List of Native Florida Plants

The climate in Florida, even in the coldest USDA zone in the state (zone 8), is sub-tropical to tropical, and the native plants in Florida have tropical and sub-tropical characteristics. Gardeners in Florida must be careful about planting too close to the ocean as many plants are not salt-tolerant. Do not remove plants growing in the wild and transplant them to your garden; instead, buy them if they are commercially available.

Scarlet Buckeye

Scarlet buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is a member of the horse chestnut family and is native to Northern Florida (USDA hardiness zone 8). The plant is a large deciduous shrub or small tree that grows from 12 to 36 feet tall. The dark-green leaves are elliptical and grow horizontally from the tip of the branches, resembling a large, green daisy. The leaves turn yellow before dropping off in late summer. The flowers are less than 2 inches long, bloom in early spring and form in red and yellow clusters that grow from 6 to 10 inches long. The flowers give way to 1- to 2-inch long brown fruit. Plant scarlet buckeye in partial shade and a moist, but not wet, soil. Hummingbirds and bees will come for the nectar and squirrels will make a meal out of the nuts.

Indigo Bush

Indigo bush (Amorpha fruticosa) is a member of the pea family and is native to all of Florida. The plant is a short deciduous shrub that grows from 6 to 10 feet tall. Most of the leaves grow on the top 1/3 of the plant. The plant produces small purple-yellow or dark blue-yellow flowers that bloom from April to June and grow in 3- to 6-inch long clusters at the ends of the stems. Plant indigo bush in full sun or partial shade and in a moist soil. The nectar attracts bees and butterflies.


Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) is a member of the trumpet-creeper family and is native to Northern and Central Florida. The plant is a vine that grows as long as 50 feet with semi-evergreen, dark-green leaves that grow from 4 to 6 inches long and 2 inches wide and turn purple-red in the winter. The yellow-red or all red flowers are trumpet-shaped, 2 inches long, 1-1/2 inches wide and grow in hanging clusters from March through May. Plant crossvine in full sun or partial shade and in a soil that is moist to dry and well-drained. The vine has the ability to climb up brick or stone walls without any support. Hummingbirds and butterflies like the nectar, and deer will browse the leaves in the winter.

Keywords: Florida plants, scarlet buckeye, indigo bush, crossvine

About this Author

Regina Sass is based in the Adirondack Region of New York State. She has been a writer for 10 years writing for publications in the real estate and retail industries. Online experience includes writing,advertising and editing for an educational web site. Sass is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.