Also known as Pink prairie clover and Pinktassels, Whitetassels (Dalea carnea var. carnea) is an uncommon wildflower found in mesic flatwoods, open meadows and pine rocklands. Its distinct flowers bloom in late spring through early fall and are attractive to pollinators, especially bees. The seeds are eaten by birds and other wildlife.
It is with immense sadness that we observe the passing of our friend, colleague and mentor Gary Henry, who died in Tallahassee on Aug. 8. He was 72. Not only was Gary a founding Florida Wildflower Foundation board member, he was the visionary who shaped the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Wildflower Program when it officially began in the 1970s. Read about his many contributions.
Also known as Perfumed spiderlily, Mangrove spiderlily is found in mangrove swamps and coastal swales and dunes, and along coastal hammock edges in Central and South Florida. Its showy sweet-scented flowers bloom spring through fall and are primarily pollinated by moths.
This charming swallowtail butterfly is easily distinguishable by the iridescent blue shimmer glowing from the hindwing when wings are open, and the orange spots and blue background on the hindwing when the wings are closed. Wings are black aside from these splashes of color.
Also known as Seaside bean, beach bean, coastal jackbean and Mackenzie bean, Bay bean (Canavalia rosea) is a sprawling, mat-forming vine. It occurs naturally in coastal strands and on dunes where it helps control erosion by stabilizing the sand. It blooms year-round, peaking in summer and fall. The flowers attract a variety of insects, but are primarily pollinated by bees.
Virginia saltmarsh mallow (Kosteletzkya pentacarpos) is a shrub-like wildflower with showy pink blooms. It occurs naturally in salt and freshwater marshes, swamps, sloughs, coastal swales and wet thickets throughout much of the state. It blooms spring through fall, peaking in summer and attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and ants.
Learn how to take the guesswork out of using native plants in urban settings in our free webinar, “Native Plants for Florida Gardens,” on Aug. 5. featuring Stacey Matrazzo, FWF program manager and co-author of Native Plants for Florida Gardens. In her presentation, Stacey will highlight a selection of species and discuss how to use them to transform your landscape into a living ecosystem with “real Florida” style.
Carolina yellow-eyed grass (Xyris caroliniana) is a perennial wildflower found in pine flatwoods, sandhills, wet prairies, coastal dune swales and bog edges throughout Florida. It blooms late spring through fall and is primarily pollinated by wind and bees, but other insects are known to visit the flowers. Its flowers are relatively small yet conspicuous, and look like pale little butterflies dotting the landscape.
Eastern false dragonhead (Physostegia purpurea) is an herbaceous perennial wildflower found in moist to wet pinelands and marsh and swamp edges throughout much of Florida. It blooms late spring through early fall and is especially attractive to bees, although butterflies and the occasional hummingbird are known to visit it. The seeds are eaten by birds.
Florida false sunflower (Phoebanthus grandiflorus) is a showy wildflower found in sandhills and pine and scrubby flatwoods. It is endemic to 26 counties in Florida. The plant blooms spring through fall, peaking in summer. Its vibrant flowers attract pollinators, especially bees and butterflies. Birds eat its seeds.
Thirty-five schools in 17 counties have been awarded 2020 Seedlings for Schools (SFS) grants. The grants give pre-K to high school teachers wildflower plants, personal gardening guidance and online teaching resources. Teachers are expected to receive plants in September, when schools are expected to reopen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Also known as Canadian germander, Wood sage (Teucrium canadense) is found in floodplains, moist thickets and meadows, marshes and swamps throughout most of Florida. It flowers spring through fall, but may bloom year-round. The flowers attract a variety of native long-tongued insects that will use the flower’s lower lip as a landing pad. Birds find the plant’s seeds appealing.
Learn about creating pollinator pathways in the built environment during a free webinar on July 7 featuring Dr. Jaret Daniels, who will explain how every landscape, large and small, is now critical to supporting the biodiversity that keeps our ecosystems functioning.
Wildflower horticulturalist Jeff Norcini, of OceoHort LLC, is hitting the road for the Florida Wildflower Foundation to locate roadside wildflower populations in Florida’s Big Bend and north Central Florida regions. The goal of the surveys is to build a network of native wildflower habitat along roadsides to host insect pollinators as they travel between farm fields and forests.
The Florida Wildflower Foundation (FWF) and Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) have strengthened their partnership in order to collaborate on future projects. The organizations will assess opportunities to team up on such initiatives as native plant surveys, native plant conservation, roadside issues and more.