If you’re looking to dress up your landscape this summer, consider these native species, which adapt readily to home gardens and provide weeks of blooms.
Do you enjoy juicy watermelons, local blueberries and strawberries and fresh Florida orange juice? How about carrots, broccoli, almonds and apples? If you do, please thank an insect, especially during National Pollinator Week, June 17-23. Learn more about our pollinators – especially native bees – and why they are so important.
Given the chance of above-normal temperatures and rain throughout the state, expect a good spring show of native wildflowers through May, with some of the typical summer flowering species popping early.
The Florida Wildflower Foundation will begin a four-year project to evaluate economical and practical site preparation methods to minimize weed competition in wildflower sites planted from seeds, hoping to discover methods that lead to greater planting success.The project at Lake County’s Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Park will be conducted in partnership with the county with cooperation from the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute at Florida Polytechnic University.
Northern Parula on Coreopsis by Christina Evans View brochure Wildflowers for Nectar Hummingbird on Standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra) by Peg Urban Hummingbirds gather nectar from wildflowers with tubular flowers. Many flowers produce fruit that other birds will eat. Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) Wild columbine (Aquigelia canadensis) Firebush (Hamelia patens) Cardinalflower (Lobelia cardinalis) Beardtongue (Penstemon species)…
With interest mounting in using wildflowers in urban landscapes, there is a huge demand for information for those new to Florida’s native plants. Enter “20 Easy-to-Grow Wildflowers,” a new publication from the Florida Wildflower Foundation. The free 24-page magazine features a selection of 20 “tried and true” species that are easy to grow and maintain.
Ecologists estimate that only 3 to 4 percent of land in the United States has been undisturbed by human activity. That’s why providing habitat — food, shelter and nesting areas for wildlife — within sustainable urban landscapes should be an important goal for everyone.
We can’t create a perfect natural habitat for each species. However, we can make a difference by using Florida’s native wildflowers and plants. Learn how!
The Florida Wildflower Foundation has received a $17,000 grant from Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for its project, “20 Easy Wildflowers to Grow Now!” It includes a publication, continuing education courses for horticultural professionals, and live social media events.
Mining bees (Andrenidae) are a diverse family and some of the first bees to fly come spring. But if you don’t see them in the air, you can usually spot their conspicuous nest entrances on the ground marked by mounds of excavated soil.
As summer progresses many of our fall-blooming wildflowers become tall and stately, forming backdrops and filling fence rows as they reach peak bloom from September through December. But this also is when storms increase, bringing intense waves of wind and rain. And there are always those unpredictable hurricanes. Here’s how one wildflower garden survived Hurricane Irma’s big blow and steps you can take to hopefully rescue your own plantings.
Lanceleaf blanketflower is a short-lived perennial wildflower with compound, solitary blooms. It occurs naturally in sandhills and xeric flatwoods. It typically blooms in summer through early fall and attracts a variety of pollinators.
Halictidae, or sweat bees, are an extremely diverse group that are often abundant year round. Some are metallic green, others are smaller than a grain of rice, and nearly all are valuable pollinators.
A visit to Cape Coral’s Rotary Park Environmental Center includes a new opportunity to become acquainted with some of Florida’s beautiful native wildflowers. With funds from the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration Garden grant program, a native wildflower garden has been planted near the park’s education center.
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.
Blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella) Blooms spring-fall; height 1-2 ft. Plant Sept-mid-Dec. in full sun to light shade in dry, Sow seeds in: N – September, October C – Late September to mid-November S – Mid-October to mid-December