Florida paintbrush is a showy, perennial herbaceous wildflower that blooms from mid-summer into fall. It occurs naturally in sandhills, pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, mesic flatwoods and ruderal areas. It is very attractive to butterflies as well as other pollinators.
Thistleleaf aster is an herbaceous perennial wildflower that occurs only in Florida’s eastern Panhandle and in a few neighboring counties in Alabama and Georgia. Its blooms are fairly large and appear in late spring through fall. It occurs naturally in wet prairies, wiregrass savannas and wet pine flatwoods and is loved by many bees and butterflies.
Also known as duck potato, arrowhead is a perennial emergent aquatic wildflower. It typically blooms spring through fall and occurs naturally in marshes, swamps, streams, spring runs, rivers, lake edges and roadside ditches. Its flowers are attractive to a variety of pollinators. Its fruits are eaten by birds and other wildlife.
Camphorweed is an aromatic, annual to biennial herbaceous shrub. It typically blooms in summer and fall, although in certain conditions it may bloom year-round. It occurs naturally on coastal dunes and grasslands, in scrubs, pinelands and ruderal areas. It is attractive to many bees and butterflies. As the common name suggests, camphorweed has a camphor-like aroma (or odor, as some might suggest), particularly when the leaves are disturbed.
Beach morning glory is a low-growing, sprawling, non-climbing vine with showy white flowers. It typically blooms in summer and fall. It occurs naturally on coastal dunes. Like other members of the Ipomoea genus, beach morning glory flowers in the morning and its blooms begin to wilt and close up by afternoon, hence the common name “morning glory.”
Black-eyed Susan is a bright, cheerful wildflower found throughout Florida. It typically blooms in spring through fall and occurs naturally in flatwoods, sandhills, open disturbed areas and along roadsides. It is pollinated by a variety of insects, and its seeds are eaten by seed-eating birds.
Starrush whitetop is a unique and long-lived perennial sedge. It is known (and named) for its striking bracts that are often mistaken for a daisy-like flower. It occurs naturally in wet flatwoods, wet prairies, swales and roadside ditches. Like most sedges, starrush whitetop stems are triangular. But unlike most sedges and other grass-like species, which are wind-pollinated, starrush whitetop is pollinated by insects that are attracted to the showy bracts.
Pickerelweed is a long-lived, perennial aquatic wildflower. It typically blooms in spring through summer and occurs naturally in open, aquatic habitats such as pond, lake or river edges, marshes and swamps. It is pollinated primarily by bees, but is visited by many butterflies and other insects.
Powderpuff (also known as sunshine mimosa) is a prostrate, mat-forming perennial wildflower with showy “powderpuff” blooms that appear in spring through summer. It occurs naturally in open, disturbed areas and along roadsides. It is pollinated mainly by bees, but is the host plant for the little sulphur (Eurema lisa) butterfly.
Swamp rosemallow is a deciduous perennial wildflower with showy pink blooms that appear from summer into early fall. It occurs naturally in marshes and swamps, in wet ruderal areas, and along edges of lakes, ponds and rivers. It is often seen in large masses in open marsh areas.
Woodland pinkroot is a showy perennial wildflower. It blooms in late spring through summer and sometimes into fall. It occurs naturally in upland hardwood forests, slope forests and bluffs, and is pollinated by hummingbirds as well as other insects. There are approximately 60 species of Spigelia that occur from the southern US south to Argentina. Only four species are native to Florida.
Also known as Rugel’s milkwort, yellow milkwort is an annual herbaceous wildflower endemic to the Florida peninsula. Its showy flowers bloom primarily in summer and fall, but may appear throughout most of the year. It occurs naturally in wet pine flatwoods.
Carolina redroot is a perennial herbaceous wildflower that blooms from summer into fall. It occurs naturally in wet flatwoods, marshes, bogs, dome swamps, savannas and coastal swales. Its blooms are attractive to a variety of butterflies and moths; its seeds are eaten by birds; and the whole plant is favored by feral hogs, who are known to dig up and eat large patches of redroot.
Chris Waltz, volunteer extraordinaire and wildflower-gardening enthusiast, was inspired by people saying they can’t grow natives because they live in an apartment, condo, or other small space. He started thinking: They grow houseplants and annuals; why can’t they grow natives the same way? The result? A “pollinator garden in a pot.”
Gopher apple is a hardy, low-growing, woody perennial shrub that occurs naturally in sandhills, pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods and scrub. It is often confused with runner oak, which has a similar growth habit and is found in similar habitats. Gopher apple can bloom year-round.