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

Encyclia tampensis by Mary Keim

Flower Friday: Butterfly orchid

Butterfly orchid (Encyclia tampensis) is a slow-growing epiphyte found in mesic hammocks, hardwood swamps and mangrove forests. It is most commonly found growing on live oaks, but also occurs on bald cypress, mangroves and pond apples. Its diminutive yet showy flowers appear in late spring and summer; their honey-like fragrance attracts a variety of bees, which are the plant’s primary pollinators.

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Pluchea odorata by Mary Keim

Flower Friday: Sweetscent

Known by many names such as Camphorweed, Stinkweed, Salt marsh fleabane, Sourbush and Cattle-tongue, Sweetscent (Pluchea odorata ) is a short-lived perennial wildflower that occurs naturally in freshwater and salt marshes, swamps and coastal hammocks throughout Florida. Its rosy pink blooms appear summer through fall. Its sweet-smelling leaves and flowers are very attractive to butterflies. Bees love this plant, too.

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Giant ironweed (Vernonia gigantea) by Mary Keim

Flower Friday: Giant ironweed

Giant ironweed (Vernonia gigantea) is a robust, perennial wildflower that is perfect for butterfly and wildflower gardens. It is a member of the Aster family, but unlike most of its cousins, its flowers have only disc florets — no ray florets are present. Flowering occurs in summer and fall, with peak blooming in July, when it attracts many pollinators, particularly butterflies.

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buchnera_americana_dietrich2

Flower Friday: American bluehearts

American bluehearts (Buchnera americana) is a perennial #wildflower found in pinelands, prairies and marshes, and along roadsides throughout the state. Its bright violet to almost white blooms attract bees and butterflies, and its tiny seed capsules are eaten by birds. It also has a habit of hemiparasitism.

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rhexia_petiolata_keim

Flower Friday: Fringed meadowbeauty

Fringed meadowbeauty (Rhexia petiolata) is an herbaceous perennial wildflower with showy pink blooms. It occurs naturally in wet prairies, bogs and flatwoods, and along coastal swales. It flowers spring through summer and attracts many pollinators, especially bees.

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Candyroot (Polygala nana) by Mary Keim

Flower Friday: Candyroot

Candyroot (Polygala nana) is an annual herbaceous wildflower found in wet to moist pine flatwoods, wet prairies and coastal swales. It typically blooms in late spring through summer, but can bloom year-round.

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