Black titi (pronounced tie-tie) is a perennial evergreen shrub to small tree. Its fragrant white-to-pinkish flowers typically bloom in spring. It occurs naturally in swamps, bogs, wet flatwoods and along stream edges. It is a wonderful attracter of pollinators — specifically honeybees who use its nectar and pollen to produce honey — and is also browsed by deer.
Also known as woodland phlox, wild blue phlox is a delicate perennial wildflower. Its beautiful blooms appear from spring into early summer in slope forests, bluffs and calcareous hammocks. It is limited to four Panhandle counties in Florida, but is widespread throughout the United States. Many pollinators are attracted to the blooms, especially butterflies. Its roots are eaten by rabbits and other small mammals.
Rue anemone is a rare, ephemeral, perennial herb. Its dainty white flowers bloom in early spring and are gone by mid-summer. It occurs naturally in slope forests and limestone bluffs. In Florida, it is a state-listed endangered species because it is at its most southern range. It is much more prolific throughout the eastern United States.
Yellow butterwort is a perennial carnivorous plant. Its solitary blooms appear in late winter into spring. It occurs naturally in wet pine flatwoods, wet prairies and seepage slopes. It prefers a drier environment compared with other native Pinguicula. It a state-listed threatened species.
Meet Taryn Evans of Weirsdale, Florida. Taryn is an enthusiastic member of the Florida Wildflower Foundation. She has shared her expertise on pollinators at previous Florida Wildflower Foundation symposia and with the Florida Native Plant Society’s Marion Big Scrub Chapter, where she serves as president. She and her husband, Terry, own Creative Garden Structures, which sells their handmade garden furniture, bird and pollinator nest boxes, and hand-painted rain barrels, as well as Florida native plants and wildflowers.
Four-petal St. John’s wort is an evergreen perennial shrub. Its flowers are bright lemon-yellow and can bloom throughout the year, but late spring is usually its best bloom time. It occurs naturally in moist flatwoods, sandhills and ruderal areas. It is considered a near-endemic species as it occurs only in Florida and limited parts of southern Georgia. It is attractive to bees.
Also known as largeflower jointweed, sandhill wireweed is a deciduous woody shrub that produces an abundance of spike-like flowering clusters. It is mostly a summer and fall bloomer, with October being its most abundant blooming time, but year-round blooms are not uncommon. Sandhill wireweed is endemic to Florida. It occurs nowhere else in the world.
Tread-softly is a perennial, low-growing herbaceous wildflower. Its brilliant white flowers bloom year-round. It occurs naturally in sandhills, scrub, pine and scrubby flatwoods, and ruderal and disturbed areas. It attracts many butterflies and other pollinators. It’s easy to see how tread-softly gets its common name, and its scientific name is just as telling.
False rosemary is a robust, evergreen flowering shrub that typically blooms from March through November, but can occur year-round. It occurs naturally in sand pine scrub and sandhills. Many pollinator species are attracted to false rosemary, but bees are the most prominent visitor.
Many Floridians become familiar with carpenter bees by accident. They may notice a hole that appears to have been drilled into unpainted wood around their homes with a sawdust pile beneath it. Or they might hear a buzzing sound coming from within the hole. Both are telltale signs of carpenter bees.
Coastalplain goldenaster is a biennial herbaceous wildflower that typically blooms from late summer into late fall but can bloom year-round. It occurs naturally in sandhills, scrub, flatwoods and ruderal areas.
Florida scrub roseling is a beautiful and delicate perennial wildflower in the dayflower family. It typically blooms spring through autumn. It is endemic to Florida and occurs naturally in scrub and sandhill habitats. It is a close relative of (and its blooms look very similar to) spiderwort (Tradescantia spp.) and dayflower (Commelina spp.).
Also known as privet wild sensitive plant, privet senna is an evergreen, perennial shrub. Its flowers are mainly bee-pollinated, but it is the larval host plant for the cloudless sulphur and sleepy orange butterflies. It is a short-day plant, which means it requires a longer period of darkness to form its flowers.
While many native wildflowers are no longer in bloom during the Florida Christmas season, you’ll find many of our natural areas decorated with ornaments of seeds just in time for the holidays.