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

Ashe's calamint flowers

Flower Friday: Ashe’s calamint

Ashe’s calamint (Calamintha ashei) is a state-threatened perennial shrub that produces many tubular-shaped lavender flowers. It typically blooms in spring but can bloom as early as January and as late as summer or early fall. Its leaves emit a strong basil-like scent when crushed. Bees love Ashe’s calamint!

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Coastal searocket on dune

Flower Friday: Coastal searocket

Coastal searocket (Cakile lanceolata) is a charming little wildflower found on dunes and strands in many of Florida’s coastal counties. It typically blooms in early spring and summer, but can bloom year-round. The specimen in the photo was recently spotted on St. George Island in the Panhandle. The flowers attract bees and butterflies, including the great southern white, for which it is a larval host. The stems and leaves are edible.

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Pineland daisy flower

Flower Friday: Pineland daisy

Pineland daisy (Chaptalia tomentosa) is an early-blooming aster found in wet flatwoods, bogs and freshwater marsh edges. It begins as nodding pinkish bud, and opens into a wheel of white disk and ray florets. It is also known as Woolly sunbonnets — “woolly” because the undersides of its leaves are covered in a dense mat of hairs, and “sunbonnets” because the drooping bloom has a bonnetlike appearance.

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Cuban jute flower

Flower Friday: Fanpetals

Fanpetals (Sida spp.) bloom in dry uplands and ruderal and disturbed areas. This member of the Hibiscus family can bloom year-round and attracts bees and butterfies, including the tropical checkered skipper, for which it is a larval host. Fanpetals do well in naturalistic landscapes as they can become weedy if not maintained.

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paintedleaf flower with bright red bracts

Flower Friday: Paintedleaf

With so much attention given to the Christmas poinsettia this time of year, we thought it would be a good time to pay homage to our native poinsettia, Paintedleaf (Euphorbia cyathorphora). It is smaller and far less dramatic than its Mexican cousin (Euphorbia pulcherrima), but it is no less striking. The flowers, which are tiny and greenish-yellow, are surrounded by large, leaflike bracts with distinctively red bases, giving the plant its common name. The seeds are a favorite of mourning doves.

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Smallfruit beggarticks flower

Flower Friday: Smallfruit beggarticks

Smallfruit beggarticks (Bidens mitis) is an annual aster that blooms year-round in wet prairies and along fresh and brackish marsh edges throughout much of Florida. It blooms en masse in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, among other locations. The bright yellow flowers attract many bees and butterflies.

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