Wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricate) is a delicate perennial wildflower. Its beautiful blooms appear from spring into early summer in slope forests, bluffs and calcareous hammocks.
Wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa) flowers typically bloom in spring and summer, but may bloom year-round. They are attractive to a variety of pollinators, especially Atala and Schaus’ swallowtail butterflies.
Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is one of Florida’s most striking and unique native wildflowers. It occurs naturally in only three counties in the Panhandle and is a state-listed endangered species.
Wild garlic (Allium canadense var. canadense) is a grasslike perennial with lovely clusters of flowers. It blooms primarily in late winter and spring and attracts many insects, including moths and native bees; honeybees tend to dislike it. Wild garlic has a strong, tell-tale smell of garlic or onion. All parts of the plant are edible and may be prepared the same as garlic or onions. Bulbs may be eaten raw, sautéed, pickled or roasted. Use the young leaves as you would chives.
Wild lime (Zanthoxylum fagara) has dense foliage that provides cover, and fruit that provides food for birds and small wildlife. The plant is the larval host for several butterflies.
Wild pennyroyal (Piloblephis rigida) typically flowers in late winter through spring, but can bloom year-round, and occurs naturally in scrub, scrubby and pine flatwoods, sandhills, dry prairies and ruderal areas.
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.
Wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) is a rare perennial wildflower that occurs throughout much of the eastern United States and Canada. In Florida, it occurs naturally only in open fields and woodland edges of Jackson and Leon counties. The plant is a larval host for the Gray hairstreak butterfly. Its spring flowers attract bees and butterflies, while its tiny summer fruits are a treat for humans and wildlife. They can be eaten right off the plant or collected and made into jams, jellies or pies. The leaves, which are high in Vitamin C, can be brewed into a tea.
Winged loosestrife (Lythrum alatum) is a fast-growing perennial subshrub with many star-shaped flowers. It typically blooms in summer and attracts a plethora of pollinators.
Winged sumac is a beautiful shrub to small tree found in flatwoods, dry prairie, sandhills, and disturbed sites throughout the eastern US and into Canada that has a wealth of both wildlife and ethnobotanical value.
Wiregrass (Aristida stricta) is a perennial bunchgrass found in scrub, pinelands and coastal uplands throughout much of Florida. It is is a primary food source for gopher tortoises.
Wiregrass gentian (Gentiana pennilliana) is a rare herbaceous wildflower endemic to only nine Panhandle counties where it occurs naturally in pine flatwoods, wet prairies and seepage slopes.
Also known as Canadian germander, Wood sage (Teucrium canadense) is found in floodplains, moist thickets and meadows, marshes and swamps throughout most of Florida. It flowers spring through fall, but may bloom year-round. The flowers attract a variety of native long-tongued insects that will use the flower’s lower lip as a landing pad. Birds find the plant’s seeds appealing.
Yellow anisetree (Illicium parviflorum) is an evergreen shrub to small tree found in mesic hammocks, bluffs, ravines and seepage swamps. It is endemic to only seven Central Florida counties.
Yellow butterwort (Pinguicula lutea) is a state-listed threatened carnivorous plant found in wet pine flatwoods, wet prairies and seepage slopes. Its solitary blooms appear late winter into spring.
Yellow colicroot (Aletris lutea) has long slender terminal spikes of yellow flowers that bloom in late winter/early spring through summer. They are visited by bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Yellow fringed orchid (Platanthera ciliaris) is a state-threatened terrestrial orchid with showy orange to bright yellow flowers that typically bloom in summer and peak in August.
Yellow milkroot (Polygala rugelii) is an herbaceous wildflower endemic to the Florida peninsula. Its showy flowers bloom primarily in summer and fall, but may appear throughout the year.
Yellow necklacepod (Sophora tomentosa var. truncata) is a long-lived flowering shrub that occurs naturally in coastal strands, hammocks and dunes throughout Central and South Florida.