Archives for posts with tag: Spring wildflower Florida




Rumex verticillatus


Native L48, Canada

Blooming: April-May, green flowers

Birds and mammals feed on seeds and foliage

Larval host plant for Bronze Copper butterfly




Dyschoriste humistrata


Native L 48

Blooming – April –     , lavender

Host plant: common buckeye butterfly


Peltandra virginica


Native – L48

Flowering – May-July, white

Stands of arum and its roots stabilize sediments where it grows.  The plant has the ability to translocate methane from the muck.

It is a favorite food of wood ducks, and also eaten by muskrats and rails.



Rainlily bud at 10am, Womack Creek campground landing.


Rainlily blossom, almost completely eaten by eastern lubbers by 3:30 pm that same day.

Zephyrantes atamasca

Forb/herb. perennial

Native:  lower 48/threatened-FL

Blooming:  April, May

Though a threatened species in Florida, this species is apparently easy to cultivate in home landscapes.  They are spectacular in mass plantings where there is a very large field of them in the Joe Budd Wildlife Management Area along the Little River,  which enters Lake Talquin in Gadsden County,  and smaller areas along Crooked River in Tate’s Hell State Forest from the Ocklockonee west to Rocky Landing Campground/boat landing. The Atamasca lilies on Womack Creek were first noticed blooming this year.

The lower photographs show a rain lily which was a bud at 10am one morning at the Womack Creek landing (put-in).  When photographed again at take-out at the same location, eastern lubber grasshoppers had made a meal of most of the blooming flower.

P1020571P1020565P1020574Mitchella repens

Forb/Herb, Perennial

Native, L48, C

A small ground cover partridgeberry flowers always comes in pairs, sharing a single calyx.  Each flower in a pair differ:  one has a longer pistil and a shorter stamen, the other a shorter pistil and a longer stamen to prevent self-fertilization.  The berries which are red when mature require that both flowers in a pair must be fertilized.



Bidens mitis

Forb/herb, annual

Native, L 48

Flower color: yellow

Blooming: February, March

The tick in the common name refers to black seeds in a round ball which have a barb at the end.   This enables the plant to spread by sticking on to feathers, fur or clothes.


Saurus cernuus

Forb/herb, perennial

Native: L48 and Canada

Blooming:  May, white

Location: N 30 00.132, W 084 32.996 (.75 RL), N 30 00.102, W 084 32.477 (.2RR)



Salvia Lyrata

Forb/herb, perennial

Native: L 48

Blooming:  March, April, blue

Pollinated and visited by bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.  Seeds eaten by gold finches.

Called cancer weed because of its medicinal use by Native Americans and early settlers.   Use for treatment of asthma, colds, coughs, colds, diarrhoea and constipation.  Fresh leaves applied to warts and an ointment made from leaves and seeds for wounds and sores.

Location:  Nick’s Road primitive campsite.



February 9, 2014

Tillandsia bartramii



Native:  Lower 48, Puerto Rico

Blooming:  March, April, pink, purple

Location:  RR N 30 00 150′ W 84 32 972′

Epiphytes (air plants)  grow on other plants, such as trees, but they do not parasitize the host plant, using it mainly for support.   The root structure is very efficient in absorbing water and nutrients which come in contact with them, especially from rain.  There are sufficient dissolved nutrients in rain, as low as these might be.  They do not tolerate fertilization.

All Tillandsias are flowering.  Bartram’s airplant has pink flowering stalks and purple “petals”.  Seeds are equipped with “wings” which enable them to air-float to another tree to begin new life.

While they are prolific on trees on southern tributaries of the Apalachicola River, this is the first sighting of Bartram’s airplant on this creek.



Nyssa sylvatic var biflora


Native L 48, Canada

Blooming:  March, before Ogeechee tupelo, white

Pollinated by insects, primarily bees, but pollen also spread by wind.  Honey produced usually called baker-grade honey, which, unlike white tupelo, will granulate.

Foliage and twigs eaten by deer.   Black bears, foxes, wood ducks, wild turkeys and robins eat fruit in the fall.  The photo above was taken on October 10, 2013.

Early settlers used hollowed trunks as bee hives or rabbit traps which traps were called  bee-gums or rabbit-gums.  Twigs  broken at right angles were once used as toothbrushes, hence the common name, pioneer’s toothbrush.

Location: N 30 00 306, W084 33 566′ (2.9 RL)