Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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An annual trailing or twining vine of dry open hammocks, fields and dunes found occasionally along the northeast Florida coast, in the panhandle from Wakulla County westward, and in Madison County. The range extends throughout the eastern United States, west to Texas, north to South Dakota and Minnesota, plus Ontario and Quebec. This species is not found in Vermont or New Hampshire.
The pea-shaped flowers appear on long stalks from the leaf axils. Initially pink to rose colored, fading to green, then turning to a light yellowish-brown. The lower petals are united to form a purple-tipped strongly incurved keel. The calyx tube is short, with bracts of about the same or slightly longer length than the tube. Alternate leaves of trifoliate leaflets, ovate to rhombic-ovate with entire margins, often three-lobed basally. Fruit is a slender, pubescent legume.
An early Wild Florida Photo of Strophostyles helvula appears in the brochure of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.