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

Comfortroot, Hibiscus aculeatus

Flower Friday: Comfortroot

Comfortroot (Hibiscus aculeatus), also known as Pineland hibiscus, is a large perennial wildflower with showy cream-colored blooms. It occurs naturally in wet to mesic pinelands, and along the edges of savannas, bogs and roadside ditches. It typically blooms late spring through fall and attracts pollinators, specifically bees. The common name Comfortroot may allude to the belief that the plant’s mucilaginous roots has soothing properties.

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Spotted water hemlock (Cicuta maculata). Photo by Mary Keim

Flower Friday: Spotted water hemlock

Spotted water hemlock (Cicuta maculata) is a robust herbaceous perennial with a bad reputation of being one of the most toxic plants known to man. It occurs naturally in freshwater swamps, marshes and floodplains, and along riverbanks and roadside ditches. It blooms spring through fall, attracting many species of bees, wasps and butterflies. It is a larval host plant for the Black swallowtail.

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Hairy leafcup flower

Flower Friday: Hairy leafcup

Hairy leaf cup (Smallanthus uvedalia) occurs naturally in upland hardwood forests, slope forests, upland mixed woodlands, and moist shaded hammocks. It typically blooms in summer and attracts a variety of bees and other pollinators.

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Pitted stripeseed

Flower Friday: Pitted stripeseed

Also known as morning buttercup, Pitted stripeseed (Piriqueta cistoides) is a cheerful perennial wildflower. It emerges in early spring in open, sandy areas of pine flatwoods and sandhills. It typically blooms in late summer, although it can bloom year-round in southern climes. It attracts small bees and butterflies.

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Baldwin's eryngo flower

Flower Friday: Baldwin’s eryngo

Baldwin’s eryngo (Eryngium baldwinii) is a deciduous perennial (sometimes biennial) wildflower with a prostrate, vine-like growth habit. You’ll rarely notice it as you drive along the highway, but it can form a large sprawling groundcover, providing a hazy, light blue understory to other wildflowers. It occurs naturally in wet hammocks and in disturbed areas such as moist roadsides. It typically blooms in summer, although it has been known to bloom as early as spring and into the fall. It attracts small bees and butterflies.

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Insect on Whorled milkweed flowers

Flower Friday: Whorled milkweed

Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) is one of the smaller, more delicate native milkweeds. It is found in pinelands throughout much of Florida. When not in bloom, it is easily overlooked. Its narrow leaves blend in with the grasses among which the plant typically grows. Like all milkweeds, Whorled milkweed is a larval host plant for the Monarch butterfly. It flowers late spring through late summer/early fall, attracting a variety of pollinators.

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