Plant ID forum: South Florida Plant Seeds found in Gopher Tortoise Feces

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Miami, Florida
Adrian721
Jun 28, 2017 2:51 PM CST
Hey guys,

I literally just created this account, so I am new to how this works. This website seems to have a great community so I'm excited to submit my first thread. I've been doing an internship at Zoo Miami's Conservation and Research Department and one of the things I am looking at, is how gopher tortoises disperse seeds throughout their environment. I am not a botanist nor a plant expert, so I still have around ten species left to ID. I was hoping somebody here could help me ID a couple of them! Thank you so much. The images I am attaching are all from one specific seed found in a sample. Thank you!

Best,
Adrian

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Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jun 28, 2017 2:59 PM CST
Hi Adrian, Welcome!

I have no idea what plant that seed came from but someone may be along shortly with suggestions!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 28, 2017 3:06 PM CST
It might help if you could tell us the size of the seed and where the tortoise was living.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Jun 28, 2017 5:15 PM CST
Adrian, are the gopher tortoises in an exhibit? Is this the zoo that is in S Kendall?
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jun 28, 2017 5:34 PM CST
Gopher Tortoises are a threatened species here in Florida and their burrows are protected by law: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabit...

We see them on occasion in our yards and crossing the road. Folks in the community stop their vehicles to allow them to cross the road. Thumbs up
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~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jun 28, 2017 5:47 PM CST
A unusual, even unique question! You may have to grow the seeds to identify them.
Porkpal
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
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greene
Jun 28, 2017 6:07 PM CST
There is a site which shows images of many (but not all) seeds. Each image of seeds is in a one-inch circle.
http://theseedsite.co.uk/allse...

It would be good to know more about the tortoises in question. Where do they live. Are they running free or does someone feed them? What is their range? Stuff like that.

Also, yes, a size reference for the seed would be most helpful. Thank You!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jun 28, 2017 6:10 PM CST
I keep looking at those photos and "Seed" is just not clicking with my brain. I know that you said it's passed through a tortoise but I'm curious about all those visible ridges. Did the "seed" exit the turtle in that manner or has it been dissected which caused that appearance? I wondered if it might be part of a Cat Briar rhizome? I read that Saw Greenbrier (Smilax bona-nox) is part of the diet of Tortoises and other animals but I don't know if a Tortoise eats the rhizome/roots and again, I'm stymied by the "seed" in the photo.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
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greene
Jun 28, 2017 6:19 PM CST
I found a list of normal foods for these tortoises:
wiregrass, grasses, asters and legumes, daisies, clover, peas, cat briar, blueberries and palmetto berries, stinging nettle, prickly pear cactus.

I almost went blind looking at each individual seed for this list of plants and can't find a match.

We need more information about where the tortoise has been.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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rattlebox
Jun 28, 2017 6:53 PM CST
When I first saw the seed, my first thought was that they must fit together into a circular cluster. I suspected Sida rhombifolia,

http://zipcodezoo.com/index.ph...

Similar, but not that one.

[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
Image
greene
Jun 28, 2017 6:54 PM CST
Whatever it is, we will need a size reference just to narrow it down (I think).
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Miami, Florida
Adrian721
Jul 5, 2017 10:14 AM CST
Thank you all for your kind and helpful messages! rattlebox, your post actually helped me identify another species that I was looking for, so thank you very much! The seeds are a bit wider than 1mm.
Miami, Florida
Adrian721
Jul 5, 2017 10:47 AM CST
These tortoises are wild and live on the surrounding zoo property.
crawgarden said:Adrian, are the gopher tortoises in an exhibit? Is this the zoo that is in S Kendall?


Miami, Florida
Adrian721
Jul 5, 2017 10:50 AM CST
Woah! That's awesome, plantladylin. Yea, here at the zoo we have all of the necessary permits to work with the tortoises.
plantladylin said:Gopher Tortoises are a threatened species here in Florida and their burrows are protected by law:

We see them on occasion in our yards and crossing the road. Folks in the community stop their vehicles to allow them to cross the road. Thumbs up
Thumb of 2017-06-28/plantladylin/49e2e9 Thumb of 2017-06-28/plantladylin/713b38



Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jul 5, 2017 10:54 AM CST
Have you tried planting the seeds to see whether they will grow?
Porkpal
Miami, Florida
Adrian721
Jul 5, 2017 11:02 AM CST
Thank you so much rattlebox. Although this is not the species that I posted above, it is actually another species I was having trouble identifying. THANK YOU! Hurray!
rattlebox said:When I first saw the seed, my first thought was that they must fit together into a circular cluster. I suspected Sida rhombifolia,

Similar, but not that one.



Miami, Florida
Adrian721
Jul 5, 2017 11:04 AM CST
Not yet. First I have to do viability testing. I just want to identify as many as possible before I actually move forward with the viability and germination trial. The reason being that I want to have an idea of what the species' are in case if they don't germinate or are not viable.
porkpal said:Have you tried planting the seeds to see whether they will grow?


Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 5, 2017 11:06 AM CST
Cool work, that you do @Adrian721. I love tortoises, terrapins, and turtles! You have a bunch of plant experts on here to help. (I'm not one of them.) Good luck. Welcome!
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Miami, Florida
Adrian721
Jul 5, 2017 11:09 AM CST
Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it. This website has a lovely community! Smiling

ShadyGreenThumb said:Cool work, that you do @Adrian721. I love tortoises, terrapins, and turtles! You have a bunch of plant experts on here to help. (I'm not one of them.) Good luck. Welcome!


Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 5, 2017 11:11 AM CST
They are really cool people here, agree.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.

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