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. 

10 North America Native Full-Sun Flowers and Plants

10 North America Native Full-Sun Flowers and Plants

This is one of the hottest Summers ever. Our plants are also experiencing this. This weather can have a negative impact on the health of your garden plants. It is important to choose native plants for your garden in order to respect footprints, local ecosystems, and other environmental considerations. Not only will they thrive in your natural environment without requiring a lot of maintenance, but many common landscaping plants are also invasive which can cause environmental damage.

Non-native flowers are often chosen for their beauty. However, many native flowering plants can be used to decorate your garden and bring joy. These are 10 plants and flowers that can thrive in the summer heat.

1. Sunflower

These iconic flowers love the sun, as their name implies. In addition to their bright brand of beauty, sunflowers enjoy a very deep history in North America: Indigenous peoples were growing them as crops as far back as 4,500 years ago.

Sunflowers can also produce edible seeds, which can be eaten, used as oil, or snacked upon. Sunflowers are beloved and distinctive. They can be found in all 50 US states as well as in parts of Canada, Mexico and Canada. Your flowers might grow tall enough for shade.

2. Prickly Pear Cactus

Even though the spines are enough to make anyone cringe, there are many advantages to growing prickly pear Cacti in an environment that supports their growth. These full-sun plants will thrive in much of the southern and western United States.

This cactus’s best feature is its ability to give you the fruits of your labor. There are many types of prickly pears, each with a unique vibrant color and flavor. What’s not love about prickly pear?

3. Wood Lily

Wood lilies can be found in most states and half of Canada. They are a beautiful species that is native to North America. Though they grow widely, a wet to medium soil. These delicate, full-sun roses are perennial plants so you can watch them return each year to your garden.

5. Black-Eyed Susan

The black-eyed Susan is a great choice if you want to add a bit of color to your garden. Black-eyed Susans are found throughout the central U.S., and they bloom from late spring through early fall.

Although they can tolerate soggy soil, black-eyed Susans are quite hardy. They can tolerate dry soil over several weeks, which is a great way to keep your garden looking fresh.

6. Blue Flag Iris

These brightly colored blooms will be a star in any garden. Many irises are native to North America, including the blue flag. The perennial flowers bloom from late summer to early fall in the northeastern U.S.A. and Canada. They can withstand both full and part sun. Although they prefer moist environments, Irises are resilient enough to withstand floods and droughts.

7. Trumpet Honeysuckle

Trumpet honeysuckle can grow to 15 feet in length. Honeysuckle can be found in many parts of the United States. Their unique shape makes them a great choice for hummingbirds who are looking for nectar. Good news! Honeysuckle prefers a very sunlit environment. However, they can tolerate shade.

8. Texas Lantana

Lantana Urticoides is a native flowering plant to Texas and Mexico. These fiery flowers can withstand some heat and thrive in dry soils.

Texas lantana can grow to 3 to 4 feet high and blooms from July through frost. The lantana is a strong plant that can withstand heat.

9. New England Aster

The New England aster plant can be found in the eastern and central U.S. The aster flower blooms in late summer through mid-autumn, unlike many other flowers.

New England aster can be grown anywhere from 3 to 6 feet . This is a boon for many insects and pollinators. They thrive in moist soil, and can withstand partial to full sun. Their light purple color is a great addition to any garden.

10. Rock Rose

Rock roses can be vibrant flowers with a tropical look like hibiscus. It is native to Texas and California as well as Mexico. They are quite drought-tolerant, as they live in the hottest and most dry areas of North America.

Many benefits come with rock roses, including attracting pollinators and staying in bloom for longer periods of time. They also last season after season.

Sunburn treatment with Midwest native plants

Sunburn treatment with Midwest native plants

Walking through the woods and along the edges of the crop fields surrounding my home, I often think about the uses of plants that I grow in my backyard. My curiosity began in childhood when a friend of mine told me that spotted jewelweed was the best remedy for poison ivy. I didn’t spend another summer waiting for my itchy, weepy rash, to dry up. My poison ivy blisters were dried by the sap from the leaves and stems of the plant within days.

This success is due to my continuing interest in botany and foraging, as well as home remedies. It is easy to see how the wild could provide cures for common ailments. There wasn’t always an emergency room right next door.

Sunburn can be treated with wild peach, wild rose, and prickly pear trees. Find out where to find these plants, and how to prepare them for sunburn relief.

Prickly Pear

The cooling and astringent properties of the inner core of prickly fruit pads and fruits are similar to aloe. These qualities can be helpful in skin healing and pain relief.

Where can I find prickly pear? The colonies of prickly pear grow in sunny, south-facing locations on disturbed soils and rocky soils. In southern Ohio, there are colonies of prickly pears in the counties bordering Lake Erie’s western shore. It can be found in Allegheny County, western Pennsylvania.

When can you harvest prickly pear? When the pear pads are firm and green, you can harvest them during the growing season. When the fruit is brightly colored and succulent, it’s best to harvest them before they begin to fall back in late autumn. To harvest prickly pear, you should wear leather gloves. The fruit and pads are covered with small and large spines that can stick to your skin. You should also store your harvest in a paper bag, rather than a cloth.

How to use prickly pear to treat sunburn? Remove the spines from the prickly fruit or pear pad and gently peel off the outer skin. Cover the sunburned skin with a cool, damp cloth.

Wild Rose

The astringent properties of wild rose petals and leaves make them ideal for topical application to burns, wet and weepy skin rashes, and wounds.

Where can I find wild roses? Wild roses can often be found in disturbed soils near water bodies and woodland edges.

When can I harvest wild rose bushes? Only harvest wild rose flowers from healthy plants during summer. The blossoms can be trimmed with pruning shears or scissors. You can harvest their leaves at any point during the growing season. You can use them fresh or dried to make a topical shampoo.

How to treat sunburn with wild rose? Rose petals can be combined with calendula flowers in a vinegar infusion to soothe sunburns, burns in the kitchen and poison ivy rashes.

You’ll need 2 cups raw apple cider vinegar, 4 tablespoons fresh rose petals, dry or fresh, 2 tablespoons dried or fresh calendula flowers.

Mix all ingredients in a large jar. Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for at least two weeks. The mixture should be strained and stored in the fridge for up to 6 months. You can use the infusion to soothe sunburns, as a skin soak or wash for burns.

Wild Peach

You can use the flowers, leaves, and immature branches of wild peach trees to make a topically applied wash to soothe burns, treat insect bites, and dry wet wounds.

Where can I find wild peach trees? Wild peach trees are found along the trails and at the edges of woodlots. Wild peach trees may also be remnants from old orchards and homesteads.

When can you harvest wild peaches? Wild peach leaves, flowers and young twigs must be picked in the middle of spring and dried or used fresh for future use. The fruit can still be harvested in the fall, as it ripens in summer.

How to treat sunburn with wild peach? To soothe burns or rashes, you can use peach petals, leaves and twigs to make a vinegar-infused tea.

You’ll need 1 part chopped fresh leaves, flowers, and twigs, 2 parts raw apple cider vinegar

Mix all ingredients in a large jar. Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for at least two weeks. The mixture can be strained and stored in the fridge for up to 6 months. You can use the infusion to treat sunburns, skin rashes, and insect bites.