Archives for posts with tag: Fall wildflower Florida


Dioscorea villosa

Forb/herb; perennial


Blooming:  April, May

The vines are noticeable in the lower part of Womack Creek, competing with other vine plants for sunshine.

The photos are that of a male plant as distinguished by its flowers.

This is not to be confused with the edible yam.  The roots are not fleshy and are narrow & dry.  The root itself contains diosgenin, a phytoestrogen which can be chemically converted to hormone progesterone.  The raw phytoestrogen in the root when consumed in its various forms does not seem to release progesterone — this has to be processed chemically.

Dioscorea villosa has a history of being used medicinally.  It was prescribed by herbalists for menstrual cramps, ostereoporosis, for lessening post-menopausal hot-flashes,  for upset stomach and coughs.

Wild yam natural medication is sold in liquid or powder (as tablets or capsules).  It may be combined with other herbs such as black cohosh which have estrogen-like effects.  As in all natural health products, it should be under supervision of a physician since there are risks when used with pharmaceuticals and for those with certain health problems.

Source:  U of Maryland, Medical Center





Diodia virginiana L.


Native L 48

Blooming:  September, October, white

Location:  Nick’s Road primitive camp site (3.75 RR upstream from Womack Creek campground landing), good take-out


Elphantopus carolinianus Raeusch.


Native: L 48

Blooming:  September, October, purplish white

Location:  Nick’s Road Primitive Camp site (take-out on RR)


Lobelia cardinalis L.


Native:  Threatened in Florida

Blooming:  September, October, red

Location:  (We do not identify locations of threatened and endangered species)

Standing like red-coated sentinels on the forest floor, these flowers are pollinated by  ruby-throated hummingbirds.  The spicebush swallowtail butterflies drink it’s nectar, but cannot penetrate deep enough to act as pollinators.  Bees can also be seen on the flowers.

The roots were used by native Americans for a variety of conditions and ailments including epilepsy, fever, sores, parasitic worms, typhoid, bronchial conditions, catarrh,rheumatism, swelling,  witchcraft and grieving sickness.   The plant contains alkaloids and has caused death in humans.


Mikania scandens (L.) Willd.


Native: L 48

Blooming:  September, October, white

Location:  N 30 00 167′ W 84 32 628′ (RL .38 m), N 30 00 088′ W 84 33 142′ (1.09 RL)

Visited by skipper butterflies, gulf fritillary,  honeybees, bumble bees, hornets and other invertebrates not yet identified.  An orb-weaver spider had built a web across the vines.  Also look for anoles looking for an opportune meal of the insects.

The Seminole Indians used it for skin itch.  Current research indicates some anaelgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.  Other folk medicine use outside the US document use for insect bites and stings (west Bengal, India) and as an anti-coagulant.  There is continuing pharmacological tests on the plant to determine its medical applications.

P1050344Lycopus rubellus Moench


Blooming:  September, October, white

Location: N 30 00.088′, W084 33.122′ (1.06RL), N 30 00.129′,W084 32.979′ (.5RR),N 30 30 363′, W084 33 613′ (2.1 RL); N 30 00.551′,  W084 34.190′ (3.29RL)


Melanthera nivea (L) Small

Forb/herb/ Perennial

Native L 48, VI

Blooming:  September. October, white

Nectar source of numerous butterfly species and bees.

Location: N 30 00.204′,W084 32.690′ (.95RL)


Helianthus angustifolius L.

Forb/herb, perennial

Native: L 48

Blooming:  September, October, November, yellow

This plant attracts bees, butterflies and songbirds.   You will find it blooming with climbing aster.

Location:  N30 118 W084 32.556′ (.16RR), N 30 00 090′ W 84 33 125′ (.7 RL), N 30 00 370′ W 84 33 613′ (2 RL)

P1000490-001Baccharis glomeruliflora Persoon

Shrub; perennial

Native: L 48

Blooming:  November, December, yellow, white

Silvering is a severe allergen.

Location: N30 061 W084 33.215′ (.9RL), N30 093 W084 33.359′ (1.12RL), N30 684 W084 34.255′ (3.24RR)


Symphyotrichum simmondsii (Small G.L. Nesom)

Forb; perennial

Native: L 48

Blooming:  October, November, white

Attracts butterflies and other insect pollinators.

Location: N30 150 W084 32.980′ (.5RL); N30 168 W084 33.456′ (1.2RL)

Native Americans used an infusion of this plant for sunstroke.