Chickasaw plum (Prunus angustifolia) is a deciduous flowering shrub or small tree that produces profuse white blooms, making for a spectacular early spring display. It occurs naturally in dry hammocks, woodland edges, and disturbed areas and roadsides. The flowers are attractive to pollinators; the fruit is eaten by birds and other wildlife — and humans! (They are quite tart!)
“Flower Friday” is a weekly profile of a different Florida native wildflower.
Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a robust, woody vine that is mostly evergreen, but can be deciduous in colder climes. Its showy blooms are scarlet red to reddish-orange and are attractive to many butterflies. Hummingbirds find them irresistible and birds such as cardinals enjoy the fruits.
Wild petunia (Ruellia caroliniensis) is a low-growing, erect perennial wildflower that typically blooms in late spring through late summer/early fall. It occurs naturally in mesic hammocks, flatwoods and sandhills, and along roadsides and in disturbed sites. It is the host plant for the white peacock (Anartia jatrophae) and common buckeye (Junonia coenia) butterflies, but attracts a variety of pollinators.
Also known as Southern fleabane and Daisy fleabane, Oakleaf fleabane (Erigeron quercifolius) is a delicate, short-lived perennial wildflower. It typically blooms in spring and summer and attracts a variety of pollinators. It occurs naturally in sandhills and moist hammocks as well as in disturbed sites and along roadsides.
The beautiful yellow flowers of Florida greeneyes (Berlandiera subacaulis) appear in spring in sandhills, pine flatwoods, and mixed upland forests, as well as along dry roadsides and in ruderal areas. They attract a variety of pollinators and are endemic to Florida.
Walter’s viburnum (Viburnum obovatum) occurs naturally in hydric hammocks, riverine forests, floodplain swamps and bottomland forests. Pollinators are attracted to its showy spring flowers, while birds and other wildlife feast on its abundant summer and fall fruit production and use its dense foliage for nesting and cover.