2018 has been a great year for wildflowers, and summer looks to be no exception. Unlike last summer, when many areas were dry, rain has been frequent enough to keep wildflowers blooming in showy displays. Learn where to find the best of summer’s showy displays.
Bartram’s rosegentian is a dazzling pink wildflower found naturally in wet pinelands, freshwater marshes, pond margins and in wet ditches. It blooms late spring into late summer or early fall.
Carolina horsenettle is a perennial wildflower that occurs naturally in pastures, disturbed sites and along roadsides. It blooms throughout the summer and is pollinated primarily by bumble bees, although many insects are known to visit the flower. Some birds, such as quail and wild turkey, eat its fruit.
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.
Chimney bees like the Mustached mud and Hibiscus bees are solitary ground nesters that have serious architectural talent! Both bees superficially resemble bumblebees in appearance. They’re fast flying, robust bees with dense yellow hairs on their thorax. (Hibiscus bees also have yellow hairs on their face.)
The pollinators we depend on are struggling. We can’t afford to lose them — they provide every third bite of food we eat. It’s up to us all to reverse their decline. But how? These new resources can help.
Also known as Hat pins and Bog buttons, Tenangle pipewort (Eriocaulon decangulare) is a wildflower easily recognized by its many white buttonlike flowers. It occurs naturally in bogs, wet prairies, freshwater marshes, wet pine flatwoods and cypress swamp edges and typically blooms late spring through fall.
Baldwin’s milkwort (Polygala balduinii) is one of only a few white milkworts found in Florida. It typically blooms spring through fall and occurs naturally in wet pine flatwoods, marshes and coastal swales.
Additional resources for sustainable landscaping for homeowners, landscape architetcts and maintenance professionals.
Snow squarestem (Melanthera nivea) is a robust bushy wildflower that occurs naturally in dry to moist flatwoods, prairies and disturbed open habitats. It typically blooms summer through early winter, but can bloom year-round, attracting bees, butterflies and other pollinators. It’s also known as Cat’s tongue, Salt and pepper and Nonpareil.
With interest mounting in using wildflowers in urban landscapes, there is a huge demand for information for those new to Florida’s native plants. Enter “20 Easy-to-Grow Wildflowers,” a new publication from the Florida Wildflower Foundation. The free 24-page magazine features a selection of 20 “tried and true” species that are easy to grow and maintain.
Longleaf milkweed is a deciduous perennial wildflower that occurs naturally in bogs, moist to wet flatwoods and prairies. It typically blooms in spring but may bloom well into summer or early fall. It is a larval host plant for Monarch and Queen butterflies, and an important nectar source for bees and wasps.
Mock bishopsweed (Ptilimnium capillaceum) is a delicate little annual that is too often disregarded as a weed. But despite its small stature, it is both attractive and ecologically beneficial, especially when it occurs in mass. Its many dainty white flowers typically appear in spring and summer in swamps, marshes, coastal swales, ditches and along pond edges. Like most members of the Apiaceae family, mock bishopsweed has a long taproot, which helps the plants survive “hazards” such as drought and being eaten by black swallowtail caterpillars.
Want to draw more flitting hummingbirds and vibrant songbirds to your landscape? It’s simple. Just add wildflowers to provide nectar, seeds and insects and the birds will come.
Manyflowered grasspink is a state-threatened terrestrial orchid that blooms winter through spring, but most abundantly in March through May. It occurs naturally in dry to wet pine flatwoods and dry prairies. The plant is fire-dependent; blooming typically occurs within several weeks of a burn.