When seeing red is a good thing!

Pictured above: Tropical sage (Salvia coccinea) courtesy of Springer Environmental

Our Summer Bloom Report from Jeff Norcini, PhD will have you seeing red in the most beautiful way:

Vibrant red native wildflowers will brighten up your landscape, and those with tubular flowers will attract hummingbirds (and butterflies, too). Hummingbirds are delightful to watch as they dart and dive, slowing down only to feed or to rest on a branch. If you see a hummingbird flitting around in your yard, more likely than not it’s a Ruby-throated hummingbird, the most common hummingbird east of the Mississippi River. (The only other one I’ve seen in my yard is the Rufous hummingbird.)

The Florida native wildflowers listed below are all known to attract hummingbirds with their red tubular flowers:
All bloom in the summer, with some blooming much longer as flowering season may start earlier and/or end later in the southern part of a plant’s range.

Trumpet creeper, Campsis radicans
Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans)
by Ketih Bradley

Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans)

Firebush (Hamelia patens var. patens)
by Mary Keim

Firebush (Hamelia patens)

  • 6- to 12-foot tall evergreen shrub
  • Suitable mainly for Central and South Florida; can be used in North Florida, but will die back in a hard freeze.
  • Flowers year round (mid- or late spring to fall if it dies back); best flowering occurs in full sun.
  • Perennial
  • Calusa firebush (Hamelia patens ‘Calusa’) is a 3- to 8-foot-tall native cultivar. The dwarf cultivar Hamelia patens var. glabra is not native.
  • See also:
Scarlet hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus)
by Emily Bell

Scarlet hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus)

  • 5- to 8-foot-tall upright plant
  • Suitable for use throughout Florida
  • Flowers spring through summer
  • Flowers are not tubular when fully in bloom, but are very showy; each is 4 to 8 inches in diameter.
  • While it naturally occurs in moist to very wet sites, it will perform well in slightly moist sites.
  • Typically, an herbaceous perennial, but can be semi-woody in South Florida.
  • See also:
Scarletcreeper (Ipomoea hederifolia)
by Betsy Harris

Scarletcreeper (Ipomoea hederifolia)

Hummingbird on Standing cypress, Ipomopsis rubra
Hummingbird on Standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra) by Peg Urban

Standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra)

Hummingbird on Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) by Emily Bell

Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

Tropical sage (Salvia coccinea)
by Emily Bell

Tropical sage (Salvia coccinea)

Scarlet calamint (Calamintha coccinea)
by Emily Bell

Scarlet calamint (Calamintha coccinea)

  • 1 to 4 feet tall and shrubby
  • Suitable for use in North and Central Florida
  • Flowers mid-spring to mid- or late fall
  • Short-lived perennial that can be deciduous where frosts/freezes occur
  • Not typically available from native plant nurseries and can be difficult to establish. Visit a natural area to see it.
  • See also:
Sixangle foldwing (Dicliptera sexangularis)
 by Alan Cressler, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Sixangle foldwing (Dicliptera sexangularis)

  • 1 to 4 feet tall; use in coastal area understory
  • Suitable for use in Central and South Florida
  • Flowers mid-spring to early fall, may flower year round in South Florida
  • Perennial
  • Not typically available from native plant nurseries. Visit a natural area to see it.
  • See also:

Other native wildflowers that attract hummingbirds can be found by searching the word “hummingbird” on the Foundation’s website. To attract other birds to your landscape, check out Attracting Birds with Florida’s Native Wildflowers.