WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: NUTTALL’S THISTLE (Cirsium nuttallii)
Tall (about 4.5 ft.) spiny (OUCH) plant that is of great benefit to wildlife, providing for numerous insects, including being a larval host for the Little Metalmark Butterfly. I’ve seen other notations that Cirsium spp. may be a host for the Painted lady Butterfly as well.
Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://herb.umd.umich.edu/herb/search.pl?searchstring=Cirsium