White twinevine (Sarcostemma clausum) is an evergreen twining vine with large clusters of fragrant flowers. It is a larval host plant for Monarch, Queen and Soldier butterflies and an important nectar source for bees and wasps. Flowers typically bloom in summer and fall, but may bloom throughout the year. The plant occurs naturally in swamps, moist hammocks, coastal strands and wetland edges.
“Flower Friday” is a weekly profile of a different Florida native wildflower.
The conspicuous golden blooms of Seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens) can be seen on dunes, in tidal marshes and bogs, in sandy flatwoods, along roadsides, and in disturbed areas in Florida’s coastal counties. It attracts butterflies and other pollinators with its nectar, and also attracts birds that are searching for insects.
The beauty of the brilliant Blue skyflower (Hydrolea corymbosa) cannot be clouded! This herbaceous perennial wildflower goes largely unnoticed — that is, until its bright blue blooms appear. The flowers tend to open in the morning and fade toward the end of the day, so it’s best to look for them early in the day. You’ll find them blooming in wet roadside ditches in the Eastern Panhandle, and in other wet areas throughout the peninsula.
Pine-hyacinth (Clematis baldwinii) is an endemic perennial wildflower found in moist flatwoods, sandhills and prairies throughout much of the Florida peninsula. It typically blooms in spring through fall. Its flowers attract a variety of pollinators, while its fruit provides food for many birds and small wildlife.
Beach morning glory (Ipomoea imperati) is a low-growing, sprawling, non-climbing vine with showy white flowers. It typically blooms in summer and fall. It occurs naturally on coastal dunes. Like other members of the Ipomoea genus, beach morning glory flowers in the morning and its blooms begin to wilt and close up by afternoon, hence the common name “morning glory.”
Starrush whitetop (Rhynchospora colorata) is a unique and long-lived perennial sedge. It is known (and named) for its striking bracts that are often mistaken for a daisy-like flower. It occurs naturally in wet flatwoods, wet prairies, swales and roadside ditches. Like most sedges, starrush whitetop stems are triangular. But unlike most sedges and other grass-like species, which are wind-pollinated, starrush whitetop is pollinated by insects that are attracted to the showy bracts.