With a nickname like the “Sunshine State”, it’s no surprise that Florida has a diverse, vibrant range of native plants. Florida enjoys a tropical climate, perfect for unusual plants like bromeliads and pitcher plants. The state is also home to several native wildflowers common across the United States. In this article, we’ll examine 50 stunning native Florida flowers and plants.
- Florida Native Range
- How Are Florida’s Native Plants Defined?
- When Are Florida’s Native Plants In Season?
- 50 Stunning Native Florida Flowers and Plants
- 1. Gayfeather (Liatris spp.)
- 2. Firebush (Hamelia patens)
- 3. Burr Marigold (Bidens laevis)
- 4. Bladderworts (Utricularia spp.)
- 5. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
- 6. Coralbean (Erythrina herbacea)
- 7. Scarlet Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus)
- 8. Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.)
- 9. Tickseed (Coreopsis spp.)
- 10. Star Anise Shrubs (Illicium spp.)
- 11. Resurrection Fern (Pleopeltis polypodioides)
- 12. Elliott’s Aster (Symphyotrichum elliottii)
- 13. Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
- 14. Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea)
- 15. Lyreleaf Sage (Salvia lyrata)
- 16. Stoke’s Aster (Stokesia leavis)
- 17. Muhly Grasses (Muhlenbergia spp.)
- 18. Florida Violets (Viola spp.)
- 19. Purple Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
- 20. Ladies-tresses (Spiranthes spp.)
- 21. Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia spp.)
- 22. West Indian Tufted Air Plant (Guzmania monostachia)
- 23. Catopsis Bromeliads
- 24. Tillandsia Bromeliads
- 25. Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
- 26. American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)
- 27. Wild White Indigo (Baptisia alba)
- 28. Fakahatchee Grass (Tripsacum dactyloides)
- 29. Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
- 30. Railroad Vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae)
- 31. Sundews (Drosera spp.)
- 32. Spider Orchid (Brassia caudata)
- 33. Cowhorn Orchid (Cyrtopodium punctatum)
- 34. Ghost Orchids (Dendrophylax lindenii)
- 35. Florida Butterfly Orchid (Encyclia tampensis)
- 36. Green Fly Orchids (Epidendrum magnoliae)
- 37. Walter’s Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum)
- 38. Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)
- 39. Beach Sunflower (Helianthus debilis)
- 40. Florida Swamp Lily (Crinum americanum)
- 41. Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)
- 42. Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)
- 43. Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia spp.)
- 44. Butterworts (Pinguicula spp.)
- 45. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
- 46. Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera)
- 47. Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
- 48. Coontie Palm (Zamia integrifolia)
- 49. Atamasco Lily (Zephyranthes atamasca)
- 50. Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
- Native Florida Flowers and Plants FAQs
- Wrapping Up
Florida Native Range
Although most of Florida has a tropical climate, the state still has a diverse range of plant habitats. These varied ecosystems include the iconic Everglades and other wetland habitats. Florida’s native plants grow everywhere, from sandy beaches to the shady forests that cover almost half of the state.
Florida is located in the southeastern United States, forming a tropical peninsula. Florida’s coastlines straddle both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The northern part of the state is subtropical, while southern Florida is categorized as a true tropical climate.
Florida is divided into four USDA Hardiness Zones. The northernmost part of Florida falls within Zone 8. As the peninsula progresses south, it transitions from Zone 9 to Zone 10. The Florida Keys have a Zone 11 climate.
How Are Florida’s Native Plants Defined?
Although Florida has a stunning range of native flowers and plants, it can be tricky to separate them from naturalized or introduced species. In gardens across the state, people may cultivate a mix of native and non-native plants. The two categories can be separated using historical dates.
Plants are classed as native to Florida if they were growing wild in the state before European settlers arrived in the 1500s. Basically, species that were growing in pre-Columbian times are categorized as native to Florida. Many indigenous plants were likely used by various Native American societies for food and medicine.
When Are Florida’s Native Plants In Season?
Due to Florida’s mild, tropical climate, native plants can be in season for much of the year. Florida’s winters aren’t usually harsh, so flowers can bloom any time from early spring until early winter. Some species may even flower all year long. Frost is not usually an issue for many of Florida’s native plants or flowers.
50 Stunning Native Florida Flowers and Plants
1. Gayfeather (Liatris spp.)
Commonly known as gayfeather or blazing star, the Liatris genus is a group of flowering perennials found throughout Florida. Approximately 17 gayfeather species are native to Florida, including dense gayfeather (Liatris spicata) and pinkscale gayfeather (Liatris elegans). These gorgeous plants work well as ornamentals and can be used in vases and bouquets.
Gayfeathers grow in clumps that produce tall flowering spikes from mid-summer until fall. Each flower has an elegant, frilly appearance and comes in shades of pink, purple, and white. Gayfeathers grow in woodlands, prairies, and scrublands and prefer full sun.
2. Firebush (Hamelia patens)
Firebush is a stunning flowering perennial with stalks of small, tubular blazing red or orange flowers. Hamelia patens belong to the coffee family (Rubiaceae) and can grow as evergreen shrubs or small trees. Each plant can grow up to 15 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide.
Firebush plants are essential for Florida’s native wildlife. The gorgeous flowers are often visited by pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds. The red fruits gradually turn purple or black and are a vital food source for birds. Firebush grows in forests across central and southern Florida.
3. Burr Marigold (Bidens laevis)
Burr marigolds (Bidens laevis) are some of Florida’s brightest and most beautiful wildflowers. These stunning annuals have yellow composite single flowers with brown or yellow disc florets and 7 to 8 petals. The fruits have two small barbs used to latch onto passing humans or animals.
Burr marigolds are prolific plants from the Asteraceae family that thrive in Florida’s wetland habitats. These plants spread easily, making them unsuitable for garden planting. They flower from late fall into early winter and can grow between 2 and 3 feet tall.
4. Bladderworts (Utricularia spp.)
Bladderworts (Utricularia spp.) are fascinating carnivorous plants native to Florida. These rootless plants are aquatic and float along waterways in search of prey. The leaves support tiny bladder-like sacs that trap unsuspecting insects and digest them in a speedy and sophisticated process.
Some of Florida’s most common bladderwort species include Eastern purple bladderwort (Utricularia purpurea) and Florida yellow bladderwort (Utricularia floridana). Bladderworts produce beautiful yellow or purple flowers that protrude from the water and bloom throughout the year.
5. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) are common across much of the United States but are actually endangered in Florida. These iconic prairie wildflowers are only found in Gadsden County in northern Florida. Purple coneflowers have a range of benefits and are often used in traditional Native American medicine.
Purple coneflowers are flowering perennial wildflowers that grow between 2 and 5 feet tall. Each stem produces a sizeable purple flower with orange-brown central disc florets. Purple coneflowers are easy to grow in most gardens and thrive in full sun and well-draining soils.
6. Coralbean (Erythrina herbacea)
Also known as the Cherokee bean, coralbean (Erythrina herbacea) is a perennial flowering shrub or small tree from the legume family (Fabaceae). Coralbean grows throughout Florida in dry forests or sandy and rocky areas. They are a popular garden plant that attracts pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds.
The coralbean produces flowering spikes covered with red or pink tubular flowers. This plant gets its name from its pink or coral-colored fruits. Coralbean typically grows between 3 and 8 feet tall but can rise as high as 20 feet in some environments.
7. Scarlet Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus)
Scarlet hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) is one of Florida’s most vibrant native flowers. Hailing from the mallow family (Malvaceae), this herbaceous perennial thrives in moist, sunny wetland areas. Most populations are found in central Florida.
Scarlet hibiscus grows between 3 and 8 feet tall and produces large, bright red flowers. Although each flower only blooms for one day, these plants can produce masses of flowers throughout spring and summer. Scarlet hibiscus makes a dramatic addition to any garden but will go dormant during the winter.
8. Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.)
The lovely Azalea are some of Florida’s most recognizable flowering shrubs and trees. They are closely related to Rhododendrons and come from the same genus. Azaleas can be deciduous or evergreen and prefer growing in shady wooded or wetland areas.
Florida has several beautiful native azaleas, including the Florida flame azalea (Rhododendron austrinum) and the Southern Pinxter azalea (Rhododendron canescens). Florida’s lone native evergreen azalea, Chapman’s azalea (Rhododendron chapmanii), is listed as endangered.
Azaleas produce fragrant, colorful flowers in pink, purple, orange, red, yellow, and white. They bloom during the spring and are an iconic symbol of the South.
9. Tickseed (Coreopsis spp.)
Since 1991, tickseeds (Coreopsis spp.) have been the official state wildflowers of Florida. These cheery wildflowers brighten up roadsides across Florida from late summer until early winter. Florida is home to 12 tickseed species, including Florida tickseed (Coreopsis floridana) and Leavenworth’s tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii).
Tickseeds are flowering perennials that grow between 2 and 3 feet tall. Most species produce bright yellow composite single flowers with central disc florets. Along with roadsides, tickseed flowers thrive in wetland prairies and pine forests.
10. Star Anise Shrubs (Illicium spp.)
Although star anise (Illicium spp.) is usually associated with Asia, several species of this shrub are also native to Florida. Both Florida anise (Illicium floridanum) and yellow anise (Illicium parviflorum) are native to the Sunshine State. Florida anise is found in northwestern Florida, while yellow anise grows in central Florida.
Star anise is a perennial evergreen flowering shrub that can grow up to 15 or 20 feet tall. These shrubs have lance-shaped leaves and fragrant white, pinkish-red, or yellow flowers. However, both species that grow in Florida do not have edible seeds, unlike the original star anise.
11. Resurrection Fern (Pleopeltis polypodioides)
Few of Florida’s native plants are as strange as the resurrection fern (Pleopeltis polypodioides). In dry weather, the resurrection fern shrivels up and changes to a gray color. When the rain returns, the fern unfurls and turns bright green once again.
Resurrection ferns are epiphytes – meaning that they grow on other plants rather than in the soil. These plants have thick green fronds and prefer moist habitats. They are found throughout Florida and grow between 6 and 9 inches tall.
12. Elliott’s Aster (Symphyotrichum elliottii)
Elliott’s aster (Symphyotrichum elliottii) is one of Florida’s most colorful native wildflowers. These perennials grow in most parts of Florida except northwestern areas. Elliott’s asters grow in clumps that can reach up to 4 feet tall.
These wildflowers produce masses of gorgeous composite single-flower heads. Each flower consists of central yellow disk florets surrounded by lavender-blue petals. Elliott’s asters bloom during the fall and prefer wetland habitats. They can also be found lining roadsides across the state.
13. Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a beautiful flowering vine native to central and northern Florida. It comes from the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae), although it doesn’t produce any scent. These prolific vines can reach over 15 feet long and work well when trained up a trellis.
Coral honeysuckle produces dark red or orange tubular flowers from spring until fall. It’s an evergreen vine in central areas but may become deciduous further north. Butterflies and hummingbirds flock to the flowers, while the red berries are an important food source for birds.
14. Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea)
Also known as tropical sage, scarlet sage (Salvia coccinea) is a stunning herbaceous flowering perennial from the sage family (Lamiaceae). Common throughout most of Florida, scarlet sage typically grows in woodlands or meadows. It’s a fantastic choice for a wildflower garden.
Scarlet sage blooms throughout the year in some parts of Florida but is at its best from summer until fall. Each flower spike is covered in bright scarlet tubular flowers that attract pollinators. Each bloom can be as long as an inch.
15. Lyreleaf Sage (Salvia lyrata)
Lyreleaf sage (Salvia lyrata) is an elegant wildflower that belongs to the sage or mint family (Lamiaceae). Lyreleaf sage produces alluring light blue flowers from late winter to late spring. Salvia lyrata is found throughout most of the state except for the tip of southern Florida.
Lyreleaf sage grows in shady woodland areas but can also be found along roadsides. Each plant grows between 1 and 2 feet tall, with leafless, dark purple spikes. Lyreleaf sage is a vital wildflower for pollinators like bees.
16. Stoke’s Aster (Stokesia leavis)
Stoke’s aster (Stokesia leavis) is a striking member of the aster family (Asteraceae). Native to scattered parts of the Florida Panhandle, Stoke’s aster produces gorgeous light blue composite flowers. Each flower has a central white floret surrounded by small, tubular flowers and an outer ring of lobed petals.
Stoke’s aster flowers thrive in prairie or scrubland habitats during the summer. These herbaceous perennials can also be found on the margins of swamps and other wetlands. Stoke’s aster is an excellent addition to a wildflower garden.
17. Muhly Grasses (Muhlenbergia spp.)
Muhly grasses (Muhlenbergia spp.) are some of Florida’s most widespread native grasses. These perennial evergreen grasses can reach between 2 and 4 feet tall and grow throughout the state. Also known as hairgrass, these grasses produce wispy pink or purple flowers during the fall.
Florida has three species of muhly grass. The most common are hairawn muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) and its subspecies; Gulf hairawn muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris var. filipes). The other native species is tall red-top grass (Tridens flavus).
18. Florida Violets (Viola spp.)
Beautiful violets (Viola spp.) are a charming ground of flowers from the Violaceae family. Violets are widespread around the world, with a few species that are native to Florida. These are small perennials that favor shaded woodland habitats throughout the state. They can be identified by their heart-shaped green leaves.
The common blue violet (Viola sororia) is Florida’s most common species and is actually edible. Florida is also home to the bog white violet (Viola lanceolata), which likes wetland habitats. Walter’s violet (Viola walteri) is a dark blue species found in northern Florida.
19. Purple Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
One of Florida’s most colorful native flowers is the purple passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), which belongs to the Passifloraceae family. These herbaceous perennial vines grow throughout most of Florida and can reach up to 10 feet long.
Purple passionflowers have several layers, starting with ten lavender-blue petals. Then comes a disc of purple and white frills surrounding the prominent green stamens. These plants also produce large round yellowish-green fruits. The flowers bloom from spring until fall, when the fruits then emerge.
20. Ladies-tresses (Spiranthes spp.)
Ladies-tresses (Spiranthes spp.) are some of Florida’s most captivating and delicate native orchids. Ladies-tresses are semi-aquatic wildflowers that grow in wetland habitats across most of Florida. In the fall, these orchids produce elegant spikes of white or yellow resupinate flowers that can create a wonderful fragrance.
Florida is home to several species of ladies-tresses. The most common is fragrant ladies-tresses (Spiranthes odorata). Other species include Florida ladies-tresses (Spiranthes floridana) and panther ladies-tresses (Spiranthes triloba).
21. Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia spp.)
Blanket flowers (Gaillardia spp.) are vibrant, colorful wildflowers named after the patterned blankets used by Native Americans. These flowers belong to the Asteraceae family and grow throughout most regions of Florida. In addition, blanket flowers are essential for wildlife, especially pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Florida has two native species of blanket flowers. Gaillardia pulchella has gorgeous reddish-orange flowers with yellow petal tips. The smooth-headed blanket flower (Gaillardia aestivalis) has bright yellow lobed petals with dark brown or black central florets.
22. West Indian Tufted Air Plant (Guzmania monostachia)
Florida boasts 16 native species of bromeliads, and one of the most interesting is the West Indian tufted air plant (Guzmania monostachia). Also known as the striped torch Guzmania, this species is listed as Endangered in Florida. It’s found in the southernmost counties of the Florida peninsula.
Guzmania monostachia is a “tank” bromeliad, which means that it stores water in puddles between its fleshy bright green leaves. Throughout the year, it produces a spike of white flowers.
23. Catopsis Bromeliads
Three native Catopsis bromeliads can be found in Florida. Catopsis berteroniana – the powdery strap air plant – is the most unique. This Endangered species grows in southern Florida and is actually carnivorous. Each leaf is covered in powder, which traps insects for the plant to digest.
The Florida strap air plant (Catopsis floribunda) is another native Endangered bromeliad. This tank bromeliad has bright green leaves and yellow or white flowers. The rarest native Catopsis bromeliad is the nodding strap air plant (Catopsis nutans). It produces thin white flowers that bloom at night from August to October.
24. Tillandsia Bromeliads
Most of Florida’s native bromeliads belong to the Tillandsia genus, commonly known as air plants. Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is the most famous, which hangs down from trees across Florida. These native Tillandsia bromeliads are epiphytes and grow attached to trees and other plants.
Most of these species are found in the tropical climate of southern Florida. Tillandsia bromeliads often produce tiny flowers in colors like green, yellow, and white. Bartram’s air plant (Tillandsia bartramii) is another common species in Florida.
25. Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) is one of Florida’s most dazzling shrubs. These deciduous perennials produce masses of pink or magenta flowers during late winter and early spring. After flowering is finished, young leaves emerge and gradually unfurl as they mature.
Eastern redbud grows in central and northern parts of Florida, including the Panhandle. The flowers and seeds are vital to wildlife and can also be consumed by humans. Eastern redbud belongs to the legume family (Fabaceae).
26. American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)
American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is a flowering shrub from the mint family (Lamiaceae). It’s known for its colorful purple or magenta berries that emerge during late summer and fall. These perennials, deciduous in the north and evergreen in the south, thrive in Florida’s pine rocklands.
American beautyberry produces small lavender, pink, or white flowers during late spring and early summer. The light green leaves feel slightly rough but can be used as a natural mosquito repellent.
27. Wild White Indigo (Baptisia alba)
Wild white indigo (Baptisia alba) is an elegant member of the legume family (Fabaceae) that has long-lasting flowers. Clusters of pure white flowers emerge from long flower spikes from March until May. Each flower can last for a few weeks, which is ideal for wildflower borders.
These herbaceous perennials grow throughout the Panhandle and parts of central Florida. Wild white indigo can grow between 2 and 5 feet tall and spread for up to 4 feet.
28. Fakahatchee Grass (Tripsacum dactyloides)
Also known as eastern gamagrass, Fakahatchee grass (Tripsacum dactyloides) is one of Florida’s most widespread native grasses. It grows in most habitats, including roadsides, pine woodlands, scrublands, and wetland areas such as bogs.
Each clump can reach between 4 and 6 feet tall and approximately 2 to 4 feet wide. Fakahatchee grass produces tall flower spikes that erupt with tiny orange, red, and yellow flowers from spring until fall. Brown or yellow fruits then follow from June until September.
29. Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Few of Florida’s native flowers can match red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) for sheer impact. Sadly, this beauty is also rare – it’s only found in three counties within the Panhandle. This herbaceous perennial is a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae).
Red columbine has tubular trumpet-shaped red flowers with yellow stamens protruding from the bottom. The flowers are nodding and have strange hollow sections that store nectar. Red columbine prefers moist, rocky areas within deciduous woodlands.
30. Railroad Vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae)
Closely related to morning glory, the railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae) is one of Florida’s most widespread native tropical vines. These prolific evergreen perennials usually grow up to 20 feet long, although vines reaching 100 feet long have been recorded. Railroad vine belongs to the bindweed family (Convolvulaceae).
Railroad vine produces large purple or pink trumpet-shaped flowers and rounded succulent-like leaves. This tropical vine grows on the sandy beaches and dunes of Florida’s coastlines.
31. Sundews (Drosera spp.)
Sundews (Drosera spp.) are unusual carnivorous wildflowers that thrive in wetland regions. Sundews use colorful, vibrant flowers to lure insects into sticky glands on their leaves. The sundew contracts the leaf, wrapping its prey in a sticky tomb until it can be digested.
Florida has five native sundew species, including dwarf sundew (Drosera brevifolia), pink sundew (Drosera capillaris), and Tracy’s sundew (Drosera tracyi). These perennials rarely exceed 12 inches tall and usually bloom in the spring.
32. Spider Orchid (Brassia caudata)
Found only in Miami-Dale County in southern Florida, spider orchids (Brassia caudata) are one of the state’s rarest native orchids. These unusual epiphytes have long, spider-like green leaves with brown markings. Spider orchids belong to the Epidendroideae subfamily of the orchid family (Orchidaceae).
Spider orchids need warm, tropical temperatures and grow only in swamps and other wetland areas. The native population was heavily decimated by frost and is confined to small pockets in the Everglades.
33. Cowhorn Orchid (Cyrtopodium punctatum)
Also known as cigar orchids, cowhorn orchids (Cyrtopodium punctatum) are some of Florida’s most striking native orchids. Generally found on cypress trees, these epiphytes produce masses of flowers from March until May. Each flower releases a strong, sweet scent to attract insects.
Cowhorn orchids have bright yellow flowers with reddish-brown lips and purple or brown spots. These orchids prefer woodlands and swamps and are found in southern Florida. They are classed as Endangered in Florida.
34. Ghost Orchids (Dendrophylax lindenii)
Ghost orchids (Dendrophylax lindenii) are some of the rarest flowers in the world. In Florida, these orchids are only found in three southern counties and are listed as endangered. Ghost orchids grow as epiphytes on host trees in woodlands and swamps.
Most ghost orchids fail to flower, but those that do produce one or two ghostly white flowers. Each flower has two curving tendrils extending from a large lower petal. When the flowers open, they produce a faint scent of apples.
35. Florida Butterfly Orchid (Encyclia tampensis)
Named for their butterfly-like appearance, Florida butterfly orchids (Encyclia tampensis) are some of Florida’s most exquisite native orchids. Each star-shaped flower consists of five brown tepals and a white center with purple markings. The flowers bloom in late spring and summer and release a scent similar to honey.
Florida butterfly orchids inhabit forests and swamps in central and southern Florida. These perennial epiphytes have blade-like leaves that can reach approximately 12 to 15 inches long.
36. Green Fly Orchids (Epidendrum magnoliae)
Green fly orchids (Epidendrum magnoliae) are hardy orchids and the only native North American species that can survive outside of Florida. Green fly orchids are perennial epiphytes that grow on the trunks of host trees. They thrive in woodland habitats across the southeastern United States.
Green fly orchids have tubular yellowish-green flowers with prominent lower lips with three lobes. Green fly orchids usually flower from August to March but can flower throughout the year in some areas.
37. Walter’s Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum)
Walter’s viburnum (Viburnum obovatum) is a perennial flowering shrub native to most parts of Florida. This evergreen prefers wetland areas and forests that have rivers. Walter’s viburnum produces clusters of white flowers in the spring and red or black berries from summer until fall.
Walter’s viburnum grows extremely quickly and can reach up to 15 feet tall and wide. This member of the muskroot family (Adoxaceae) is also a vital plant for wildlife.
38. Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata) is a gorgeous semi-evergreen wildflower that grows in central counties of the Florida Panhandle. These clump-forming perennials can grow up to 1.5 feet tall. Wild blue phlox produces delicate blue star-shaped flowers with five petals from late spring to early summer.
Wild blue phlox thrives on forested slopes and rocky bluffs. Each flower has deep nectar tubes that are ideal for butterflies and other pollinators.
39. Beach Sunflower (Helianthus debilis)
Also known as dune sunflowers, beach sunflowers (Helianthus debilis) thrive on Florida’s eastern coastline. These deciduous perennials grow as flowering shrubs but lack the height of many garden sunflowers. Beach sunflowers grow up to 2.5 feet tall but can spread up to 8 feet wide.
Beach sunflowers grow best in sandy soils and can spread aggressively. These sunflowers produce bright yellow flowers with reddish-brown central florets. Beach sunflowers attract throngs of pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
40. Florida Swamp Lily (Crinum americanum)
Florida swamp lily (Crinum americanum) belongs to the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae) and thrives in Florida’s swamps and wetlands. It’s found throughout the state except for northeastern regions. Florida swamp lilies are evergreen perennials that can bloom at any time of year in most areas.
Florida swamp lilies produce large white, aromatic flowers composed of several long, thin tepals. The central part of the flower head contains white stamens with reddish-purple tips. These plants grow up to 2 feet tall and approximately 1 foot wide.
41. Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)
Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) is a charming little perennial wildflower that’s native to north and central Florida. The Tradescantia genus is part of the wider spiderwort family (Commelinaceae). These evergreen wildflowers prefer open areas or deciduous woodlands.
Ohio spiderwort is also known as bluejacket due to its vibrant blue, pink, or purple flowers. Each flower has three petals and only blooms for a single day. Ohio spiderwort flowers from spring until fall. Most parts of the plant are also edible.
42. Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)
Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is a bright, colorful vine from the Gelsemiaceae family. Despite not being a “true” jasmine, Carolina jessamine releases a beautiful sweet scent that attracts pollinators. These evergreen perennial vines grow throughout central and northern Florida.
Carolina jessamine has intoxicating bright yellow tubular flowers that erupt from vines that can grow up to 25 feet long. Flowering begins in late winter and continues into late spring. These prolific vines thrive in various habitats, including forests and wetlands.
43. Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia spp.)
Florida has six species of native carnivorous pitcher plants from the Sarracenia genus. Common native species include hooded pitcher plants (Sarracenia minor), and yellow pitcher plants (Sarracenia flava). The striking whitetop pitcher plant (Sarracenia leucophylla) is listed as Vulnerable.
These unusual plants form urn-shaped pitchers that are used to trap insects. The plant produces nectar as bait, luring insects onto the lip of the plant. The lip is smooth, causing insects to fall into the pitcher, where enzymes digest them.
44. Butterworts (Pinguicula spp.)
Butterworts (Pinguicula spp.) are a group of carnivorous flowering plants from the Lentibulariaceae family. Six species of butterworts are native to most parts of Florida. These include blueflower butterworts (Pinguicula caerulea), small butterworts (Pinguicula pumila), violet butterworts (Pinguicula ionantha), and yellow butterworts (Pinguicula lutea).
Butterworts are perennials (apart from small butterworts) that use succulent-like rosettes to trap insects. Most butterwort species use colorful flowers to lure insects onto their leaves, which are covered with tiny hairs. These hairs produce a sticky glue that traps the insects so that enzymes can digest them.
45. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is a common wildflower found across most parts of Florida. These iconic wildflowers grow as perennials in Florida and thrive in moist, sunny habitats such as pine woodland. Black-eyed Susan is excellent for pollinators and produces fantastic cut flowers.
Black-eyed Susan can grow up to 3 feet tall and produces large composite flowers. Bright yellow petals surround the black or brown central florets. Flowering runs from spring until fall.
46. Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera)
Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera) is one of Florida’s most impressive native coastal plants. These perennial shrubs and trees can reach up to 50 feet tall and spread as wide as 35 feet. They form part of the Coccoloba genus of the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae).
Moreover, seagrape gets its name from the clusters of green grape-like fruits it produces from spring until late summer. These plants are tough and hardy, with thick leaves that can stand up to strong winds.
47. Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
Also known as the firecracker plant, red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is a dramatic deciduous shrub or tree found in northern Florida. Red buckeye is part of the soapberry family (Sapindaceae) and flowers from late winter until spring.
Red buckeye produces clusters of red or dark pink tubular flowers popular with butterflies and hummingbirds. Even the flower stalks are a dark red, with elliptical leaves that have serrated edges. These shrubs can reach up to 35 feet tall and grow in hardwood forests.
48. Coontie Palm (Zamia integrifolia)
Coontie palm (Zamia integrifolia) is one of Florida’s native cycad species from the Zamiaceae family. These hardy evergreen perennials grow up to 3 feet tall and approximately 5 feet wide. Coontie palms grow across most of central and southern Florida but are absent from the Panhandle.
Coontie palms have large fronds with lance-shaped leaves that can grow up to 40 inches long. Also known as arrowroot, Florida’s indigenous societies used coontie palms as a food source.
49. Atamasco Lily (Zephyranthes atamasca)
Also called rain lilies or zephyr lilies, Atamasco lilies (Zephyranthes atamasca) are stunning flowers that thrive in Florida’s wetland habitats. These perennial lilies belong to the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae) and are found throughout central and northern Florida.
Atamasco lilies are at their best after rainfall when the large white trumpet-shaped flowers often emerge. The flowers occupy a single stem and have prominent yellow stamens. Flowering runs from late winter into spring.
50. Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
Few trees are as popular in the Southern United States as the Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora). These beautiful, impressive trees can grow up to 65 feet tall. In Florida, Southern magnolias are found in central and northern regions, including the Panhandle.
Southern magnolias produce large, intoxicating white flowers that can grow up to 12 inches wide. The flowers have waxy petals and release a citrus-like scent. Southern magnolias bloom from late spring until summer.
Native Florida Flowers and Plants FAQs:
What is Florida’s state flower?
Florida’s official state flower is the orange blossom (Citrus sinensis). It was chosen in 1909 and can be found throughout central and southern parts of Florida.
What is Florida’s state wildflower?
The tickseed (Coreopsis spp.) is Florida’s official state wildflower. It was selected in 1991. Florida is home to 12 native species of tickseed flowers, including Florida tickseed (Coreopsis floridana).
What flowers is Florida known for?
Florida is famous for many of its iconic native flowering plants, such as tickseed – the official state wildflower. Florida is also home to flowers associated with the South, such as azaleas and Southern magnolia. Florida is also known for its range of carnivorous plants, including pitcher plants and sundews.
Can you pick wildflowers in Florida?
Although it can be tempting, it’s illegal to pick wildflowers or their seeds from public land in Florida. This law is in place to protect Florida’s 170 native wildflower species, especially Threatened or Endangered plants. However, you can find most of these varieties for sale at garden centers or nurseries if you want to add them to your garden.
Florida’s epic cast of native flowers and plants is extremely extensive. From carnivorous pitcher plants and bladderworts to iconic wildflowers like black-eyed Susan, Florida is swamped with variety. Florida’s native plants inhabit varied habitats such as coastlines, pine forests, and wetlands like the Everglades. These fantastic flowers include tickseed – the official state wildflower.
Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.
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