False rosemary (Conradina canescens) is a robust, evergreen flowering shrub that typically blooms from March through November, but can occur year-round. It occurs naturally in sand pine scrub and sandhills. Many pollinator species are attracted to false rosemary, but bees are the most prominent visitor.
Many Floridians become familiar with carpenter bees by accident. They may notice a hole that appears to have been drilled into unpainted wood around their homes with a sawdust pile beneath it. Or they might hear a buzzing sound coming from within the hole. Both are telltale signs of carpenter bees.
Coastalplain goldenaster (Chrysopsis scabrella) is a biennial herbaceous wildflower that typically blooms from late summer into late fall but can bloom year-round. It occurs naturally in sandhills, scrub, flatwoods and ruderal areas.
Also known as Privet wild sensitive plant, Privet senna (Senna ligustrina) is an evergreen, perennial shrub. Its flowers are mainly bee-pollinated, but it is the larval host plant for the cloudless sulphur and sleepy orange butterflies. It is a short-day plant, which means it requires a longer period of darkness to form its flowers.
While many native wildflowers are no longer in bloom during the Florida Christmas season, you’ll find many of our natural areas decorated with ornaments of seeds just in time for the holidays.
Shoreline seapurslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum) is a sprawling, perennial evergreen wildflower with pink, star-shaped flowers. It blooms throughout the year in salt and freshwater marshes, along beach dunes, and in salt flats. It is critical as a dune sand stabilizer as it catches sand between its leaves and stems.
Elliott’s aster (Symphyotrichum elliottii) is an herbaceous perennial wildflower that produces a coronet of lavender blooms. It typically flowers in late fall and occurs naturally in roadsides ditches, wet flatwoods, swamps, and marshes. It is a wonderful plant for attracting butterflies, bees and other pollinators due to its many fragrant blooms.
Clasping Venus’ looking-glass (Triodanis perfoliata) is an annual herbaceous wildflower that typically flowers late winter through spring and even into fall. It occurs naturally along roadsides and in disturbed areas. It is pollinated by bees, flies and small butterflies and moths.
Largeleaf grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia grandifolia) is a rare and wonderful wildflower. Every part of it is distinctively striking. It blooms only in fall, typically October and November, and occurs naturally in open and seasonally wet savannahs and bogs. It is a state-listed endangered species.
Also known as Groundsel tree and Sea myrtle, Saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia) is a long-lived perennial shrub that typically blooms in fall. It occurs naturally in coastal uplands and dunes, along pond margins, and in ditches and disturbed areas. It is an evergreen in the southern part of the state, but can be deciduous in northern Florida.
Lopsided indiangrass (Sorghastrum secundum) is a robust and unique perennial bunchgrass. Throughout most of the year, it is rather indistinct. But in late summer, it produces tall, dramatic flower spikes. It occurs naturally in pinelands, sandhills and flatwoods. It is the larval host plant for the Delaware skipper, dusted skipper and swarthy skipper.
Rayless sunflower (Helianthus radula) is a unique member of the Helianthus or sunflower genus. Like most sunflowers, its flowerhead includes a compact center comprised of many disk florets. But unlike its relatives, its ray florets are almost entirely absent. Rayless sunflower typically blooms late spring into early fall and attracts a variety of pollinators. It occurs naturally in sandy uplands, along moist to dry roadsides, and in seasonally wet savannahs and pine flatwoods.
Coastalplain honeycombhead (Balduina angustifolia) is an annual to biennial wildflower that produces showy, golden blooms that typically appear late spring or summer into fall. It occurs naturally in sandhills, scrub, dunes, and pine and scrubby flatwoods. It attracts a variety of butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Honeycombhead is also known as yellow buttons.
Also known as Florida’s lady’s nightcap and Scrub morning glory, Florida bonamia (Bonamia grandiflora) is a rare, perennial flowering vine. Its showy blooms appear spring through fall in sand pine scrub. Florida bonamia is endemic to Central Florida, and is a federally threatened and state-listed endangered species.
You’d probably expect an elephant-sized flower from a plant called Tall elephantsfoot (Elephantopus elatus), but it’s not the flower that gives this plant its name. It’s the large rosette of flat basal leaves that, with a bit of imagination, bear a tiny resemblance to the shape of an elephant’s footprint. The plant’s small lavender flowers are held by three fuzzy bracts that form a unique triangular shape. Despite their size, the flowers attract a variety of pollinators, especially native bees.