Manfreda maculosa

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Manfreda maculosa
Manfreda maculosa leaves.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Manfreda
Species: M. maculosa
Binomial name
Manfreda maculosa
(Hook.) Rose
Manfreda maculosa - MHNT

Manfreda maculosa, commonly known as the Texas Tuberose or Spice Lily, is a species of flowering plant related to agaves that is endemic to southern Texas and northeastern Mexico.

Description[edit]

The Texas Tuberose is acaulescent, meaning the stem is extremely short. The fleshy silvery-green leaves are covered with purple spots and in low light situations may lay flat on the ground. In a drought, the leaves may wither, leaving little or nothing visible above ground. Sufficient precipitation yields an inflorescence 60 cm (24 in) tall in the period April-September. The new flower stalks (inflorescences) are fed on by small mammals, javelina, deer, and feral pigs, which can end the flowering effort for that season. The leaves are fed on by these as well, especially during droughts, weakening and killing the plants.

The flowers open and change colors over 3-4 days of life, from white to pink to dark red. The inferior ovaries turn from green to purple to black as they mature as seedpods.

Ecology[edit]

Texas Tuberose is the primary host plant for the caterpillars of the rare Manfreda Giant-Skipper or Aloe Skipper (Stallingsia maculosus (= Stallingsia smithi)). A reduction in the M. maculosa population could threaten the existence of the butterflies.[1]

Manfreda inflorescence, flowers with petals intact

References[edit]

  1. ^ Quinn, Mike (2008-12-05). "Manfreda Giant-Skipper Stallingsia maculosus (H. A. Freeman, 1955)". Texas Entomology. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  • Lehman, R.L., O'Brien, R., and T. White. 2005. Plants of the Texas coastal bend. Texas A&M Univ. Press. 352 pp.
  • Scott, J.A. 1986. The butterflies of North America: a natural history and field guide. Stanford Univ. Press. 583 pp.

External links[edit]

Media related to Manfreda maculosa at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Manfreda maculosa at Wikispecies