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Wild Florida Photo - Sherardia arvensis - Blue fieldmadder

Sherardia arvensis

Blue fieldmadder
Field madder

Synonym(s): Galium sherardii

Not native to Florida

Marshall County, AL 04/20/12
Marshall County, AL 04/20/12

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This native to the Old World is rarely found in Florida, usually in disturbed sites in the panhandle from Jackson to Jefferson Counties and has also been found in Sumter County. It is also and introduced species in much of both the easter and western United States and Canada. Absent from much of central North America.
This is a much-branched annual herb growing from 10cm to 41cm (4 to 16 in.) tall an may be either erect or reclining. The small ovate to linear leaves are in whorls of six, hairy, sharp-pointed and 5-15mm (0.2 to 0.6 in.) long. The tiny pink to lavender flowers have four lobes and a tube that is several times the length of the lobes. The flowers are in clusters surrounded by a whorl of involucral leaves.
Of the members of the Rubiaceae (Madder) family in Florida, this is the only species with whorled leaves that is not in the genus Galium, where some botanists feel that it should be placed.
The genus name Sherardia commemorates English botanist Dr. William Sherard (1659-1728). The specis name arvensis means "of cultivated fields" in Latin and refers to the habit of commonly growing in farm fields.

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Sherardia arvensis is a member of the Rubiaceae - Madder family.


Date record last modified: Sep 10, 2021


Paul Rebmann Nature Photography at pixels.com