Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Climbing dogbane (Thyrsanthella [Trachelospermum] difforme)

June 30th, 2012. We visited our favorite matelea vines – the Maroon (Matelea carolinensis) and Yellow (Matelea flavidula) Carolina Milkvines  in Hancock County and then wandered along the roadside looking for other flowers. W spotted a vine with smallish leaves and even smaller flowers at the bottom of a steep, almost vertical drop-off beside the road. (W just likes to see if I’ll bite). It was very hot and I couldn’t quite see getting down the slope let alone up again. However, we spotted another, much-more-accessible plant a little further along the road.

The tip of a vine with several clusters of flowers. This plant would probably go unnoticed unless you’re walking along a road or trail.

A closer view of the leaves. This plant, a member of the family Apocyanaceae, has a milky, sticky sap.

 A view of several clusters of flowers at the tip of the vine.

A closer view of an individual flower


Close up views of an individual flower from slightly different angles. The flower is only about one-quarter inch in diameter.

Trachelospermum difforme (Climbing Dogbane) is native to the United States where it grows from Maryland to Illinois and southwest to Texas. In Georgia, it has only been documented in several counties throughout the state. It has not been documented in Hancock County.According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (IT IS), the name Trachelospermum difforme is not accepted and the species should be named Thyrsanthella difformis.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:
- Will Cook, Duke University: Thyrsanthella difformis (Climbing Dogbane) 

- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Trachelospermum difforme (Climbing Dogbane) 
- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Trachelospermum difforme

No comments: