“Flower Friday” is a weekly profile of a different Florida native wildflower.

Celestial lily

As it name suggests, Celestial lily (Nemastylis floridana) is a heavenly little wildflower found in wet flatwoods and freshwater marshes and swamps. Its dainty violet flowers bloom August through October and attract mostly bees. The plant is endemic to peninsular Florida. Once common, it is now a state-listed endangered species, largely due to loss of habitat and fire suppression. It is the only species of Nemastylis to occur in Florida.

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Summersweet

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) is a deciduous flowering shrub found in swamps, wet flatwoods, savannas and bogs. The plant is an excellent plant for wildlife. Its showy, sweet-scented flowers bloom spring through summer, attracting hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Birds and small mammals consume the fruits.

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yellow flower

Pineland golden trumpet

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.

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Feay’s prairieclover

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.

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Hairy laurel

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.

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Groundnut

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.

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