Meadow at PEAR Park

Layering is key in Orange County meadow design

Central Florida gardeners will soon a have a new location to see and explore Florida’s native wildflowers and grasses. A no-mow wildflower meadow is being installed at the Orange County UF/IFAS Extension’s Exploration Gardens in Orlando, funded by the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration Garden grant. The meadow will be approximately 2,700 square feet and will include 25 species of Florida native wildflowers and grasses. Eventually, it will connect two sections of a planned native tree walk.

Leavenworth’s Tickseed

Leavenworth’s Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii) Blooms spring-summer; height 1-3 ft. Plant Sept.-mid-Dec. in full sun to light pine shade in slightly moist to moist sandy soil. Sow seeds in: N – September, October C – Late September to mid-November S – Mid-October to mid-December

Lanceleaf Tickseed

Lanceleaf Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata) Blooms in spring; height to 1-1½ ft. Plant Sept.-mid-Nov. in full sun to light pine shade in slightly dry to slightly moist well-drained soil. Sow seeds in: N – September, October C – Late September to mid-November

Roadside wildflowers

Award-winning roadside wildflowers

In a first for Florida, a project to manage naturally occurring wildflowers – versus displays that have been planted – has been recognized for its success. The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs recently gave a “Paths of Sunshine” award to Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 5 for successfully protecting and nurturing a natural wildflower display along a stretch of State Road 520 in east Orange County.

Swamp tickseed, Coreopsis nudata

Flower Friday: Swamp tickseed

Swamp tickseed (Coreopsis nudata) is a short-lived perennial with charming pink and yellow blooms. It occurs naturally in wet prairies, bogs, seepage slopes, wet flatwoods and roadside ditches. It blooms in spring (typically April and May) and is attractive to bees, although butterflies and other pollinators are known to visit them. Birds eat its seeds. Swamp tickseed is often confused with the non-native Cosmos bipinnatus.

Native Roadside Wildflowers in Rural Areas: Developing Best Management Practices for Establishment of Plantings by Seed and Enhancement of Naturally-Occurring Populations 

The main goal of this study was to determine the effects of competition and mowing on native wildflower establishment on road-side right-of-ways (ROWs) dominated by bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum). The species were Flordia ecotypes of Coreopsis lanceolata, C. leavenworthii, Gaillardia puchella, and Ipomopsis rubra. Bahiagrass competition was the main factor limiting establishment of wildflowers under simulated…

Sweat bee on blue-eyed grass

Bloom Report: Wildflowers bloom earlier than normal

Earlier-than-normal blooming of spring wildflowers seems to be occurring more often, but this year stands out because some wildflowers are blooming nearly a month earlier than expected. The influence of this “abnormal” weather will probably be greatest in North Florida. If the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) climate predictions hold true, March will likely be wetter and warmer than normal, which would speed up the time when mid- or late-spring wildflowers bloom, such as Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) and Blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella).

Dr. Loran Anderson

Member profile: Dr. Loran Anderson

Dr. Loran Anderson is a professor emeritus in the department of biological science at Florida State University in Tallahassee. His research has focused on plant taxonomy and systematics in the Florida Panhandle and elsewhere. He is currently compiling a checklist of native plants in Panhandle counties that will include rare and endangered species. In 2016, he received the Foundation’s Coreopsis Award in recognition of contribution to Florida’s wildflowers.

Research

Why do research? There is still much to learn about growing and managing wildflowers, which have important roles in keeping our natural ecosystems balanced and strong. With the occurrence of wildflowers waning throughout the world, it’s urgent that we discover the best methods of successfully growing, establishing and utilizing these valuable natural assets. Where the wildflowers…

Handouts Shop

Great wildflowers for your dry landscape Download and print OR Order free printed versions and pay only for the shipping and handling. Read more 7 steps to collecting and sowing wildflower seed Download and print OR Order free printed versions and pay only for the shipping and handling. Read more Establishing a small planting of…

Shop

The Foundation’s office is closed as a precaution amidst concerns over COVID-19. We will not be accepting orders until further notice.  Browse the Flower Shop Support native wildflowers while you shop. All sales help to protect, connect and expand Florida’s native wildflower habitat. Native Plants for Florida Gardens (232 pages; Pineapple Press) Florida is home…

Common eastern bumble bee on Thistle flower

Know your native pollinators: Bumble bees

Bumble bees are very efficient pollinators because they “buzz pollinate.” The bee grabs onto a flower and vibrates its flight muscles but not its wings. This causes the flower to release its pollen. It also creates an audible buzz at the frequency of a middle C note. The genus name Bombus comes from the Greek bombos, which means “buzzing sound.”

Protect Roadside Wildflowers

Saving wildflowers where they take root Roadsides give many native plant species what they need to thrive: sun and open spaces. With carefully timed mowing and care, roadsides can produce beauty and biodiversity while creating a sense of place unique to La Florida, land of flowers. The Florida Wildflower Foundation works statewide to increase the…

Grow Wildflowers

See how Resources Plant sources Start with 20 Easy Wildflowers With interest mounting in using wildflowers in urban landscapes, there is a huge demand for information for those new to Florida’s native plants. Enter “20 Easy-to-Grow Wildflowers.” The 24-page magazine features a selection of 20 “tried and true” wildflowers that are easy to grow and…

Learn about Wildflowers

Recommended references Get to know Florida’s native wildflowers. See more resources 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…