Be a Wildflower Watcher

Thanks to photos submitted by Wildflower Watchers, our seasonal map shows a sampling of what's blooming across the state. Here's how to share your photos.

Where can I
find wildflowers?

Wildflower hotspots 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.

Other places to see wildflowers:

Statewide

 North Florida

Central Florida

 South Florida

 

For sizzling summer wildflowers, head to the wetlands

By Jeff Norcini

Many areas are very dry now, especially in Central and South Florida. When traveling in West Central Florida in mid-May, I saw very few wildflowers blooming, even in normally moist areas, many of which had dried up. The good news is that the NOAA Climate Prediction Center is forecasting that drought conditions should be alleviated by the end of August in all but east Central Florida, and even in that part of the state drought conditions should improve.

What does that mean for wildflower viewing this summer? Go to rural areas where the soil is likely to be moist even in a drought, especially adjacent to and within pine forests managed with burning.

Wildflowers to look for in moist/wet areas:

  • Scarlet rosemallow (Hibiscus coccineus; large, scarlet) – statewide
  • Skyflower (Hydrolea corymbosa; cobalt blue) – eastern Panhandle, North Central South
  • Virginia saltmarsh mallow (Kosteletzkya pentacarpos; pink) – statewide
  • Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata; purple) – statewide
  • Meadowbeauty (Rhexia spp.; most species are pink) – statewide
  • Grassleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia graminifolia; reddish orange) – Panhandle (endemic)
  • Mohr’s coneflower (Rudbeckia mohrii; yellow) – Panhandle
  • Rosegentian (Sabatia spp.; pinkishpurple or white) – statewide

If you are headed for the beach, look for:

  • Blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella; red and yellow) – statewide
  • Dune sunflower (Helianthus debilis; yellow) – statewide
  • Railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis; pinkish purple) – statewide

And for orchid enthusiasts, South Florida is the place to be.

Big Cypress National Preserve

  • Ghost orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii; white; also in Fakahatchee Swamp)
  • Butterfly orchid (Encyclia tampensis; reddish orange)
  • Night-scented orchid (Epidendrum nocturnum; white)
  • Snowy orchid (Platanthera nivea; white)

Everglades National Park

  • Night-scented orchid (Epidendrum nocturnum; white)
  • Michaux’s orchid (Habenaria quinqueseta; white)
  • Florida dancing lady orchid (Oncidium ensatum; yellow)
  • Dollar orchid (Prosthechea boothiana; greenish with purplish blotches)

Places to see wildflowers are listed under "Where can I find wildflowers?" located on the left rail of this page. 

 

Claudia Larsen, Bob Farley and Roger Hammer contributed to wildflower viewing suggestions. Photo above of Hydrolea corymbosa by Eleanor Dietrich.

 

View wildflowers along these routes, developed by the Foundation:

See details about these routes.

no mow sign

Florida's roadside program

Florida's garden clubs led the way in beautifying roadways with wildflowers. In the 1960s, the Florida Department of Transportation joined the effort. FDOT now has its own wildflower program, whichplants wildflowers and maintains natural populations along hundreds of miles of federal and state highways. Counties and cities can establish or care for wildflowers along roads and trails and in parks they maintain. They also can request that FDOT plant wildflowers and alter mowing practices within their boundaries.

Want more wildflowers along roadsides and multi-use trails near you? Learn about a resolution that is the first step to preserving and planting wildflowers in your county. Read more.


Jeff_Norcini_Liatris

Click it, don't pick it!

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. Instead, use wildflowers in your yard or in containers. Seed packets are available in the Florida Wildflower Foundation Flower Shop and from the Florida Wildflower Seed and Plant Growers Association.  Florida native wildflower seed packets also may be available at native plant garden centers.

More reasons not to pick wildflowers:

  • Picking the flowers of any endangered or threatened species is illegal in Florida. For details, see Florida Statute 581.185 Preservation of native flora of Florida.
  • Stopping along a roadside to pick wildflowers can be hazardous to you and other motorists.
 
 
 

The Florida Wildflower Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization; contributions are tax deductible. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR THE FLORIDA WILDFLOWER FOUNDATION, A FLORIDA-BASED NONPROFIT CORPORATION (REGISTRATION NO. CH12319), MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR VISITING THEIR WEBSITE HERE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

Florida Wildflowers Group Pool on Flickr

Do you love Florida's native wildflowers? The Florida Wildflower Foundation invites you to share your photos of them, join in discussions and learn more about wildflowers' role in the ecosystems of La Florida, land of flowers.

Enjoy the full-size group pool slideshow!