Flower Friday: Starrush whitetop

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.

Catesby's lily (Lilium catesbaei). Photo by Mary Keim

Flower Friday: Catesby’s lily

Catesby’s lily is pure elegance, dotting wet flatwoods, prairies and savannas with brilliant summer and fall color. It is occurs throughout most of Florida, but is a state-listed threatened species. Catesby’s lily attracts a variety of butterflies, including swallowtails, which are its primary pollinators.

Dune sunflower (Helianthus debilis) blooming at Bok Tower Gardens by Lisa Roberts

20 Easy Wildflowers Walk & Talk at Bok Tower Gardens

Learn how to succeed with larger scale native wildflower plantings. This event combines a guided instructional walk through Florida native plantings at Bok Tower Gardens with a classroom course reviewing the species used as well as planning and installation processes. Renowned upland restoration expert and native plant horticulturist Nancy Bissett of The Natives will lead the walk and provide the classroom instruction.

Spurred butterfly-pea (Centrosema virginianum) by Eleanor Dietrich

Flower Friday: Spurred butterfly-pea

Spurred butterfly-pea is a trailing or climbing vine that occurs naturally in pine flatwoods, sandhills, coastal strands and interdunal swales. Its showy flowers typically bloom in summer, but can bloom spring through fall, or year-round in South Florida. Spurred butterfly-pea flowers are papilionaceous, meaning they are butterfly-shaped and highly specialized to allow for bee pollination. The plant is also the larval host for Northern cloudywing and Long-tailed skipper butterflies.

Weedy roadside planting

Research tackles the issue of weed seeds in soil banks

The Florida Wildflower Foundation will begin a four-year project to evaluate economical and practical site preparation methods to minimize weed competition in wildflower sites planted from seeds, hoping to discover methods that lead to greater planting success.The project at Lake County’s Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Park will be conducted in partnership with the county with cooperation from the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute at Florida Polytechnic University.

Seedlings for Schools garden

Wildflower gardens to flourish at 33 schools across Florida

The Florida Wildflower Foundation has awarded 2018 Seedlings for Schools grants to 33 schools in 18 counties across the state. Each grant includes wildflower plants, expert guidance from the Foundation, and curriculum resources, including the Foundation’s Wild About Wildflowers! Activity Guide. Teachers will receive plants in the fall and will be eligible to receive more plants in spring 2019 if their fall gardens are successful.