Florida native plants – Firebush, Beach Sunflower, Climbing Aster, Coontie, Blanket Flower

Florida native plants

After going through the Florida-Friendly Landscaping ™ Guide to Plant Selections and Landscape Design, 14 native plants were found that I love. It was hard to pick five, which are blanket flowers, fire bush, and beach sunflowers. Because I just published an article on muhly, fakahatchee, ornamental grasses were not included.

Many native plants are found in our ecosystem, which provides food and shelter for bees, birds, and butterflies. When selecting plants, you should consider the site conditions, including sun, shade and mature size (height, spread), soil pH and soil moisture, and texture.

Firebush, Hamelia Patens is a large shrub that can grow quickly and reach heights of 5-20ft. It also has a spread of about 5-8ft. It can tolerate full sun to partial shade and low salt tolerance. It attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to its orange-red flowers. Some prefer the darker green leaves in the shade, while others prefer the yellow/red/yellow leaves when there is full sun. The shrub will die if it is frozen, but new shoots will emerge when the temperatures rise and after pruning.

Helianthus Beach sunflower is a fast-growing perennial that can grow to a height of 1-4ft and spread to 2-4ft. It is tolerant to salt and drought, and thrives in full sun. It attracts birds and butterflies, and makes a beautiful ground cover. It is located around the two-level pond in our Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden.

The climbing aster, Astercarolinianus can climb to a height between 1 and 12 feet, with a spread of 2 to 4 feet. It is a sun-loving species and can tolerate partial shade. It attracts butterflies and birds with its lavender fall flowers. This plant belongs to the mint family.

Coontie, Zamia Flordana is a native, fast-growing palm-like plant. It can grow to a height of 1-5 ft and spread to 3-5 ft. Coontie can be easily propagated from seeds and is drought-tolerant. It attracts butterflies and birds, and is the only larval food source of the Atala hairstreak.

The native perennial Blanket flower, Gaillardia Pulchella can grow to a height of about 1-2 feet and spread out to a distance of 2-3 feet. It is drought-tolerant, likes full sun, and produces yellow/orange/red flowers in the summer that attract butterflies. It can be easily propagated from seeds.

It is possible that irrigation will not be necessary once the plant has been established. These and other Florida native plants are easy to find out more about using your browser.