Flowers That Naturalize in Florida

Nicknamed "The Sunshine State," the state of Florida is a grower's paradise, home to many stunning native flowering plants. Gardeners who wish to grow flowers that aren't native, but have naturalized to the state, will have little trouble finding plants that will thrive in Florida's sunny climate. According to online resource Florida's Nature, naturalized plants are are non-native species that have begun to grow wild, without displacing native species or causing damage to state's habitats. Always check before planting a new species however that it's not invasive--invasive plants can do severe damage to Florida's native plant species.

White Gaura

Native to Southern Louisiana and Texas, white gaura (Gaura lindheimeri) is commonly grown in Florida and is listed as "Florida Friendly" by the City of Lakeland. Popular for its butterfly attracting abilities, and for its delicate white or pink blooms (depending on cultivar), white gaura is a drought-tolerant perennial that looks at home in a naturalized, wild garden. The plant grows well in full sunlight in slightly acidic or slightly alkaline soils. White gaura doesn't have much salt tolerance, and shouldn't be planted too close to the coast.


Lantana (Lantana camara) is a bushy tropical evergreen shrub that has been naturalized in Florida for centuries, according to online resource Floridata. The plant boasts clusters of tiny blooms in a myriad of colors, from orange and yellow to deep purple and hot pink. The plant is quick growing and low maintenance, growing in full sun or partial sun in just about any soil type so long as it is well drained. The drought-resistant plant is also highly attractive to butterflies.

Mexican Heather

Mexican heather (Cuphea hyssopifolia), also called false heather, is a perennial native of Mexico that grows well in South Florida, even tolerating salt moderately well. The plant is beginning to become naturalized in Florida, according to the Okeechobee County Extension Service, where the plant is seen popping up outside planting beds. The butterfly attracting plant is notable for its bushy green foliage and for its pink, purple or white flowers, which often grow year round in warm climates. Mexican heather grows best in full sunlight, though it will tolerate some shade. Soil should be slightly acidic or slightly alkaline.

Keywords: naturlized plants, flower types, Florida flowers

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.