For a state with nicknames that include the Sunshine State and the Land of Flowers, it's no surprise that there isn't a shortage of flowers covering the land of Florida, from the beach to the Everglades. According to NetState.com, when Ponce de Leon set foot on Florida shores, he named the state "la Florida" in honor of the Spanish celebration feast of the flowers, "Pascua florida." There are a handful of Florida flowers that help give the state its identity and recognition, such as wildflowers and sunflowers.
Florida has over 1,000 varieties of wildflowers in every color known to man that dot the roadsides, beaches, lawns and meadows. The most well-known wildflowers in Florida include the red, yellow and pink hibiscus, the black-eyed Susan, orchids and gaillardia. These wildflowers are one of the most significant terrain traits of Florida, since the appearance of the vegetation is one of the ways the state got its name. Although they can be landscaped, they often grow wild due to the mass amounts of rainfall and humidity, as well as the birds and animals who drop the seeds.
The two main perennial sunflowers in Florida are the swamp sunflower and the beach sunflower. On beach dunes and shores, sunflowers bloom in light yellow year-round. Once you venture into the swampy marshes, the sunflowers also bloom year-round, but they have dark gold to orange leaves that are skinny and narrow. Although they can be planted on landscapes outside of beaches and swamps, they may require more maintenance than other landscaping plants since their conditions must be tailored to their needs.
The hibiscus is one of the most well-known flowers in the tropics, particularly Florida. First originated in China, the varieties in Florida today are hybrids of the first hibiscus. The hibiscus all over the state are mostly one-day bloomers, where the flowers open in early morning and die later in the day. Only in South Florida do hibiscus bloom year-round, and most are odorless. The style of the hibiscus plant depends on where it is growing in Florida. For example, hibiscus can range from low-climbing plants to tall shrubs/trees that reach almost 20 feet high. The flowers range from yellow to red to white, from coral to purple to brown. Hibiscus flowers are characterized as single or double forms with variations in the petal number and arrangement. They are often used for landscaping purposes, as messy hedges, privacy screens and floral background.