Rain lily is a short-lived perennial wildflower. Its showy, solitary flowers are white (although sometimes tinged with pink) and, as the name suggests, typically bloom after a rain shower. Flowering can occur in late winter through early summer, but their tendency to bloom around Easter has earned them another common name — Easter lily.
Prairie iris (also known as Dixie iris) is a rhizomatous perennial wildflower with showy purple flowers. They bloom in spring in swamps, wet prairies and marshes, and along the edges of rivers and ditches.
More than 38,000 visitors have had the opportunity to become better acquainted with the beauty and benefit of Florida’s native wildflowers since the establishment of a wildflower demonstration garden at the Pinellas County UF/IFAS Extension in Largo. The garden was funded by a $3,000 grant from the Florida Wildflower Foundation.
It looks like a banner bloom ahead for Florida’s spring wildflowers, thanks to our relatively warm and wet winter months. Here’s a look at what’s happening across the state. See the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s What’s in Bloom page for more blossoms and instructions on how to submit your own spring wildflower photos.
Skyblue lupine is a lovely herbaceous perennial that occurs primarily in scrubby habitats. Its bluish to lavender flowers are born on dense spikes and appear in spring. It occurs naturally in sand and oak scrub, sandhills, pine flatwoods and coastal strands.
Chickasaw plum is a deciduous flowering shrub or small tree that produces profuse white blooms, making for a spectacular early spring display. It occurs naturally in dry hammocks, woodland edges, and disturbed areas and roadsides. The flowers are attractive to pollinators; the fruit is eaten by birds and other wildlife — and humans! (They are quite tart!)
Coral honeysuckle is a robust, woody vine that is mostly evergreen, but can be deciduous in colder climes. Its showy blooms are scarlet red to reddish-orange and are attractive to many butterflies. Hummingbirds find them irresistible and birds such as cardinals enjoy the fruits.
BLOUNTSTOWN – It was a beautiful day in Calhoun County – blue skies, maple tree seed pods shining red – when about 70 people streamed in from 15 counties streamed into Rivertown Community Church. Drawn by their common passion for Florida’s wildflowers, they had came to learn more about fostering wildflowers along federal, state and…
Wild petunia is a low-growing, erect perennial wildflower that typically blooms in late spring through late summer/early fall. It occurs naturally in mesic hammocks, flatwoods and sandhills, and along roadsides and in disturbed sites. It is the host plant for the white peacock (Anartia jatrophae) and common buckeye (Junonia coenia) butterflies, but attracts a variety of pollinators.
Also known as Southern fleabane and daisy fleabane, oakleaf fleabane is a delicate, short-lived perennial wildflower. It typically blooms in spring and summer and attracts a variety of pollinators. It occurs naturally in sandhills and moist hammocks as well as in disturbed sites and along roadsides.
Florida greeneyes’ beautiful yellow flowers appear in spring in sandhills, pine flatwoods, and mixed upland forests, as well as along dry roadsides and in ruderal areas. They attract a variety of pollinators and are endemic to Florida.
Walter’s viburnum occurs naturally in hydric hammocks, riverine forests, floodplain swamps and bottomland forests. Pollinators are attracted to its showy spring flowers, while birds and other wildlife feast on its abundant summer and fall fruit production and use its dense foliage for nesting and cover.
Cardinalflower is a perennial herbaceous plant that produces erect spikes of brilliant red blooms. It typically flowers in summer through early winter in floodplain forests, riverine swamps, spring runs and along river and stream edges. It attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.
Many of us are aware of the monarch’s population decline that has been well documented by researchers. Weather, habitat destruction of overwintering grounds in California and Mexico, and loss of food source on migration routes have caused great concern in the last few years. The Xerces Society’s insight into factors that influence monarch butterfly populations has pointed to many things we cannot control. However, the increased production and planting of the monarch food plants, milkweeds, is certainly an environmental movement that can be achieved on a large scale in the United States.