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