Also known as swamp sunflower, Narrowleaf sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius) is one of Florida’s most common sunflowers. It occurs naturally in marshes, wet flatwoods, and roadside ditches throughout North and Central Florida. It is a short-lived perennial, and blooms primarily in October and November, although some flowering can occur in September and December. In nature, it tends to form dense colonies, resulting in spectacular swaths of sunshine yellow. Narrowleaf sunflower blooms attract bees and butterflies, while its seeds provide a tasty treat for birds.
“Flower Friday” is a weekly profile of a different Florida native wildflower.
Mistflower, Blue mistflower, Wild ageratum, Pink eupatorium, Hardy ageratum, and Blue boneset are just some of the many common names used to identify Conoclinium coelestinum, an eye-catching Florida native wildflower that is also very attractive to pollinators, especially butterflies and moths.
Forked bluecurls (Trichostema dichotomum) is an herbaceous to woody annual that bears dainty yet distinctive bluish-purple blooms. Flowers are short-lived, opening only in the morning, but individual plants may produce thousands of flowers throughout a season. It also has a particularly long flowering season, typically beginning in late summer and lasting through late fall.
Corn snakeroot (Eryngium aquaticum) blooms vary in color from rich lavender to a pale cornflower blue. They are globular and are surrounded by spiny bracts. They typically bloom summer through late fall, attracting a variety of pollinators. The common name snakeroot (also known as rattlesnakemaster, both of which are used to describe the Eryngium genus) may have come from its use in Native American culture as a remedy for snakebite.
Also known as Silver-leaved aster, Grass-leaved goldenaster, and Silky golden-aster, Narrowleaf silkgrass (Pityopsis graminifolia) is a robust perennial with brilliant yellow flowers and silvery leaves. It flowers in late summer through early winter in sandhill, flatwoods and scrub habitats throughout the state.
Narrowleaf yellowtops (Flaveria linerias) is a perennial, low-growing herbaceous shrub that produces many bright yellow flowers that are attractive to a plethora of butterflies, bees and flower beetles. It occurs naturally in Florida’s depression and basin marshes, wet prairies, pine rocklands, hydric hammocks, mangrove swamp and tidal marsh edges, and in disturbed or ruderal areas.