Also known as Mountain azalea, Sweet pinxter azalea (Rhododendron canescens) is a deciduous flowering shrub. Its showy pinkish- to rose-colored flowers bloom in spring in pine flatwoods, mesic hammocks, bay swamps, and floodplain and slope forests. They attract a number of pollinators, including hummingbirds.
“Flower Friday” is a weekly profile of a different Florida native wildflower.
Parrot pitcherplant (Sarracenia psittacina) is a carnivorous perennial plant. It typically flowers in April and May and occurs naturally in seepage slopes, wet prairies, depression marshes, dome swamps, and bogs. Parrot pitcherplant is a state listed threatened species. Its species name psittacina means “of or relating to parrots” and refers to the shape of the flower resembling the head of a parrot.
American white waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) is a floating aquatic plant. Its large, solitary, fragrant white flowers bloom spring through fall in swamps, marshes, slow-moving streams and shallow lakes, ponds and ditches. The flowers are attractive to butterflies, but they are pollinated primarily by beetles. The plant is also known as Fragrant waterlily.
Skyblue lupine (Lupinus diffusus) is a lovely herbaceous perennial that occurs primarily in scrubby habitats. Its bluish to lavender flowers are born on dense spikes and appear in spring. It occurs naturally in sand and oak scrub, sandhills, pine flatwoods and coastal strands.
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!)
Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a robust, twining woody vine that is mostly evergreen in Florida, but can be deciduous in colder climes. The plant occurs naturally in sandhills, scrubby flatwoods, hardwood hammocks, floodplain forests and open woodlands. It blooms throughout the year in Central Florida, with best blooming in winter. Farther north, it has a reduced bloom season. The flowers are attractive to many butterflies, and hummingbirds find them irresistible. Birds such as cardinals enjoy the fruits.