Monday, December 26, 2011

Coat Buttons

Coat Buttons (Tridax procumbens) is a daisy-like weedy flower that is not native to Florida. This invasive wildflower spreads readily by wind-dispersed seeds and can take hold in unusual spots with little soil. This flower was recently observed growing and blooming among the gravel on the roof of the main MOSI building, just outside the glass stairway to the top of the IMAX dome. 

The genus name, Tridax, means three-toothed and refers to the tooth like ending points of the flower petals. Although considered a pest, this flower is often visited by butterflies in the winter when other nectar sources have become scarce. This patch of Coat Buttons was found among the grass around a retention pond on the east side of the Backwoods Forest Preserve.

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