Feay’s prairieclover (Dalea feayi) is a near-endemic shrub found in sandhills and scrubby habitats of peninsular Florida. In late spring through early fall, the plant may be covered in hundreds of fluffy pink flower balls. These delightful blooms attract a variety of pollinators, especially native bees. Butterflies are not known to frequent the flowers, but the plant is a larval host for the Southern dogface. The seeds are eaten by birds and other wildlife.
Hairy laurel (Kalmia hirsuta) is a low-growing, evergreen shrub that is easy to miss when not in bloom. But in spring and summer, it forms colonies of rose-colored flowers in moist, open habitats. Its distinctive, fragrant blooms attract a variety of pollinators, especially bees. It occurs naturally in pine flatwoods, savannas, sandhills and moist ditches in North Florida.
Groundnut (Apios americana) is an herbaceous vine found along the edges of floodplain forests, wet hammocks, lakes or streams, and in wet, disturbed areas throughout much of the state. Blooming late spring through fall, the fragrant flowers are primarily pollinated by mason or leafcutter bees (Megachilidae family), although some suggest they are also fly-pollinated. The plant is a larval host for the Silver-spotted skipper.
The Florida Wildflower Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration Garden grants. Eleven grants were awarded for the following projects: Depot Park, Sopchoppy; Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers; Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, Titusville; Lake David Park, Groveland; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota; Miami Dade College, Miami; Orange County Administration Building, Orlando; University of Florida Natural Areas Teaching Lab, Gainesville; Village Institute for Sustainable Technologies and Agriculture, Tampa; and West Oaks Library, Ocoee.
Loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus) is an attractive evergreen tree found in swamps, bayheads and cypress domes throughout much of Florida. Its fragrant showy flowers bloom spring through summer and attract a variety of pollinators, including bees, flies and even the occasional hummingbird. Birds and other small animals find cover in the dense foliage. The tree is often confused with Sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana), which also has large white flowers and occurs in the same habitat.
Bluestem pricklypoppy (Argemone albiflora) is a formidable flower often spotted in open, disturbed sites and along roadsides throughout much of Florida. Its large white flowers are eye-catching from a distance, but a closer look reveals this plant’s dynamic defense mechanism — sharp spines cover its leaves and stems, discouraging cattle and other hungry critters from grazing on it. The plant blooms late spring through summer and attracts a variety of pollinators, especially bees. Its oil-rich seeds are eaten by quail and doves.
Jamaican caper (Quadrella jamaicensis) is a handsome evergreen shrub or small tree with unique eye-catching blooms. These fragrant white flowers open late in the day and turn pinkish within a few hours. They attract a variety of insects, while the dense foliage provides cover for small wildlife. Birds will eat the seeds. Jamaican caper is a larval host for the Florida white butterfly. It is found in coastal hammocks in Central and South Florida.
Florida Wildflower Foundation members are invited to join us Saturday, Sept. 29 at Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, for our annual membership meeting. Learn about the inspiration behind the gardens’ iconic tower and garden design, get a tour of the gardens’ amazing restoration area, and dine amidst the beauty of the gardens.
Non-profit executive directors tend to be exceptional people, but Lisa Roberts’ level of service has been extraordinary. This month we celebrate a decade of accomplishments under her watch. We also express our appreciation for her skill, poise and style. We are honored to have Lisa as the face of the Foundation.
The Florida Wildflower Foundation photo contest features amateur photographers with a feel for our flowers.
Blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella) Blooms spring-fall; height 1-2 ft. Plant Sept-mid-Dec. in full sun to light shade in dry, Sow seeds in: N – September, October C – Late September to mid-November S – Mid-October to mid-December
Leavenworth’s Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii) Blooms spring-summer; height 1-3 ft. Plant Sept.-mid-Dec. in full sun to light pine shade in slightly moist to moist sandy soil. Sow seeds in: N – September, October C – Late September to mid-November S – Mid-October to mid-December
Lanceleaf Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata) Blooms in spring; height to 1-1½ ft. Plant Sept.-mid-Nov. in full sun to light pine shade in slightly dry to slightly moist well-drained soil. Sow seeds in: N – September, October C – Late September to mid-November
Cuckoo bees are often mistaken for wasps because their body shape resembles a wasp, and they are nearly hairless. They also lack the pollen baskets that most bees have on their legs because they do not collect pollen for their young.
Swallowtail butterfly on Liatris spicata. Photo by John Moran Pollinators and the native plants that support them have come to the forefront this year. The showiest of the pollinators are the butterflies, which often are seen flitting around native wildflowers. While large butterflies like swallowtails (such as the one pictured above on Liatris spicata) can…