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Pineland blackanthers
Melanthera parvifolia

Copyright by: George D. Gann

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also wildflower and butterfly gardens.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Small herbaceous wildflower.

Dimensions: Typically 6-24 inches in height but sometimes taller. Spreading and usually much broader than tall.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Endemic to Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier counties south to the Monroe County Keys. In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from Miami-Dade County to the pine rocklands of Big Pine Key. In Broward County, known only from Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Pine rocklands and marl prairies.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone (rarely sandy) soils, without humus.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Inconspicuous achene.

Wildlife and Ecology: Probable nectar plant for Bahamian swallowtail (Heraclides andraemon), cassius blue (Leptotes cassius), dorantes skipper (Urbanus dorantes), field skipper (Atalopedes campestris), Florida white (Appias drusilla), gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus), gulf fritillary (Agraulis vanillae), julia (Dryas iulia), long-tailed skipper (Urbanus proteus), Miami blue (Hemiargus thomasi), obscure skipper (Panoquina panoquinoides), Palatka skipper (Euphyes pilatka), Schaus' swallowtail (Heraclides aristodemius), tropical checkered-skipper (Pyrgus oileus) and other butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida. Taxonomy: some authors place M. parvifolia into synonomy under the wide ranging M. nivea; we do not.

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Melanthera parvifolia available from:

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