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)
- Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans)
- Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)
- Standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra)
Wildflowers for Seeds
Sparrows, warblers, finches, nuthatches, titmice, chickadees, cardinals and indigo buntings feed on seeds, as well as larger birds like thrashers, redwing blackbirds, bobwhites, doves, mockingbirds, catbirds and grosbeaks. After wildflowers have bloomed, leave seedheads on the plants for birds. Other flowerheads may shatter, scattering seeds on the ground that attract smaller birds, such as finches.
- Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea and Rudbeckia species)
- Eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides)
- Little false bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
- Ironweed (Vernonia species)
- Tickseed (Coreopsis species)
- Beggarticks (Bidens species)
- Blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella)
- Sunflowers (Helianthus species)
- Sage (Salvia species)
- Thistle (Cirsium species)
- Mistflower (Conoclinum coelestinum)
- Choose a diversity of wildflowers that bloom across the seasons.
- Include species of various heights.
- Cluster wildflowers in groups of 3 or more of each species.
- Leave space in your plantings for growth and movement.
- Include native trees such as oaks, black cherry, maples and pines that provide insects. Remember: Decomposing leaf litter used as mulch is also a source for insects.
- Add a birdbath to complete your bird sanctuary.
Wildflowers for Insects and Caterpillars
Most birds feed insects to their chicks, and many insects visit wildflowers for nectar and pollen. Insect-eating birds include goldfinches, chickadees, titmice, cardinals, grosbeaks, wood warblers, blue jays, sparrows, thrashers, nuthatches, crows and mockingbirds. Some great Florida wildflowers to plant for attracting insects are:
- Dotted horsemint (Monarda punctata)
- Blazing star (Liatris species)
- Goldenrod (Solidago species)
- Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia species)
- Frostweed (Verbesina virginica)
- Skullcap (Scutellaria species)
- Sneezeweed (Helenium species)
- Stokes’ aster (Stokesia laevis)
- Sage (Salvia species)
- Germander (Teucrium canadense)
Great Wildflowers for Birds
This chart lists Florida native wildflowers that work well in home landscapes and provide food and habitat for birds. It will help you select plants that are suitable for your geographic location and soil and light conditions, as well as by bloom color and season. Images of each can be found in the gallery below the chart.
Click on the images to enlarge and see the plant’s name.