Nothing clouds the beauty of the brilliant blue skyflower! 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.
“Flower Friday” is a weekly profile of a different Florida native wildflower.
Pine-hyacinth 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 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 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.
Catesby’s lily is pure elegance, dotting wet flatwoods, prairies and savannas with brilliant summer and fall color. It is occurs throughout most of Florida, but is a state-listed threatened species. Catesby’s lily attracts a variety of butterflies, including swallowtails, which are its primary pollinators.
Winged loosestrife (Lythrum alatum) is a fast-growing perennial subshrub with many star-shaped flowers. It typically blooms in summer and attracts a plethora of pollinators. It occurs naturally in freshwater marshes and wet flatwoods, prairies and roadside ditches throughout much of Florida.