Wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa) is an evergreen shrub that occurs naturally in coastal, hydric, mesic and rockland hammocks throughout Florida’s peninsula. Its flowers typically bloom in spring and summer, but may bloom year-round. They are attractive to a variety of pollinators, especially Atala and Schaus’ swallowtail butterflies. The plant’s fruits are a favorite of many birds and small wildlife. Humans can eat the berries, as well, but they are rather bland.
Coastal doghobble (Leucothoe axillaris) is an evergreen shrub found in swamps, wet hammocks and flatwoods, and along stream edges. Its profusion of spring-blooming flowers is pollinated primarily by bees. It is best suited for moist, shady landscapes, but requires good air circulation to prevent leaf spot diseases. Its interesting evergreen foliage and showy flowers keep it attractive throughout the year.
Virginia willow (Itea virgnica) is an erect to spreading shrub with showy spikes of tiny white flowers that bloom in late winter through early summer. It occurs naturally in floodplain swamps, seepage slopes, stream and lake edges, and calcareous and mesic hammocks. The plant provides food and cover for wildlife. Despite its common name, it is not a true willow, which are members of the Salix genus in the Salicaceae family. It is also known as Sweetspire and Tassel-white.
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.
Join us as farm owner Terry Zinn gives a talk at his Alachua farm on wildflower farming and easy wildflowers to cultivate. He will then lead the group on a tour of the farm. Wildflowers of Florida Inc. offers 30 acres of wildflowers in full bloom and they are waiting for you!
Yellow anisetree (Illicium parviflorum) is an evergreen shrub to small tree found in mesic hammocks, bluffs, ravines and seepage swamps. It is endemic to only seven Central Florida counties. Its dense evergreen foliage provides cover for birds and other wildlife. Its lightly fragrant blooms appear in spring and summer. They are pollinated by small insects, particularly flies in the Diptera order.
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.
Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) is a shrub or tree found in coastal and inland scrub, dunes, floodplains and hammocks. Its diminutive flowers bloom in spring, attracting a variety of bees and other insects. In the fall, abundant fruit production provides food for birds and small mammals. The dense evergreen foliage provides year-round cover for wildlife.
Celebrate spring at the MainStreet Deland Association’s 13th annual Florida Wildflower & Garden Festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 23. Gardening enthusiasts will find plenty of inspiration, with demonstrations and presentations by wildflower and gardening experts throughout the day.
Join us as we explore the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area with local naturalists Mary Keim and Randy Snyder. We will meet in the parking lot just past the pay station. From there, we will caravan along Powerline Road and Fish Hole Road, making several stops to take in the wildflowers, butterflies, birds and beautiful scenery.
Florida swampprivet (Forestiera segregata) is an evergreen shrub to small tree that occurs naturally in coastal hammocks, thickets, scrub and pine rocklands. Flowers typically appear in early spring before leaves emerge, but the plant may bloom year-round. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers. Birds and small mammals are partial to the abundant fruit and use the dense foliage for cover.
When in bloom, Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is arguably one of Florida’s most beautiful flowering trees. Though dormant in winter, the tree comes alive in early spring. Before leaves emerge, a bounty of showy white to pinkish blooms cover the crown. From late summer to fall, its abundant fruit provides food for a variety of birds and small mammals. Flowering dogwood occurs naturally along the edges of mesic hardwood forests and pinelands throughout North and much of Central Florida.
With Florida growing by up to 1,000 people a day, state leaders need to revive growth management “before rampant development irreparably spoils what makes our state special,” says Paul Owens, president of 1,000 Friends of Florida. Owens will outline his organization’s plan for restoring growth management at the regional and state levels during a presentation at the Florida Wildflower Symposium on Friday, April 12, in Gainesville. The two-day event will take place at the Straughn UF/IFAS Extension Professional Development Center.
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.