Spanish stopper (Eugenia foetida) by Bob Peterson

Flower Friday: Spanish stopper

Spanish stopper (Eugenia foetida) is an evergreen shrub or small tree native to coastal hardwood hammocks and thickets in Central and South Florida. Its semi-showy flowers bloom year-round, with peak blooming in spring and summer, attracting many types of pollinators. Its dense foliage provides cover and its abundant fruit provides food for birds and other small animals.

Helmet skullcap (Scutellaria integrifolia) by Mary Keim

Flower Friday: Helmet skullcap

Helmet skullcap (Scutellaria integrifolia) is a diminutive yet showy wildflower that occurs naturally in sandhills, pine flatwoods and upland mixed forests, as well as along marsh and swamp edges. It typically blooms in late spring and summer, attracting a wide range of bees, including leafcutter, cuckoo and bumble bees. A few butterflies, such as the Gulf fritillary, Spicebush swallowtail and Eastern black swallowtail, sporadically visit the flower.

Fringed bluestar (Amsonia ciliata) by Eleanor Dietrich

Flower Friday: Fringed bluestar

Fringed bluestar occurs naturally in pine flatwoods, sandhills and scrub throughout west Central Florida and North Florida. It blooms spring through fall, attracting a variety of pollinators, especially butterflies. Despite being in the same family as milkweed, the plant is not a known larval host for Monarchs or other milkweed butterflies.

Coastal mock vervain (Glandularia maritima) by Andrea England

Flower Friday: Coastal mock vervain

Also known as Beach verbena, Coastal mock vervain is a short-lived perennial wildflower endemic primarily to Florida’s east coast. It is a state-listed endangered species. It blooms year-round, although the most prolific flowering occurs in spring and summer.  Beach verbena flowers are a good nectar source for a variety of butterflies and moths, including Gulf fritillaries, hawkmoths and Long-tailed skippers. They are also attractive to miner bees and long-tongued bees such as bumble and orchid bees.  

Bandanna-of-the-Everglades (Canna flaccida) by Ryan Fessenden

Flower Friday: Bandanna-of-the-Everglades

Also known as Golden canna or Yellow canna, Bandanna-of-the-Everglades (Canna flaccida) is a robust aquatic wildflower with large, showy orchid-like blooms. It occurs naturally in freshwater marshes and swamps, and along pond and lake margins throughout much of Florida. It is the larval host for the Brazilian skipper; dragonfly larvae have been know to hide in the leaves until they change into adults. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flower’s nectar.  

Jaret Daniels, PhD

Jaret Daniels joins FWF board

Dr. Jaret Daniels of the University of Florida has accepted an appointment to the Florida Wildflower Foundation board of directors. Jaret is a UF associate professor of entomology and director of the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity at the Florida Museum of Natural History. His research focuses on insect ecology, population biology and conservation, with particular emphasis on butterflies and other native pollinators.

Nashville warbler on American beautyberry by Mary Keim

Flower Friday: American beautyberry

American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is a woody shrub found in pinelands and hammocks throughout Florida. The plant’s foliage offers cover for small wildlife. Its flowers are a nectar source for butterflies and bees, while its dense clusters of berries provide food for birds and deer in late summer and fall.

Night-blooming petunia (Ruellia noctiflora) by Scott Davis

Saving Roadside Plants Works!

When Scott Davis found a large population of the state-listed endangered Night-blooming petunia (Ruellia noctiflora) growing along US 98, he asked the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to declare it a protected wildflower area. FDOT did. When the construction of the bike trail between Crawfordville and St. Marks was slated to roll right over the plants, Scott planned a rescue operation.

Suzanne Spencer

Suzanne Spencer recognized for work in Santa Rosa County

The Florida Wildflower Foundation recognized Master Gardener Suzanne Spencer for her work in Santa Rosa County, presenting her with a certificate of appreciation at the Florida Wildflower Symposium. Her efforts have resulted in reduced mowing along 70 miles of state and county roads, which has saved $70,000 in state and county tax dollars while creating beauty and pollinator habitat that supports the success of Panhandle agriculture.