Ageratina jucunda

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Ageratina jucunda
Ager jucu.jpg
Photo by Dennis Girard, Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae ⁄ Compositae
Genus: Ageratina
Species: A. jucunda
Binomial name
Ageratina jucunda
(Greene) Clewell & Woot.
AGER JUCU dist.jpg
Natural range of Ageratina jucunda from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Hammock snakeroot; Small leaf thoroughwort

Taxomomic notes

Synonym: Eupatorium jucundum Greene

Description

It is perennial.[1][2] A description of Ageratina jucunda is provided in The Flora of North America. A. jucunda is a perennial. It is common in all of Florida; flowers from fall to winter.[3]

Distribution

Ageratina jucunda is endemic to the southeastern United States, only known to occur in Florida and a few counties in Georgia. [4]

Ecology

Habitat

This species is found in a wide variety of habitat types including longleaf pine-saw palmetto, dunes, rocky environments, old fields, ecotone from scrub oak sand ridge to shrub bog, stream banks, dry flatwoods,[2] pine scrubs, and longleaf pine-turkey oak sand ridges. It can also occur in abandoned fields, along roadsides[4] and their ditches[5] phosphate quarries in hardwoods, alongside paved roads, rocky plantation pastures, and edges of field tracks.[6] Soils include drying loamy sand with sandy, damp, and rich humus soils. This species thrives in environments with moderate shade to high light conditions. On the Florida panhandle, it occurs in sand pine scrub, wooded sand ridges, dunes, hammocks, and roadsides.[5]

Associated species incldues Solidago stricta, Sabal palmetto, Serenoa repens, Quercus virginiana, Quercus laurifolia, E. petaloideum, Thelypteris, Woodwardia, Arnoglossum diversifolium, Quercus laevis, Liatris tenuifolia, Pityopsis graminifolia, Liatris elegans, Pinus palustris and, Aristida stricta.[6]

Phenology

Ageratina jucunda has been observed flowering August through January and fruiting August through December.[6][7] Blooming in the Florida panhandle (Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla counties) is reported to occur from September through January.[5] In north Florida, it has been observed to reproduce with A. aromatica suggesting these species are possibly conspecific.[8]

Seed bank and germination

In growing zone ecotypes 8, 9, and 10, A. jucunda will flower within 6 months following germination.[9]

Fire ecology

A. jucunda is an associate species of longleaf pine and wiregrass communities that are dependent on periodic fires to maintain the integrity and productivity. Fire suppression can cause ideal habitat loss and therefore a loss of populations of A. jucunda.[4]

Pollination

Malachite butterflies have been observed feeding on A. jucunda.[10]

Use by animals

This species contains tremetol, a complex alcohol and glycoside that can cause a fatal disease known as staggers in cattle. The toxin is capable of being passed through milk and can cause fatalities in humans who consume infected milk.[11]

Conservation and management

Ageratina jucunda becomes threatened by habitat loss and fire suppression.[4]

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. USDA NRCS National Plant Data team http://plants.usda.gov/java/,accessed 15 May 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Flora of North America http://floranorthamerica.org/, accessed 15 May 2015.
  3. Hall, David W. Illustrated Plants of Florida and the Coastal Plain: based on the collections of Leland and Lucy Baltzell. 1993. A Maupin House Book. Gainesville. 98. Print.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Natureserve http://www.natureserve.org/, accessed 15 May 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Observation by Roger Hammer in Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area, Orange County, FL, posted to Florida Flora and Ecosystematics Facebook Group February 18, 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Jame Amoroso, Bian Tan, John B. Nelson, O. Lakela, J. P. Gillespie, Robert K. Godfrey, Robert L. Lazor, John Lazor, W. G. D'Arcy, Robert Kral, Elmer C. Prichard, Andre F. Clewell, Loran C. Anderson, K. Craddock Burks, H. S. Conard, E. Bell, and Jean W. Wooten. States and Counties: Florida: Columbia, Volusia, Hillsborough, Marion, Taylor, Alachua, Sarasota, Sumter, Polk, Citrus, St. Johns, Leon, Hernando, Jefferson, Suwanee, and Levy.
  7. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 7 DEC 2016
  8. Clewell, A. F. and J. W. Wooten (1971). "A Revision of Ageratina (Compositae: Eupatorieae) from Eastern North America." Brittonia 23(2): 123-143.
  9. Observation by Scott Allen Davis posted to Florida Flora and Ecosystematics facebook Group, February 18, 2017.
  10. [accessed 15 May 2015].
  11. [[1]]Accessed:March 22, 2016