John Nelson, Tallahassee Democrat

John Nelson

Tallahassee Democrat

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  • Tallahassee Democrat
  • The Daily Reflector

Recent articles by John:

Southern grape-fern continues ancient cycle of life

Ferns are an interesting group of plants from a very ancient lineage, all of them vascularized, with plenty of water-conducting internal “plumbing.” → Read More

Tropical red mamey fruit now found in many grocery stores

Sn absolutely wonderful beverage you might try made with red mamay is delicious when really cold. → Read More

Brilliant crotalaria has a bitter, poisonous side

It can make quite an autumnal display at the edge of an old field, along with sunflowers, morning glories, asters, and ragweed. → Read More

Garlic chives come from a large genus of oniony relatives

Allium is the genus that gives us onions and all their many relatives; there are hundreds of wild species, → Read More

Ghostly Indian pipes or corpse plant looks and acts like a mushroom

If you pick one of these ghostly plants in the forest, it will soon turn black. → Read More

Bractspike makes an unusual appearance in South Carolina

This newly discovered SC population is deep in the shade of a sloping bluff overlooking the Savannah River floodplain. → Read More

Late summer's bitter-bloom can do well in a native-species garden

The flowers in the genus tend to be very showy, and thus they are popular on wildflower walks. → Read More

This marshy member of the carrot family is a draw for pollinators

Marsh eryngo is a plant of wet habitats, found mostly toward the coast of the Atlantic states, from about New Jersey down to central Florida. → Read More

Distinctive orange milkwort sprouts up amid ruts, ditches

This native herb, blooming now, has some of the most brilliant orange flowers you can ever see. → Read More

Aquatic parrot-feather has flown the coop into creeks and ponds| Mystery Plant

It's an herb that is native to a large area of South America, particularly the Amazon basin. → Read More

Chaste-tree has a number of medicinal purposes in folklore

The foliage has five leaflets but is not remotely related to cannabis. → Read More

Brilliant touch-me-not has a secret power

Flowers are usually produced individually, and each bloom dangles, attached to a thread-like stalk in the axil of a flowe → Read More

Swamp milkweed brightens bottomland with a flash of white| Mystery Plant

Swamp milkweed is a native species of southern bottomland forests, and it’s one of the showiest wildflowers a swamp can offer. → Read More

Malanga chips anyone? Caribbean staple can be fried or boiled

For a botanist, the most interesting part of the grocery store is its produce section, of course. → Read More

Rocky Shoals Spider Lily adds rare beauty to Southern riversides

This species is specialized to live in rocky river shoals. It’s a bulb-former, its bulbs wedged within the cracks of the rocks. → Read More

Fragrant lily of the valley is related to monkey-grass

May boasts some of the prettiest wildflowers there are, and some of the most fragrant. → Read More

Lovely bloom aside, nodding thistle is a noxious invader

Toward the base of the plant these spiny wings are quite broad and grabbing onto just about any part of a big plant will be a painful experience. → Read More

Interesting plants keep traveling: Daisy-like gowan grows on hillsides

“Gowan” is an old Scottish word that refers to a daisy, or at least a daisy-like plant. → Read More

Silvery foliage, sky-blue flower makes sand lupine stand out

The flowers’ petals will produce a memorable shade of blue, sky-blue actually, a shade that is difficult to find elsewhere in our local flora. → Read More

Showy orchis is a stunning orchid that grows in high altitudes

A lot of people have this mistaken notion that orchids, especially those pretty “corsage” flowers, grow only in tropical places. → Read More