Attracting Birds with Florida’s Native Wildflowers

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)…

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It’s not a garden, it’s a habitat

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!

When wildflowers blow in the wind

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.

Rotary Park wildflower garden sign

Cape Coral garden showcases waves of native color

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.

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

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

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

Native Roadside Wildflowers in Rural Areas: Developing Best Management Practices for Establishment of Plantings by Seed and Enhancement of Naturally-Occurring Populations 

The main goal of this study was to determine the effects of competition and mowing on native wildflower establishment on road-side right-of-ways (ROWs) dominated by bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum). The species were Flordia ecotypes of Coreopsis lanceolata, C. leavenworthii, Gaillardia puchella, and Ipomopsis rubra. Bahiagrass competition was the main factor limiting establishment of wildflowers under simulated…

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Sweat bee on blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium sp.) by Mary Keim

Bloom Report: Wildflowers bloom earlier than normal

Earlier-than-normal blooming of spring wildflowers seems to be occurring more often, but this year stands out because some wildflowers are blooming nearly a month earlier than expected. The influence of this “abnormal” weather will probably be greatest in North Florida. If the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) climate predictions hold true, March will likely be wetter and warmer than normal, which would speed up the time when mid- or late-spring wildflowers bloom, such as Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) and Blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella).