Because much of Florida experienced a prolonged hot, dry spell in September, the best show is expected to be in south Central Florida and southward, which received more rain.
Wild coco (Eulophia alta) is a terrestrial orchid found in hydric hammocks, hardwood swamps, wet flatwoods, marshes and open disturbed sites in Central and South Florida. It blooms from late summer through winter, with peak flowering in fall. Its species epithet alta is from the Latin altus, meaning “tall,” and refers to the tall flower spikes.
Keep your eyes open for Cloudless sulphur butterflies! Monarchs aren’t the only ones migrating this time of year. Fall is a wonderful time to see the Cloudless sulphurs in flight on their southern migration. The Cloudless sulphur can be found year-round in the southern United States, Caribbean and much of South America, but migrating populations extend all the way to Colorado, New Jersey or even Canada during the summer months. Cloudless sulphurs practice a large fall migration to southern regions, much like the Monarch butterfly.
Flaxleaf aster (Ionactis linariifolia) is a petite perennial wildflower that occurs in the sandhill and pine flatwoods communities of Florida’s Panhandle. It blooms primarily in October and November, but may bloom as early as September. The flowers attract a variety of pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies.
Heartwood Preserve is the first conservation cemetery within a nature preserve in the Tampa Bay area. Join us on this unique opportunity to learn about the efforts to conserve and permanently protect this endangered natural habitat through environmentally friendly burial options. Visit longleaf pine flatwoods and cypress wetlands. Learn the land’s history and management, the importance of fire ecology and the process of conservation burial.
Florida Wildflower Foundation members are invited to join us Sunday, Oct. 6 at Mead Botanical Garden in Winter Park for our annual membership meeting. Enjoy a guided walk through Mead’s native gardens and restoration areas, followed by light hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Browse a selection of native plants from Green Isle Gardens. Dr. Jaret Daniels of the Florida Museum of Natural History will present “All Landscapes Matter.”
Join us at Mead Botanical Garden on Saturday, Oct. 19 for a free, family-friendly event featuring a native plant sale, guided hikes, workshops, live music, food trucks and kids’ activities. All proceeds benefit Mead Garden’s ecological restoration projects.
Florida has 11 native Goldenaster species, eight of which are endemic; several are listed by the state as rare or endangered. Maryland goldenaster (Chrysopsis mariana) is found in pinelands, sandhills and sandy roadsides. Native butterflies, as well as a variety of native long-tongued bees – including green metallic, sweat, leafcutter, bumble and mining bees – are attracted to the plant’s nectar. The flowers bloom in spring, summer and fall.
The Native Plant Show combines classes and exhibits to highlight the beauty, functionality and diversity of native plants now available. See live plants and talk to experts: growers, retailers, landscape and environmental professionals. Learn to plant what works from the professionals who use native plants every day, and benefit from their many years of experience with commercial, residential, institutional and natural restoration sites. Find everything you need to make native plants your new norm.
Also known as Rugel’s nailwort, Sandsquares (Paronychia rugelii) is one of Florida’s most unique wildflowers. It occurs naturally in sandy habitats such as pine flatwoods, sandhills, scrub and disturbed areas. And as its name implies, it has a square inflorescence! Sandsquares bloom from summer into early fall, attracting mostly small bees. The plant is easily overlooked due to its short stature.
Chapman’s fringed orchid (Platanthera chapmanii) is an endangered terrestrial orchid found in wet prairies, pine savannas and along wet roadsides and ditches. Its showy flowers typically bloom in summer and peak in August. Although this species is rare, Chapman’s fringed orchids tend to grow in small colonies resulting in patches of bright color. Many botanists believe Chapman’s fringed orchid is a natural hybrid of Yellow fringed orchid (P. ciliaris) and Crested fringed orchid (P. cristata).
You might find one of these creatures hanging upside-down, but it’s not a bat (or a vampire). It’s a Silver-spotted skipper!
The Silver-spotted skipper is one of the largest, most widespread and recognizable skippers. It has a quick jerky flight that is typical of skippers. This type of butterfly is common and can be found from northern Mexico to southern Canada, as well as most of the continental United States.You can find Silver-spotted skippers throughout Florida. These butterflies enjoy a disturbed habitat, open woods, foothills, stream sides, prairie waterways, edges of forests, swamps, brushy areas and other open areas with nectar plants.
With its narrow leaves and fine stems, Carolina milkweed (Asclepias cinerea) can get lost among the wiregrass with which it typically grows. But its splendidly stellar blooms will stop you in your tracks. You’ll find it flowering in summer in sandhills, pine flatwoods and bogs throughout the Panhandle and North Florida. Like all members of the Asclepias genus, Carolina milkweed is a larval host plant for Monarch and Queen butterflies. Its flowers are an important nectar source for bees and wasps.
White lobelia (Lobelia paludosa) is a winsome, wet-loving wildflower found in swamps and wet flatwoods throughout much of Florida. It primarily blooms in spring and summer, but may bloom year-round, especially in South Florida. The flowers attract bees and butterflies. The genus Lobelia is named for Matthias de Lobel (1538-1616), a Flemish physician, botanist and author of a landmark botany textbook. The species epithet paludosa is from the Latin paludosus, meaning boggy, swampy or marshy.