Last summer I posted a request for help with identifying this oft seen flowering vine along the shore of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The flower resembles a petunia, but the leaves do not seem to belong to the flower I know by this name. My appetite for learning about this environment, so different from Chicago, has me slowly concocting a Southern Florida reference section to our library. In spite of seemingly limitless internet reference sites, I find I still turn to old-fashioned BOOKS as a way to double-check my online learning. (Besides BOOKS are great when one is not “connected”). Now my job becomes matching my observations to specific referenced species.
Meet the Railroad Vine a native to southern Florida beaches, unlike myself. This plant is actually a variety of Morning Glory. The long vine and succulent leaves help this plant thrive amidst the strong winds and inconsistent moisture of beaches and dune. Blooms, typical of its family, open in the morning and last only one day. However, this vine is prolific in flower production, so each morning new flowers open to bring tropical color to the otherwise neutral beach setting.