Tampa Mock Vervain

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Tampa Mock Vervain, Glandularia tampensis, is native and endemic to Florida. It is also listed by Florida as an endangered species that’s going extinct due to loss of habitat.  Tampensis is found on coastal dunes in several gulf counties including Lee and in a few Atlantic counties. It is a short-lived perennial that reseeds itself. Tampensis grows from a single root system. Branched and prostrated semi-woody stems grow outward from the root forming a mat about one foot in diameter. Leaves are elliptic in shape and with lightly serrated margins. Leaves are in pairs (opposite) that are widely separated on the stems.

Tiny reddish flowers are arranged in flat top clusters. There are about two-dozen flowers in each cluster. The flower’s corolla has five petals surrounding a deep tunnel that has a white coloration to attract pollinators.

There are four species in the Genus Glandularia in Florida. The specimen in the picture was found on the back side of a dune on Fort Myers Beach.