Be a Wildflower Watcher

Thanks to photos submitted by Wildflower Watchers, our seasonal map shows a sampling of what's blooming across the state. Here's how to share your photos.

Where can I
find wildflowers?

Wildflower hotspots include highways managed by FDOT, such as Florida's Turnpike and Interstates 75, 95 and 4. Many rural roads, especially in the Panhandle and Big Bend, also are known for abundant blooms.

Other places to see wildflowers:

Statewide

 North Florida

  • Florida Caverns State Park, Marianna
  • Big Bend Scenic Byway
  • State Road 65, between Telogia and Sumatra
  • State Road 9A, between Gate Parkway and Baymeadows Road, Duval County
  • State Road 26, west of Gainesville
  • State Road 100, Keystone Heights; also between Bunnell and Palatka
  • State Road 228, just north of State Road 23, Duval County
  • State Road 500/ U.S. Highway Alt. 27, Chiefland to Williston
  • U.S. Highway 27, from north end of Perry for about 3-4 miles
  • U.S. Highway 27, Suwannee County
  • U.S. Highway 27/98, Dixie and Levy County
  • U.S. Highway 90, between Lake City and Live Oak
  • U.S. Highway 301 at the Florida/Georgia border, Nassau County

Central Florida

 South Florida

 

The Bloom Report

Above-normal temperatures predicted for spring, combined with adequate winter rains throughout much of the state, should result in showy displays of early spring beauties such skyblue lupine (Lupinus diffusus), lyreleaf sage (Salvia lyrata), violets (Viola spp.), spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis), toadflax (Linaria spp.), and annual phlox  (Phlox drummondii). While annual phlox is not native to Florida, it is a familiar roadside wildflower throughout the Big Bend and Central Florida as far south as Tampa.

Coreopsis leavenworthii Photo/Katherine EdisonWhile this spring should be warmer than normal, it should be relatively dry, so moist sites in rural areas will be best for good wildflower displays in April and May. Look for Leavenworth’s tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii, right), Southeastern sneezeweed (Helenium pinnatifidum), and the blue prairie Iris (Iris hexagona). Another common native species of moist areas in Central and South Florida is black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), although in the Panhandle, that species tends to occur in drier habitats. A good place to view showy stands of Leavenworth’s tickseed, black-eyed Susan and other wildflowers that prefer moist sites is the Florida Turnpike south of Orlando, from about mile marker 220 south to Yeehaw Junction.

A warm, dry spring should result in good stands of blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella) and beach sunflower (Helianthus debilis), mainly in coastal areas, as well as of the hairy form of lanceleaf tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata). C. lanceolata, which occurs in the northern half of Florida, typically has smooth leaves. In parts of the Panhandle, though, a very fuzzy form occurs in dry, sunny, sandy sites. Warm, dry weather may reduce the extent of goldenmane tickseed  (Coreopsis basalis), which is very common on roadsides in the Big Bend region (C. basalis is native to the U.S., but its nativity to Florida is debatable).

View wildflowers along these routes, developed by the Foundation:

See details about these routes.

Photo by Katherine Edison

no mow sign

Florida's roadside program

Florida's garden clubs led the way in beautifying roadways with wildflowers. In the 1960s, the Florida Department of Transportation joined the effort. FDOT now has its own wildflower program, whichplants wildflowers and maintains natural populations along hundreds of miles of federal and state highways. Counties and cities can establish or care for wildflowers along roads and trails and in parks they maintain. They also can request that FDOT plant wildflowers and alter mowing practices within their boundaries.

Want more wildflowers along roadsides and multi-use trails near you? Learn about a resolution that is the first step to preserving and planting wildflowers in your county. Read more.


Jeff_Norcini_Liatris

Click it, don't pick it!

When you are out viewing wildflowers, please don’t pick them. Many of our native wildflowers reproduce only by seed. Picking a flower reduces the ability of that plant to reproduce and for that population of wildflowers to sustain itself. Instead, use wildflowers in your yard or in containers. Seed packets are available in the Florida Wildflower Foundation Flower Shop and from the Florida Wildflower Seed and Plant Growers Association.  Florida native wildflower seed packets also may be available at native plant garden centers.

More reasons not to pick wildflowers:

  • Picking the flowers of any endangered or threatened species is illegal in Florida. For details, see Florida Statute 581.185 Preservation of native flora of Florida.
  • Stopping along a roadside to pick wildflowers can be hazardous to you and other motorists.
 
 
 

The Florida Wildflower Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization; contributions are tax deductible. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR THE FLORIDA WILDFLOWER FOUNDATION, A FLORIDA-BASED NONPROFIT CORPORATION (REGISTRATION NO. CH12319), MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR VISITING THEIR WEBSITE HERE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

Florida Wildflowers Group Pool on Flickr

Do you love Florida's native wildflowers? The Florida Wildflower Foundation invites you to share your photos of them, join in discussions and learn more about wildflowers' role in the ecosystems of La Florida, land of flowers.

Enjoy the full-size group pool slideshow!