Ludwigia Alternifolia OR.

Ludwigia Alternifolia OR.

Ludwigia Alternifolia

Ludwigia alternifolia is commonly known as Brazilian or bamboo palm and is a palm native to tropical climates. Indigenous people of the Amazon have relied on the stems that grow from these palms for a variety of reasons from basket making to fibre to construct hammocks.Range & Habitat: The native Seedbox is occasional in most areas of Illinois, except in parts of central and northern Illinois, where it is either uncommon, rare, or absent. Habitats include openings in floodplain woodlands, sandy swamps, acidic gravelly seeps, low areas along streams and ponds, wet prairies, wet sand prairies, and roadside ditches. The pubescent variety of Seedbox, Ludwigia alternifolia pubescens, occurs in southern Illinois, where it is uncommon.


Comments: Seedbox has showier flowers than most Ludwigia spp., and its cubic seed capsules have a distinct appearance. As a result, it is fairly easily to identify when either the flowers or seed capsules are present. Species in this genus are usually found in wetlands. Species in a related genus of the Evening Primrose family, Epilobium spp. (Willow-Herbs), have similar foliage and prefer similar habitats. They can be distinguished from Ludwigia spp. by their narrowly cylindrical seedpods and the presence of tufts of hair on their seeds.Look in the bottom right hand side of the seedbox (Ludwigia alternifolia) pod we opened up.

There you will see a small bruchid weevil (Acanthoscelides alboscutellatus) which, as a small larva, it fed upon the seeds of the seedbox plant...but once it grew up to be a big strong adult weevil it could not escape the seedbox capsule because it was too large to fit through the single pore in the seedbox capsule head that allows seeds to exit but not weevils. Some capsules fall apart allowing their weevils to escape...but many never do...dooming the weevils that live inside. Sad. Thanks to Cathy Stragar for hunting down the weevil story and Helen Lowe Metzman brought in the seedbox and took the pictures. Photography Information: Canon Mark II 5D, Zerene Stacker, Stackshot Sled, 65mm Canon MP-E 1-5X macro lens, Twin Macro Flash in Styrofoam Cooler, F5.0, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 200 USGSBIML Photoshopping Technique: Note that we now have added using the burn tool at 50% opacity set to shadows to clean up the halos that bleed into the black background from "hot" color sections of the picture. (Source:www.illinoiswildflowers.info)



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