Flower Friday: Wild coffee

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) by Ryan Fessenden

Flower Friday: Coastal doghobble

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.

itea_virginica

Flower Friday: Virginia willow

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.

Yellow anisetree (Illicium parviflorum) by Mary Keim

Flower Friday: Yellow anisetree

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.

Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) by Eleanor Dietrich

Flower Friday: Yaupon holly

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.

Queen butterflies on Aquatic milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) by Mary Keim

Field trip to Tosohatchee WMA

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) by Ryan Fessenden

Flower Friday: Florida swampprivet

Florida swampprivet (Forestiera segregata) is an evergreen shrub to small tree that occurs naturally in coastal hammocksthicketsscrub and pine rocklandsFlowers 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.  

Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) by Stacey Matrazzo

Flower Friday: Flowering dogwood

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.

Paul Owens

Revive growth management now: 1,000 Friends of 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.