Richardia grandiflora (A Useful Weed)

Largeflower Mexican clover is an exotic species that is here to stay in South Florida. However, unlike many invasives, this pretty little plant has several redeeming qualities. It grows happily on damaged, drought stricken ground...including hopelessly dead lawns of exotic grass. It blooms profusely. Many species of insects including honey bees, native bees and butterflies love it's nectar. Recently, I observed a gopher tortoise at Juno Dunes enthusiastically eating both the flowers and leaves of this plant. I hope officials take that into consideration before spraying these with herbicide in tortoise country! Here is a short video I made of the tortoise eating:

vimeo.com/39025119

(The growl was added....tortoises don't growl ;-)

 

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Taken on March 10, 2012
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