Lyreleaf sage is a harbinger of spring for much of north and central Florida Photo by Lisa Roberts
Lyreleaf sage is a harbinger of spring for much of north and central Florida Photo by Lisa Roberts

Help map what’s in bloom

Click on a symbol to see each user-submitted photo of what’s blooming in different parts of the state. Have a sighting to share? Submit it to photos@flawildflowers.org with species name and the location so we can show it on the map!

The Bloom Report: For sizzling summer wildflowers, head to the wetlands

By Jeff Norcini


by Jeff Norcini

Many areas are very dry now, especially in Central and South Florida. When traveling in West Central Florida in mid-May, I saw very few wildflowers blooming, even in normally moist areas, many of which had dried up. The good news is that the NOAA Climate Prediction Center is forecasting that drought conditions should be alleviated by the end of August in all but east Central Florida, and even in that part of the state drought conditions should improve.

What does that mean for wildflower viewing this summer? Go to rural areas where the soil is likely to be moist even in a drought, especially adjacent to and within pine forests managed with burning.

Wildflowers to look for in moist/wet areas:

  • Scarlet rosemallow (Hibiscus coccineus; large, scarlet) – statewide
  • Skyflower (Hydrolea corymbosa; cobalt blue) – eastern Panhandle, North Central South
  • Virginia saltmarsh mallow (Kosteletzkya pentacarpos; pink) – statewide
  • Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata; purple) – statewide
  • Meadowbeauty (Rhexia spp.; most species are pink) – statewide
  • Grassleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia graminifolia; reddish orange) – Panhandle (endemic)
  • Mohr’s coneflower (Rudbeckia mohrii; yellow) – Panhandle
  • Rosegentian (Sabatia spp.; pinkishpurple or white) – statewide

If you are headed for the beach, look for:

  • Blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella; red and yellow) – statewide
  • Dune sunflower (Helianthus debilis; yellow) – statewide
  • Railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis; pinkish purple) – statewide

And for orchid enthusiasts, South Florida is the place to be.

Big Cypress National Preserve

  • Ghost orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii; white; also in Fakahatchee Swamp)
  • Butterfly orchid (Encyclia tampensis; reddish orange)
  • Night-scented orchid (Epidendrum nocturnum; white)
  • Snowy orchid (Platanthera nivea; white)

Everglades National Park

  • Night-scented orchid (Epidendrum nocturnum; white)
  • Michaux’s orchid (Habenaria quinqueseta; white)
  • Florida dancing lady orchid (Oncidium ensatum; yellow)
  • Dollar orchid (Prosthechea boothiana; greenish with purplish blotches)

Claudia Larsen, Bob Farley and Roger Hammer contributed to wildflower viewing suggestions. 

Click it, don’t pick it!

Many native wildflowers reproduce only by seed. Picking a flower reduces the ability of a population of wildflowers to sustain itself.

It’s the law
Picking the flowers of any endangered or threatened species is illegal in Florida (Florida Statute 581.185).

Don’t be a hazard
Stopping alongside a road can be hazardous to you and other motorists. It’s best to view roadside wildflowers from your vehicle.

Wildflower hot spots

Where can I find wildflowers?
Wildflower hot spots 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.

Places to see wildflowers:

Statewide
Florida National Scenic Trail
Florida Water Management Districts lands
Florida State Parks
Hiking Statewide — Wildflower Walks
National Forest lands
US Forest Service

North Florida
Florida Caverns State Park
, Marianna
Big Bend Scenic Byway
Goethe State Forest (Alachua/Levy County)
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

Wildflower routes

Eastern Florida Panhandle: Includes great roads for wildflower viewing in the eastern Panhandle. Visit the mobile site or download a brochure, both of which feature photos of more than 40 common native wildflowers
St. Johns River to the Sea Bike Loop: Volusia, Brevard, Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties.
Big Bend Wildflower Route: Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee and Taylor counties.
Corkscrew Swamp Vicinity Wildflower Route: Collier, Hendry and Lee counties.