Wildflowers in Florida

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Florida is home to thousands of wildflowers that give color and beauty to the gardens, parks,  preserves, roadsides and beaches of our state. I became interested in plants and wildflowers after I moved to Florida because I realized that they were an integral and important part of the culture, history and economy of the state. Florida was named by its first early Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon, in 1513, who named it “ La Florida” or “The Flower”.

There are many flowers and plants that are native to Florida or ones that have existed here for over 500 years and many which have been brought here from other countries. There are also many that have also been hybridized or changed to enhance their color and characteristics. According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, wildflowers grow in several geographic localities in Florida including Coastal Uplands, Hardwood Forests, Pine Flatwoods, Ruderals, Sandhills and Wetlands.

I have made a hobby of learning about the names of these wildflowers and taking pictures of them. I have had to use a field guide and internet resources to identify them. There are many companies and nurseries who sell these flowers and help gardeners keep their yards looking beautiful. There are also some non-profit organizations such as the Florida Wildflower Foundation and Florida Native Plant Society whose mission it is to preserve, and enhance the native flower communities in Florida and to educate the public about the importance in keeping these wildflower populations healthy and growing. The Florida Wildflower Foundation actually made a license plate tag which it sells through the Dept. of Transportation and has raised over $3 million dollars so far. The mission of the Florida Native Plant Society is “ to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plant communities of Florida. They have chapters throughout the state and people can join and participate in conservation and educational programs.

The pictures that I took which are shown above were in parks and roadside areas in Ft. Myers, Sanibel Island and Naples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Wildflowers in Florida

  1. debbie n

    Dave,
    You’re always a wealth of info and inspiration. Thanks for the lovely wildflower pics; very nice. Yes, Florida is host to many great flowers (as long as we don’t pave it all). There’s nothing quite like discovering the native scarlet hibiscus when exploring a wetland. The stunning red flower is a real jaw dropper, and the distinctive look-a-like leaves probably have resulted in many false alarms to police or DEA. Don’t worry folks, just our native Hibiscus. coccineus. The milkwort is loved by the butterflies.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hey Debbie: Thanks for commenting. Stumbling upon some of the wildflowers I pictured here were impressive. Especially the Scarlot Rose Mallow at the Bird Rookery Swamp in Naples. Does it look like an illegal plant ? Ponce de Leon must have been real lucky to have seen the original Florida before it was paved over. Too many mosquitos back then though.

      Reply

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