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Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
/534Ft. Pierce AREC Research Report FTP-89-2 January, 1989
New distribution sites of Stylosanthes hamata (L.) Taub. inElorida1
John B. Brolmann i
University of Florida, Agricultural Research Center
FE 28 19[
Fort Pierce, Florida 34954
ABSTRACT: The occurrence of Stvlosanthes hamata (L.) Taub. in Florida revealed
some new locations along the A-l-A in the Winterbeach, Indian Harbour Beach,
and Port Canaveral coastal areas. Port Canaveral appears to be the
northernmost limit of distribution of S. hamata on the east coast of Florida.
The distribution of Stylosanthes hamata (L.) Taub. in Florida has been
previously reported (Brolmann, 1979). One specimen was found in 1977 at the
North Jetty Inlet Park in Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County. Renovation of the
park disturbed this site and no plants were observed in the early part of 1978.
The search for more northern sites of distribution of indigenous S. hamata on
the east coast of Florida was continued in 1981, 1982, and again in 1988. The
last site where S. hamata was found was 3 km south of Stuart in Martin county
* along Highway U.S. 1 (Brolmann, 1981). Further explorations to the north
revealed some new sites where S. hamata was present. The first site was at the
intersection of Winterbeach Road and A-l-A in Indian River county,
approximately 29 km north of Fort Pierce. S. hamata was growing here along the
east side of A-l-A in a stretch about 8 km long. The S. hamata ecotypes were
morphologically the same and are of the tetraploid type as described earlier
The next site where S. hamata was present was in Indian Harbour Beach
(Brevard County), 80 km north of Fort Pierce. Plants were growing in the
median strip of a beach access road at the intersection of State Road 518 and
Highway A-1-A. This diploid-ecotype (2n=20) is prostrate and grows to 1 meter
in diameter. Stems are woody at base. Flower color and measurements are:
standard 6-7 mm long, 5 mm broad, yellow with orange-red markings near the
center; wing 3-3.5 mm long, 2 mm broad, bright yellow; keel 3 mm long, white.
Terminal leaflets are 15 mm long and 5 mm broad. Terminal leaflets are
slightly-larger-than the lateral ones... Leaf apices and-bases are mostly acute.
Stipules-are-bidentate at-apex to=10mm long -with 1 to 3 nerves. Seeds of the
upper articulation of the loment are 7 mm long, 2 mm wide including the 4 mm
long beak. Seed of the lower articulation of the loment is 3 mm long and 2 mm
broad. S. hamata plants observed in other locations hereafter mentioned were
2n=20 types and similar in morphology to the Indian Harbour collection except
for flower color.
A third site where S. hamata is established is along the west shoulder of
* highway A-l-A near the north end of Patrick Air Force Base (14.5 km north of SR
518) and also on the east side in the beach park area. Plants here are semi-
prostrate and growing in a mixture of bahiagrass and Bermudagrass. Roadside
mowing is probably responsible for spreading of this species along highway A-l-
A. Other locations further north were S. hamata was found were:. 1) In the
city of Cocoa Beach, on the south shoulder of State Road 520, between Banana
River Bridge and South Banana River Blvd., in a mixture of bahiagrass and
Bermudagrass. Plants were vigorous with a spread up to 75 cm in diameter.
Flowers had mostly red markings, stems are branched heavily. 2) In Port
Canaveral a) at intersection of George J. King Blvd. and Pompano Street.
Excellent stand in bahiagrass behind Port Canaveral Authority Building and also
at corner (NW) of George King Bldg. at Marlin Street. Plants spreading to 50
cm, flowers mostly bright yellow. b) on north side of entrance road to Brevard
County Jetty Park. Few plants are growing here in Bermudagrass, flowers are
bright yellow, c) at west entrance gate to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
several plants are here in a mixture with'Bermuda-bahiagrass. The flowers were
all bright yellow and the plants had spread to about 50 cm in diameter.
The sub-tropical conditions along the coastline from Stuart to Melbourne
in general are favorable for the development of S. hamata. However, the colder
winters with occasional frosts may have prevented S. hamata from spreading here
since only a few plants could be found. The presence of a rather large stand
of this species further north in the Cocoa Beach Port Canaveral area
suggests, therefore, the existence of more favorable and warmer weather
conditions, especially during the winter. This could be due to large bodies of
water in this area (Indian River and Banana Rivers). No S. hamata were found
in coastal areas north of Port Canaveral (New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater). It is
quite possible therefore that the northernmost limit of the natural
distribution of S. hamata at Port Canaveral in Florida.
Brolmann, John B. 1979. Distribution and significance of Stylosanthes hamata
(L.) Taub. in South Florida. Florida Sci. 42:63-64.
Brolmann, John B. 1981. Further investigation of the occurrence of
Stylosanthes hamata (L.) Taub. in Florida. Florida Sci. 44:61-63.