Also known as Rugel’s milkwort, Yellow milkwort Yellow milkroot (Polygala rugelii) is an annual herbaceous wildflower endemic to the Florida peninsula. Its showy flowers bloom primarily in summer and fall, but may appear throughout most of the year. It occurs naturally in wet pine flatwoods.
“Flower Friday” is a weekly profile of a different Florida native wildflower.
Carolina redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana) is a perennial herbaceous wildflower that blooms from summer into fall. It occurs naturally in wet flatwoods, marshes, bogs, dome swamps, savannas and coastal swales. Its blooms are attractive to a variety of butterflies and moths; its seeds are eaten by birds; and the whole plant is favored by feral hogs, who are known to dig up and eat large patches of redroot.
Gopher apple (Licania michauxii) is a hardy, low-growing, woody perennial shrub that occurs naturally in sandhills, pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods and scrub. It is often confused with runner oak, which has a similar growth habit and is found in similar habitats. Gopher apple can bloom year-round.
White birds-in-a-nest (Macbridea alba) is a rare and unique wildflower endemic to only four counties in Florida’s Panhandle. Its flowers bloom May through July and attract mostly bees. It is a state-listed endangered and a US-listed threatened species. The plant gets its common name from the way its white mature flowers resemble birds encircling a green “nest” formed by bracts. The unopened white flower buds appear egglike nestled within the nest.
Grassleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia graminifolia) is a Florida endemic perennial wildflower. Its brick-red solitary blooms are distinctly different than most Florida Rudbeckia species. It typically flowers in summer and occurs naturally savannas and along moist roadsides.