Manfreda maculosa

Manfreda maculosa

Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Liliopsida
Subclassis: Liliidae
Ordo: Asparagales
Familia: Agavaceae
Genus: Manfreda
Species: Manfreda maculosa

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

Description

Texas Tuberose is acaulescent, meaning the stem is extremely short. The fleshy green leaves are covered with purple spots and often lay flat on the ground. In a drought, the leaves will wither and disappear, 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, which can end the flowering effort for that season.

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

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 moths.[1]
References

1. ↑ Quinn, Mike (2008-12-05). "Manfreda Giant-Skipper Stallingsia maculosus (H. A. Freeman, 1955)". Texas Entomology. http://www.texasento.net/Stallingsia.htm. 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.

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