Panther Island Adventures!

Panther Island is 2,800 acres of restored wetland and upland habitats situated in the northwest corner of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's 13,000 acres. It is home to numerous plants and animals including the Florida panther and the iconic wood stork.
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Plant of the Week: Earleaf Acacia (Acacia auriculiformis) INVASIVE EXOTIC

Earleaf acacia is native to Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. It is an attractive tree, and this is what led to its introduction to Florida as an ornamental in the early 1930s. The leaves are slightly ear-shaped (as seen by the photo); well they make me think of floppy dog ears at least! And the leaves are actually flattened leaf stalks called phyllodes.

Phyllodes are an adaptation seen in plants that grow and thrive in hot climates and aid the plants in surviving through droughts. It is a fast-growing plant that does well in disturbed areas but has also invaded Florida scrub, pinelands, and hammock areas. This plant is an ecological threat because of its ability to out-compete our natives as well as shade out some of our rare plants.

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