Elliott’s aster (Symphyotrichum elliottii) is an herbaceous perennial wildflower that produces a coronet of lavender blooms. It typically flowers in late fall and occurs naturally in roadsides ditches, wet flatwoods, swamps, and marshes. It is a wonderful plant for attracting butterflies, bees and other pollinators due to its many fragrant blooms.
“Flower Friday” is a weekly profile of a different Florida native wildflower.
Clasping Venus’ looking-glass (Triodanis perfoliata) is an annual herbaceous wildflower that typically flowers late winter through spring and even into fall. It occurs naturally along roadsides and in disturbed areas. It is pollinated by bees, flies and small butterflies and moths.
Largeleaf grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia grandifolia) is a rare and wonderful wildflower. Every part of it is distinctively striking. It blooms only in fall, typically October and November, and occurs naturally in open and seasonally wet savannahs and bogs. It is a state-listed endangered species.
Also known as Groundsel tree and Sea myrtle, Saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia) is a long-lived perennial shrub that typically blooms in fall. It occurs naturally in coastal uplands and dunes, along pond margins, and in ditches and disturbed areas. It is an evergreen in the southern part of the state, but can be deciduous in northern Florida.
Lopsided indiangrass (Sorghastrum secundum) is a robust and unique perennial bunchgrass. Throughout most of the year, it is rather indistinct. But in late summer, it produces tall, dramatic flower spikes. It occurs naturally in pinelands, sandhills and flatwoods. It is the larval host plant for the Delaware skipper, dusted skipper and swarthy skipper.
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.