Okefenokee Golden Club Fruit

Neverwet Golden Club, Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. March, 2017. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at Dreamstime.com.

On our May 2020 Okefenokee canoe trek, the Golden Clubs were no longer sporting many of those beautiful yellow and white spikes that were abundant in early spring. But upon paddling close to a plume of leaves, I saw something a bit different floating in the tannin waters… fruit! Either I had overlooked the fruit on our March expeditions, or they weren’t yet on the plant.

Green fruit of the Golden Club, Orontium aquaticum, plant. Neverwet fruits are 1 seeded. Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, USA. May 2020. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at Dreamstime.com.

The yellow finger of the Golden Club is called a spadix, which is a “spike of closely arranged, minute flowers.” These little flowers mature into small, berry-like fruits with one seed apiece. According to an excellent, in-depth blog on Treasure Coast Natives, “The seed is separated from the fruit by a layer of Jell-O of unclear significance. Maybe the goo gives the fruit buoyancy.  Maybe it sticks to a bird’s foot or to a passing gator or to the leaf on a waterlily.”

iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/61498242


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