Also known as Canadian germander, Wood sage (Teucrium canadense) is found in floodplains, moist thickets and meadows, marshes and swamps throughout most of Florida. It flowers spring through fall, but may bloom year-round. The flowers attract a variety of native long-tongued insects that will use the flower’s lower lip as a landing pad. Birds find the plant’s seeds appealing.
“Flower Friday” is a weekly profile of a different Florida native wildflower.
Pineland waterwillow (Justicia angusta) is an elegant wildflower found in lake and pond margins and wet pinelands, prairies and disturbed areas throughout much of Florida. It is near-endemic, occurring outside of Florida in only a few Georgia counties. The plant blooms spring through fall and attracts mostly bees. The genus name Justicia is an homage to Sir James Johnson, an 18th century Scottish horticulturalist. The species epithet angusta is from the Latin angustus, meaning “narrow,” and alludes to the plant’s narrow leaves.
Also known as Sandweed, Peelbark St. John’s wort (Hypericum fasciculatum) is an evergreen shrub found in wet pinelands and savannas, and along the margins of swamps, freshwater marshes and ponds. It typically blooms spring through fall, but may bloom year-round. The flowers are attractive to polyester, yellow-face, large carpenter, bumble, leafcutter, resin and sweat bees. The plant provides food and cover for birds and other small wildlife.
Cowhorn orchid (Cyrtopodium punctatum) is a stunning epiphytic wildflower that occurs in swamps and coastal uplands in South Florida. It typically grows on Cypress (Taxodium spp.) and Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus) trees. Florida’s once-abundant population was largely depleted in the early 20th century due to overcollection and habitat destruction. It is now a state-listed endangered species. The plant blooms in late winter through spring, with peak blooming in May.
Savannah false pimpernel (Lindernia grandiflora) is a low-growing, mat-forming wildflower found in moist pinelands, marshes and swamps. Its diminutive yet flamboyant flowers bloom year-round, peaking in spring. They attract small insects; however, they are primarily self-pollinated. The plantis also known as Blue moneywort and Angel’s tears.
Axilflower (Mecardonia acuminata) is a common but often overlooked perennial wildflower found in moist open habitats. The plant rarely reaches a height of more than 6 inches and is frequently horizontal. It blooms spring through fall (sometimes year-round) and attracts mainly bees. Three subspecies occur in Florida.