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Fall Flower Color

Fall color in the Florida landscape may be a little different than more northern areas but it is just as dramatic with the right plant selections.  One of the favorite perennials that is in peak bloom right now is the Cassia or butterfly plant, Cassia bicapsularis.  Grown for its showy bright yellow flowers, this soft-wooded perennial can be a garden accent when grown as a small tree.  Plants normally grows as a multi-stemmed plant with a vase shape or rounded canopy.  Size ranges from 5-10 feet in height and the best flowering is when plants receive full sun.

Cassia_bbollesUF

An added benefit of this species of cassia is that it can serve as a host for sulfur butterflies.  Blooms will often last until first frost and plants may be injured by freezing temperatures.  Homeowners will cut back cold damaged stems and wait for regrowth in the spring.  During the growing season, larger plants may need support and summer storms can break some branches.  Despite these issues, the fall flower show makes this a highlight in a garden.  Learn more about this cassia from the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

2 Comments on “Fall Flower Color

  1. Jane,
    Asclepias seeds germinate in 3-4 weeks at temperatures of 68-86 degrees F. Seeds are short lived so plant soon after ripening. Milkweed are warm season plants so wait until after our last frost to set out the transplants, about mid to late March. If we get a late cold, be prepared to cover.

  2. Our Garden Club in Panama City Beach is getting ready to co-op with our Conservation Park to create a Butterfly Garden. We have 300 Milkweed seed to begin with—any helpful suggestions on the best way to start these seeds and when to transplant???? Thank you! (Beth, I attend your classes in Milton at Short Course North.)

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