Zone 7a and 7b make up the northwest Florida growth zone. Flowers and trees that grow well in this area need to be hardy to zone 7a, preferably to Zone 6. Plants must be able to survive hot and humid conditions without wilting or burning. For best results in choosing trees and flowers for northwest Florida, check for a hardiness of 6 or lower.
The silver maple tree, Acer saccharinum, is from the Aceraceae family of plants. These trees can grow to approximately 70 feet tall, with exceptional trees getting over 100 feet tall. It is a fast growing tree, with bright green leaves with silver undersides. Leaves are 3 to 5 inches long. Flowers are in spring and dull reddish-orange in color. Plant a silver maple in any soil and water conditions. This makes a good shade tree. Propagate via cuttings and by seed.
The mapleleaf viburnum, Viburnum acerifolium, is from the Caprifoliaceae family of plants. They get 4 to 6 inches tall and are multi-stemmed shrubby trees. Leaves are dark green, 2 to 4 inches long, and simple. They turn purplish red in fall. Flowers are in June and yellow white. Plant a mapleleaf viburnum in full sun to shade in well-drained, slightly acidic soil. It is good for borders. Propagate via grafting, seed, or cuttings.
The redosier dogwood, Cornus sericea, is from the Cornaceae family of plants. It gets 6 to 10 feet tall and is a multi-stemmed shrubby tree. Leaves are medium to a dark green in color 2 to 5 inches long with a deciduous nature. Flowers are dull white, 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide and in May to June. Plant a redosier dogwood in full sun or light shade in any moist soil. It makes a good border. Propagate via seed or cuttings.
The pitcherplant, Sarracenia spp., is from the Sarraceniaceae family of plants. It is a perennial and grow 4 inches to 3 feet tall, depending on cultivar. They have a hood and a “pitcher,” where prey can fall in. There are eight species from which to choose, and all are endangered. Plant a pitcherplant in full sun with constantly moist soil. Propagate via spring division. Never get a pitcherplant from the wild, as they are on several threatened/endangered lists.
The angel’s trumpet, Datura inoxia var. quinquecuspida, is from the Solanaceae family. It is a perennial that is fragrant and drought tolerant. It can get 3 feet tall with white or lavender flowers. Flowers are trumpet shaped and 8 inches long. Blooms arrive all summer and are fragrant. Leaves, up to 10 inches long, smell foul and are coarse to the touch. Plant an angel’s trumpet in partial sun to full sun in any well drained soil. Propagate via root division or by seeds. The best growth is seen in rich, well-manured loamy soil.
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