It is finally spring! Well, maybe it has been spring in Central Florida for a few weeks now, but it is finally official. If you find yourself needing to grab some fresh air, take some time to check out the spring flowers near you!
Flowering Perennials and Vines
Florida greeneyes (Berlandiera subacaulis)
Florida greeneyes (Berlandiera subacaulis) is a welcome addition each spring! This Florida native plant is is very drought tolerant once established. It makes a great addition to the garden for attracting pollinators!
Skyblue Clustervine (Jacquemontia pentanthos)
Skyblue Clustervine (Jacquemontia pentanthos) is a native vine with beautiful blue flowers. It prefers full sun and is suitable for hardiness zones 10A-11. To protect this plant in the winter, plant it on the south side of the building. This warmer microclimate in the landscape will help this plant during cooler winters.
Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)
Have you ever wondered what this flower is that pops up randomly throughout your yard? Well, it is Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis). This blue or violet flowered plant is actually a Florida native. Many people find its free spirit in the garden a little frustrating, but others enjoy the random pops of color it brings.
Crossandra (Crossandra infundibuliformis)
Crossandra (Crossandra infundibuliformis) is a great flowering perennial to brighten a spot in partial shade. These flowers are bright orange. While this plant is suitable for USDA Hardiness zones 9-11, it may be damaged by cooler temperatures.
Trees and Shrubs
Indian Hawthorn (Raphiolepis spp.)
Indian Hawthorn (Raphiolepis spp.) may not come to mind when you think of flowering plants, but it certainly can flower given the proper care. For best flowering, plant in full sun. Additionally, prune after flowering and do not prune after early July. Flower buds are set on last year’s growth, so pruning too late may remove the flowers for next year.
Pink Powderpuff (Calliandra haematocephala)
Talk about a showstopper! Pink Powderpuff (Calliandra haematocephala) grows as a large shrub or small tree. It has bright pink powderpuff flowers. Pollinators, including bees and hummingbirds, often buzz around to collect nectar from the flowers.
Coral Bean (Erythrina herbacea)
Coral Bean (Erythrina herbacea) is a native small tree or large shrub ranging in height from 5 to 10 feet tall and similar width. Coral bean prefers full sun but can tolerate partial sun. It is very drought tolerant and a nectar source for hummingbirds.
Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)
Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) is a Florida native tree. It is deciduous, meaning it loses its leaves in winter, but leaves grow back out in the spring. The best part about this tree is right before the leaves begin to grow it blooms with beautiful white flowers. It is considered a small tree growing anywhere from 12 to 20 feet in height and 10 to 15 feet wide. Fringetree will grow in full sun to shade, but flowers better in full sun. Additionally, this tree has medium to high wind resistance.
Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum spp.)
Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum spp.) are great annual flower for your spring garden. They start easily from seed and add a nice pop of color. Another benefit of this annual plant is that both the flowers and leaves are edible. Be careful though, it has a peppery flavor that is not for everyone!
Remember to practice of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ and use the practice of right plant, right place to select plants that match the site conditions in your garden or landscape. For more information on Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ check out our website.
Have you visited the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Demonstration Garden in Bartow recently? If not, we invite you to stop by and check out the gardens!
UF/IFAS Extension Polk County
1702 Highway 17 South Bartow, FL 33830
For more details and directions, call 863-519-1041.
“Berlandiera subacaulis”. Florida Native Plant Society. https://fnps.org/plants/plant/berlandiera-subacaulis. Accessed Mar 19, 2020.
“Crossandra”. UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions. https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/ornamentals/crossandra.html. Accessed Mar 19, 2020.
“Jacquemontia pentanthos”. Florida Native Plant Society. https://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/jacquemontia-pentanthos. Accessed Oct 30, 2019.
“Spiderwort”. UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions. https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/care/weeds-and-invasive-plants/spiderwort.html. Accessed Mar 19, 2020.
The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design. 2010. University of Florida. https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_2015.pdf
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