Seeds from the 2021 seed collection made by Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden are backup at the USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation
East coast Lantana (Lantana depressa var. floridana) is a shrubby plant found only on the east coast of Florida, where it is state listed as endangered. It lives in dry sandy upland habitats such as coastal strand and scrubby flatwoods. The species was described from a specimen collected in 1904 from a Miami-Dade County beach and its range extends over 300 miles northward to St. Johns County. It is a globally critically imperiled taxon.
While on assignment to collect fresh seed of the beach star sedge (Remirea maritima) for a CPC-NLGRP seed ageing viability study from Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Fairchild’s Conservation Team also had the opportunity to collect seeds from this preserve’s Lantana depressa var. floridana population, all with the help of Park Biologist Liz Golden. During our visit on August 18, 2021, we collected inky metallic-blue fruits which house one seed each; botanically the fruit is classified as a drupe. Butter-yellow flowers were present during our visit and form in clusters that attract butterflies and many other pollinators.
Lantana depressa var. floridana flowers and fruit at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, August 2021. Photo by Lydia Cuni.
Lantana depressa var. floridana in Brevard County, August 2006. Photo by Joyce Maschinski
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