Virginia saltmarsh mallow (Kosteletzkya pentacarpos) is a shrub-like wildflower with showy pink blooms. It occurs naturally in salt and freshwater marshes, swamps, sloughs, coastal swales and wet thickets throughout much of the state. It blooms spring through fall, peaking in summer and attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and ants.
“Flower Friday” is a weekly profile of a different Florida native wildflower.
Carolina yellow-eyed grass (Xyris caroliniana) is a perennial wildflower found in pine flatwoods, sandhills, wet prairies, coastal dune swales and bog edges throughout Florida. It blooms late spring through fall and is primarily pollinated by wind and bees, but other insects are known to visit the flowers. Its flowers are relatively small yet conspicuous, and look like pale little butterflies dotting the landscape.
Eastern false dragonhead (Physostegia purpurea) is an herbaceous perennial wildflower found in moist to wet pinelands and marsh and swamp edges throughout much of Florida. It blooms late spring through early fall and is especially attractive to bees, although butterflies and the occasional hummingbird are known to visit it. The seeds are eaten by birds.
Florida false sunflower (Phoebanthus grandiflorus) is a showy wildflower found in sandhills and pine and scrubby flatwoods. It is endemic to 26 counties in Florida. The plant blooms spring through fall, peaking in summer. Its vibrant flowers attract pollinators, especially bees and butterflies. Birds eat its seeds.
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.
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.