Magnificent Magnoliales Ecoquest, Bioblitzes, and Updates

This month's Sarasota Manatee EcoFlora Ecoquest Magnificent Magnoliales will cover the order of plants Magnoliales and last from March 1st to April 30th! Locally we have native species from two families from the Magnoliales order, Annonaceae which includes pawpaws and the uncommon pond apples, and of course the Magnoliaceae or magnolias! Magnolias, pond apples, and pawpaws are all woody plants with unique flowers that are often large and white while some are smaller with purple coloration. Magnoliales are interesting in that they are pollinated by beetles. Differences however vary between the groups.

There have been four paw paw species recorded in our area the smallflower, dwarf, Manasota, and netted paw paws. Paw paws generally produce large edible banana flavored fruits. These are the smallest of the native Magnoliales and rarely get above 2 meters tall and are common in sandy well drained areas. Only the Manasota and netted paw paws have been seen on iNaturalist so we are hoping to record the dwarf and smallflower paw paw's in our project as well! Fun fact the Manasota paw paw is native only to Sarasota and Manatee counties making it endemic to our project area. Paw paws are also the obligate host plant for the zebra swallowtail butterfly making them crucial for butterfly conservation.

The Netted Paw Paw flower is a valuable pollinator in it's community for many insects.

Pond apples are the rarest of the Magnoliales in our area. Look for them as medium sized trees in wet areas be they coastal brackish, estuarine, or freshwater. They have grey trunks, large, shiny oblong to ovate leaves with a sharp tip, and prominent midrib. If you're lucky you'll see the large green fruits that give them their name and feed many species including gators!

These large fruits like those of most Magnoliales are edible with Paw Paws being the largest native fruits to the mainland USA.

Magnolias are the largest of the Magnoliales found here, southern and sweetbay magnolias can reach 90 ft tall though that height is rare in our area. Identification is easy with southern magnolias having large shiny leaves, huge white flowers with red seeds, leaves that are brownish below, and strong pleasant scents. Sweetbay magnolias have narrower leaves with white undersides, and are usually found in wet areas. Southern magnolias are rarely found in nature in our area, but are commonly grown as street trees.

Magnolias are the most conspicuous of the Magnoliales with massive white flowers and red fruits and seeds, usually growing into large trees.

March 23rd Bioblitz 9am - 12pm Beker Wingate Creek State Park, 38620 East, FL-64, Myakka City, FL 34251

April 6th Bioblitz 9am - 12pm Big Slough Preserve 21075 State Rd 72, Myakka City, FL 34251

Check out the Selby Gardens Website to sign up and see the most recent updates and changes.

Also mark your calendars April 29-May 2nd will be the 2022 City Nature Challenge where our area competes against every other city to find more plants and animals during those days! If your organization wants to partner with us or host an event, please reach out to Sean Patton at or simply have friendly competition with your friends and neighbors and help support the largest bioblitz the world has ever seen!

Publicado por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean, 01 de marzo de 2022


I have updated the journal to include a link to the current ecoquest if people want to track their individual numbers. Remember if there is a group or clump of individuals or a single stand of trees try to include them as one, but unique specimens, pollinators, markings etc. may be reason to add more! Go out there and find your Magnoliales or if you're focusing on Pawpaws like me, you're on Pawpaw Patrol!

Link to Magnificent Magnoliales Ecoquest:

Publicado por sarasota_manatee_... hace 11 meses (Marca)

Can you provide more information on where the March 23rd BioBlitz is ? I cannot find Wingate Preserve on Google Maps. Thanks

Publicado por phaynes hace 11 meses (Marca)

Hey @phaynes we have updated the times and locations and included google mappable locations! Myakka is changed to Big Slough for accessibility.

March 23rd Bioblitz 9am - 12pm Beker Wingate Creek State Park, 38620 East, FL-64, Myakka City, FL 34251

April 6th Bioblitz 9am - 12pm Big Slough Preserve 21075 State Rd 72, Myakka City, FL 34251

Publicado por sarasota_manatee_... hace 11 meses (Marca)

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