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

Purple thistle flower

Flower Friday: Purple thistle

Thistles have a bad reputation for their spiny personality, but these formidable wildflowers shine as favorite nectar and host plants for many bees and butterflies, including swallowtails. Purple thistle (Cirsium horridulum) is the larval host plant for the little metalmark and painted lady butterflies. The seeds are an important food source for seed-eating birds.

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Field to Pineland chaffhead, Carphephorus carnosus

Flower Friday: Pineland chaffhead

Pineland chaffhead (Carphephorus carnosus aka Litrisa carnosa) is a short-lived perennial wildflower that occurs naturally in wet pine flatwoods, savannas and seepage slopes. It typically blooms in late summer through early fall and attracts butterflies, moths and other pollinators. It is endemic to only 13 Central and South Florida counties.

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Glade Lobelia, Lobelia glandulosa

Flower Friday: Glade Lobelia

Glade Lobelia (Lobelia glandulosa) is a charming perennial wildflower found in wet prairies, marshes, swamps and wet pinelands throughout Florida where it attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. It is largely unnoticed in the wild until it flowers.

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Palamedes swallowtail on Dense gayfeather, Liatris spicata

Flower Friday: Dense gayfeather

Known also as Dense blazing star, Marsh blazing star and Spiked blazing star, Dense gayfeather (Liatris spicata) is an erect herbaceous perennial with striking spikes of purple flowers. It occurs naturally in mesic to wet flatwoods, seepage slopes, bogs, savannas and roadside ditches. It blooms in late summer through fall and is an excellent attractor of butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects.

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Florida yellow flax, Linum floridanum

Flower Friday: Florida yellow flax

Florida yellow flax (Linum floridanum) is a demure perennial wildflower found in sandhills and flatwoods throughout the state. It typically blooms summer through fall but may bloom year-round. It is attractive as a larval food to butterflies and moths, including the variegated fritillary.

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Rubbervine, Rhabdadenia biflora

Flower Friday: Rubbervine

Rubbervine (Rhabdadenia biflora) is an evergreen flowering vine that occurs in southern Florida’s mangrove swamps and coastal hammocks. Its white to pinkish-white flowers appear in spring through fall, but may bloom year-round if temperatures remain warm.

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