WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: ASTER (Symphyotrichum sp.)

ASTER (Symphyotrichum s.) with Syrphid Fly (Toxomerus sp.)

possibly S. simmondsii

Larval Host: Pearl Crescent Butterfly (Phyciodes tharos)

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Symphyotrichum

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=4162

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: GLADE LOBELIA (Lobelia glandulosa)

Wildflower about 1-2 ft for moist to wet locations

Learn: http://regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/plantdetail.asp?tx=Lobeglan

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Lobelia

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3164

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: PICKERELWEED (Pontederia cordata)

Emergent plant for shallow water.

Learn: http://regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/plantdetail.asp?tx=Pontcord

Learn more: http://aquaplant.tamu.edu/plant-identification/alphabetical-index/pickerelweed/

“The seed of pickerelweed is eaten by waterfowl. Geese and muskrats will consume the vegetation, while only fish, and to a lesser extent birds and small mammals, utilize flooded foliage for cover.” (source: https://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_poco14.pdf)

Also provides nectar/pollen for Butterflies, Bees and other Pollinators

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Pontederia+cordata

Said to be edible: http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Pontederia+cordata

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3688

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: PILLPOD SANDMAT (Euphorbia hirta)

One of the spurges it is said to have multiple medicinal purposes: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249903/

Larval host for Salt Marsh Moth (Estigmene acrea) [personal observation]

This groundcover can be aggressive in disturbed areas.

Learn: http://regionalconservation.org/ircs/database/plants/PlantPage.asp?TXCODE=Euphhirt

“Formerly included in the genus Chamaesyce, this species is reclassified under Euphorbia subg. Chamaesyce sect. Anisophyllum subsect. Hypericifoliae.”

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=710

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: ALLIGATORFLAG; FIREFLAG (Thalia geniculata)

Wetlands plant. Tall, large leaves.

Learn: http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/thalia-geniculata/

Larval host:  Brazilian Skipper (Calpodes ethlius)  http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/thalia-geniculata

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Thalia+geniculata

Learn more: http://benkolstad.net/?p=5614

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3590

From June 2010:

Thalia geniculata

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: ROSY CAMPHORWEED (Pluchea baccharis)

Fragrant plant for moist to wet locations. Loved by butterflies and other pollinators such as the sweat bees shown here.

synonym: P. rosea

Learn: http://regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/plantdetail.asp?tx=Plucbacc

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Pluchea+baccharis

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2500

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: CUBAN JUTE; INDIAN HEMP (Sida rhombifolia)

May be used in making cord and said to have some use in herbal medicines/teas. may contain Ephedrine.

Can be aggressive with abundant seeds. Supports wildlife: shown is a small carpenter bee (Ceratina sp.).

Learn: http://regionalconservation.org/ircs/database/plants/PlantPage.asp?TXCODE=Sidarhom

Larval host: Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon istapa), Checkered-Skippers (Pyrgus spp.),

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=sida

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2741

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: BLACKEYED SUSAN (Rudbeckia hirta)

Blooms all year in warm areas. Freely self seeds. Bright flowers that are usually 2 ft. but can reach 3 ft in certain conditions.

Learn: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/rudbeckia-hirta

Loved by pollinators and spiders. Birds enjoy the seeds.

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Rudbeckia+hirta

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2286

My take: http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/five-minutes-with-susan-in-the-garden/

Seeds available: http://www.floridawildflowers.com/products/Rudbeckia-hirta-%252d-Blackeyed%C2%A0Susan.html

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: LEAFLESS BEAKED ORCHID (Sacoila lanceolata)

a.k.a. LEAFLESS BEAKED LADIESTRESSES

I nearly always *almost* mow this surprise visitor over since it first appeared in 2015.  Luckily the red caught my eye just in the nick of time.

State threatened.

“The plant is deciduous. The leaves are not present at the time of bloom. They appear after flowering and persist from summer to early winter.”

Learn: http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/Hort/GardenPubsAZ/Scarlet_Ladies%27_Tresses.pdf

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2298

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: VIRGINIA CREEPER; WOODBINE (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Deciduous vine in the grape family provides spectacular fall color. can be grown on masonary surfaces without damage but use caution if planted near painted surfaces.

Can be grown as a ground cover but will always attempt to climb anything nearby. Freely self seeds so can be aggressive, but provides great cover and food value for wildlife especially insects and birds.

 

Berries From September 2016:

Larval Host: Moths including several Sphinx moths.

Learn: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/parthenocissus-quinquefolia

I’ve had Brown Thrashers successfully nest in my vine.

Learn more wildlife value: http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_paqu2.pdf

Sap may cause allergic reaction to some.

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=parthenocissus+quinquefolia

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3742

From 2015: virginiacreepermay2015a

buds

buds

virginiacreeperMay2015B ###

WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: WILD COFFEE (Psychotria nervosa)

Mason Wasp (Pseudodynerus quadrisectus)  enjoys nectar from wild coffee

Beautiful shrub which attracts pollinators and birds with the resulting red fruits.  Said to be a Larval host for the Coffee-loving Pyrausta Moth (Pyrausta tyralis) but I have yet to find any caterpillars although I have scads of adults flying around.

Learn: http://fnps.org/plants/plant/psychotria-nervosa

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2811

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: CHICKASAW PLUM (Prunus angustifolia)

Myzinum carolinianum, a Thynnid Wasp visits

 

tree/shrub. Flowers great for pollinators, fruits feed birds/mammals. This is one I added to my landscape.

Learn: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/prunus-angustifolia

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Prunus+angustifolia

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3855

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: WINGED LOOSESTRIFE (Lythrum alatum var. lanceolatum)

Likes it moist/wet. Loved by bees and other pollinators; hummingbirds. As can be seen in the photo below, Gray Hairstreak butterflies also find it enticing.

Learn: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/lythrum-alatum-var-lanceolatum

Larval host: Psyche casta (bagworm moth)

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Lythrum+alatum

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3282

My take: http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/winging-it-for-pollinators/

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara)

Pretty aromatic tree. Watch the thorns! Provides cover for fauna, fruits eaten by wildlife.

Larval host: Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) and Schaus’ Swallowtail (Heraclides aristodemus) (in range)

Learn: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/zanthoxylum-fagara

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Zanthoxylum+fagara

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2804

The honeybees were visiting this plant en masse this week.

exotic honeybees were feasting at this beautiful native

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: RABBITBELLS (Crotalaria rotundifolia)

Also known as rattlebox. Low growing member of the pea family; may be toxic to cattle.

Larval Host: Bella Moth (Utetheisa ornatrix); ceraunus blue butterfly (Hemiargus ceraunus)

Learn: http://regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/plantdetail.asp?tx=Crotrotu

Fact sheet explaining Native vs. Non-native of this genus: http://bugwoodcloud.org/CDN/floridainvasives/CrotalariaSpecies-rattlebox.pdf

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Crotalaria+rotundifolia

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3328

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/we-dont-all-eat-leaves-you-know/

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: BALDWIN’S ERYNGO (Eryngium baldwinii)

a.k.a. Matted-button snakeroot, this ground vine is so tiny it can easily be overlooked. A member of the CARROT FAMILY (APIACEAE)

Butterfly larval food: Black Swallowtail: http://www.nsis.org/garden/family/carrot.html

Learn: http://pinellas.fnpschapters.org/index.php?id=Eryngiums

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Eryngium

Where does it grow in Florida?: http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2628

you can see how tiny this prostrate vine is

from 2013:

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: SOUTHERN BEEBLOSSOM (Oenothera simulans)

synonym: Gaura angustifolia

Tall, lanky annual wildflower (3-4ft) attracts pollinators. The flowers start out white and turn pink overnight; flowers only last a day. May be aggressive as it freely self seeds.

Larval Host: Clouded Crimson Flower Moth (Schinia gaurae); HUMMINGBIRDS will nectar at this plant.

Learn: http://2bnthewild.com/plants/H59.htm

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Oenothera

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3271

My take: http://web.archive.org/web/20140729110202/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/just-in-time-for-national-moth-week.html

Clouded Crimson Moth (Schinia gaurae) uses Southern Beeblossom (Oenothera simulans) as a larval host. Shown here nectaring on Bidens alba

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?:  GREENBRIER (Smilax sp.)

Smilax sp.

I have to wait for the berries to be sure, but this is likely S. auriculata which is a thorny vine with large edible potato-like tubers. fresh growth also edible by humans and enjoyed by rabbits. Deer and black bear also forage. berries provide food for birds and the thickets produced provide excellent cover for wildlife.

There are 12 Smilax spp. documented for Florida and all are considered native. http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Results.aspx?cat=genus&text=smilax

Ethno: http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/include/searchherb.php?herbsearch=smilax

Learn: http://www.eattheweeds.com/smilax-a-brier-and-that%E2%80%99s-no-bull/

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Smilax

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: SAWTOOTH BLACKBERRY; PENNSYLVANIA BLACKBERRY (Rubus pensilvanicus)

SAWTOOTH BLACKBERRY; PENNSYLVANIA BLACKBERRY (Rubus pensilvanicus)

CAREFUL! Thorns! Pollinators and other Insects are drawn to the flowers, juicy berries are a favorite among birds, reptiles, insects and mammals, including me. Rabbits browse leaves as do some insects. Excellent cover.

Synonym: Rubus argutus

Learn: http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/extension/4h/plants/Blackberry/index.html

Learn more: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag238

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Rubus

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2256

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: PROCESSION FLOWER (Polygala incarnata)

Polygala incarnata

If you look carefully (zoom in) you’ll see a tiny spider waiting for dinner.

Easily overlooked until the pretty pink head blooms. A member of the Milkwort Family.

Learn: http://www.kswildflower.org/flower_details.php?flowerID=389

Where does it grow in Florida?:  http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3418

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=polygala

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