May. 4, 2019

Florida Keys hempvine, Mikania cordifolia

Diamonds aren't forever for hempvine. Does that make them even more fun to see? The tiny diamond-shaped spear points you can see here are the newly revealed pistils. On some of the older flowers you can see how the points separate, and the lobes curl back as they age. Initially, the pointed pistils are hoping to lure a pollinator. Failing that, they curl back to make contact with their own anthers and pollen. Many flowers in the aster family employ this pollination syndrome, not often observed by us because the parts can be so tiny. Keys hempvine clambers up tall herbs and shrubs in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX, and south to Argentina. Taylor Co FL, 10/20/15.