Sep. 25, 2022

Florida clover ash, Tetrazygia bicolor

Florida clover ash is in the tibouchina family (Melastomataceae).
So I'm going out on a limb here. There are two things I've noticed that seem to be present with this family of plants. Those are buzz pollination and flowers that change color, or are different colors in a bunch. Here that second trait only shows up with red or greenish centers in the flowers. Buzz pollination accounts for the odd shape of the anthers you can see at the top of the image. Those are hollow tubes, open at one end. The pollen stays in the tubes until a bug that is vigorous enough comes along and buzzes to shake it out. However, I really don't know how typical these trait are for this family. Florida clover ash has dark purple or black berries that are edible, and are said to be tasty. But please leave them be. This is a threatened species that with us only grows in southern FL. Miami-Dade Co FL, 3/20/16.