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Borrichia frutescens

Template:Taxobox Template:Commonscat Borrichia frutescens is a North American species of flowering plants in the aster family known by the common names sea oxeye, sea oxeye daisy, bushy seaside tansy, and sea-marigold. In Veracruz it is called verdolaga de mar.<ref name=del>Delgado, G., et al. (1992). Constituents of Borrichia frutescens. Fitoterapia LXIII(3) 273-74.</ref> It is native to the United States and Mexico, where it occurs along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Its distribution extends from Maryland south to Florida and west to Texas in the US,<ref>Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map</ref> and along the Mexican Gulf Coast to the Yucatán Peninsula.<ref name=grin>Template:GRIN</ref> It is an introduced species in some areas, such as Bermuda<ref name=fna>Borrichia frutescens. Flora of North America.</ref> and Spain.<ref name=cres>Crespo, M. B., et al. (2002). Borrichia Adans. (Asteraceae, Heliantheae), a new record for the Mediterranean flora. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences 50(3) 239-42.</ref><ref>Carnevali, G., J. L. Tapia-Muñoz, R. Duno de Stefano & I. M. Ramírez Morillo. 2010. Flora Ilustrada de la Peninsula Yucatán: Listado Florístico 1–326</ref><ref>Cowan, C. P. 1983. Flora de Tabasco. Listados Florísticos de México 1: 1–123.</ref>

Description

This species is variable in appearance.<ref name=cat>Cattell, M. V. and S. A. Karl. (2004). Genetics and morphology in a Borrichia frutescens and B. arborescens (Asteraceae) hybrid zone. Am. J. Bot. 91(11) 1757-66.</ref> In general, it is a perennial herb or shrub reaching up to about 90 centimeters (3 feet) tall. The herbage is gray-green<ref name=tx>Bowling, B. Sea-ox-eye daisy Borrichia frutescens. Identification Guide to Marine Organisms of Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 2012.</ref> to silvery,<ref name=cat/> and fleshy.<ref name=fla>Gilman, E. F. Borrichia frutescens, Sea Oxeye. Document FPS69. Environmental Horticulture, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. 1999. Revised 2007.</ref> It has oval to lance-shaped leaves up to 11 centimeters long. The blades are toothed near the bases, smooth-edged otherwise, and are usually hairy. The leaf base or petiole usually has at least one spine. The inflorescence is a solitary rounded flower head lined with spine-tipped phyllaries. The head has 15 to 30 short, yellow ray florets. At the center are many yellow disc florets with black anthers. The fruit is a dark-colored, flattened, somewhat triangular cypsela a few millimeters long.<ref name=fna/> As the head dries and the flowers fall away, it becomes a hard, spiny, burr-like body packed with the small fruits.<ref name=tx/> The life span of the plant may exceed five years.<ref name=cat/>

Biology

The flowering season varies geographically and according to weather conditions, but along the US Gulf Coast it usually takes place from June to August.<ref name=cpr>Biber, P. Borrichia frutescens Propagation Guide. Center for Plant Restoration and Coastal Plant Research. Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. University of Southern Mississippi.</ref> Reproduction occurs sexually by flowering, as well as vegetatively<ref name=cat/> via rhizome.<ref name=stil2>Stling, P., et al. (1992). Life history and parasites of Asphondylia borrichae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), a gall maker on Borrichia frutescens. Florida Entomologist 75(1) 130-37.</ref>

This plant is a halophyte, growing in various types of coastal habitat. It occurs on beaches, dunes, and barrier islands, in saline and brackish wetlands and mangroves.<ref name=tx/><ref name=fla/> It is an emergent plant, tolerating inundation in ocean water.<ref name=tx/> It also tolerates drought and a range of soil conditions, from acidic to alkaline.<ref name=fla/> In the Florida Keys much of its substrate is limestone.<ref name=fna/>

Ecology

This species occurs with another member of its genus, Borrichia arborescens, in some parts of its range. The two often hybridize, producing offspring that has been called Borrichia × cubana,<ref name=cat/> the Cuban borrichia.<ref name=itis>Borrichia × cubana. Integrated Taxonomic Information System.</ref> The hybrid is variable in morphology, but it is usually intermediate to its parents.<ref name=cat/>

The plant also grows with other typical salt marsh and coastline plants such as glasswort (Salicornia virginica), saltwort (Batis maritima), seashore saltgrass (Distichlis spicata),<ref name=stil2/> and annual seepweed (Suaeda linearis).<ref name=guo>Guo, H. and S. C. Pennings. (2012). Post-mortem ecosystem engineering by oysters creates habitat for a rare marsh plant. Oecologia 170 789-98.</ref>

The plant is attractive to butterflies.<ref name=fla/> Other insects associated with it include the delphacid planthopper Pissonotus quadripustulatus, aphids of the genus Uroleucon (formerly Dactynotus), the leafhopper Carneocephala floridana,<ref name=stil>Stiling, P., et al. (1999). Weak competition between coastal insect herbivores. Florida Entomologist 82(4) 599-608.</ref> and the gall midge Asphondylia borrichiae.<ref name=stil2/><ref name=denno>Denno, R. F. and M. D. Eubanks. Insect Ecology: Behavior, Populations and Communities. Cambridge University Press. 2011. pg. 155.</ref> P. quadripustulatus and A. borrichiae specialize on this plant.<ref name=moon>Moon, D. C. and P. Stiling. (2002). The influence of species identity and herbivore feeding mode on top-down and bottom-up effects in a salt marsh system. Oecologia 133 243-53.</ref> The midge causes the development of galls in the apical meristem. Destruction of tissue in this part of the plant can stop its growth, prevent its flowering, and kill the whole stem. There is usually one gall per plant, but each may have several chambers, usually no more than three, but sometimes up to eight. Each contains a fly larva which feeds on fungus growing inside the gall, then pupates and emerges as an adult. The galls also contain several species of wasps, which are parasitoids on the fly.<ref name=stil2/>

References

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