Rayless sunflower (Helianthus radula) is a unique member of the Helianthus or sunflower genus. Like most sunflowers, its flowerhead includes a compact center comprised of many disk florets. But unlike its relatives, its ray florets are almost entirely absent. Rayless sunflower typically blooms late spring into early fall and attracts a variety of pollinators. It occurs naturally in sandy uplands, along moist to dry roadsides, and in seasonally wet savannahs and pine flatwoods.
“Flower Friday” is a weekly profile of a different Florida native wildflower.
Coastalplain honeycombhead (Balduina angustifolia) is an annual to biennial wildflower that produces showy, golden blooms that typically appear late spring or summer into fall. It occurs naturally in sandhills, scrub, dunes, and pine and scrubby flatwoods. It attracts a variety of butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Honeycombhead is also known as yellow buttons.
Also known as Florida’s lady’s nightcap and Scrub morning glory, Florida bonamia (Bonamia grandiflora) is a rare, perennial flowering vine. Its showy blooms appear spring through fall in sand pine scrub. Florida bonamia is endemic to Central Florida, and is a federally threatened and state-listed endangered species.
You’d probably expect an elephant-sized flower from a plant called Tall elephantsfoot (Elephantopus elatus), but it’s not the flower that gives this plant its name. It’s the large rosette of flat basal leaves that, with a bit of imagination, bear a tiny resemblance to the shape of an elephant’s footprint. The plant’s small lavender flowers are held by three fuzzy bracts that form a unique triangular shape. Despite their size, the flowers attract a variety of pollinators, especially native bees.
Lemon bacopa (Bacopa caroliniana) is a low-growing, herbaceous wildflower that occurs naturally in very moist to aquatic habitats such as along pond and stream margins, and in swamps, marshes and shallow ditches. It typically blooms late spring through fall, but can bloom year-round. Its nectar attracts a variety of small pollinators.