Group Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Title: Some honey plants of Florida
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 Material Information
Title: Some honey plants of Florida
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 47 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Arnold, Lillian E
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1954
Copyright Date: 1954
 Subjects
Subject: Honey plants -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Honey plants -- Identification -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 46) and index.
Statement of Responsibility: by Lillian E. Arnold.
General Note: Cover title.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00026442
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AEN7066
oclc - 18276944
alephbibnum - 000926394

Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE



The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida






Bulletin 548 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA September 1954
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
WILLARD M. FIFIELD, Director
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA


















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CONTENTS

Page

INTRODUCTION .-....-- ...... -....-- .----..... ---... ---.. .. ...- ......--......- 3

DESCRIPTION OF NATIVE PLANTS YIELDING COMMERCIAL QUANTITIES
OF NECTAR ....-- ..-- ... --.----------...... --... ---.. ......- .............--- 3
Saw Palmetto .................--. 4 Ogeechee Tupelo -................-- 8
Partridge Pea ..---..................... 5 Black Mangrove .................----- 9
Gallberry ..................-- ...........- 7

DESCRIPTION OF NATIVE PLANTS CONTRIBUTING TO COLONY MAINTENANCE.. 10
Cabbage Palmetto .........---.... 10 Fetterbush Lyonia ............. 22
Trailing Chinquapin --........... 13 American Beautyberry ........ 24
Common Seagrape ..........-..... 13 Bush Mint .....................--- ...... 26
Gopher Apple ....................-- 15 Stiff Savory ........................... 26
September Prairie Clover .... 16 Common Buttonbush ....-....... 29
Buckwheat Tree .................. 19 Flat-topped Goldenrod ........ 29
Red Maple --..................- ....... 19 Prairie Sunflower .....-....--- 31
Pepper Vine ......................... 21 Nuttall's Thistle ...-- ........- 32

UNDESIRABLE NATIVE PLANTS -...........----- ..---...---....-----............. 34
American Cyrilla ................. 35 Carolina Jessamine .......-..... 35

INTRODUCTIONS AND ESCAPES ...... ---..........--.... -.... ----..........-..... 37
Mountain Rose Coral Vine.. 37 Mexican Clover ........--......... 41
Cajeput Tree .................-...... 39 Railway Beggartick ........-- 43
Negundo Chaste Tree ......-. 40

AGRICULTURAL CROP PLANTS .......--............ ........................ 43

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...............---------- ....----.................. 45

REFERENCES TO LITERATURE ............. ........ ................-- .. --46

GLOSSARY ..-.............--------....-.......---...--..--- .....---....... 46

INDEX OF COMMON NAMES --....-.......-.-----..--...--- ...-.....-......... 47







COVER PHOTOGRAPH.-Tupelo trees in their native habitat on the
Apalachicola River.








Some Honey Plants of Florida

By LILLIAN E. ARNOLD
Associate Botanist

INTRODUCTION
The honeybee is man's most valuable insect. Ruled by in-
stincts and industry, this friend of man does more than provide
honey for the table-it pollinates the farmer's crops. While the
value of honeybees as honey producers is well-known, their im-
portance as pollinators increases their value measurably.
Commercial honey production has become increasingly im-
portant economically to Florida in recent years and the State
now ranks third nationally in this crop. Florida is fortunate
in being so located that there are some plants blooming during
every month of the year. Many days of sunshine, abundant
rains and relatively higher temperatures are ideal for a long
season of bee activity.
For many years beekeeping has been one of the pursuits that
numbers of people owning farms have carried on to a greater
or lesser degree. Sometimes it has been only to the extent of
a hive or two that might furnish enough honey for home use.
Of recent years it has been found that honey made exclusively
from the nectar of certain plants has found a ready market, an
inducement that caused many beekeepers to go into the business
on a large scale. However, with the steady rise of commercial
honey production has come the problem of maintaining colonies
inexpensively during seasons when the commercial nectar crops
are not producing.
The major problem is to find plants to maintain colonies be-
tween these cash crops. It is known that soil and climate con-
ditions vitally affect nectar flow in plants and therefore plants
that will produce sufficient nectar flow in some areas will not
prove satisfactory in other areas. This bulletin will attempt to
describe not only commercial nectar-producing plants in Florida
but also those plants that will maintain colonies in off-seasons
and the locations where they can best be used.

DESCRIPTIONS OF NATIVE PLANTS YIELDING
COMMERCIAL QUANTITIES OF NECTAR
Five native plants of Florida yield enough quality nectar for
commercial honey production. Through years of experience and
observation beekeepers have determined which wild plants are
the heaviest nectar producers and which of these provide honey








4 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

having the most desirable flavors for marketing. These con-
stitute the cash crops. The plants described on the following
pages have been found to be the most useful for this purpose.

SAW PALMETTO
DESCRIPTION: Saw palmetto, Serenoa repens (Bartr.)
Small (Fig. 1), also called scrub palmetto, is a native palm that
ordinarily produces its trunks underground but ocassionally they
may be found rearing crookedly for several feet in the air. The
leaves are persistent, firm, fan-shaped with no midrib, 12 to
32 inches wide, dark green and shining or waxy, with the mar-
gins deeply divided into segments. The leaf stalks are stiff,
8 to 32 inches long, flat above, rounded below, smooth, green
and heavily armed with the saw teeth from which they derive
their common name. The flowers are fragrant, white, about
3/8 inch in diameter, arranged in broad, drooping clusters that
are 3 feet long or less. The fruits are nearly black, smooth,
oval, about 5/8 to 1 inch long and contain solitary, pale brown,
dull seeds about 3/ inch long, tapered at both ends and embedded
in thin, dry flesh.

Fig. 1.-Saw palmetto-spray of flowers and a leaf. (By permission of
The Macmillan Company.)














-f
45'








Some Honey Plants of Florida 5

HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: The saw palmetto, Flor-
ida's most common palm, occurs statewide in hammocks, flat-
woods, scrub, sand dunes and cut-over pinelands wherever culti-
vation has not been carried on recently.
BLOOMING PERIOD: April, May and June.
USEFULNESS: Due to the wide distribution and abund-
ance of this palm, commercial quantities of honey are produced
from its nectar. The bulk of the light greenish to amber honey
is gathered in the coastal areas, but some is obtained from plants
in the interior of the State.

PARTRIDGE PEA
DESCRIPTION: Partridge pea, Chamaecrista brachiata
Pollard (Fig. 2), also called sensitive plant, is an herbaceous
plant attaining a height of 6 feet, with stems nearly 1/2 inch in
diameter. The crowns are composed of numerous spreading
branches growing from a single short stem. The twigs are
green, but reddened by sunlight, and smooth. The leaves are
deciduous, composed of many small leaflets, and have short stalks
remarkable for bearing small, flat, disk-like glands. The flowers
are golden yellow, about 11/ inches in diameter, 5-petaled, one
much larger than the others, and splotched with red at the base,
arranged in clusters on stem between leaves, drooping on long
stalks. The fruits are smooth, thin, brown pods with thick
edges, 11/ to 21/2 inches long, with blunt ends, attached to stalks
1/2 to 8/4, inch long. Each pod contains several nearly black,
shallow pitted, broadly ovate, slightly pointed but flattened seeds.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: The partridge pea occurs
abundantly in nearly all parts of the State, but particularly in
cultivated fields allowed to lie fallow. It is commonly seen at
heights under 3 feet, although it is reported to attain a height
of 6 feet.
USEFULNESS: Contrary to expectations, the nectar so
attractive to bees does not occur in the flowers but in the small
disk-like glands on the leaf stalks. The nectar yield is variable
for reasons not well understood, but at times large quantities
are harvested. The honey is amber in color and should be
heated after extraction to prevent fermentation.
RELATED SPECIES: Several other species of part ridge pea
grow in Florida, all of which resemble this one closely, except
that the flowers are much smaller and sometimes inconspicuous,








6 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

while the plants may be hairy and the glands on the leaf stalks
of different shapes.













































Fig. 2.-Partridge pea-flowering branches.








Some Honey Plants of Florida 7

GALLBERRY
DESCRIPTION: Gallberry, Ilex glabra (L.) A. Gray (Fig.
3), also called inkberry, is a shrub reaching a height of about
6 feet and composed of numerous alternate, stiff, upright
branches and twigs which
are covered with smooth,
pale gray bark. The
leaves are evergreen and
thick, elliptic or oval,
with margins bearing a
few teeth near the tip,
dark green and smooth
above, paler beneath, 1/2
to 2 inches long. The
flowers are small, white,
clustered on a short com-
mon stalk in bases of
new leaves with the
staminate (male) and
pistillate (female) usual-
ly on different plants.
The fruits are abundant,
persistent on plant, black,
about 1/4 inch in diam-
eter, each containing 4
to 8 reddish brown bony
seeds embedded in mealy
flesh.
HABITAT AND DIS-
TRIBUTION: Gallberry
may be found growing
in damp depressions of
flatwoods, flood plains of Fig. 3.-Gallberry-flowering branch.
rivers, margins of ponds
and lakes, bayheads and roadside ditches. It is statewide in
distribution.
BLOOMING PERIOD: March, April and May.
UISEFULNESS: As a source of nectar, gallberry produces
one of the largest commercial crops of honey in the State because
the plant is so abundant everywhere. The honey has the highly
desirable qualities of being light in color, fairly heavy in body
and mild-flavored.








8 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

OGEECHEE TUPELO
DESCRIPTION: Ogeechee tupelo, Nyssa ogeche Bartr. (Fig.
4), also called white tupelo, Ogeechee lime and Ogeechee plum,
is a native tree up to 50 feet in height, with trunks up to 15
inches in diameter, usually leaning. The crowns are narrow,
round-topped and composed of a few stout, crooked branches.
The leaves are deciduous, dark green and dull above, paler be-
neath, 2 to 8 inches long, oblong with blunt or rounded tips, and
entire or sometimes distinctly toothed margins. The flowers
appear after the new leaves have attained full growth, with
the staminate (male) and pistillate (female) on different trees.
The staminate are small and greenish and grow in dense, round
clusters or heads on long stalks. The pistillate grow singly,
but are likewise small and greenish. The fruits are smooth, red,
oblong, longer than their stalks, about 11/ inches long and con-
tain 1 bony seed about 1 inch long, which is attached by several
papery wings to skin of fruits.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: Ogeechee tupelo is dis-
tributed sporadically from Dixie and St. Johns counties to west-
ern Florida, typically on river banks.
BLOOMING PERIOD: Middle of March to middle of April.
USEFULNESS: The nectar from these trees is one of the
earliest available for bees to gather. In regions where the tree
grows abundantly the quantity reaches commercial proportions.
The honey is amber and has a good flavor. Its most important
characteristic is that it does not granulate.

Fig. 4.-Tupelo-male (left) and female flowers which grow on separate trees.





-.







10 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

or pointed tips and entire margins. The flowers are white,
about 1/2 inch in diameter, arranged in dense conical heads at
the ends of new growth. All parts of the flower clusters except
the flowers themselves are very downy. The fruits are green,
downy, ovate but with unequal sides, flattened, 1 inch or more
long and contain 1 flat seed that fills the fruit.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: Black mangrove grows
in abundance in coastal hammocks and on shorelines of the penin-
sula from St. Johns and Levy counties southward.
BLOOMING PERIOD: June and July.
USEFULNESS: The abundance of this plant in its saline
habitat induces beekeepers to move their hives to the shores
during its blooming period and thereby collect honey in com-
mercial quantities. It is observed that bees work the bloom
more vigorously after rains. The honey produced is clear water-
white with a characteristic flavor, but it has the disadvantage
of granulating quickly after extraction.

DESCRIPTIONS OF NATIVE PLANTS CONTRIBUTING TO
COLONY MAINTENANCE
This section is devoted to descriptions of native plants suf-
ficiently abundant and widespread for bees to collect nectar
profitably for their own use, at least to a moderate degree, in
more than one region. Although there are others which have
been reported satisfactory in certain areas, they will not be de-
scribed because of their limited distribution. Many plants of
limited use depend upon a dense stand in a particular locality,
while others more widely distributed in the State attract bees
only in a very limited area. Further study is needed to find the
explanations for these peculiar circumstances.

CABBAGE PALMETTO
DESCRIPTION: Cabbage palmetto, Sabal palmetto (Walt.)
Lodd. (Fig. 6), also called cabbage palm, is a native palm which
attains a height of 80 feet with trunks often 18.inches in diam-
eter. The trunks are brown to gray, nearly straight, covered
with the remains of leaf bases, but become bare as the tree
becomes older and taller. The leaves are persistent, fan-shaped,
firm, 5 to 6 feet long, dark green, shining, with margins deeply
divided into numerous drooping segments bearing numerous
thread-like fibers. The midribs are prominent and extend into







Some Honey Plants of Florida 9

RELATED SPECIES: Water tupelo (N. uniflora Wangenh.),
also called black tupelo, occurring in the same territory, is a large
tree attaining a height of 100 feet or more, which is character-
ized by large leaves often toothed, and fruits shorter than their
stalks. It blooms before N. ogeche but has the same good quali-
ties.
BLACK MANGROVE
DESCRIPTION: Black mangrove, Avicennia nitida Jacq.
(Fig. 5), is usually found as a shrub or small tree, but sometimes
attains a height of 60 feet with trunks about 2 feet in diameter.
The crowns are round-topped, composed of spreading branches
from very short trunks. The leaves are late-falling, opposite,
leathery, yellow-green to dark green above, pale and downy be-
neath, 2 to 4 inches long, narrowly elliptic in shape with rounded































Fig. 5.-Black mangrove-flowering branch.







Some Honey Plants of Florida 11

bases of segments. Leaf-stalks are stiff, 6 to 7 feet long, flat
above, rounded below, smooth, unarmed, and green. The flowers
are fragrant, white, about 1/4 inch in diameter, arranged in
broad drooping clusters 5 to 6 feet long. The fruits are nearly
black, smooth, nearly globose, about 1/3 inch in diameter and
contain 1 seed, which is brown, shaped like a shoe button and
covered with thin, dry flesh.































Fig. 6.-Young cabbage palmetto tree.

HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: This is Florida's most
common tree-like palm and is found growing in rich, moist, in-
land hammocks as far north as Alachua County and much farther
north in the coastal hammocks.
BLOOMING PERIOD: June.








12 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

















































Fig. 7.-Trailing chinquapin-fruiting branch showing two indistinct
flowering stalks.








Some Honey Plants of Florida 13

USEFULNESS: The honey produced from the nectar of this
palm is said to be thin-bodied, with a high moisture content and
and has the added disadvantage of tending to ferment after ex-
traction unless heated immediately. However, this honey serves
well for winter stores.

TRAILING CHINQUAPIN
DESCRIPTION: Trailing chinquapin, Castanea alnifolia Nutt.
(Fig. 7), is a plant with underground stems, with branches
that attain heights from 20 inches to 10 feet. It grows in thickets
composed of numerous stiff upright branches and twigs. The
leaves are stiff, smooth and green above, very downy beneath
when young, but wearing away in age, 2 to 5 inches long, nar-
rowly elliptic to narrowly obovate, with rounded or pointed tips
and coarsely sharp-toothed margins. The flowers are very small
and arranged on slender catkins near the ends of twigs, up to
3 inches long. They are all staminate (male), except a very few
at bases of catkins growing nearest ends of twigs. The fruit
are brown burs about 1 inch long, which split into 2 to 4 seg-
ments, very short stalked and covered with short, sharp, branched
spines arranged in clusters. Each bur holds 1 brown, ovate,
shining nut bearing a dull scar on base and a downy point tipped
with a star-shaped appendage. The kernels are sweet and edible.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: Trailing chinquapin
grows on high, dry sometimes rocky pineland from Orange
County northward and east of the Apalachicola River.
BLOOMING PERIOD: April and May.
USEFULNESS: In localities where this plant grows abun-
dantly, the bees collect the nectar vigorously. The honey is not
first grade, because it is bitter, but it furnishes good mainten-
ance for the colonies. Some of it is sold to the baker's trade.

COMMON SEAGRAPE
DESCRIPTION: Common seagrape, Coccoloba uvifera L.
(Fig. 8), is a small tree attaining a height of 15 feet with trunks
11/ feet in diameter. The crowns are compact, broad, round,
composed of stout, spreading branches that sometimes droop,
on short, contorted trunks. The twigs are dark orange, stout
and smooth. The leaves are evergreen, thick-leathery, dark
green and shining above, with prominent red veins on both sides,
4 to 5 inches long and 5 to 6 inches wide, round, often broader
than long, rounded at tip, heart-shaped at base, with entire and








14 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

wavy margins. The flowers are inconspicuous, arranged on
thick-stemmed spikes 6 to 14 inches long at the ends of twigs
and in bases of leaves. The fruits are purple or greenish white,
about 3/ inch long, ovate, gradually narrowed into a stalk-like
base. The seeds are solitary, hard, light red, surrounded by
thin, watery flesh.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: This small tree occurs
in coastal hammocks, dunes and beaches from Brevard and Mana-
tee counties southward.
BLOOMING PERIOD: Summer or all year farther south.
USEFULNESS: Honey produced from nectar of common
seagrape is spicy and light in color and has a high moisture
content. The plant can be depended upon to produce nectar
with fair regularity.

Fig. 8.-Common seagrape tree in fruit.







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Some Honey Plants of Florida 15

GOPHER APPLE
DESCRIPTION: Gopher apple, Chrysobalanus oblongifolius
Michx. (Fig. 9), is a low woody plant attaining a height of 15
inches with its stems about 3/8 inch in diameter growing under-










































Fig. 9.-Flowering branch of gopher apple.







16 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

ground. It grows in thick patches composed of numerous slen-
der, stiff, upright branches. The few twigs are slender, slightly
hairy when young, and reddish brown. The leaves are ever-
green, thick, leathery, dark green and smooth above and paler
beneath, sometimes white-downy, 11 to 41/2 inches long, ob-
lanceolate to elliptic, with blunt tips and wavy margins. The
flowers are very small, greenish-white, velvety, arranged in
erect several-flowered clusters, 2 to 3 inches long at the ends
of branches. The fruits are oblong, about %/ to 13/4 inches long,
pale pink or lavender, containing 1 cinnamon-brown net-veined
seed embedded in pure white pulp.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: The gopher apple is
found growing in high pine land, scrub and dunes in all parts
of the State.
BLOOMING PERIOD: April through July and earlier in
southern part of peninsula.
USEFULNESS: Gopher apple is not considered a reliable
source of nectar and the honey produced from it is mostly of
value in maintaining the colonies.

SEPTEMBER PRAIRIE CLOVER
DESCRIPTION: September prairie clover, Petalostemon
corymbosus Michx. (Fig. 10), also called summer farewell, is a
perennial herb that attains a height of 4 feet with stems to 1/
inch in diameter. The crowns are round-topped, composed of
many branches near the ground line, which again divide into
long, slender, smooth, green branchlets that become reddened
by sunlight. The leaves are deciduous, pinnate, short-stalked,
about 1/2 inch long, growing in clusters. The leaflets number
3 to 7 and are cylindrical, dotted, green and hair-like. The
flowers are very small, white, 5-petaled, arranged in small, many-
flowered heads in clusters at ends of branches. The fruits are
small, brown, silky pods about 1 inch long that are triangular
with beaks, seated within the enlarged sepals. The seeds are
solitary, very small and moon-shaped.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: This plant occurs in high
dry pine and scrub oak land from Lake and Orange counties
north and westward in the State. Its other common name, sum
mer farewell, is derived from the fact that it is often the last
native plant to bloom in the fall. If the weather is rainy, it
blooms until the first frost.








Some Honey Plants of Florida 17
















































Fig. 10.-Flowering branch of September prairie clover.








18 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

BLOOMING PERIOD: September, October and November.
USEFULNESS: September prairie clover usually grows in
dense stands and therefore provides good bee pasture when there
is a full flow of nectar. However, good flows do not occur every
year, but the factors responsible for this variation are not under-
stood. The honey is water-white in color.






































Fig. 11.-Flowering branch of buckwheat tree (Soil Conservation
Service photograph).








Some Honey Plants of Florida 19

BUCKWHEAT TREE
DESCRIPTION: Buckwheat tree, Cliftonia monophylla
(Lam.) Britt. (Fig. 11), also called ti-ti, is usually found as a
shrub or small tree but may attain a height of 25 to 30 feet,
with trunks 12 to 15 inches in diameter. The crowns are nar-
row, composed of stout, ascending branches growing from short,
slender, inclined or crooked trunks. The leaves are evergreen,
firm, green and shining above, paler beneath, 11/2 to 21/ inches
long, narrowly elliptic to obovate with blunt tips and entire
margins. The flowers are small, fragrant, white or pinkish,
on slender spikes 1 to 31/2 inches long on the ends of twigs.
When in bud they are nodding, but they become erect in bloom.
The fruits are dry, brown, ovate with 2 to 4 wings, about 1/
inch long and contain 3 or 4 globose, light brown seeds.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: This plant attains its
largest size in the tree-covered swamps which border large shal-
low streams of the pine lands from Jefferson County throughout
western Florida. However, it may be observed more frequently
growing as a shrub with wax myrtle and various ericaceous
plants in open, shallow swamps and in bayheads.
BLOOMING PERIOD: February and March.
USEFULNESS: Buckwheat tree has the merit of blooming
early in the year when there are few plants producing nectar
for the bees to harvest. It is quite abundant in suitable habitats,
where a crop of commercial proportions may be gathered. The
honey is light amber and slightly bitter, but it blends well with
other honeys to produce a marketable product.

RED MAPLE
DESCRIPTION: Red maple, Acer rubrum L. (Fig. 12), is
a tree sometimes attaining a height of 80 or 90 feet, with trunks
2 feet in diameter, but usually seen much shorter in Florida.
The crowns are narrowly cylindrical, composed of short, crooked,
ascending branches from tall, well-developed trunks. The twigs
are smooth, slender, reddish-brown to gray. The leaves are
deciduous, opposite, thin, papery, deep green above and paler
beneath, 21/2 to 5 inches long, often as broad as long, with 3 to 5
deep, sharp lobes, squared or round-lobed bases, toothed margins
and red stalks. The flowers are small, red, nearly stalkless, in
dense clusters near ends of branches and appearing prior to the
leaves. The fruits are commonly red, with papery wings about







20 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

1 inch long, and paired on slender stalks in clusters. The seeds
are solitary, green and shining.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: Red maple is found grow-
ing in hammocks and swamps in nearly every county in the
State, but it is more plentiful in the northern part.
BLOOMING PERIOD: Late December and January.
USEFULNESS: Nectar from red maple is regarded very
highly because it is the first source of food at the beginning of
the new season and acts as a stimulant to brood rearing.



































Fig. 12.-Flowering twigs of red maple.








Some Honey Plants of Florida 2i

PEPPER VINE
DESCRIPTION: Pepper vine, Ampelopsis arborea (L.)
Koehne (Fig. 13), also called snowvine 1 in Florida, grows as
a vine up to 30 feet or more or as a weak shrub from 1 or more
crooked, high climbing stems up to 3 inches in diameter, but
usually less. Over support, it often forms a dense continuous
canopy, composed of many scattered, horizontal, straight or
crooked branches. The twigs are many, slender, zigzag, flexible,
reddish-brown to gray, smooth, dull with many small lenticels.
The leaves are deciduous, bipinnate, 6 inches or more long, 6
inches wide at the base, composed of many leaflets that are thin,
dark green above, bright green beneath, smooth, 1 to 11/2 inches
long, 3/ to 1 inch wide, broadly ovate, with slender, pointed tips,
narrow bases and sharply 3- to 7-toothed margins. Tendrils
formed opposite some leaves are about 6 inches long, forked with
coiled branches. The new growth is red in color. The flowers


























Fig. 13.-Flowering branch of pepper vine.
1In Georgia beekeepers apply this name to Mikania scandens (L.)
Willd., a different plant.








22 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

are very small, greenish-white with minute petals, arranged in
clusters 3 to 8 inches long at ends of new growth. The fruits
are globular or somewhat flattened berries, 14 to 12 inch in
diameter, black, smooth, glossy. Each contains 1 to 3 seeds,
broadly pear-shaped, greenish-black, about 1/ inch long, within
a greenish-white juicy pulp that is peppery to the taste.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: Pepper vine is common
in moist thickets, hammocks margins and fencerows everywhere
in the State, with the possible exception of the Florida Keys.
BLOOMING PERIOD: Spring and early summer.
USEFULNESS: Pepper vine, where it occurs in sufficient
abundance, is worked by bees for nectar. It is the source of a
fair grade of honey for table use, except that it is apt to granu-
late after extraction.
FETTERBUSH LYONIA
DESCRIPTION: Fetterbush lyonia, Lyonia lucida (Lam.)
Koch (Fig. 14), sometimes called andromeda, is a shrub, 2 to 8
feet tall, with several crooked, erect or arching stems 1/2 to 21/2
inches in diameter. Usually many plants grow together, dense,
upright or arching, with many ascending, straight to zigzag
branches. The twigs are many, slender, angular, zigzag, flexible,
gray to green and smooth. The leaves are evergreen, thick, dull
dark green above, paler beneath, 21/2 to 3 inches long, elliptic
to ovate, with pointed tips and entire revolute margins having
prominent veins near the edges. The flowers are many, nearly
tubular, 1/4 inch long, white to deep rose, arranged in dense
clusters in bases of previous year's leaves. The fruits are blunt,
pyramidal capsules splitting into 5-pointed segments, dark brown,
dry and smooth, containing many minute, cylindric, red-brown
seeds.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: Fetterbush lyonia grows
in flatwoods and margins of swamps from Okeechobee County
north and westward.
BLOOMING PERIOD: April and May, about two weeks prior
to that of gallberry.
GENERAL COMMENT: Fetterbush lyonia nectar is gathered
plentifully by bees wherever the plant is present in sufficient
quantities. Since it blooms at the same period as several other
related plants, the honey is usually a mixture and seldom dis-
tinguishable as a separate variety. The pure product is said
to be bitter. The situation is still further confused by the fact



4








Some Honey Plants of Florida 23

that several different shrubs have been called "andromeda" in
the past. Therefore it is possible that "andromeda" honey may
have been derived from plants other than fetterbush lyonia.











































Fig. 14.-Flowering branch of fetterbush lyonia. (By permission of
The Macmillan Company.)








24 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

AMERICAN BEAUTYBERRY
DESCRIPTION: American beautyberry, Callicarpa ameri-
cana L. (Fig. 15), also called French mulberry, is a shrub grow-
ing up to 6 feet from a few crooked, erect stems about 1 inch
in diameter. The crown is open, upright, composed of few
crooked branches. The twigs are stout, stiff, covered with straw-







































Fig. 15.-Flowering branch of American beautyberry.








Some Honey Plants of Florida 25

colored, star-shaped hairs. The leaves are deciduous, opposite,
thin, flat, yellow-green and hairy on both sides, 2 to 41/2 inches
long, ovate or oval, with sharp tips, broad bases and saw-edged











































Fig. 16.-Flowering and leafy branches of bush mint.







26 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

margins. The flowers are numerous, small, pink, in dense
clusters in bases of new leaves. The fruits are abundant, per-
sistent, magenta, globose, 3/8 inch in diameter. Each fruit con-
tains 2 to 4 bony, straw-colored nutlets.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: This plant has a wide
distribution in the high hammocks of nearly all counties in the
State. Seldom found in great abundance at any one station,
it is nevertheless almost always present.
BLOOMING PERIOD: Early summer.
USEFULNESS: American beautyberry is said to furnish
a good nectar flow prior to blooming periods for many field crops,
but there is seldom a surplus because of the scattered growth
of the plants.
BUSH MINT
DESCRIPTION: Bush mint, Hyptis mutabilis (A. Rich.)
Briq. (Fig. 16), is a shrubby plant sometimes attaining a height
of 7 feet. The stems are usually single, square, channeled, about
1/2 inch in diameter. It grows upright with few ascending,
opposite branches, while the twigs are velvety with star-like
hairs interspersed with weak prickles, slender and stiff, green
tinged with dark red. The leaves are deciduous, opposite, thin,
velvety, green, %/ to 3 inches long, on long stalks, mostly ovate
with acute tips, broad bases and toothed margins, and pungent.
The flowers are numerous, blue, about 3/8 inch long, clustered on
a common stalk in bases of small leaves at the ends of branches.
The fruits are abundant, persistent within the dried sepals and
each contains 1 very small, hard, naked, dark brown seed.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: The bush mint is found
growing in the edges of hammocks and along fencerows of all
the northern part of the State and as far south as Hardee County.
BLOOMING PERIOD: May through September.
USEFULNESS: Although its distribution over the State
is extensive, it is seldom found growing in dense stands. There-
fore, the nectar collected by bees is largely useful for colony
maintenance.
STIFF SAVORY
DESCRIPTION: Stiff savory, Satureia rigida Bartr. (Fig.
17), also called false pennyroyal, is a low-growing, wide-spread-
ing shrub up to 28 inches tall with stems up to 1/2 inch in diam-
eter. The crowns are round-topped, composed of numerous
spreading branches from a single very short stem. The twigs








Some Honey Plants of Florida 27

are green, stiff and downy. The leaves are persistent, numerous,
linear, opposite, hairy, green and glandular-dotted above, paler
beneath, 1/8 to 12 inch long, with entire, revolute margins, pun-
gent. The flowers are lavender to purple, about 5/ inch long,










































Fig. 17.-Flowering branch of stiff savory.







28 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

hairy, two-lipped, lower lip purple-dotted, arranged in tight
clusters with green bracts at the ends of ascending branches.
The fruits are 4 small, dark brown, ovate, clustered nutlets.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: This plant grows in large
colonies in flatwoods and coastal areas from St. Johns County
southward, becoming more abundant in the southern region.
BLOOMING PERIOD: January, February and March.
USEFULNESS: During some years stiff savory produces
sufficient quantities of nectar for the bees to store up honey
which they utilize mostly for brood rearing. This plant is an
early bloomer in regions of its greatest abundance.

































Fig. 18.-Flowering branch of common buttonbush.







Some Honey Plants of Florida 29

COMMON BUTTONBUSH
DESCRIPTION: Common buttonbush, Cephalanthus occi-
dentalis L. (Fig. 18), is a small tree sometimes attaining a height
of 25 feet with trunk 6 inches in diameter, but more frequently
seen as a shrub. The crowns are rounded, irregular with stout
branches from short trunks. The twigs are red-brown, smooth
and stout with prominent pale lenticels. The leaves are diciduous
or somewhat persistent, opposite, dark green and smooth above,
paler beneath, 2 to 7 inches long, elliptic with pointed tips,
rounded bases and entire margins. The flowers are very small,
white, tubular, fragrant, arranged in dense, globose heads about
11/ inches in diameter; the heads are further arranged in loose
clusters on long stalks at ends of new growth. The fruits are
green to brown, angular "pegs" thrust solidly into hard, globose
heads about %/ inch in diameter.
HABITAT AND DESCRIPTION: This plant grows in moist
or wet soil along streams and around ponds, where it stands
in shallow water, everywhere in the State except on the Flor-
ida Keys.
BLOOMING PERIOD: Sporadically all summer.
USEFULNESS: Common buttonbush is a heavy nectar
yielder but does not grow in sufficiently dense stands to furnish
a commercial crop of honey.

FLAT-TOPPED GOLDENROD
DESCRIPTION: Flat-topped goldenrod, Solidago micro-
cephala (Greene) Bush (Fig. 19), is a perennial plant up to 3
feet tall from 1 straight, erect, slender stem, bearing many up-
right, slender branches. The leaves are thin, flat, smooth, yellow-
green, 1 to 2 inches long, thread-like. The flowers are few,
small, yellow, in many heads, within glutinous bracts on the
ends of branches. The fruits are very small, topped by um-
brella-like structures composed of many fine white hairs about
1/8 inch long.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: Open fields and flatwoods
over the entire State.
BLOOMING PERIOD: October and November.
USEFULNESS: Although flat-topped goldenrod seldom
grows in sufficiently dense stands to furnish nectar in quantity
for a surplus crop of honey, it is a good source for thebees so
that they can carry over the winter well.








30 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

RELATED SPECIES: All goldenrods furnish nectar and
pollen for bees, but their usefulness is limited by the extent
and quantity of plants. In Florida, goldenrods seldom are found
covering the land in solid stands for acres around.









































Fig. 19.-Flowering branch of flat-topped goldenrod.








Some Honey Plants of Florida 31

PRAIRIE SUNFLOWER
DESCRIPTION: Prairie sunflower, Helianthus agrestis Pol-
lard (Fig. 20), is an herbaceous annual plant that attains a
height of 9 to 10 feet with light brown ridged stems and branches,
very bushy. The leaves are simple, alternate, lanceolate, pale









































Fig. 20.-Lower stem leaves and flowering branch of prairie sunflower.








32 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

green, very rough on both sides, up to 6 inches long, with narrow
bases, sharp tips and coarsely toothed margins sometimes bear-
ing bristles. The flower heads are few, composed of 2 kinds
of flowers. Those in the center are small, tubular and brownish,
while the outer ones bear yellow strap-shaped rays, 1 inch or
more long, all surrounded by many narrow, thin green bracts.
The fruits are flattish, brown, about 1/4 inch long and sometimes
bear a fragile awn on each corner.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: Prairie sunflower grows
in marshes, prairie and ditches of the peninsula and has been
found growing profusely along the St. Johns River and in the
Everglades. With drainage of the marshes and the extension
of cultivation, it is not now found growing in such profusion
as formerly.
BLOOMING PERIOD: October through December.
USEFULNESS: Honey made from nectar of prairie sun-
flower was once obtainable in commercial quantities, but the
product is now mostly useful as food for the colonies at a time
of year when fewer plant species are in bloom.

NUTTALL'S THISTLE
DESCRIPTION: Nuttall's thistle, Cirsium nutalli DC. (Fig.
21), is a biennial herb that frequently attains a height of 13 to
14 feet, with a slender stem somewhat winged by prickly ridges
running down from the leaf bases. The leaves are green on
both sides, up to 10 inches or more long, lanceolate with deeply
cut lobes tipped with sharp spines arranged in basal rosettes.
Later from the rosette a flowering stalk rises, which has grad-
ually smaller leaves growing on it. The flowers are numerous,
slender, tubular, up to 1 inch long, lilac to purple, arranged in
tight globular heads, which are protected by many glutinous-
striped, green bracts tipped with short spines, on long, naked
stalks. The fruits are mottled brown and green, 4-angled, about
3/16 inch long and topped by umbrella-like structures composed
of many fine white hairs about 3/4 inch long.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: Nuttall's thistle grows
in dry open places in high pine and scrub, but attains its maxi-
mum height in the Everglades region where the soil is good and
there is more moisture.
BLOOMING PERIOD: April, May and June.
USEFULNESS: While Nuttall's thistle grows widely around
the State, it does not occur in dense stands at any one place








Some Honey Plants of Florida 33


















































Fig 21.-Flowering branch and a leaf from lower stem of Nuttall's thistle.








34 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

except possibly in the Everglades, where it becomes profitable
to pasture bees on it. The honey is light-colored and mild-
flavored and does not granulate very readily.

UNDESIRABLE NATIVE PLANTS
The following plants are included in this bulletin rather as
a warning and not because they have merit. What occurs in
the instances of these plants is not clearly understood and much




































Fig. 22.-Flowering twig of American cyrilla. This is an undesirable
honey plant.







Some Honey Plants of Florida 35

controversy arises when the subjects are discussed among scien-
tists. For the beekeeper, therefore, the best course of action
is avoidance of these plants as much as possible.

AMERICAN CYRILLA
DESCRIPTION: American cyrilla, Cyrilla racemiflora L.
(Fig. 22), also called summer ti-ti, attains a height of 25 to 30
feet with trunks 10 to 14 inches in diameter, but is usually found
growing as a small shrub. The crowns are broad, often one-
sided, with numerous wide-spreading branches. The twigs are
slender, smooth, slightly angular. The leaves are late-falling,
sometimes clustered, shiny above, dull and paler beneath, 2 to 4
inches long, narrowly elliptic with blunt or sharp tips, narrow
bases and entire wavy margins. The flowers are small, white,
arranged in slender, erect spikes, 4 to 6 inches long, with as
many as 6 to 10 spikes in a cluster at the base of new growth.
The fruits are very small, yellow, ovate capsules that adhere
tightly to the drooping spikes. Each capsule contains 2 narrow,
light brown, dry seeds.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: In common with buck-
wheat tree, it grows in damp, sour, sandy peat-soil in the shady
bayheads of western Florida. It is also found growing in dense
thickets in swamps inundated for three-fourths of the year near
Apalachicola.
BLOOMING PERIOD: May and June.
GENERAL COMMENT: American cyrilla is included in this
bulletin not for its usefulness, but as a warning. When bees
carry nectar and pollen of this plant to the hives, the uncapped
larva turn a deep purple color and many of them die.
RELATED SPECIES: C. parvifolia Raf., growing plentifully
in San Pedro Bay in Taylor County, resembles the above very
closely, except for much smaller leaves.

CAROLINA JESSAMINE
DESCRIPTION: Carolina jessamine, Gelsemium semper-
virens (L.) Ait. f. (Fig. 23), also called yellow jessamine, is a
woody vine attaining a height of 40 feet with a stem about 1
inch in diameter. Sometimes it is seen as a low upright shrub,
2 feet or less tall, with slender stems. Its habit may be solitary
or colonial, its many scattered, crooked branches forming a
dense canopy over support. The twigs are numerous, slender,








36 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

crooked, twining or straight, flexible, usually intertwined, red-
dish-brown, smooth and shining. The leaves are evergreen, op-
posite, thin, smooth, dark green and shining above, much paler
beneath, 1 to 31/ inches long, with long-pointed tips and wavy
margins. The flowers are yellow, funnel-shaped, 11/2 to 2 inches









































Fig. 23.-Flowering twigs and leafy branch of Carolina jessamine,
another undesirable honey plant.








Some Honey Plants of Florida 37

long, with 5 rounded lobes, growing solitary or few together
in bases of leaves of previous year; strongly fragrant. The
fruits are oblong, flat, dry, brown, about /4 inch long, contain-
ing several thin, flat, brown seeds about 1/3 inch long.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: Carolina jessamine grows
in hammocks and swamps as far south as Highlands County.
BLOOMING PERIOD: January and February.
GENERAL COMMENT: Nectar from this plant is thought
to be poisonous to bees, but there seem to be no scientific data
to support this reputation. However, it is highly probable that
such is the case, because an overdose of the medicinal extract
to humans and animals is known to be fatal.
RELATED SPECIES: Rankin jessamine (S. rankini Small),
which occurs in northwest Florida, is very similar, but the
flowering shoots are green, the flowers deeper yellow in the
throat and there is no fragrance.

INTRODUCTIONS AND ESCAPES
Many plants of ornamental, as well as economic, value have
been introduced into Florida from foreign countries having simi-
lar soil and climatic conditions. Numbers of them have found
conditions here to be so well-suited to their requirements that
they have reseeded themselves and gone out into the wild. We
call them "escapes." Of these escapes some have attracted the
attention of bees and beekeepers. The following are a few of
those already well-known. Others are being studied.

MOUNTAIN ROSE CORAL VINE
DESCRIPTION: Mountain rose coral vine, Antigonon lepto-
pus Hook. & Arn. (Fig. 24), also called-pink vine, is a perennial
vine attaining lengths up to 50 feet, with stems up to 1 inch in
diameter. The leaves are deciduous, thin, light green and net-
veined above, paler and net-veined beneath, about 4 inches long,
heart-shaped with pointed tips and wavy margins. The flowers
are small, numerous, rose-colored, 5- to 6-sepaled, the outer ones
becoming winged, arranged on unbranched stems, 6 to 10 inches
long, that bear tendrils at the tips. The fruits are pale brown,
ovid, flattened at the pointed tips, 5- inch long, enclosed in
gradually enlarging and fading sepals. The seeds are solitary,
dark brown, hard, dry, pointed and slightly warty.








38 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

GENERAL COMMENT: The mountain rose coral vine is a
native of Mexico widely planted in the peninsular part of the
State, where it has escaped into the wild in many frost-free
localities. It may be seen lining fences, clambering over porches
and ascending many trees in great profusion.









































Fig. 24.-Flowering and leafy branches of mountain rose coral vine.








Some Honey Plants of Florida 39

BLOOMING PERIOD: Summer or all year in the south.
USEFULNESS: Where found growing in sufficient quan-
tities, a surplus of nectar is stored. Mountain rose coral vine
makes very dark honey that is fine for brood rearing but not
so desirable for table use. It blooms most freely at a time of
year when bees have difficulty in finding other nectar plants.

CAJEPUT TREE
DESCRIPTION: Cajeput tree, Melaleuca leucodendron (L.)
L. (Fig. 25), also called punktree, is a tree attaining a height
of 60 to 80 feet, with trunks 3 to 4 feet in diameter. The crowns
are cylindrical, composed of many branches. The bark is very
thick, soft, white, corky, loose, and fire-resistant. The twigs
are pale, slender, smooth, straight and grow from the ends of
flower spikes of the previous season. The leaves are persistent,
thick, 112 to 41/2 inches long, narrowly elliptic with pointed
tips, and entire margins on short stalks, with 3 to 7 conspicuous
parallel veins. The flowers are very small, white, with many
long white projecting stamens, arranged on long spikes at the
ends of twigs. The fruit are dry, brown, hemispheric, smooth,























Fig. 25.-Flowering cluster and lower trunk of cajeput tree.








40 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

stalkless, about 3/16 inch in diameter, grouped solidly on twigs
of previous season's growth. Each fruit contains numerous
minute, club-shaped seeds.
GENERAL COMMENT: Cajeput tree, a native of Australia
and Malaysia, has become naturalized in the southern part of
the State. In its native lands it is an inhabitant of tidal swamps
and is said to be resistant alike to termites and fires.
BLOOMING PERIOD: Throughout the year.
USEFULNESS: In Australia it is well known as a source
of nectar, from which is produced a honey not particularly
favored by humans but which is used for brood maintenance.
It should be a good source for beekeepers located in the region
of greatest abundance in Florida.

NEGUNDO CHASTE TREE
DESCRIPTION: Negundo chaste tree, Vitex negundo L.
(Fig. 26), is a shrub or small tree attaining a height of 12 to 15
feet with stems up to 3 inches in diameter. Its habit is open,
upright, umbrella-shaped, composed of few wand-like, light
brown, striped, alternate branches. The twigs are slender,
4-angled and slightly downy. The leaves are persistent, opposite,
digitate, 3 to 5 inches long, on hairy stalks about 11/ inches
long. The leaflets are 3 to 5, thin, dark green and smooth above,
pale with light hairs beneath, 1/ to 5 inches long, elliptic-ovate
to lanceolate with sharp tips, slender bases, entire or toothed
margins and heavy midribs. The flowers are lavender or lilac
with slightly projecting anthers, about 1/4 inch long, arranged
in loose clusters on wide-spreading panicles, 5 to 8 inches long, at
ends of twigs. The fruits are globose, cupped in the persistent
sepals, small, green and slightly hairy. The seeds are solitary
and stony.
GENERAL COMMENT: Negundo chaste tree is a native
of China and India and has been introduced into this country
as an ornamental. While there are other species of Vitex grow-
ing in gardens, they do not seem to have attracted bees.
BLOOMING PERIOD: Late summer, continuing for a long
period.
USEFULNESS: Bees work this plant vigorously and, where
negundo has been planted in abundance, are able to produce a
surplus of honey.








Some Honey Plants of Florida 41






































Fig. 26.-Flowering branch of negundo chaste tree.

MEXICAN CLOVER
DESCRIPTION: Mexican clover, Richardia scabra St. Hil.
(Fig. 27), also called pusley, is an herbaceous annual, stemless,
with the many hairy branches usually resting on the ground
and the flowering tips ascending. The leaves are elliptic or
lanceolate, green on both sides, about 3/ to 3 inches long, with
wedge-shaped bases, slightly hairy margins and short stalks.








42 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

The flowers are small, white, funnel-shaped, arranged in tight
clusters within green bracts at the tips of the branches. The
fruits are small, dry, brown, 4-parted, splitting into segments
when ripe.
GENERAL COMMENT: Although it is not a native of
Florida, Mexican clover appears in most cultivated fields after







































Fig. 27.-Short branch of Mexican clover, showing tight flower clusters.








Some Honey Plants of Florida 43

the crops are harvested, along roadsides and waste places every-
where in the State.
BLOOMING PERIOD: All year unless frosted.
USEFULNESS: Honey made from nectar of this plant is
not considered to be a good grade for table use, but serves the
purpose of reserves in the colony for over-wintering.

RAILWAY BEGGARTICK
DESCRIPTION: Railway beggartick, Bidens pilosa L. (Fig.
28), also called Spanish needles, is an herbaceous plant that
often attains a height of 5 feet, usually starting to produce its
numerous ridged branches near the ground. The leaves are
green on both sides, slightly paler beneath, up to 6 inches long,
composed of several leaflets which are thin, narrowly ovate
with toothed margins and broad bases. The flower heads are
numerous, composed of 2 kinds of flowers. Those in the center
are small, tubular and yellow, while the outer ones bear white
strap-shaped rays, about 3/ inch long, surrounded by numerous
small green bracts. The fruits are small, very narrow, spindle-
shaped, surmounted by 3 or 4 barbed awns.
GENERAL COMMENT: The railway beggartick is a weed
of world-wide distribution in the tropics and not a native of
Florida. However, it has been found in the State for many
years, growing in waste places, roadside and cultivated lands,
enduring until killed by frosts.
BLOOMING PERIOD: Throughout the year.
USEFULNESS: Railway beggartick is harvested by bees
whenever more favored plants are out of season and the honey
made from it serves the purpose of food for the colonies.

AGRICULTURAL CROP PLANTS
A number of agricultural crops grown in Florida show promise
as sources of nectar or pollen for bees. Several of them have
been important sources in other states and, in the season and
locality where grown in sufficient acreage in Florida, they are
proving equally important. In recent years improved cultural
methods for white clover have encouraged the planting of many
new pastures for cattle. Since this plant has a well-established
reputation as a nectar producer under favorable growing con-
ditions in other regions, it should receive some attention from
beekeepers in Florida. Observations should be made as to








44 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

whether nectar is produced abundantly, whether bees are at-
tracted by it, and what conditions of temperatures and rainfall
seem to govern the abundance of nectar.






































Fig. 28.-Flowering branch of railway beggartick.

Since climatic and soil conditions are so important in nectar
production, beekeepers should make a study of them in relation
to the many agricultural crops grown in the State. Many well








Some Honey Plants of Florida 45

known crop plants have enviable reputations in other regions.
Some of those which should be investigated are: avocados, sweet
clover (Hubam), clover (crimson, red, white), cowpeas, cucur-
bits (cucumbers, watermelons, squash, pumpkins, cantaloupes),
lespedeza, mangos, snapbeans, birdsfoot trefoil and vetches.

CITRUS
Although their ancestors are considered to be natives of China,
the many species and varieties of citrus have long been cultivated
in Florida. They comprise the second largest acreage of any
agricultural crop in the State and every year new plantings
are increasing it substantially. Of all citrus, orange produces
nectar most abundantly under favorable seasonal conditions and
holds great attraction to honeybees. The honey is clear and
light in color and has a pleasant flavor.
Ordinarily citrus trees start blooming some time in February.
However, the date of the beginning and the length of the period
of blooming vary greatly according to the variety of the fruit,
the extent of cool weather in winter and early spring, and differ-
ences in rainfall and soil. First bloom has been seen as early
as February 6 and as late as March 15 and it seldom extends
later than April 20. Nectar flow does not always start imme-
diately the bloom appears, depending upon the weather. The
trees remain in bloom for about 4 weeks, if the weather is not
too dry and hot. As a rule, the later the bloom appears the
shorter the time it lasts. Cool and frosty weather will prolong
it unless the frost is so severe that it injures the flowers, which
will bring a quick end to the season. In some years citrus trees
put on a second flush of bloom in June, but it is seldom as heavy
as the earlier one. Its abundance seems to be governed by the
extent of some accident to the spring flush.
There have been reports of an occasional average as high as
75 pounds per colony from orange blossoms in Florida.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The author finds herself indebted to many people for assistance with
the preparation of this bulletin. She wishes to thank Mr. John D. Haynie,
apiarist of the Agricultural Extension Service, who has provided many
valuable facts and suggestions, and Dr. W. B. Tisdale and Mr. Erdman
West of the Station staff and Mr. Robert E. Foster, formerly apiarist of
the State Plant Board, for criticism of the context. For help with the
illustrative photographs she has had the able assistance of Mr. West, as
well as gifts of some pictures from Dr. Milledge Murphey of the College of








46 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

Agriculture, Mr. Haynie, Mr. Willard M. Fifield and the Soil Conservation
Service. Also, by permission of The Macmillan Company, two photographs
from Florida Wild Flowers by Mary Frances Baker, copyrighted in 1926
and 1938, have been used.

REFERENCES TO LITERATURE

BESSEY, CHARLES E. Preliminary list of honey-producing plants of Ne-
braska. Nebraska Agr. Exp. Sta. VII (Bul. 40): 141-152. 1895.
HAYNIE, JOHN D., and MILLEDGE MURPHY, JR. Beginning Beekeeping.
Fla. Agr. Ext. Ser. Bul. 151. 1952.
HORTON, WALDO. Florida Honey. Fla. Dept. Agr. Bul. 66. (Spec. Ser.)
8-17. 1948.
KILLINGER, G. B., and J. D. HAYNIE. Honeybees and Other Factors in Flor-
ida's Legume Program. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 497. 1952.
LOVELL, JOHN H. Honey Plants of North America. A. I. Root Co. 1926.
OERTEL, EVERETT. Honey and Pollen Plants of the United States. USDA
Circ. 554. 1939.
PELLETT, FRANK C. American Honey Plants. 4th ed. 452 pp. illus. Orange
Judd. 1947.
ROOT, A. I. The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture. A. I. Root Co., Rev. 1947.
SMALL, J. K. Manual of the Southeastern Flora. 1933.
STIRLING, FRANK. Honey Plants of Florida. Florida State Beekeepers
Ass'n. Circ. 1923.
VANSELL, G. H., and H. A. SCULLEN. Nectar and Pollen Plants of Oregon.
Ore. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 412. 1942.
VANSELL, G. H. Some Bee Plants of Utah. Utah Agr. Exp. Sta. Farm
and Home Sci. 7: 6-7. 1946.
Nectar and Pollen Plants of California. Calif. Agr. Exp.
Sta. Bul. 517. 1931.
WEST, ERDMAN, and L. E. ARNOLD. Native Trees of Florida. Univ. of
Fla. Press. 1946.
WEST, ERDMAN, and M. W. EMMEL. Some Poisonous Plants in Florida.
Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 468. 1950.
WILDER, J. J. Beekeeping in Florida. Fla. Dept. Agr. Bul. 5 (N.S.). 1938.
AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL.
GLEANINGS IN BEE CULTURE.

GLOSSARY

pinnate-leaf with leaflets arranged each side of a common stalk, like a
feather.
bipinnate-a pinnate leaf that is again divided into leaf-like parts.
capsule-descriptive of a dry seedpod which shoots out seed.
catkin-deciduous spike consisting of petalless flowers of one sex.
digitate-term used to designate leaves with leaflets like fingers.
elliptic-oblong with regularly rounded ends.








Some Honey Plants of Florida 47

lanceolate-narrow, tapering to each end; however, base is usually some-
what broadened with greatest breadth about s from base.
lenticel-tiny corky areas on bark of twigs.
oblanceolate-reversed lanceolate, with broadest part of a lanceolate body
away from point of attachment.
obovate-reversed ovate, the broader part near the tip.
ovate-shaped like longitudinal section of hen's egg, the broader end basal.
petal--term for each segment composing a flower.
sepal-term for each green segment below a flower.

INDEX TO COMMON NAMES

Page Page
Andromeda .................................... 22 Palm, cabbage ............................ 10
Beautyberry, American .......--... 24 Palmetto, cabbage ......-..----. -..... 10
Beggartick, railway .---.............- 43 scrub ..........................--------. 4
Black m angrove ........................ 9 saw ....................... ............ ...- 4
Buckwheat tree ........................... 19 Partridge pea ................. .--..... 5
Bush mint .-...........--- .....--....-.....-- 26 Pennyroyal, false ......---.-----..... 26
Buttonbush, common ---........--.. 29 Pepper vine ............-.......----- ..... 21
Cajeput tree ...........---...........-.. .. 39 Pink vine ................-....... ----..... 387
Carolina jessamine .-.............. .. 35 Plant, sensitive ...............----..... 5
Chaste tree, negundo ............... 40 Plum, Ogeechee ............................ 8
Chinquapin, trailing --......--...... 13 Prairie clover, September .--...... 16
Coral vine, mountain rose ....... 37 Punk tree .......-----..............----------..... 39
Cyrilla, Am erican ........................ 35 Pusley .......................................... 41
Farewell, summer ........................ 16 Savory, stiff ................................. 26
Gallberry ........................................ 7 Saw palmetto ..............---- .---.---. ..... 4
Goldenrod, flat-topped .--............ 29 Seagrape, common ....-.....--.......... 13
Gopher apple ................................ 15 Snowvine ............................. ........ 21
Inkberry ........................................ 7 Sunflower, prairie ............-..---- ..... 31
Jessamine, yellow ........-............... 35 Thistle, Nuttall's ............--....---..... 32
Lime, Ogeechee ....----....................... 8 Ti-ti -..................-- .. .. .....- ----..... 19
Lyonia, fetterbush -----...-........--. 22 summer ........----- --..........-........... 35
M aple, red ..................................... 19 Tupelo, black ................-.... .......... 9
M exican clover ...... ..................... 41 Ogeechee ..................... ......-..... 8
Mulberry, French .....-- .............-- 24 white ........................................... 8
Needles, Spanish .----.............--... 43 Vine, pink --.... ---...-...-......------....... 37





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