Gulf Coast Plant Identification

When visiting a region like the Gulf Coast in the Southern United States, travelers are often enthralled by the beauty of the water, the native wildlife and marine life. But, don't miss the opportunity to stop and sniff the flowers and look closely at a wide array of plant life that graces various ecosystems found in the Gulf.

Yellow Pitcher

Slender, bright yellow floral tubes that reach for the sky in the form of a trumpet can be seen in boggy wetlands along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida and north along the Eastern seaboard to Virginia. These graceful and delicate plants, known as yellow pitcher plants or yellow trumpets, bloom mid-March to April, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Red-Dome Blanket Flower

With yellow disk-like blooms as wide as 2 inches and auburn red centers in heights of up to 3 feet, perennial red-dome blanket flowers add royal color to the Gulf Coast landscape from April through June. While they flourish in the Gulf's sandy soil, they also thrive in sandy mesas and plains in states such as Arizona and New Mexico.

Seaside Goldenrod

Growing to heights of more than 3 feet, seaside goldenrod is similar to goldenrod varieties found throughout the United States. The Gulf Coast Native perennial has sappy, dark green leaves that produce clusters of yellow flowers from August through October in coastal regions of Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Florida. It is also found on the Gulf in Mexico.

Pink Sundew

Dainty looking almost other-worldly in appearance, the pink sundew, a carnivorous herb species is native to Florida and found in wetlands throughout the Gulf coastal states. The plant grows to a maximum height of 4 inches in full sun. The delicate soft pink blossoms have almost crystal-like stamens with light yellow anthers.

Chinese Tallow

Chinese tallow, an invasive species, is common to bottom-land swamps in coastal Louisiana and is a non-native species on Florida's Gulf Coast. The fast-growing ornamental can grow to 50 feet tall, but is considered a medium-sized tree, according to the Center For Aquatic and Invasive Plants, University of Florida. In fall, broad leaves display a red-orange color. Wispy long flower spikes attract insects and bees. Chinese tallow grows in both sunny and shaded locations.

Keywords: gulf coast plants, plant identification, native flowers

About this Author

Kandra Sperling is a freelance writer and photojournalist with more than 30 years' experience. She has worked as a community news editor, writer and photographer for the "Morning News of Northwest Arkansas." She has received three awards from the National Press Women's Association and numerous state awards. Sperling earned a bachelor's degree in English and journalism from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.