Gallberry (Ilex glabra) is an evergreen shrub to small tree found in flatwoods, bayheads, coastal swales, bogs, sinks and moist woodlands throughout Florida. Its tiny flowers attract bees, while its pulpy berries and evergreen foliage provide food and cover for birds.
Data from herbaria throughout the state and beyond, field collections, plant DNA and computer analysis have enabled the University of Florida’s Pamela and Douglas Soltis to create models projecting how plants are going to respond to climate change. They will share their research as keynote speakers at the 2019 Florida Wildflower Symposium in Gainesville.
Through their longtime support of the Florida Wildflower Foundation, Brightman and his wife, Nan, are helping to reverse habitat loss and bring native wildflowers and plants to urban places.
Trumpet creeper is a high-climbing woody vine so named because its showy flowers are trumpet-shaped. It is found in moist woodlands and thickets throughout Central and northern Florida. Flowers bloom year-round, peaking in spring and summer. They are very attractive to hummingbirds. Its flowers are very similar in appearance to the flowers of its cousin, Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata). The latter has visible tendrils and its compound leaves have only two leaflets.
White stopper (Eugenia axillaris) is an evergreen shrub or small tree found in coastal hammocks, strands and shell mounds in Florida’s central and southern peninsula. Its fragrant flowers bloom year-round, with peak blooming in spring and summer, attracting many types of pollinators. Fruits generally form in fall, but may persist several months. They are eaten by birds and wildlife. Humans can eat them, too — the flesh is quite sweet when ripe, but eating the bitter seeds is not recommended.
Learn how Florida’s Panhandle counties are saving roadside wildflowers, thanks to the work of the Panhandle Wildflower Alliance.
Wiregrass (Aristida stricta) is a perennial bunchgrass found in scrub, pinelands and coastal uplands throughout much of Florida. It is the dominant groundcover species in longleaf pine savannas and is a primary food source for gopher tortoises. Birds and small wildlife eat the seeds. Historically, cattle grazed on Wiregrass’s tender new growth.
The Foundation is now accepting applications for its Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration grant. The grants provide assistance to Florida parks, nature centers, county extension offices and other public spaces that wish to establish or augment wildflower demonstration gardens. Resulting gardens showcase the beauty and variety of Florida’s native wildflowers while demonstrating their use in conventional landscapes.
Want to learn about Florida’s native wildflowers and the butterflies, bees and wildlife depending on them? Join us at the Florida Wildflower Symposium on April 12 and 13 in Gainesville to learn from expert speakers and workshop leaders. Visit the symposium page to learn more. Cost is $45 for Florida Wildflower Foundation members and $55 for nonmembers.
Marlberry (Ardisia escallonioides) is an evergreen shrub that occurs naturally in coastal strands and hammocks and pine rocklands throughout Central and South Florida. It blooms and fruits intermittently throughout the year, with peak blooming in summer through fall. Marlberry’s abundant fruit is enjoyed by birds and small animals and is also edible to humans. Its dense foliage provides significant cover for wildlife.
Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco) is an evergreen shrub or small tree native to swamps and coastal dunes and hammocks in Central and South Florida. It produces flowers and fruits throughout the year, with the peak bloom occurring winter through spring. Its dense foliage and substantial fruit provide cover and food for many birds and small wildlife.
Wild lime is an evergreen shrub to small tree that occurs naturally in hammocks throughout Central and South Florida. It blooms year-round, with peak flowering in winter and spring. Its dense foliage provides cover, and its fruit provides food for birds and small wildlife. The plant is the larval host for several butterflies, including the Giant swallowtail and Schaus’ swallowtail butterflies.
Also known as Twinberry, Simpson’s stopper (Myrcianthes fragrans) is an evergreen shrub or small tree that occurs naturally in coastal strands and hammocks. Its year-round blooms attract a variety of butterflies and bees; its fruit provides food for many species of bird. The sweet flesh of the fruit is edible to humans, but eating the bitter seeds is not recommended.
Yellow necklacepod (Sophora tomentosa var. truncata) is a long-lived flowering shrub that occurs naturally in coastal strands, hammocks and dunes throughout Central and South Florida. The flowers, which bloom year-round, attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other small birds. The plant provides food and cover for a variety of wildlife.
White-line sphinx moths can be found throughout the world, but are especially common in North America. They live in habitats ranging from desert to tropics and will forage on a wide variety of flowers. Their long tongues make them well-adapted to sip nectar from long, tubular blooms, and they are common visitors of night blooming flowers.