Get to know Florida’s native wildflowers.

Native or Not?

A Florida native wildflower is a flowering herbaceous species that grew wild within the state’s natural ecosystems in the 1560s, when Florida’s first botanical records were created. Read the Foundation’s full definition of Florida native plants, including cultivars.

Exotic Invaders

Learn how invasive plants are damaging natural landscapes and ecosystems and costing taxpayers money.

Weed or Wildflower?

Wildflowers can be a beautiful addition to your garden, but they can become weeds when they grow in the wrong place. Learn more about gardening with wildflowers.

Spanish needles (Bidens alba) literally grows like a weed. So is it one? It is the hands-down favorite for Florida’s native pollinators. Photo by Bob Peterson.

“Everything on Planet Earth has a purpose for being here. If you disrupt the balance of the web of life, there are consequences. The more we understand these interactions, the better off we are.” — Dr. Walter K. Taylor, author and UCF professor emeritus, biology

Wildflowers in the Landscape

Try these alternatives to common invasive species

Some of the plants that are common to our home landscapes are actually invasive species, many of which are now widespread in Florida’s natural areas. Removing these species from your landscape and replacing them with native alternatives can help prevent the spread of invasive species and will provide suitable food and cover for native wildlife. We suggest some “alter-natives” for your landscape.

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hand lens

Add a hand lens to your field backpack

If you have ever walked a trail with a botanist to discover and name each flower you pass, you realize the importance of plant morphology in the taxonomic routine of plant identification. Not only do the “small parts” of each flower and leaf provide clues to each plant’s identity and separate members of the same genus and family, they also show the evolutionary trends that forced that species to specially adapt for survival.

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gopher-tortoise

Gopher tortoises love wildflowers, too!

Many of us have had the pleasure of seeing gopher tortoises (or at least their burrows) on nature walks. They live in every county in Florida, and although they are associated with dry sandhills, they may also be found in many diverse areas such as pine flatwoods, oak hammocks, scrub areas and coastal dunes. Open pastures and vacant lots can also be a refuge for them. Gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) prefer sunny open land with sandy soil that is also conducive to the growth of many of our Florida wildflowers. So it is no surprise that wildflowers make up a significant portion of their diet.

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We continue to work with experts on Florida’s native wildflowers to bring you information about their habits and habitats. We know you’ll enjoy getting to know them, and their work with our fabulous wildflowers.

Go Mobile!

BirdingTrailApplogoGet the App

Nature Viewing Along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail helps you identify the state’s birds, butterflies and wildflowers. Android version

wildflowerrouteapplogoWildflower Trips

Plan a trip to the Panhandle. Learn about bloom hotspots and places to visit. Bookmark this web-based resources.

Learn more and share

butterflies and wildflowers brochure

Fill out our request form to receive butterfly/wildflower brochures and handouts for a school, meeting or event.  (Supplies are limited.)

Use these quick links

Reduce shipping costs and carbon footprint by downloading and printing these educational handouts.

Panhandle wildflower viewing

Panhandle BrochureThe Panhandle is considered the best place in Florida to view native wildflowers. Find routes and hotspots easily with the Native Wildflowers in Florida’s Eastern Panhandle guide, available at official Florida Welcome Centers. The pamphlet features viewing routes and beautiful photos of 40 common regional native flowers.

Download the brochure or order a copy.

Recommended References

Great books that will help you understand, identify and use Florida’s native flowers.

Explore our Research

There’s a lot we don’t know about wildflowers. Our research program unlocks their secrets and producing information of use to homeowners, land managers, growers and highway maintenance managers.