November Wildflowers in Key West – 2018

Key West Field Guide, vegetable

Click on the flower names at the bottom of this post for more images and links to species information.

Unidentified wildflower #2

Key West Field Guide, vegetable
Still working on identifying this one. Please comment if you have any ideas. I know it is in the dayflower family, but it doesn’t have the translucent lower petals of Commelina erecta, but I didn’t get a good enough picture of the other parts to narrow the ID down. Luckily, I can revisit this plant tomorrow.

Carry me seed

Key West Field Guide, vegetable

Phyllanthus amarus

This is a sneaky weed. I’ve walked past it dozens of times, always waiting for it to flower. It wasn’t until a friend brought me specimen from her yard that I discovered that the tiniest flowers dangle underneath the leaves. Find more info here.

Phyllanthus amarus fruits

Phyllanthus amarus flowers (calyx less than 1mm wide)

Frangipani hornworm caterpillar

animal, Key West Field Guide

Pseudosphinx tetrio

Although most people who walked by while I was admiring this caterpillar shared the wonder of such a gigantic, colorful creature by taking photos and watching it wander down the sidewalk, a few imparted more negative opinions. One informed me that it would bite me (it didn’t). That it would burn me like “muriatic acid” (it didn’t). And a third suggested I would catch a disease (haven’t appeared to). But none of these people knew the name of the caterpillar or even what it fed on. After identifying this larva online, I transported him to the nearest frangipani tree about 200 yards away, which had about 5 other Pseudosphinx tetrio caterpillars munching on the leathery leaves. Moral of this story- assess the risks and decide for yourself. If it has a mouth, it can bite. (I’d probably survive.) It could sting. (Again, I’d probably survive.) And truthfully, if I got sick from a caterpillar, I’d probably think it was worth the novelty. (And I’d probably survive.)

Pseudosphinx tetrio caterpillar

Pseudosphinx tetrio caterpillar

And for true excitement, topped only by watching paint dry, some video of the caterpillar munching on a frangipani leaf.