Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus). Photo by Lisa Roberts.

Flower Friday: Fringetree

Also known as old man’s beard (or grancy graybeard in limited circles), fringetree is often overshadowed by dogwood, plum and other spring-flowering trees. But fringetree’s graceful tassled flowers put on an equally spectacular display. It occurs naturally in a variety of habitats including moist hammocks and sandy uplands. It attracts many pollinators, including bats, and is the larval host plant for several species of sphinx moths. Birds love the fruits.

Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia). Photo by Eleanor Dietrich.

Flower Friday: Mountain laurel

Mountain laurel is an evergreen, perennial shrub to small tree that puts on a spectacular springtime display. It occurs naturally in slope forests, bluffs and along creeks, seep streams and swamp edges. It attracts bees and provides cover for birds and small mammals. Mountain laurel is a state-listed threatened species in Florida.

Lanceleaf tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata). Photo by Stacey Matrazzo

Flower Friday: Lanceleaf tickseed

Lanceleaf tickseed is a perennial wildflower with conspicuously sunny blooms that typically appear in spring and sometimes into summer. It occurs naturally in moist sandhills, marshes, and along swamp edges. It attracts butterflies and other pollinators, and its seeds are commonly eaten by birds and small wildlife. Lanceleaf tickseed is one of 13 species of Coreopsis native to Florida. Coreopsis is Florida’s state wildflower.

Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis). Photo by Eleanor Dietrich

Flower Friday: Eastern redbud

Eastern redbud is a deciduous perennial tree that produces an abundance of striking magenta blooms. It typically flowers in March, at which time the entire crown of the tree will become covered in deep pink blooms. It occurs naturally in mesic hardwood hammocks. Eastern redbud depends on bees for pollination. Its leaves provide food for many caterpillars, including the io moth.

Black titi (Cliftonia monophylla). Photo by Alan Cressler, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Flower Friday: Black titi

Black titi (pronounced tie-tie) is a perennial evergreen shrub to small tree. Its fragrant white-to-pinkish flowers typically bloom in spring. It occurs naturally in swamps, bogs, wet flatwoods and along stream edges. It is a wonderful attracter of pollinators — specifically honeybees who use its nectar and pollen to produce honey — and is also browsed by deer.

Wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata). Photo by Stacey Matrazzo.

Flower Friday: Wild blue phlox

Also known as woodland phlox, wild blue phlox is a delicate perennial wildflower. Its beautiful blooms appear from spring into early summer in slope forests, bluffs and calcareous hammocks. It is limited to four Panhandle counties in Florida, but is widespread throughout the United States. Many pollinators are attracted to the blooms, especially butterflies. Its roots are eaten by rabbits and other small mammals.

Rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides). Photo by Stacey Matrazzo.

Flower Friday: Rue anemone

Rue anemone is a rare, ephemeral, perennial herb. Its dainty white flowers bloom in early spring and are gone by mid-summer. It occurs naturally in slope forests and limestone bluffs. In Florida, it is a state-listed endangered species because it is at its most southern range. It is much more prolific throughout the eastern United States.

Four-petal St. John's wort (Hypericum tetrapetalum) Photo by Stacey Matrazzo

Flower Friday: Four-petal St. John’s wort

Four-petal St. John’s wort is an evergreen perennial shrub. Its flowers are bright lemon-yellow and can bloom throughout the year, but late spring is usually its best bloom time. It occurs naturally in moist flatwoods, sandhills and ruderal areas. It is considered a near-endemic species as it occurs only in Florida and limited parts of southern Georgia. It is attractive to bees.

Sandhill wireweed (Polygonella robusta) Photo by Stacey Matrazzo

Flower Friday: Sandhill wireweed

Also known as largeflower jointweed, sandhill wireweed is a deciduous woody shrub that produces an abundance of spike-like flowering clusters. It is mostly a summer and fall bloomer, with October being its most abundant blooming time, but year-round blooms are not uncommon. Sandhill wireweed is endemic to Florida. It occurs nowhere else in the world.

Tread-softly (Cnidoscolus stimulosus). Photo by Stacey Matrazzo

Flower Friday: Tread-softly

Tread-softly is a perennial, low-growing herbaceous wildflower. Its brilliant white flowers bloom year-round. It occurs naturally in sandhills, scrub, pine and scrubby flatwoods, and ruderal and disturbed areas. It attracts many butterflies and other pollinators. It’s easy to see how tread-softly gets its common name, and its scientific name is just as telling.

Florida scrub roseling (Callisia ornata) Photo by Stacey Matrazzo

Flower Friday: Florida scrub roseling

Florida scrub roseling is a beautiful and delicate perennial wildflower in the dayflower family. It typically blooms spring through autumn. It is endemic to Florida and occurs naturally in scrub and sandhill habitats. It is a close relative of (and its blooms look very similar to) spiderwort (Tradescantia spp.) and dayflower (Commelina spp.).

Cloudless sulphur caterpillar on privet senna. Photo by Peg Urban

Flower Friday: Privet senna

Also known as privet wild sensitive plant, privet senna is an evergreen, perennial shrub. Its flowers are mainly bee-pollinated, but it is the larval host plant for the cloudless sulphur and sleepy orange butterflies. It is a short-day plant, which means it requires a longer period of darkness to form its flowers.