Spermacoce terminalis or Spermacoce verticillata?

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by sososleepy, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. sososleepy

    sososleepy Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boynton Beach, FL USA
    I have a small white wildflower, or weed, depending on your point of view, in my south Florida yard. I’d really like to know what it is. The pictures of both that I’ve found on the web look very similar. Can anyone tell me what features to look for to tell the difference between terminalis and verticillata?

    I have a lot of these plants in my yard, and it’s possible that I have both kinds, so I’d like to be able to identify both, as well as any other Spermacoce I might confuse them with.

    There are pictures of some of my Spermacoce here: http://butterflies.heuristron.net/plants/whiteball.html
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,402
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Unfortunately, the Flora of North America for Rubiaceae isn't published yet - anticipated release date is 2011. The lead institution is Missouri Botanical Garden, so I suspect that means they have a Rubiaceae expert on staff, perhaps Dr. Charlotte Taylor?

    We don't have a lot of Florida resources here at UBC, and the ones we do have don't make mention of either of these species.
     
  3. sososleepy

    sososleepy Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boynton Beach, FL USA
    Thanks, I emailed her. Hopefully I'll find my answer before the key comes out, but at least I know if I'm VERY patient, I'll have my answer then lol.
     
  4. sososleepy

    sososleepy Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boynton Beach, FL USA
    Thanks again Daniel. I got my answer, and have had a while to try to figure it out. I need to measure the tube of the corolla (which is extremely tiny) to determine which one I have. Is there a proper way to measure that? Do I measure the part I can see with the plant intact, or try to extract the whole white tube of the flower? I'm guessing I measure the length of the tube? Thanks again!
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,402
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Yes, it should be a matter of measuring the tube, from where the corolla flares out to its base.
     
  6. sososleepy

    sososleepy Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boynton Beach, FL USA
    Thanks Daniel; help more please? The whole flower is so tiny! There are tons of little white tubes on a ball the size of a pea. I'll take some photos with a ruler and post them here to show what I mean.
     
  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,402
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Well, it could indeed be a corolla tube on the scale of millimeters.

    This page has a photograph of what is meant by the corolla tube
     
  8. sososleepy

    sososleepy Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boynton Beach, FL USA
    Thanks! That's what I mean. The tube has a bit of green leafies around it. Do you pluck it out and measure from the bottom, or measure from the top of the green leafies? I'll get the pix this weekend... kids and dinner and such - can't get there tonight; just checking in here and there. Thanks!!!
     

Share This Page