Sunday, May 6, 2012

Oldfield Milkvine (Matelea decipiens)

May 5th, 2012. We made another run from Saxon to Broad yesterday. We were on the lookout for milkvines (Matalea sp.). We saw a lot of vines but only one with maroon flowers and another, an Angularfruit Milkvine (Matalea gonocarpos) setting buds.

It was the former plant that really caught out attention. Unfortunately, this plant had almost finished blooming; there were only a couple of unopened buds on each cluster. Although the flowers were not at their best, they are worth documenting. Since most of the flowers were in the shade we had to use artificial light or flash to photograph them.

A cluster of blooms photographed with flash. The petals appear brown under this light; in reality they are deep maroon. The petals of these flowers were longer than those of the…

Maroon Carolina Milkweed (Matelea carolinensis): Jones County, Georgia

Maroon Carolina MIlkvine (Matelea carolinensis) that we photographed in the Piedmont NWR in Jones County, Georgia a few weeks ago.

A closer view of one of the flowers. The flowers were ‘cup-shaped’ - the petals curved upwards rather than laterally from the center as do the Maroon Carolina Milkvine flowers above.

Another cluster of flowers photographed with artificial light.

A closer view of one of these flowers. In addition to having long petals, the petals show some twisting.

A cluster of three flowers showing both the long petals and some twisting.

A view from the side showing the ‘cupping’ of the petals and a bud.

A close-up view of an individual flower.

These photographs were taken of plants by the roadside. W walked back into the woods and found more plants that had finished blooming. We plan to return next year during the optimal blooming period to photograph these plants again.

We have identified this vine as Matalea decipiens which is known as the Oldfield Milkvine, Deceptive Spinypod, Climbing Milkweed, Angle-pod, or Climbing Red Milkweed. It is native to the United States where it may be found from Maryland to Illinois and Kansas and south to Texas. It hasn’t been documented in Mississippi, Alabama or Florida. In Georgia, it has only been officially documented in Banks and Clarke counties. Clearly, Alan Cressler has documented it in Catoosa County, Georgia. As with Matalea flavidula, this species is distributed more widely than officially documented.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

Name that Plant. Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia:

- Matelea decipiens
(Deceptive Spinypod)

- Matelea carolinensis
(Carolina Spinypod, Climbing Milkweed)

- Comparison. M. gonocarpos, M. decipiens, M. carolinensis, M. flavidula
Missouri plants: Matelea decipiens

Alan Cressler: Matelea decipiens

J. Pippen, Duke University: Matelea decipiens (Oldfield Milkvine, Deceptive Spinypod)

- USDA Plants Database: Matelea decipiens (Oldfield Milkvine)

- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Matelea decipiens

Related Post:
Maroon Carolina Milkvine (Matelea carolinensis)

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