Pictured above: Coastalplain balm (Dicerandra linearifolia) by Emily Bell. Click on terms for botanical definitions. View post as a PDF.
Coastalplain balm (Dicerandra linearifolia) is a striking wildflower found in sandhill and scrub habitats in North Florida, Southern Georgia and Southern Alabama. In fall, when in bloom, a single plant may have up to 100 or more bright to pale pink flowers. This creates beautiful fields abuzz with happy bees feasting on nectar and pollinating the plants. Not only is this scene pleasant on the eyes, but the plants also have a wonderful minty aroma that fills the air around them.
Plants reach only about 1 foot in height and are profusely branched. The flowers are born in whorls along terminal spikes. They are bright to light pink with dark pink spots and stripes, and an elongated filament, stigma and style. Leaves are linear and also arranged in whorls.
The genus Dicerandra is endemic to ancient sandhill habitats in the Southeast US and are extremely specialized to the growing conditions of these sites. Even in its limited distribution, Coastalplain balm has one of the widest ranges among the 11 species in this genus. They are also very difficult to cultivate due to their strict growing requirements.
Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Native range: North Florida from Calhoun County east to Suwannee County.
To see where natural populations of Coastalplain balm have been vouchered, visit florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.
Hardiness zone: 8B–9A
Soil: Well-drained sand
Exposure: Full sun
Growth habit: Herbaceous, up to 1 foot tall
Coastalplain balm is not commercially available. Visit a natural area to see it.