American Beauty Berry (Callicarpa americana)

The American Beauty Berry, Callicarpa americana, is a perennial shrub that produces berries that grow like a shis kabob along the stem around each leaf node. These berries are an important food source for many song birds and mammals native to Florida. They can also be consumed by humans and are sometimes made into pies or jams. The leaves of this plant produce a chemical that is a natural repellent to mosquitoes. Cowboys and farmers used to snap off a branch of this plant and place it in their horses harness to ward off mosquito swarms. start a new post.

Blazing Star (Liatris tenuifolia)

Educational Story The Shortleaf or Scrub Blazing Star, Liatris tenuifolia, is a perennial flowering plant in the Aster family that produces a striking blaze of flowers. The inflorescence is a spike of rayless rose/ purple-colored flowers that typically bloom from the top, down. It reaches a height of 3-4 ft, and grows in well-drained soils in the Southeastern United States, typical of scrub and flatwoods communities….

Bog Button (Lachnocaulon anceps)

Educational Story Bog Button, Lauchnocaulon anceps, is a native Florida perennial herb in the pipewort family. The inflorescence is a button-shaped cluster of densely packed white flowers at the top of a hairy stalk. The 1-2 inch leaves grow in clusters at the base of flowering stalks that can grow up to 16 inches tall. Five species of Bog Button occur in…

Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. pseudocaudatum)

Educational Story Bracken Fern, Pteridium aquilinum var. pseudocaudatum, is a native perennial fern that reproduces through spores. Pteridium aquilinum means “like wings of an eagle”, because of the appearance of its fronds. It is the most widespread and easily recognized species of fern. The aquilinum species is native to Europe, where it grows larger than in the United States. Their…

Scarlet Calamint (Calamintha coccinea)

Educational Story The very showy Scarlet Calamint, Calamintha coccinea, is a small woody perennial that produces brilliant red, tubular flowers, and is pollinated by, and provides an important food source to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It grows in full sun and very well drained, sandy soils such as sandhill, coastal dunes, and scrub habitats. It is also…

Chalky Bluestem (Andropogon virginicus var. glaucus)

Educational Story The Chalky Bluestem, Andropogon virginicus, is a fast growing grass that grows in scrubby flatwoods and is a primary succession plant that establishes itself after disturbance events such as tropical storms and wildfires. The stems of this grass are covered with a chalky wax coating that can be easily rubbed off,  and gives…

Coastalplain Honeycombhead (Balduina angustifolia)

Educational Story The Costalplain Honeycombhead, Balduina Angustifolia, is a member of the aster family which includes daisies and sunflowers.  It flowers during late summer and early fall. Its yellow flowers include both ray and disc florets and they bloom on slender, wiry stems.  It grows in sandy soils associated with pine flatwoods, scrub, and coastal ecosystems….

Coontie (Zamia integrifolia)

  Educational Story The Coontie, Zamia integrifolia, is Florida’s only native cycad.  Native Americans processed the large underground roots of coontie into a starchy flour.  It is sometimes called Coontie Palm or Coontie Fern based on its tropical appearance. but it is a gymnosperm more closely related to pine trees than palms or ferns.  Coontie is…

Dahoon Holly (Ilex cassine)

Educational Story The Dahoon holly, Ilex cassine, is a medium to small evergreen tree that can be found growing  in Mesic Flatwoods and wet locations like swamps. Like most hollies, it is dioecious, producing individual plants that are either male or female.  Leaves are smooth and shiny, and make an ideal hedge with attractive white flowers….

Feay’s Palafox (Palafoxia feayi)

Educational Story The Feay’s Palafox, Palafoxia feayi, is a native, herbaceous perennial plant that occurs in scrub and sandhill habitats in Florida. This species produces strong, tall stalks with small oval leaves.  It is in the aster family, but its flowers are unusual, consisting of a open, round head of tubular disc flowers with no…