Yaupon holly, Ilex vomitoria

Flower Friday: Yaupon holly

Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) is a shrub or tree found in coastal and inland scrub, dunes, floodplains and hammocks. Its diminutive flowers bloom in spring, attracting a variety of bees and other insects. In the fall, abundant fruit production provides food for birds and small mammals. The dense evergreen foliage provides year-round cover for wildlife.

Queen butterflies on Aquatic milkweed, Asclepias incarnata

Field trip: Tosohatchee WMA

Join us as we explore the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area with local naturalists Mary Keim and Randy Snyder. We will meet in the parking lot just past the pay station. From there, we will caravan along Powerline Road and Fish Hole Road, making several stops to take in the wildflowers, butterflies, birds and beautiful scenery.

Florida swampprivet, Forestiera segregata, flowers

Flower Friday: Florida swampprivet

Florida swampprivet (Forestiera segregata) is an evergreen shrub to small tree that occurs naturally in coastal hammocks, thickets, scrub and pine rocklands. Flowers typically appear in early spring before leaves emerge, but the plant may bloom year-round. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers. Birds and small mammals are partial to the abundant fruit and use the dense foliage for cover.

Flowering dogwood, Cornus florida

Flower Friday: Flowering dogwood

When in bloom, Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is arguably one of Florida’s most beautiful flowering trees. Though dormant in winter, the tree comes alive in early spring. Before leaves emerge, a bounty of showy white to pinkish blooms cover the crown. From late summer to fall, its abundant fruit provides food for a variety of birds and small mammals. Flowering dogwood occurs naturally along the edges of mesic hardwood forests and pinelands throughout North and much of Central Florida.

Paul Owens

Revive growth management now: 1,000 Friends of Florida

With Florida growing by up to 1,000 people a day, state leaders need to revive growth management “before rampant development irreparably spoils what makes our state special,” says Paul Owens, president of 1,000 Friends of Florida. Owens will outline his organization’s plan for restoring growth management at the regional and state levels during a presentation at the Florida Wildflower Symposium on Friday, April 12, in Gainesville. The two-day event will take place at the Straughn UF/IFAS Extension Professional Development Center.

Trumpet creeper, Campsis radicans

Flower Friday: Trumpet creeper

Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) is a high-climbing woody vine so named because its showy flowers are trumpet-shaped. It is found in moist woodlands and thickets throughout Central and northern Florida. Flowers bloom year-round, peaking in spring and summer. They are very attractive to hummingbirds. Its flowers are very similar in appearance to the flowers of its cousin, Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata). The latter has visible tendrils and its compound leaves have only two leaflets.

White stopper, Eugenia axillaris

Flower Friday: White stopper

White stopper (Eugenia axillaris) is an evergreen shrub or small tree found in coastal hammocks, strands and shell mounds in Florida’s central and southern peninsula. Its fragrant flowers bloom year-round, with peak blooming in spring and summer, attracting many types of pollinators. Fruits generally form in fall, but may persist several months. They are eaten by birds and wildlife. Humans can eat them, too — the flesh is quite sweet when ripe, but eating the bitter seeds is not recommended.

Wiregrass, Aristida stricta

Flower Friday: Wiregrass

Wiregrass (Aristida stricta) is a perennial bunchgrass found in scrub, pinelands and coastal uplands throughout much of Florida. It is the dominant groundcover species in longleaf pine savannas and is a primary food source for gopher tortoises. Birds and small wildlife eat the seeds. Historically, cattle grazed on Wiregrass’s tender new growth.

Marlberry, Ardisia escallonidides

Flower Friday: Marlberry

Marlberry (Ardisia escallonioides) is an evergreen shrub that occurs naturally in coastal strands and hammocks and pine rocklands throughout Central and South Florida. It blooms and fruits intermittently throughout the year, with peak blooming in summer through fall. Marlberry’s abundant fruit is enjoyed by birds and small animals and is also edible to humans. Its dense foliage provides significant cover for wildlife.

Cocoplum, Chrysobalanus icaco

Flower Friday: Cocoplum

Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco) is an evergreen shrub or small tree native to swamps and coastal dunes and hammocks in Central and South Florida. It produces flowers and fruits throughout the year, with the peak bloom occurring winter through spring. Its dense foliage and substantial fruit provide cover and food for many birds and small wildlife.

Wild lime, Zanthoxylum fagara

Flower Friday: Wild lime

Wild lime (Zanthoxylum fagara) is an evergreen shrub to small tree that occurs naturally in hammocks throughout Central and South Florida. It blooms year-round, with peak flowering in winter and spring. Its dense foliage provides cover, and its fruit provides food for birds and small wildlife. The plant is the larval host for several butterflies, including the Giant swallowtail and Schaus’ swallowtail butterflies.