Richardia grandiflora, also known as largeflower pusley, is native to South America and a common lawn/meadow invader during South Florida’s dry winter season.
Largeflower pusley is a creeping herbacious (non‐woody) perennial that roots at the nodes and reproduces by seeds and stem fragments. It flowers profusely over the holidays, and from a distance it’s easy to see how “Florida Snow” became the preferred colloquialism for these white-to-violet flowers.
The appearance of R. grandiflora is a relatively new phenomena, gaining a foothold in areas disturbed by the hurricanes of 2004-6. Ten years later, many lawns and fields have thousands of flowers capable of dispersing tens of thousands of seeds. Containing or eradicating such prodigious reproduction is difficult, so most of us–especially those from the North!–regard it as a nice reminder of White Christmas!
Although a ground cover and not a shrub, Richardia is a member of the Rubiaceae family and related to the native Psychotria nervosa (wild coffee) whose flowers are similar. Curious about the yellow plant in the photos? You can read about it in a previous post.
Until next time…