Abused, snubbed and above all not appreciated – the native flowers and plants of Florida. Someone coming here to build a vacation villa is often convinced that the flora of Florida is not “pretty” and asks especially that tropical/exotic plants be used, with their garish, flamboyant colors that have little or nothing in common with the tones, textures and forms of the landscapes of southern Florida. The irony of these choices is that many such plants, above all those coming from South America, were ignored and despised in their own country until only a few decades ago. It was not until the 60s that Burle Marx, with his tenacity as a farsighted, sensitive landscape architect, saw to it that they were appreciated in their home country as ornamental plants and were not looked upon as mere weeds.
The space of this page is dedicated to these – the minor and the major beauties of the flora of Florida. Whether or not known, appreciated or otherwise, but – always truly beautiful.
Few flowers can match the rich blue color of skyflower and its common name couldn't be more appropriate. Skyflower is common to all of Florida's peninsula and few parts of panhandle.
Skyflower is found in marshes, ponds, and ditches and requires moist soils for much of the year. In these conditions, it may be quite abundant.
Skyflower is a perennial which dies back to the ground each winter. The leaves are small and rounded, becoming more elliptical near the flowers.
The brilliant sky-blue flowers occur during the summer months (these pictures were taken at the beginning of August). Each bloom is about an inch of diameter. Several flowers can be open on any one day and blooming occurs over several weeks. The flowers fade rapidly as the day progresses so it is best appreciated during the morning hours.
Skyflower is not widely available in the native plant nursery trade and it's not a typical plant for landscaping, but it is worth search for it in nature because of its beauty.With appropriate amount of moist is possibile to try growing it in gardens.
Porterweed is a small low growing perennial
which blooms year round. It becomes woody as is grows to about one year
old. It grow about 4 feet tall by 6 feet wide before stems droop and
touch the ground. Blue or pink flowers are borne terminally on long,
stringy spikes at the ends of the stems.
Native to the south
florida, blue porterweed has naturalized outside of it's original,
historic range to become quite widespread in Florida.
The flowers of porterweed attract butterflies to the landscape. Rich, dark green foliage displayed on square, green stems makes porterweed a nice addition to any sunny landscape.
Pontederia cordata is a perennial, rooted freshwater plant that grows in
and forms colonies. Throughout late spring and summer, pickerelweed
produces showy 6-8 in spires of violet-blue flowers standing on stalks
2-3 ft high. The individual flowers are about 1 in across and
reminiscent of an orchid.
Pickerelweed spreads by creeping rhizomes (underground stems) just beneath the surface.
Once established, pickerelweed can stand permanent flooding, but not deeper than 6 in. If planted in soil, pickerelweed must be watered frequently, and not allowed to dry out. It does best in the margins of a garden pond where it will be flooded periodically.
For more information about wetland plant native to Florida go to the