Pickerelweed, Pontederia cordata

Look for spring wildflowers early this year

By Jeff Norcini

Drought may develop over the next few months from North Central Florida to South Florida, according to the Climate Prediction Center, so the time is now for spring wildflower viewing. Look for the best native wildflower displays in wet areas and shallow water – just observe them from dry land, as venturing into wet areas can be risky. Soil may be so mucky that your feet sink into the muck, which can suck the boots or shoes from your feet when you try to move. And standing water often is deeper than it appears.

Many common spring wildflowers in wet areas or shallow water occur throughout the state:

Bandanna-of-the-Everglades, Canna flaccida
Bandanna-of-the-Everglades (Canna flaccida) by Ryan Fessenden
field of LIzard's tail
LIzard’s tail (Saururus cernuus) by Laurel Newman

Where to look for these wildflowers?


North/North Central Florida

Central Florida

South Florida

Non-natives have their days in the sun

While there are many wildflowers that bloom in the spring, wildflowers in disturbed areas like roadsides, residential and commercial landscapes and pastures can be a mix of native and non-native species. The following spring wildflowers are showy and have some value to pollinators but are not native to Florida. The best non-natives for pollinators are:

Submit your photos!

It’s easy to submit photos of the native wildflowers you see for posting on the Foundation’s What’s in Bloom web page. Just email them to Photos@Flawildflowers.org. You can also post photos to the Florida Native Wildflowers Facebook group and Florida Wildflowers Flickr group. For all submissions, please include the plant’s scientific name (common name is OK) and its location. If you are uncertain about a wildflower’s nativity to Florida, consult the Atlas of Florida Plants before posting. If submitting a photo to the Foundation’s Facebook group and you can’t identify it using the Atlas of Florida Plants, inquire about nativity when posting. There are many other good botany resources noted in the Facebook group’s rules.

Thank you to Claudia Larsen, Nancy Bissett, Bob Farley and Roger Hammer for their suggestions.