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Pineland Allamanda
pineland allamanda
Pineland allamanda, photographed at Big Pine Key, Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge, Monroe County, in December 2013.
pineland allamanda yellow trumpet flower
 

Pineland Allamanda, Angadenia Berteroi, is a plant so rare nobody knows exactly how rare it might be.

It is rare enough to be listed in Florida as threatened, as in threatened with extinction, but its range extends through much of the northern Caribbean, where there's not much information on how strong the population might be. Because of the scarcity of data about the plant beyond Florida's borders, pineland allamanda is considered vulnerable vulnerable to extinction.

It is a Florida native, but its range in the Sunshine State is limited to Monroe and Miami-Dade counties. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also says pineland allamanda is a native of North Carolina, but some say that's unlikely given the huge geographical gap involved. More likely, it's theorized that someone planted pineland allamanda, which then escaped into the wild and then died off. Also within its range: Cuba, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and the Bahamas.

Pineland allamanda itself looks like a miniature version of the allamanda that might be found in the nursery department of a home center. It can be a "subshrub" in habit, growing six to 18 inches tall, or it can be a clambering vine, reaching perhaps three feet in length. It is drought tolerant and grows in full sun or part shade. Favorite habitats include rock pinelands, naturally, and marl prairies. It is a perennial.

The most outstanding feature of the plant is its flowers, which are mostly a bright yellow but also can be a subdued cream-color. They bloom year round, eventually producing a slender seed pod as its fruit. The leaves are arranged opposite each other along the stem, oblong in shape, leathery in texture, with an edge that is smooth but curled.

 
 
ppineland allamanda yellow trumpet flower
 

One major reason why pineland allamanda is so rare might be because they put out relatively few fruit. According to a study done by two Florida International University researchers and published by the International Journal of Plant Sciences in 2010, the flower are structured in such a way as to discourage cross pollination — pollination with itself or related plants — and encourage outcross pollination — pollination from unrelated plants. The researchers concluded that the low rate of fruit-setting might be due to either low visitation rates by pollinators, pollination with closely related neighbors or both. As a result, pineland allamanda flowers set relatively few fruit, which means few seeds and few offspring.

Which brings us to this: pineland allamanda is pollinated primarily by moths; two moths, the polka-dot wasp moth and the oleander moth, use the plant as a host for their offspring.

The sap of the plant is both an eye and skin irritant, but despite that, the Seminoles used pineland allamanda root to make a wash to treat skin sores and chronic sickness. It was also used to treat something called menstruation sickness, the symptoms of which included stomach pain and impotence in men. In the Bahamas it was used to ward off "intercourse taboo."

Pineland allamanda is also known as pineland golden trumpet, liceroot and wild liceroot. It is a member of apocynaceae, the dog bane family. One final note: the name berteroi honors 18th century Italian botanist Carlo Luigi Bertero.

Photographs by David Sedore
 
 
county map
  United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) distribution maps for Pineland Allamanda  
pineland allamanda range map u.s.
 
Links for Pineland Allamanda
All photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without their express permission.