Native Florida Wildflowers

Beach Verbena
Glandularia maritima

Beach Verbena
Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Black Eyed Susan
Blanketflower
Gaillardi
a ppulchella
Blanket Flower
Blazingstar
Liatris gracilis
Blazing Star

Blue Curls
Trichostema dichotomum

Blue Curls

Blue Porterweed
Stachytarpheta Jamaicensis
Porterweed
Bracken Fern
Pteridium aquilinum var. caudatum
Bracken Fern
Bushy Bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus var. glomeratus
Broomsedge
Climbing Aster
Symphyotrychum carolinianum

Carolina Aster
Coral Honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral Honeysuckle

Corky-Stemmed Passionflower
Passiflora suberosa
Corky Passionvine
Crimson Dicliptera
Dicliptera assurgens
Sixangle Foldwing
False Dragonhead
Physostegia purpurea
False Dragonhead
Florida Spiderlily
Hymenocallis tridentata
Florida Spiderlily
Frostweed
Verbesina virginica
Frostweed

Giant Leather Fern
Acrostichum danaeifolium
Giant Leatherfern
Hybrid Verbena
G. maritimaXtampensis
Hybrid Verbena
Jacquemontia
Jacquemontia pentanthos
Skyblue Clustervine
Lance-leaved Coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata
Lance Leaved Coreopsis
Love grass
Eragrostis elliottii
Love Grass

Lyre-Leaved Sage
Salvia lyrata
Lyre Leaved Sage
Man In The Ground
Ipomoea microdactyla
Man In The Ground
Pineland Petunia
Ruellia caroliniensis
Pineland Petunia
Prairie Iris
Iris hexagona
Prairie Iris
Prickly Poppy
Argemone albiflora
Prickly Poppy

Rattlesnake Master
Eryngium yuccifolium
Rattlesnake Master
Red Salvia
Salvia coccinea
Red Salvia
Sand cordgrass
Spartina bakeri
Sand Cordgrass
Seaside Goldenrod
Solidago sempervirens var. sempervirens
Seaside Goldenrod
Silk grass
Pityopsis graminifolia
Silky Aster

Snow Squarestem
Cat Tongue
Melanthera nivea
Snow Squarestem
Spiderwort
Tradescantia ohiensis
Spiderwort
Spotted Beebalm
Monarda punctata
Spotted Beebalm
Starry Rosinweed
Silphium asteriscus
Starry Rosinweed
Sunshine Mimosa
Mimosa strigillosa
Sunshine Mimosa

Swamp Fern
Blechnum Serrulatum
Swamp Fern
Swamp Rose
Rosa palustis
Swamp Rose
Tickseed
Coreopsis leavenworthii
Tickseed
Whiteflower Passionvine
Passiflora multiflora
Whiteflower Passionvine
Yellow Thistle
Cirsium horridulum var. vittatum
Yellow Thistle

Yellow Thistle
Cirsium horridulum var. vittatum


yellow thistle

Yellow thistle rarely has yellow flowers which are more commonly purple to almost white. This variety is found in pastures, roadsides and particularly in the interdune swales of Central and North Florida up to North Carolina. Variety vittatum is much larger than the more common var. horridulum.

The soil must be moist or the plant will wilt or die. The first year produces an interesting rosette of spiny leaves. By the spring of the second year a three to six foot spike of large purple flowers is produced. These attract many butterflies and other pollinators.

Although this is classified as a biennial it will often produce offshoots at the base and live for several years. The painted lady butterfly lays her eggs on this plant although most reproduce only in Mexico and migrate north in the spring.

Plant as an accent among trees growing in moist soil or mix with spiderwort, seaside goldenrod, seaside gentians, sea oxeye daisy, salvia, goatsfoot morningglory, blue curls and sea lavender. Look for these plants growing in the moist interdune swales of Merritt Island.

Whiteflower Passionflower
Passiflora multiflora

whiteflower passionflower

This endangered native passionvine is found mainly in the upper Keys. It does well in Palm Beach County and can take near freezing temperatures. The three inch leaves have short, soft hairs on them. Not tolerant of saltwater flooding or salt air.

This is a fast grower that will climb up the nearest tree and pour down from its branches. The small white flowers are in dense clusters and give off a sweet fragrance; stand down wind for a treat. Many pollinators visit the flowers and birds pick off the pellet sized berries.

The vines live for decades and the stems become quite thick over time, yet there is no underground suckering. Control of this vine is easy with occasional trimming.

Grows well in moderately fertile soil and takes drought very well. Plant next to a tree, fence or even in a hanging basket where you can easily watch butterflies lay their eggs. These will develop into butterflies over a few weeks.

Zebra longwings, gulf fritillaries and Julia butterflies lay many eggs on this vine. If you have a few butterflies around, they will soon become quite plentiful. In summer the vines are alive with hovering female butterflies looking for new growth to lay their eggs on.

The male zebra longwings mate with the female just before she emerges from her chrysalid. There are often several hovering around her.

If the yard has firebush, bloodberry, salvia, keys thoroughwort and other nectar sources, there will be many butterflies from spring to winter.

Tickseed
Coreopsis leavenworthii

tickseed

This is our state wildflower and is abundant along moist, sunny roadsides in the spring and early summer.  Just get a few started along the edge of your swale and spread the seeds by hand as they ripen for an even better turnout the next spring.

You can start new ones from seed at any time in trays and plant them in your garden for an off season splash of color.

Mix with Prairie Iris, Yellow Canna, Duck Potato, or just plant above the water  line of a lake where the soil stays moist yet won’t flood and kill them.

Swamp Rose
Rosa Palustris

swamp rose

If you haven’t smelled a rose recently, try inhaling the rich fragrance of one of these native flowers. They have not had the fragrance bred out of them like so many garden roses have.

Found along rivers and swamps from Central Florida north, this plant grows into a thicket that is impossible to walk through. The canes may reach up to 20 feet tall if they have something to lean on. Otherwise they are six to 10 feet tall before arching down and continuing on.

This makes a great mass planting in a corner of the yard with moist to average soil. Once established it can tolerate drought. Along the edge of a cypress swamp or pond, mix this with buttonbush, Virginia willow, giant leather fern, swamp fern, giant sword fern, pond apple, wild coffee, cocoplum, marlberry, elderberry, firebush, wax myrtle, and wetland wildflowers.

The fruit are eaten by birds and the petals make a colorful addition to a salad.

Swamp Fern
Blechnum Serrulatum

swamp fern

This is one of our most common ferns found throughout most of Florida in swamps and moist pinelands. It is normally two to three feet tall in sunny locations, yet may reach six feet in deep shade. It is also called marsh fern, yet that name goes to Thelypteris palustris.

A row of brown spores is found on either side of the lower midvein. The plant spreads by an underground rhizome forming a compact colony.

Plant around slash pine, cypress, red maple and other wetland trees and shrubs. The combination of wild coffee bordered by this fern is striking.

As the colony increases, break off portions and plant in new locations, making sure to water until established.

Sunshine mimosa
Mimosa strigillosa

sunshine mimosa

Found in Central and North Florida across to Texas in both wet and very dry sites.  This native plant will tolerate extremely dry soil such as the dunes of St. Augustine during a drought as well as wet soils along river flood plains.  All it needs are full sun and slightly fertile soil.

The leaves rise only two inches while the flower stalk is three inches tall.  The one inch round pink flower heads make this a beautiful ground cover in the spring and summer, especially when mixed with coreopsis.

Leaf nodes are one to three inches apart and send down a taproot which anchors the plant. It will not climb, yet may need to be cut back if it crawls too much across a walkway.

Can be walked and driven on and makes a great grass replacement.  It is also a larval food plant for the Little Yellow butterfly.

Will not out compete other plants so mix this with non spreading wildflowers or make an edge planting along a drive or walkway to hold the soil and mulch.