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Tarflower Bejaria racemosa

The Tarflower, also known as Flycatcher and Flyweed, is a perennial woody shrub that thrives in sandy soil such as found in flatwoods.  It grows to a height of 4-8 feet with a spread of 2-6 feet.  This plant is native to Florida and found throughout the peninsula portion of the state.  It is also found in parts of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

The large white flowers, about 1-2 inches in diameter, grow in a spike cluster 6-9 inches long.  Each flower has 6 or 7 sepals, 7 elliptical petals and 12-14 long stamens.  The unique property of this flower is that the undersides of the petals and sepals are coated with a sticky substance that can trap smaller insects.  Hence its common name.  The flower blooms during the spring and summer months.  They are quite fragrant and attract bees, butterflies and other insects.

The images on this page were taken in Deep Creek in Charlotte County.  The lower left image shows a Bumblebee sipping nectar.  The lower middle image shows a Fiery Skipper sipping nectar.  The lower right image shows several small insects stuck in the sticky substance coating the closed sepals and petals.  The larger insect, a Dark Flower Scarab Beetle managed to break free and escape.  These images were taken at the end of May.

The distribution maps for the Tarflower are from the Plants Database of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).