Baldwin’s milkwort (Polygala balduinii) is one of only a few white milkworts found in Florida. It typically blooms spring through fall and occurs naturally in wet pine flatwoods, marshes and coastal swales.
Lewton’s milkwort (Polygala lewtonii) is a state-endangered wildflower endemic to only six counties in Central Florida. It occurs in scrub, sandhill and pine barren habitats where maintenance includes a regular fire regime. It blooms in late winter and spring, attracting a variety of pollinators, especially leafcutter bees, hover flies and bee flies.
Despite its common name, Showy milkwort (Asemeia violacea) is a diminutive herbaceous wildflower with small flowers that are borne somewhat sparsely on terminal racemes. It is a summer-bloomer, but can bloom year-round in the southern part of the state. The flowers are attractive to bees, the plant’s primary pollinator. Showy milkwort occurs naturally in pinelands, prairies and open disturbed areas throughout Florida.
Also known as Rugel’s milkwort, Yellow milkwort Yellow milkroot (Polygala rugelii) is an annual herbaceous wildflower endemic to the Florida peninsula. Its showy flowers bloom primarily in summer and fall, but may appear throughout most of the year. It occurs naturally in wet pine flatwoods.
2018 has been a great year for wildflowers, and summer looks to be no exception. Unlike last summer, when many areas were dry, rain has been frequent enough to keep wildflowers blooming in showy displays. Learn where to find the best of summer’s showy displays.
Many of Florida’s spring native wildflowers have large, showy flowers –– such as Iris and Purple thistle. But some common ones may be underappreciated because their flowers are small, near the ground, or just positioned on the stem where they may be hard to see. However, they are quite beautiful when viewed close up.
Candyroot (Polygala nana) is an annual herbaceous wildflower found in wet to moist pine flatwoods, wet prairies and coastal swales. It typically blooms in late spring through summer, but can bloom year-round.
It looks like a banner bloom ahead for Florida’s spring wildflowers, thanks to our relatively warm and wet winter months. Here’s a look at what’s happening across the state. See the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s What’s in Bloom page for more blossoms and instructions on how to submit your own spring wildflower photos.
Drumheads is a low-growing wildflower that blooms from late spring through fall. They occur naturally throughout most of Florida in wet pinelands, savannas and other open wetland habitats, as well as along marsh edges. The name Polygala comes from the Greek polys, which means “many or much,” and gala, which means “milk.” It is so-named because it was once believed that the presence of Polygala species in cow fields would result in higher milk production.
Spring and fall wildflowers can be spectacular with a plethora of yellow and purple flowers, but summer seems to offer a wider diversity of colorful, showy wildflowers along roadsides.