Borrichia frutescens is found in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia (NatureServe Explorer 2013). Borrichia frutescens is endangered in Maryland (NatureServe Explorer 2013).
Spartina alterniflora dominates the lower intertidal zone of the marsh and Borrichia frutescens is found along the upland border of S. alterniflora (Pennings & Moore, 2000: 588). Greater height and leaf number were associated with increasing elevation at two sites in Sapelo Island, Georgia (r2 =0.74, 0.95 and 0.54 and 0.38, respectively, p <0.0001; Pennings & Moore, 2000: 590). In the Borrichiazone, the water table was -41 cm as compared to -19 cm in the Spartina zone (Pennings & Moore, 2000: 589). When transplanted to the Spartina zone, B. frutescens had <30% survival due to flooding. By comparison, in the absence of B. frutescens, S. alternatiflora had >70% survival in the Borrichia zone, indicating competition effects (Pennings & Moore, 2000: 592).
An outgrowth of plant tissue or gall caused by Asphondylia borrichiae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) was studied from stems of Borrichia frutescens along the Gulf coast of Florida (Stiling et al., 1992: 130). From 1,250 plants, each stem typically had one gall (Stiling et al., 1992: 133). Galls were present year round, but greatest numbers were recorded during summer months. Parasites were present up to 100% of galls in late fall and 60% in July and August (Stiling et al., 1992: 137). Holes in the galls indicated that the parasites had emerged (Stiling et al., 1992: 130-133). Parasites Rileya cecidomyiae, Tenuipetiolus teredon, Torymus umbilicatus and Galeopsomyia haemon were reared from collected galls (Stiling et al., 1992: 135). These parasite larvae fed on the fly pupae and larvae, leaving the gall up to two weeks following collection from the field (Stiling et al., 1992: 135). Increasing soil salinity was associated with a decrease in the number of Asphondylia borrichiae galls, and fertilizer with an increase in the numbers of galls (Moon & Stiling, 2002: 2470)
Moon, C.D., & Stiling, P. 2002. The effects of salinity and nutrients on a tritrophic salt-marsh system. Ecology 83: 2465-2476.
NatureServe Explorer. 2013. Borrichia frutescens. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia; available at: http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/servlet/NatureServe?sourceTemplate=tabular_report.wmt&loadTemplate=species_RptComprehensive.wmt&selectedReport=RptComprehensive.wmt&summaryView=tabular_report.wmt&elKey=129640&paging=home&save=true&startIndex=1&nextStartIndex=1&reset=false&offPageSelectedElKey=129640&offPageSelectedElType=species&offPageYesNo=true&post_processes=&radiobutton=radiobutton&selectedIndexes=129640; accessed on February 15, 2013.
Pennings, C.S., & Moore, J.D. 2000. Zonation of shrubs in western Atlantic salt marshes. Oecologia 126: 587-594.
Stiling, P., Rossi, M., Strong, A., Donald, R., Johnson, M., & Derek, M. 1992. Life history and parasites of Asphondylia Borrichiae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), a gall maker on Borrichia frutescens. Florida Entomologist 75: 130-137.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Borrichia frutescens
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Borrichia frutescens
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
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Borrichia frutescens is a species of flowering plant 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. It is native to the United States and Mexico, where it occurs along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Its distribution extends from Virginia south to Florida and west to Texas in the US, and along the Mexican Gulf Coast to Yucatán. It is an introduced species in some areas, such as Bermuda and Spain.
This species is variable in appearance. In general, it is a perennial herb or shrub reaching up to about 90 centimeters tall. The herbage is gray-green to silvery, and fleshy. 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. As the head dries and the flowers fall away, it becomes a hard, spiny, burr-like body packed with the small fruits. The life span of the plant may exceed five years.
The flowering season varies geographically and according to weather conditions, but along the US Gulf Coast it usually takes place from June to August. Reproduction occurs sexually by flowering, as well as vegetatively via rhizome.
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. It is an emergent plant, tolerating inundation in ocean water. It also tolerates drought and a range of soil conditions, from acidic to alkaline. In the Florida Keys much of its substrate is limestone.
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, the Cuban borrichia. The hybrid is variable in morphology, but it is usually intermediate to its parents.
The plant also grows with other typical salt marsh and coastline plants such as glasswort (Salicornia virginica), saltwort (Batis maritima), seashore saltgrass (Distichlis spicata), and annual seepweed (Suaeda linearis).
The plant is attractive to butterflies. Other insects associated with it include the delphacid planthopper Pissonotus quadripustulatus, aphids of the genus Uroleucon (formerly Dactynotus), the leafhopper Carneocephala floridana, and the gall midge Asphondylia borrichiae. P. quadripustulatus and A. borrichiae specialize on this plant. 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.
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