Blue skyflower (Hydrolea corymbosa). Photo by Stacey Matrazzo

Flower Friday: Blue skyflower

Nothing clouds the beauty of the brilliant blue skyflower! This herbaceous perennial wildflower goes largely unnoticed — that is, until its bright blue blooms appear. The flowers tend to open in the morning and fade toward the end of the day, so it’s best to look for them early in the day. You’ll find them blooming in wet roadside ditches in the Eastern Panhandle, and in other wet areas throughout the peninsula.

Pine-hyacinth (Clematis baldwinii) by Bob Peterson (CC BY 2.0)

Flower Friday: Pine-hyacinth

Pine-hyacinth is an endemic perennial wildflower found in moist flatwoods, sandhills and prairies throughout much of the Florida peninsula. It typically blooms in spring through fall. Its flowers attract a variety of pollinators, while its fruit provides food for many birds and small wildlife.

Beach morning glory (Ipomoea imperati) Photo by Bill Frank, taken near Mayport Naval Station, Duval County

Flower Friday: Beach morning glory

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.”

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.