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