The Suwannee River is one of the three major rivers that flow through Florida and the only source of white water rapids in the state. Originating in the Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia and cutting a path across the northern portion of Florida, the river ends its flow in the Gulf of Mexico. The black waters progress southwesterly 266 miles along tree-shrouded limestone banks. Numerous wildflowers encompass the Suwannee River region during autumn.
The cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis L.) is a perennial herb plant with dark green deciduous leaves. This plant is widely distributed throughout the United States, but over-picking causes its appearances to be rare in some locations. The cardinal flower stands at 1 to 6 feet in height and is ensconced in erect leafy stems that form in clusters. This plant explodes into bright shades of scarlet red as the crimson flower spikes unfurl in late spring until October.
The wax begonia (Begonia cucullata) is an 18-inch tall native plant that grows in India. These plants entered the United States and became a gardening favorite. This plant grows naturally in Florida and Georgia. The wax begonia falls into the category of an invasive plant due to its tendency to mass produce seeds for rapid reproduction. The dark green foliage of the wax begonia has a shiny quality and forms a mound that measures 2 feet in width. This plant commences cultivating white, pink, and red flowers in the spring and winds down in the fall.
The blue butterwort (Pinguicula caerulea Walt) is found in aquatic or moist locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. This carnivorous perennial herb plant reaches up to 6 inches in height. The blooming period of the blue butterwort is a lengthy one, starting in late spring and continuing until the beginning of winter. The stunning blue-violet flowers attract several types of butterflies and other insects.
The beach sunflower (Helianthus debilis Nutt) is an annual branched flowering herb plant that is a native U.S. plant, located along the Eastern and Southern coast areas. This plant has a natural habitat of sandy soil and grows to be 3 to 6 feet in length. The plant's flowers evolve from long hairy stems that measure 1 to 3 feet in length with lobed leaves. Blossoming throughout the year, the beach sunflower sprouts multiple brilliant yellow rays or petals. The center disc of this bud is a dark reddish color.
Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica Thunb) is an invasive perennial climbing vine that occurs along the Suwannee River and other regions in the Southern United States. This plant has evergreen leaves that are oval with short stalks. During mid-spring and well into autumn, the Japanese honeysuckle blooms with tubular white or pink fused petal flowers. These inflorescences fade to a yellowish color with time. This flower has a cloying aroma and honey flavored nectar.