Wild petunia (Ruellia caroliniensis) typically blooms late spring through late summer/early fall, attracting a variety of pollinators. It is the host plant for the White peacock and Common buckeye butterflies.
As the name suggests, Nightflowering wild petunia (Ruellia noctiflora) is a night-blooming wildflower whose flowers open around dusk then shrivel and drop by mid-morning the next day. The bloom’s nectaries are located at the base of a 3″ long flower tube requiring a special pollinator whose tongue is long enough to reach in and take a sip! The pollinators that fit this bill are sphinx moths (family Sphingidae). These nocturnal moths are attracted by the petunia’s large white flowers.
When Scott Davis found a large population of the state-listed endangered Night-blooming petunia (Ruellia noctiflora) growing along US 98, he asked the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to declare it a protected wildflower area. FDOT did. When the construction of the bike trail between Crawfordville and St. Marks was slated to roll right over the plants, Scott planned a rescue operation.
If you have added wildflowers to your landscape, you’ve probably learned how adaptable they are to a wide range of environmental conditions. Although it is a challenge to introduce wildflowers to a dry site, many species will adapt and flourish once established.
If you’re looking to dress up your landscape this summer, consider these native species, which adapt readily to home gardens and provide weeks of blooms.
Some of the plants that are common to our home landscapes are actually invasive species, many of which are now widespread in Florida’s natural areas. Removing these species from your landscape and replacing them with native alternatives can help prevent the spread of invasive species and will provide suitable food and cover for native wildlife. We suggest some “alter-natives” for your landscape.
The insects that pollinate our food crops and natural areas are in steep decline. Our suburban landscapes are more important than ever in supporting them. No place for a garden? No problem! Our new video and handout can help you create a small pollinator oasis in a pot!
Wondering what native wildflowers and plants to use in a dry landscape? Use our new handout to evaluate your landscape’s soil moisture and choose diverse species that will thrive and give your landscape a “real Florida” feel.
Wondering what native wildflowers and plants to use in a shady landscape? Use our new handout to evaluate your landscape’s light conditions and choose diverse species that will thrive and give your landscape a “real Florida” feel.
You can help provide food and habitat for Florida’s butterflies by landscaping with native wildflowers. Learn more now.
Although summer’s heat keeps many of us inside, it’s a busy time for wildflowers. Thousands of butterflies, bees, wasps and other insects visit flowers to obtain nectar. It’s also the changing of the guard, when lovely delicate spring bloomers such as coral bean, Coreopsis and skullcap are replaced by sturdier heat-loving species.
This 24-page magazine features 20 “tried and true” wildflowers that are easy to grow and maintain in home and urban landscapes.