The northern portion of Florida is known for its abundance of wildflowers, which bloom virtually all year. Florida has approximately 2,800 native wildflower plants, according to the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs. Many of the wildflowers that flourish in the natural habitat of northern Florida also do well as landscape plants. The home gardener can choose from about 200 wildflower varieties that are commercially available.
Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
The columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) grows wild throughout northern Florida. The flower appears in shades of light pink with yellow, or deep red with yellow. The plant begins blooming in April and continues into May. Columbine is a perennial plant that attains a height of 1 1/2 to 2 feet.
Columbines prefers a moist soil in a partial to full shade location. It easily naturalizes. Both hummingbirds and bees are attracted to the plant's abundant flowers. The columbine in north Florida is most often found in woodlands.
Sundial Lupine (Lupinus perennis)
Sundial lupine (Lupinus perennis) produces pea-shaped purplish-blue flowers in large spear-shaped clusters, which attract an abundance of butterflies. The perennial plant attains a height of 1 to 2 feet. Blooming begins in March and April in northern Florida. The sundial lupine easily grows where other plants fail. It tolerates hot, dry locations and can be found growing on sand hills.
Care should be taken when planting the sundial lupine near areas grazed by livestock since the plant is toxic when ingested.
Beebalm (Monarda punctata)
Beebalm (Monarda punctata), a perennial, produces 2 to 7 yellow and purple flowers per stem from August into October. The plant reaches a height of up to 4 feet. It grows well in hot, dry flood plains or sand marsh locations. When an area is disturbed by logging or construction, the beebalm will often take up residence with vigor.
When planted in a wildflower garden the blossoms attract a wide array of butterflies, according to Floridata. It prefers a location with full sunlight in north Florida. Local nurseries often market the plant under the name of "horsemint".
Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida)
The coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida), often called black-eyed Susan, grows wild throughout northern Florida in moist areas. The plant blooms in the region from August into October. It attains a height of 1 to 1 1/2 feet when planted in full sunlight.
The coneflower's prolific blooms make excellent cut wildflower bouquets. The blossoms attract an abundance of butterflies and bees. Care must be taken when planting the coneflower in home gardens because it spreads prolifically and can be invasive if not controlled.