Wildflower Newsletter

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WILDFLOWERS in the Media




Florida Wildflower Foundation News

Now blooming: Southern crabapple

Date Posted: Mar 17, 2017

Southern crabapple (Malus angustifolia) is a deciduous flowering shrub to small tree with showy pink blossoms. It occurs naturally in open woods and disturbed areas in Florida’s Panhandle, where it is a state-threatened species. Its fragrant spring blooms are pollinated primarily by bees, but butterflies are also known to visit them. Birds and other wildlife love its ripe fruits. Humans do, too -- but not raw! They contain malic acid, which makes them sour and astringent. They are tastiest when made into jelly or jam!

Learn more about this sweet-smelling native flower on our blog.

Photo by Stacey Matrazzo

Wildflower Symposium: Call for Presenters

Date Posted: Mar 13, 2017

The 2017 Florida Wildflower Symposium will be held on Sept. 22-23, 2017 at the Orange County UF/IFAS Extension in Orlando.

The Foundation is currently accepting proposals for presentations, which may be in the form of a talk/lecture, hands-on/interactive workshop or poster. For more information and to apply, click here. Proposals must be received no later than April 30, 2017 in order to be considered.

Now blooming: Solomon's seal

Date Posted: Mar 10, 2017

Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum) is a unique perennial wildflower that typically blooms in spring. Its pendulous, greenish-white flowers hang in pairs from the leaf axils and are often obscured by leaves. Its leaf surfaces are bright green with a gold iridescence. Wildlife enjoy its ripe berries, while humans may eat the rhizomes and young shoots. The plant also possesses medicinal properties.

To learn more about its uses, as well as how it got its common name, visit our blog

Photos by Stacey Matrazzo

Spring wildflowers bloom earlier than normal, thanks to weather pattern

Date Posted: Feb 28, 2017

Earlier-than-normal blooming of spring wildflowers seems to be occurring more often, but this year stands out because some wildflowers are blooming nearly a month earlier than expected. The influence of this “abnormal” weather will probably be greatest in North Florida. If the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) climate predictions hold true, March will likely be wetter and warmer than normal, which would speed up the time when mid- or late-spring wildflowers bloom, such as Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) and Blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella).

This also means that now is not too soon to be looking for wildflowers that normally would bloom in late March or early April, such as Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium spp.), Lanceleaf tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata), Southeastern sneezeweed (Helenium pinnatifidum), Lyreleaf sage (Salvia lyrata), and Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis). The remainder of the spring weather should be normal, so the effect of the warm, wet weather should dissipate by the end of spring … unless it doesn’t.

In Central and South Florida, temperatures are expected to be above normal in March, with normal temperatures the remainder of spring. While rain should be normal throughout spring, NOAA predicts that drought conditions will persist in a large portion of south Central Florida and are likely to develop in South Florida (see U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook).

Where to find wildflowers

Given that outlook, the best places to see native wildflowers will be naturally moist areas, especially in April and May. Look for two of the showiest and most common wildflowers in moist sites — Leavenworth’s tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii) and Black-eyed Susan (in North Florida, it tends to occur in drier locations). Because March is expected to be warmer than normal, look for typical April and May bloomers a few weeks earlier than you otherwise would. For instance, Leavenworth’s tickseed and Black-eyed Susan are already blooming.

A good place to view showy stands of wildflowers that prefer moist sites is along Florida's Turnpike south of Orlando, from about mile marker 220 south to Yeehaw Junction. Leavenworth’s tickseed and Black-eyed Susan have started flowering in these areas, which means the brilliant yellow flowers of Southeastern sneezeweed should be brightening roadsides and natural areas soon.

Because March is expected to be warmer than normal, Prairie iris (Iris hexagona) and Duck potato (Sagittaria spp.) should be flowering by early April. If you get lucky, you might even spot the bright reddish spikes of the Leafless beaked orchid (Sacoila lanceolata) that month.

Not near an area with naturally moist conditions? Head toward the coast. Blanketflower and Beach sunflower (Helianthus debilis) are showy native wildflowers that thrive in dry, sandy conditions. They can be bloom at any time of the year in South Florida, and typically start by early to mid-spring in the Panhandle.

When you are out and about enjoying the spring beauty that Mother Nature has blessed us with, please don’t pick wildflowers. If you want to preserve the memory of a wildflower, take a picture — it will last longer. Many of our native wildflowers reproduce only by seed. Picking a flower reduces a  plant's ability to sustain itself.

For specific locations to view wildflowers, drive one of the wildflower routes developed by the Florida Wildflower Foundation. Visit www.FlaWildflowerTrips.org to download Eastern Panhandle driving routes, or visit the Foundation's Research page and scroll down to the middle column of the page for wildflower route maps and reports. See more of what's in bloom at www.FlaWildflowers.org/blooming.php.

Now for a bit of science ...

Blooming is dependent on a complex interaction of genetics (that is, the “blueprint” of how the plant is expected to perform) and the environment — mainly day length, temperature and soil characteristics, the most important of which is moisture. The influence of these environmental factors varies among wildflower species. To make this issue a bit more complex, the previous year’s weather can influence wildflowers the next year, especially those that reseed. Weather can affect seed dormancy; dormant seeds do not germinate until the factor(s) causing dormancy have been alleviated, which could take several months or more. Wildflowers producing a high level of dormant seed may not yield a good stand of plants the following year.

Photo/Jeff Norcini

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All the News

Mar 17, 2017Now blooming: Southern crabapple

Mar 13, 2017Wildflower Symposium: Call for Presenters

Mar 10, 2017Now blooming: Solomon's seal

Feb 28, 2017Spring wildflowers bloom earlier than normal, thanks to weather pattern

Feb 24, 2017Now blooming: Violet butterwort

Feb 17, 2017Now blooming: Rusty lyonia

Feb 10, 2017What's blooming

Feb 10, 2017Now blooming: Crossvine

Feb 03, 2017Now blooming: Wakerobin

Jan 30, 2017Top 10 Flower Fridays - your clicks and picks!

Jan 20, 2017FDOT District 3 'dynamic duo' honored

Jan 19, 2017Doug Tallamy headlines annual Panhandle Wildflower Alliance meeting

Dec 30, 2016Now blooming: Fanpetals

Dec 02, 2016Now blooming: Indianpipe

Nov 25, 2016Now blooming: Fragrant ladies'-tresses

Nov 18, 2016Now blooming: Rice button aster

Nov 11, 2016Now blooming: Hairyawn muhly

Mar 03, 2016Wildflower activities for classrooms available for download

Nov 04, 2016Now blooming: Seminole false foxglove

Oct 28, 2016Now blooming: Bushy seaside oxeye

Oct 21, 2016Now blooming: Vanillaleaf

Oct 14, 2016Now blooming: Summer farewell

Oct 10, 2016Photo contest winners announced

Oct 07, 2016Now blooming: Dogtongue wild buckwheat

Sep 16, 2016Now blooming: Grassleaf Barbara's buttons

Sep 09, 2016Now blooming: Skyflower

Sep 02, 2016Now blooming: Catesby's lily

Aug 26, 2016Now blooming: Sandbog deathcamas

Aug 19, 2016Now blooming: Pineland heliotrope

Aug 10, 2016Now blooming: Swamp milkweed

Aug 05, 2016Now blooming: Comfortroot

Jul 29, 2016Now blooming: Lanceleaf blanketflower

Jul 22, 2016Now blooming: Spotted water hemlock

Jul 15, 2016Now blooming: Hairy leafcup

Jul 08, 2016Now blooming: Pitted stripeseed

Jul 01, 2016Now blooming: Baldwin's eryngo

Jun 24, 2016Now blooming: Whorled milkweed

Jun 17, 2016Now blooming: Yellow colicroot

Jun 09, 2016Now blooming: Pale meadowbeauty

May 27, 2016Now blooming: Swamp azalea

May 20, 2016Now blooming: Southern beeblossom

May 11, 2016Now blooming: Pricklypear cactus

May 06, 2016Now blooming: Mock bishopsweed

May 03, 2016Double your impact for natural Florida during National Wildflower Week

Apr 29, 2016Now blooming: Blue eyed grass

Apr 21, 2016Now blooming: False indigo

Apr 14, 2016Now blooming: White wild indigo

Apr 07, 2016Now blooming: Fringetree

Apr 04, 2016Wildflower Farm Field Day and Photography Workshop

Mar 31, 2016Now blooming: Mountain laurel

Mar 24, 2016Now blooming: Lanceleaf tickseed

Mar 16, 2016It was a great year for wildflowers!

Mar 16, 2016Now blooming: Eastern redbud

Mar 10, 2016Now blooming: Black titi

Mar 04, 2016Now blooming: Wild blue phlox

Mar 12, 2016New Coreopsis species

Feb 29, 2016Spring Wildflower Tour of SR 65

Feb 26, 2016Now blooming: Rue anemone

Feb 18, 2016Now blooming: Yellow butterwort

Feb 12, 2016Now blooming: Four petal St. John's wort

Feb 10, 2016Panhandle Wildflower Alliance to meet

Feb 05, 2016Now blooming: Sandhill wireweed

Jan 29, 2016Now blooming: Tread softly

Jan 22, 2016Now blooming: False rosemary

Jan 15, 2016Now blooming: Coastalplain goldenaster

Dec 11, 2015Tour Orlando Wetlands Park With FWF

Dec 11, 2015Moran photo exhibit finds permanent home

Jun 24, 201528 Seeds for Schools grants announced

Mar 26, 2015Pinellas 'Viva Florida' wildflower landscape demonstrates use of native plants

Mar 17, 2015Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to host FWF scientific literature database

Feb 03, 2015Download our winter newsletter