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

American bluebearts, Buchnera americana

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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Fringed meadowbeauty

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

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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Pale grasspink, Calopogon pallidus

Flower Friday: Pale grasspink

Pale grasspink (Calopogon pallidus) is a terrestrial orchid that occurs naturally in bogs and wet flatwoods, prairies and roadsides. It shares the same bloom time (spring into summer) and habitat as its cousin, tuberous grasspink, but can be distinguished by its flowers, which are smaller, paler, and have reflexed sepals.

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Whitemouth dayflower, Commelina erecta

Flower Friday: Whitemouth dayflower

Whitemouth dayflower (Commelina erecta) is an erect ephemeral wildflower found in pinelands, coastal uplands and scrub habitats. It generally blooms in summer and fall, but is known to bloom year-round in South Florida. Blooms attract a variety of pollinators, especially bees. Seeds are eaten by birds, and the foliage is sometimes consumed by gopher tortoises. The plant is also edible to humans. The flowers can be eaten raw or candied. Leaves are best cooked (boiled or fried), but the young shoots and tips can be eaten raw.

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Pinewoods milkweed, Asclepias humistrata

Flower Friday: Pinewoods milkweed

Also known as Sandhill or Purple milkweed, pinewoods milkweed (Asclepias humistrata) is a robust perennial wildflower with umbels of distinct pinkish-white to pale purple flowers. Its large leaves are thick and dull grayish-green with conspicuous pink to lavender veins. Pinewoods milkweed occurs naturally in sandhills, scrub and dry, ruderal areas. It blooms in spring and summer, attracting many pollinators including wasps and butterflies, and is the larval host plant of Monarch and Queen butterflies.

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