Blue skyflower (Hydrolea corymbosa). Photo by Stacey Matrazzo

Flower Friday: Blue skyflower

Nothing clouds the beauty of the brilliant blue skyflower! This herbaceous perennial wildflower goes largely unnoticed — that is, until its bright blue blooms appear. The flowers tend to open in the morning and fade toward the end of the day, so it’s best to look for them early in the day. You’ll find them blooming in wet roadside ditches in the Eastern Panhandle, and in other wet areas throughout the peninsula.

Catesby's lily (Lilium catesbaei). Photo by Mary Keim

Flower Friday: Catesby’s lily

Catesby’s lily is pure elegance, dotting wet flatwoods, prairies and savannas with brilliant summer and fall color. It is occurs throughout most of Florida, but is a state-listed threatened species. Catesby’s lily attracts a variety of butterflies, including swallowtails, which are its primary pollinators.

Sandbog deathcamas (Zigadenus glaberrimus) Photo by Stacey Matrazzo

Flower Friday: Sandbog deathcamas

What’s in a name? Well, if it’s sandbog deathcamas, everything is in the name! Sandbog deathcamas (Zigadenus glaberrimus) is a poisonous wildflower native to wet flatwoods and prairies in the Panhandle. Its many star-shaped flowers are cream-colored with greenish-gold glands at the base of their petals. It blooms summer through fall (it’s blooming now!) and attracts bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

Hummingbird clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) on Asclepias incarnata. Photo by Mary Keim

Flower Friday: Swamp milkweed

Swamp milkweed is an erect, herbaceous perennial wildflower with showy pink flowers. It occurs naturally in floodplain swamps, hydric hammocks, wet pine flatwoods and marshes. It typically blooms in summer and attracts many pollinators. It is a larval host plant for monarch, queen and soldier butterfly caterpillars.

Comfortroot (Hibiscus aculeatus). Photo by Eleanor Dietrich

Flower Friday: Comfortroot

Comfortroot, also known as pineland hibiscus, is a large perennial wildflower with showy cream-colored blooms. It occurs naturally in wet to mesic pinelands, and along the edges of savannas, bogs and roadside ditches. It typically blooms late spring through fall and attracts pollinators, specifically bees. The common name comfortroot may allude to the belief that the plant’s mucilaginous roots has soothing properties.

Spotted water hemlock (Cicuta maculata). Photo by Mary Keim

Flower Friday: Spotted water hemlock

Spotted water hemlock is a robust herbaceous perennial with a bad reputation of being one of the most toxic plants known to man. It occurs naturally in freshwater swamps, marshes and floodplains, and along riverbanks and roadside ditches. It blooms spring through fall, attracting many species of bees, wasps and butterflies. It is a larval host plant for the black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes).

Pitted stripeseed (Piriqueta cistoides subsp. caroliniana) Photo by Wayne Matchett

Flower Friday: Pitted stripeseed

Also known as morning buttercup, pitted stripeseed is a cheerful perennial wildflower. It emerges in early spring in open, sandy areas of pine flatwoods and sandhills. It typically blooms in late summer, although it can bloom year-round in southern climes. It attracts small bees and butterflies.

Baldwin's eryngo (Eryngium baldwinii) Photo by Craig Huegel.

Flower Friday: Baldwin’s eryngo

Baldwin’s eryngo is a deciduous perennial (sometimes biennial) wildflower with a prostrate, vine-like growth habit. You’ll rarely notice it as you drive along the highway, but it can form a large sprawling groundcover, providing a hazy, light blue understory to other wildflowers. It occurs naturally in wet hammocks and in disturbed areas such as moist roadsides. It typically blooms in summer, although it has been known to bloom as early as spring and into the fall. It attracts small bees and butterflies.

Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata). Photo by Eleanor Dietrich

Flower Friday: Whorled milkweed

Like all milkweeds, whorled milkweed is a larval host plant for the monarch butterfly and is attractive to a variety of pollinators. It flowers late spring through late summer/early fall. Like all milkweeds, whorled milkweed is a larval host plant for the monarch butterfly and is attractive to a variety of pollinators.

Spanish bayonet (Yucca aloifolia). Photo by Stacey Matrazzo.

Flower Friday: Spanish bayonet

Spanish bayonet is an erect, woody evergreen shrub that produces large (1-3 feet) terminal panicles of showy white flowers. It occurs naturally in sandhills, dry thickets, disturbed sites, and coastal strands, hammocks and grasslands. It flowers spring through fall and provides food and cover for a variety of wildlife and pollinators. The blooms are frequented for their nectar by hummingbirds and butterflies such as the great southern white (Ascia monuste). Spanish bayonet is also the larval host plant for the cofaqui giant skipper (Megathymus cofaqui) and yucca giant skipper (Megathymus yuccae) butterflies.

Swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscous). Photo by Stacey Matrazzo

Flower Friday: Swamp azalea

Swamp azalea is a long-lived perennial shrub to small tree with fragrant white blooms. It occurs naturally in wet flatwoods, seep and bay swamps and along lake margins. It flowers late spring through summer after the leaves emerge. It is attractive to a variety of pollinators, including hummingbirds. Swamp azalea is Florida’s only white-flowered and summer-blooming rhododendron.