Home' The River Weekly News : RWN 021216 Contents THE RIVER - FEBRUARY 12, 2016
by Gerri Reaves
Dutchman's pipevine (Aristolochia
elegans) is an evergreen twining
vine with heart-shaped leaves and
unforgettable flowers about three inches
The flower's color and pattern of its
interior, as well as its shape, inspire sever-
al common names: Dutchman's pipevine,
calico flower and, simply, pipe vine.
Twining and coiling woody stems allow
it to climb fences and other structures up
to 15 feet or higher.
The curved tubular shape of the flow-
er's yellow throat flares out, giving it a
shape similar to an old Dutch pipe or the
one associated with Sherlock Holmes.
The flower's pattern of purple-brown
with white spots is similar to calico fabric.
Although it is a native of Brazil, not
Florida, it has been promoted even by
some native-plant enthusiasts because
it is a larval plant for several swallowtail
butterflies. Also, the dense pretty foli-
age of this fast-growing vine makes it a
good screen plant or a cover for unsightly
However, this native of South America
is listed as a category II invasive species
by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council,
so if you plant it, make an effort to con-
trol the spread of the winged seeds.
It is low maintenance and sometimes
reseeds near the parent plant. Give it par-
tial shade and some support.
This member of the birthwort family is
used medicinally for the pain of childbirth
and for treating malaria. The roots have
been used to treat snake bites, giving it
yet another name: snakeroot.
Exercise caution if using it medicinally,
for it is very toxic and its misuse can have
serious, even fatal, consequences.
Sources: Florida's Gardener's Guide
by Tom MacCubbin and Georgia B.
Tasker, Tropica Color Cyclopedia of
Exotic Plants and Trees by Alfred Byrd
Graf, edis.ifas.ufl.edu, and floridata.com.
Plant Smart explores the diverse
flora of South Florida.
Dutchman's pipevine's large speckled flow-
ers give it another common name: calico
A pipevine swallowtail caterpillar feeds on non-native Dutchman's pipevine
photos by Gerri Reaves
Registration Open For 'Ding' Darling
& Doc Ford's Tarpon Tournament
A100 percent purse promises to make the fifth annual "Ding" Darling & Doc
Ford's Tarpon Tournament on May 7, one of the hottest competitions on the
water. It pays out the entire entry fees as tournament awards. Registration dead-
line is April 29.
The competition is limited to 50 teams. The team fee of $500 for up to four
anglers also includes a captains dinner the night prior and an awards ceremony dinner
the evening of the tournament. All events take place at Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille
on Fort Myers Beach.
Doc Ford's has again committed to being the title sponsor for the 2016 tourna-
ment, along with the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS).
Diversified Yacht Services, Inc., of Fort Myers Beach will, for the fifth consecutive
year, provide support at the Presenting Sponsors level. Proceeds benefit wildlife and
conservation education at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel
"There's not another tarpon tournament like this in the area," said Marty Harrity,
Doc Ford's co-owner. "In past years we've had fishermen from all over the country.
Last year we paid out $25,375 in awards to five out of 48 participating teams. We
already have 24 teams signed up for this year -- way ahead of past years."
"Doc Ford's has been a faithful supporter of our efforts at 'Ding' Darling, helping
greatly to bolster refuge programs and research to balance federal budget shortfalls,"
said Birgie Miller, DDWS executive director. "Last year we raised $50,000 for the ref-
uge as a result of sponsorships, donations, and auction proceeds. We're so grateful to
Doc Ford's for this huge effort on our behalf."
For more information on the tournament, visit dingdarlingsociety.org/tarpon-
tourney. Anyone interested in becoming a tournament sponsor may contact Miller at
292-0566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edible Gardening Exchange
The Edible Gardening Exchange February speaker will be Cory Dombrowski,
South Florida area manager and assistant watermelon product manager for
Sakata Seeds of Fort Myers. He will provide insight on how to save seeds for
future generations including how to prevent seeds from cross pollinating, control-
ling seed transmitted diseases, and how to clean, dry and store seed.
The meeting is on Thursday, February 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the North Fort Myers
Rec Center located at 2000 North Recreation Park Way in North Fort Myers.
Arrive at 5:30 p.m. for an informal chat on edible topics. Consider bringing some-
thing to share with other gardeners (seeds, plants or a snack). Bring your own cup
for free coffee and tea.
All fees are paid at the front desk. Membership fee for monthly meetings
through March is $10. Lee Parks and Rec lifetime membership card is also
required, which costs $10 per person. For more information, contact Karen Harty
Flood Control Operations
The South Florida Water Management District completed a rare "back
pumping" flood control operation at 5:30 p.m. on the evening of January
27. Pumps at the S-2 and S-3 structures along the southern rim of Lake
Okeechobee are now shut down after four days of operation, and no water is being
sent into the lake through these structures.
Following the wettest January day in South Florida in 25 years, SFWMD water
managers initiated temporary back pumping last week to protect thousands of
families, businesses and property in the Glades communities, where 6 inches of
rain fell in 24 hours.
The SFWMD Governing Board's policy limits back pumping operations solely
for flood control purposes under emergency conditions, clearly defined in a Florida
Department of Environmental Protection permit. After the board's policy was
instituted, the practice has been used only eight other times since 2008 -- four of
which were following impacts from tropical storms.
Faced with record-setting rainfall this winter, SFWMD water managers have
maximized the amount of water that can be safely stored in the regional system to
maintain flood protection for residents and businesses throughout South Florida.
To increase water storage and operational flexibility, the district is making
steady progress with projects that will provide these much-needed benefits. These
include completion and operation of the A-1 Flow Equalization Basin, ongoing
construction of the C-43 and C-44 reservoirs and rehabilitation of the Ten Mile
Together, these and other initiatives will reduce the need for back pumping into
Lake Okeechobee, reduce harmful freshwater discharges to the Caloosahatchee and
St. Lucie estuaries and help to restore South Florida's treasured natural systems.
Last year's 2015 winners, Team Sportfisha.com, pulled in four tarpon and more than
$11,000 in winnings
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