Gopher apple (Licania michauxii) 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.
Largeflower milkweed (Asclepias connivens) is a perennial wildflower found throughout much of Florida. Its conspicuous flowers appear in late spring through summer in moist pine flatwoods, savannahs and bogs.
White birds-in-a-nest (Macbridea alba) is a rare and unique wildflower endemic to only four counties in Florida’s Panhandle. Its flowers bloom May through July and attract mostly bees. It is a state-listed endangered and a US-listed threatened species. The plant gets its common name from the way its white mature flowers resemble birds encircling a green “nest” formed by bracts. The unopened white flower buds appear egglike nestled within the nest.
Grassleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia graminifolia) is a Florida endemic perennial wildflower. Its brick-red solitary blooms are distinctly different than most Florida Rudbeckia species. It typically flowers in summer and occurs naturally savannas and along moist roadsides.
Also known as Seaside prairie-gentian or Catchfly prairie-gentian, Marsh gentian (Eustoma exaltatum) is an annual wildflower with showy purple to lavender (or sometimes white) flowers. It can bloom throughout the year and occurs naturally in salt marshes, dunes, and coastal flats.
Lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus) is a perennial aquatic wildflower. Its tiny, white blooms are borne in early spring through summer and attract a variety of pollinators. They are also eaten by foraging ducks such as wood ducks. Both the common and genus name refer to the flower’s resemblance to a lizard’s tail.
Also known as Mountain azalea, Sweet pinxter azalea (Rhododendron canescens) is a deciduous flowering shrub. Its showy pinkish- to rose-colored flowers bloom in spring in pine flatwoods, mesic hammocks, bay swamps, and floodplain and slope forests. They attract a number of pollinators, including hummingbirds.
Parrot pitcherplant (Sarracenia psittacina) is a carnivorous perennial plant. It typically flowers in April and May and occurs naturally in seepage slopes, wet prairies, depression marshes, dome swamps, and bogs. Parrot pitcherplant is a state listed threatened species. Its species name psittacina means “of or relating to parrots” and refers to the shape of the flower resembling the head of a parrot.
American white waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) is a floating aquatic plant. Its large, solitary, fragrant white flowers bloom spring through fall in swamps, marshes, slow-moving streams and shallow lakes, ponds and ditches. The flowers are attractive to butterflies, but they are pollinated primarily by beetles. The plant is also known as Fragrant waterlily.
When Lisa Boing, Master Gardener, Florida Botanical Gardens board member and Florida Wildflower Foundation member, responded to questions about the completion of a demonstration garden planting at the Pinellas County Extension in Largo, the portrait that emerged was one of a dedicated volunteer. We are happy to share her story here: My involvement in the…
More than 38,000 visitors have had the opportunity to become better acquainted with the beauty and benefit of Florida’s native wildflowers since the establishment of a wildflower demonstration garden at the Pinellas County UF/IFAS Extension in Largo. The garden was funded by a $3,000 grant from the Florida Wildflower Foundation.
It looks like a banner bloom ahead for Florida’s spring wildflowers, thanks to our relatively warm and wet winter months. Here’s a look at what’s happening across the state. See the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s What’s in Bloom page for more blossoms and instructions on how to submit your own spring wildflower photos.
Skyblue lupine (Lupinus diffusus) is a lovely herbaceous perennial that occurs primarily in scrubby habitats. Its bluish to lavender flowers are born on dense spikes and appear in spring. It occurs naturally in sand and oak scrub, sandhills, pine flatwoods and coastal strands.
Chickasaw plum (Prunus angustifolia) is a deciduous flowering shrub or small tree that produces profuse white blooms, making for a spectacular early spring display. It occurs naturally in dry hammocks, woodland edges, and disturbed areas and roadsides. The flowers are attractive to pollinators; the fruit is eaten by birds and other wildlife — and humans! (They are quite tart!)
Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a robust, twining woody vine that is mostly evergreen in Florida, but can be deciduous in colder climes. The plant occurs naturally in sandhills, scrubby flatwoods, hardwood hammocks, floodplain forests and open woodlands. It blooms throughout the year in Central Florida, with best blooming in winter. Farther north, it has a reduced bloom season. The flowers are attractive to many butterflies, and hummingbirds find them irresistible. Birds such as cardinals enjoy the fruits.