Mexican pricklypoppy, Argemone mexicana

Flower Friday: Mexican pricklypoppy

Also known as Yellow pricklypoppy, Mexican pricklypoppy (Argemone mexicana) is an eye-catching wildflower with an imposing presence. Its brilliant blooms are quite attractive, but don’t get too close — the rest of the plant is armed with sharp spines. It blooms winter through summer, typically peaking in early spring and drawing a variety of pollinators. The plant is often spotted in open, disturbed sites and along roadsides throughout much of Florida.

Leavenworth's tickseed flowers

Adjusting to climate changes

According to the National Phenology Network (NPN), spring arrived about three weeks early in much of the southeastern United States, with the first tiny leaves and flower buds appearing notably earlier than usual in North Florida and, to a lesser degree, Central Florida.

Green antelopehorn, Asclepias viridis

Flower Friday: Green antelopehorn

Green antelopehorn (Asclepias viridis) is an herbaceous perennial wildflower found in pinelands, pine rocklands and disturbed areas in a few Florida counties. It flowers winter through summer, with peak blooms in spring. Like many members of the milkweed family, Green antelopehorn is a larval host plant for Monarch, Queen and Soldier butterflies. Their caterpillars have adapted to feed on the plant, which contains a milky latex that is toxic to most animals. The flowers are also an important nectar source for bees and wasps.

Wild strawberry flower, Fragaria virginiana

Flower Friday: Wild strawberry

Wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) is a rare perennial wildflower that occurs throughout much of the eastern United States and Canada. In Florida, it occurs naturally only in open fields and woodland edges of Jackson and Leon counties. The plant is a larval host for the Gray hairstreak butterfly. Its spring flowers attract bees and butterflies, while its tiny summer fruits are a treat for humans and wildlife. They can be eaten right off the plant or collected and made into jams, jellies or pies. The leaves, which are high in Vitamin C, can be brewed into a tea.

Native Plants for Florida Gardens cover

New book spotlights 100 Florida native plants for landscapes

Though Florida’s native plants have evolved here over thousands of years, they are often little-known to the state’s gardening enthusiasts. Native Plants for Florida Gardens (Pineapple Press, $21.95), a colorful new book from the Florida Wildflower Foundation, seeks to change that by providing practical, easy-to-use information on the selection, landscape use and care of 100 native wildflowers, shrubs, vines and trees.

Green Isle Gardens

Field trip: Green Isle Gardens—CANCELLED

Join the Florida Wildflower Foundation on April 18 for a members-only field trip to Green Isle Gardens nursery in Groveland. Owner Marc Godts will give us a tour of the nursery’s greenhouses and demonstrate how he grows plants from seed. With 150 species of plants to choose from, you will want to bring your native plant must-have list!

Peter and Kim Connolly

Member profile: Peter and Kim Connolly

Kim and Peter Connolly have been active members of the Florida Wildflower Foundation and have attended various Foundation field trips and events for the past three years.They are both Florida Master Naturalists, with Peter serving his third year on the board of the Space Coast Chapter. Their free time is spent documenting local flora and fauna for iNaturalist. To date, they have added 907 observations of unique species to the site.