Lyreleaf sage is a harbinger of spring for much of north and central Florida Photo by Lisa Roberts
Lyreleaf sage is a harbinger of spring for much of north and central Florida Photo by Lisa Roberts

See what’s in bloom!

Click the slider icon below to select spring, summer and/or fall. Then click on a flower symbol to see each user-submitted photo of what’s blooming in different parts of the state.

Have a sighting to share? Submit it to photos@flawildflowers.org with species name and the location so we can show it on the map!

The Bloom Report: Head south and look to moist areas for wildflowers

A field of Linaria canadenis in Southwest Florida. Photo/Jeff Norcini

By Jeff Norcini

Many of Florida’s spring native wildflowers have large, showy flowers –– such as Iris and Purple thistle. But some common ones may be underappreciated because their flowers are small, near the ground, or just positioned on the stem where they may be hard to see. However, they are quite beautiful when viewed close up.

Below are some of the common ones in this category. All occur statewide (although not in every county) except Bay lobelia, which occurs from Madison County to South Florida. All are full sun/high pine shade species except for the violets, which are more common in indirect sun and deciduous hardwood forests. Click on the wildflower name for flower images.

On the opposite end are common species that are very conspicuous when blooming, standing out even when a single plant is in bloom. Species listed below occur statewide (although not in every county) except Lanceleaf tickseed, which occurs from the Panhandle to Central Florida. All are found in full sun to high pine shade.

Where to look? Moist areas are best

Considering that spring is expected to be drier than normal, the best places to see wildflowers will be in moist areas – ditches and swales on roadsides, especially in rural areas and moist pine flatwoods. Two notable exceptions that seem “weatherproof” are Goldenmane tickseed (Coreopsis basalis)* and the non-native Annual phlox (Phlox drummondii). Large populations of pink to purple phlox are a familiar sight from late winter to mid-spring from the Big Bend to Tampa/St. Petersburg. Equally showy are the large swaths of Goldenmane tickseed in fields and along roadsides in North Florida; peak bloom is late April to mid-May.

For specific locations to view wildflowers, try one of the wildflower routes developed by the Foundation. Visit the What’s in Bloom page for route maps and reports.

Also, be aware that some wildflowers may be popping up a bit earlier than normal. Early flowering seems to be the trend based on many of the previous springs, at least in the Panhandle. However, South Florida's native plant and orchid guru Roger Hammer pointed out, "Most everything down here blooms throughout the winter anyway, so it’s difficult to tell if anything is ‘early’ or not."

Finally, when you are out enjoying the spring beauty that Mother Nature has blessed us with, please don’t pick wildflowers. If you want to preserve a wildflower memory, take a picture – it will last longer. Many of our native wildflowers reproduce only by seed. Picking a flower reduces the ability of that plant to reproduce and for that population of wildflowers to sustain itself.

*Is it native? Read about Goldenmane tickseed (Coreopsis basalis) and the issue of nativity.

Dr. Jeff Norcini is a former University of Florida horticulture researcher and owner/principal of the consulting firm OecoHort LLC, based in Tallahassee.

Click it, don’t pick it!

Many native wildflowers reproduce only by seed. Picking a flower reduces the ability of a population of wildflowers to sustain itself.

It’s the law
Picking the flowers of any endangered or threatened species is illegal in Florida (Florida Statute 581.185).

Don’t be a hazard
Stopping alongside a road can be hazardous to you and other motorists. It’s best to view roadside wildflowers from your vehicle.

Wildflower hot spots

Where can I find wildflowers?
Wildflower hot spots include highways managed by FDOT, such as Florida’s Turnpike and Interstates 75, 95 and 4. Many rural roads, especially in the Panhandle and Big Bend, also are known for abundant blooms.

Places to see wildflowers

Statewide
Florida National Scenic Trail
Florida Water Management Districts lands
Florida State Parks
Hiking Statewide — Wildflower Walks
National Forest lands
US Forest Service

North Florida
Florida Caverns State Park
, Marianna
Big Bend Scenic Byway
Goethe State Forest (Alachua/Levy County)
State Road 65, between Telogia and Sumatra
Apalachicola River WEA
State Road 9A, between Gate Parkway and Baymeadows Road, Duval County
State Road 26, west of Gainesville
State Road 100, Keystone Heights; also between Bunnell and Palatka
State Road 228, just north of State Road 23, Duval County
State Road 500/ U.S. Highway Alt. 27, Chiefland to Williston
U.S. Highway 27, from north end of Perry for about 3-4 miles
U.S. Highway 27, Suwannee County
U.S. Highway 27/98, Dixie and Levy County
U.S. Highway 90, between Lake City and Live Oak
U.S. Highway 301 at the Florida/Georgia border, Nassau County

Wildflower routes