolinensis) growing and blooming by the roadside in Hancock, Jasper and Jones counties, Georgia.

While I was photographing the maroon milkvine blooms, W wandered off among the matelea plants that we’d found along a short section of this road. Of course, we expected that all would be the same. But, before long, W asked me if I was interested in a yellow flower. Of course!

He had found several plants that appear to be the Yellow Carolina Milkvine (Matelea flavidula)…

A cluster of blooms near the base of the vine.

A slightly smaller cluster a little further up the vine.

A small cluster near the top of the vine.

A slightly closer views

The underside of the flowers

Close-up views of the flowers. The petals have a wonderful reticulate pattern.

Close-ups of individual flowers taken at an oblique angle.

Matelea flavidula is known by the common names Yellow Carolina Milkvine or Yellow Spinypod. This species is native to the United States where it grows from Virginia to Mississippi. This species is considered to be rare in Georgia where it has only been officially documented in Effingham and Baker counties (USDA Plants Database) and Pulaski, Appling, Wayne, Baker and Decatur counties (University of North Carolina Herbarium). Alan Cressler has found the species in Houston (here and here) and Cook counties.

If confirmed, our find would place this species further north in Georgia than previously recognized. We found still more... the following day, April 21st at the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in Jones County, Georgia.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

Name that Plant. Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Matelea flavidula (Yellow Spinypod)

Alan Cressler: Matelea flavidula

- Houston county, Georgia:
Short petal and long petal
- Cook County
, Georgia

- USDA Plants Database: Matelea flavidula (Yellow Carolina Milkvine)

- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Matelea flavidula

Related Posts
- Maroon Carolina Milkvine (Matelea carolinensis)

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