Pineland waterwillow (Justicia angusta) is an elegant wildflower found in lake and pond margins and wet pinelands, prairies and disturbed areas throughout much of Florida. It is near-endemic, occurring outside of Florida in only a few Georgia counties. The plant blooms spring through fall and attracts mostly bees. The genus name Justicia is an homage to Sir James Johnson, an 18th century Scottish horticulturalist. The species epithet angusta is from the Latin angustus, meaning “narrow,” and alludes to the plant’s narrow leaves.
The Florida Wildflower Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration Garden grants. Five grants were awarded for the following projects: Cutting Horse Eco-Center, Bonita Springs (Lee County); Folly Farm Nature Preserve, Safety Harbor (Pinellas County); Orange County UF/IFAS Extension, Orlando; Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens (St. Lucie County); and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (Lee County).
In the same genus as Monarchs, Queen butterflies share many characteristics with their royal cousins. Queens and Monarchs are similar in appearance, rely on milkweed as a host plant and carry a toxin from milkweed in their bodies into adulthood. Queens do not participate in the same migration as Monarchs, however, and have distinguishing physical differences.
Also known as Sandweed, Peelbark St. John’s wort (Hypericum fasciculatum) is an evergreen shrub found in wet pinelands and savannas, and along the margins of swamps, freshwater marshes and ponds. It typically blooms spring through fall, but may bloom year-round. The flowers are attractive to polyester, yellow-face, large carpenter, bumble, leafcutter, resin and sweat bees. The plant provides food and cover for birds and other small wildlife.
Cowhorn orchid (Cyrtopodium punctatum) is a stunning epiphytic wildflower that occurs in swamps and coastal uplands in South Florida. It typically grows on Cypress (Taxodium spp.) and Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus) trees. Florida’s once-abundant population was largely depleted in the early 20th century due to overcollection and habitat destruction. It is now a state-listed endangered species. The plant blooms in late winter through spring, with peak blooming in May.
Savannah false pimpernel (Lindernia grandiflora) is a low-growing, mat-forming wildflower found in moist pinelands, marshes and swamps. Its diminutive yet flamboyant flowers bloom year-round, peaking in spring. They attract small insects; however, they are primarily self-pollinated. The plant is also known as Blue moneywort and Angel’s tears.
Axilflower (Mecardonia acuminata) is a common but often overlooked perennial wildflower found in moist open habitats. The plant rarely reaches a height of more than 6 inches and is frequently horizontal. It blooms spring through fall (sometimes year-round) and attracts mainly bees. Three subspecies occur in Florida.
Get to know Florida Wildflower Foundation member Gail Taylor. She is an active State Wildflower license tag member, a member of the Foundation’s Education Committee, and has volunteered at previous Florida Wildflower Symposiums.
Florida bellflower (Campanula floridana) is an herbaceous perennial wildflower endemic to Florida. It is found in moist meadows and along pond, marsh and stream margins and moist roadsides. Its delightful violet flowers bloom in spring and mainly attract bees and butterflies, although hummingbirds also have been known to visit them.
Join us as we kick of National Wildflower Week with a free webinar with author and researcher Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home. Dr. Tallamy will present “A Guide to Restoring the Little Things that Run the World” at 2 p.m. May 4.
With COVID-19 concerns keeping us indoors, we find ourselves in a strange place on this 50th anniversary of Earth Day. But that’s all more the reason to celebrate Mother Earth and all she does for us. How will you celebrate? Here are some ideas, including activities for kids, digital Earth Day events, videos, social distancing hikes and more that will help Mother Earth feel the love.
Also known as False mint, Sixangle foldwing (Dicliptera sexangularis) is a modest yet eye-catching wildflower found in coastal hammocks and strands, ruderal areas and mangrove swamps, and along salt marsh edges. It typically flowers spring through early fall, but may bloom year-round. Its bright red blooms are particularly attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. The plant is a larval host for the Cuban crescent butterfly.
Gray nicker (Guilandina bonduc) is a vine-like shrub found in coastal strands and mangrove swamps along Florida’s central and southern coasts, where it clambers over other vegetation. Its striking clusters of fragrant yellow flowers typically bloom in spring and summer, but may bloom year-round in South Florida. The plant is a larval host for the Miami blue and Nickerbean blue butterflies.
The Florida Wildflower Foundation selects retiring Florida Department of Transportation Landscape Architect Jeff Caster to receive the 2020 Coreopsis Award for his lifetime of devotion to Florida’s wildflowers.
With stay-at-home orders in mind, we present three picks from our staff’s bookshelves, guaranteed to provide pleasant hours of solace immersed in nature.