A Florida Weekend Wildflower Tour
From the Panhandle to the Everglades,
spring is blooming in Florida!
of the state’s spectacular wildflowers can be seen right from your car window;
you can identify them using a new book from University Press of
the guidebook, take a weekend drive and see for yourself the colorful treasures
trip begins in Jackson County in northern Florida, where a variety of
wildflowers such as Florida flame azaleas, blue phloxes and bloodroots, can be
found. The Florida flame azaleas
are endangered but can be seen in yards as decorative shrubs.
This bright orange and yellow flower has long pistils shooting out beyond
the petals. Blue phloxes have rich
lavender petals. Long-stalked white flowers decorate the odd-shaped
leaves of the bloodroots. Visit
either Florida Caverns State Park or Three Rivers State Recreation Area to find
these and many more wildflowers.
County, east of Jackson, is the third destination. To find plants such as greeneyes and sundial lupines, with
its small purple flowers, try visiting Ichetucknee Springs State Park or
Suwannee River State Park.
recommended spot to find these wildflowers is O’Leno State Park.
see flowers such as the deep-pink cone-clustered lady lupine and glove-shaped
lavender Ashe’s savory, make a stop at Marion County, just south of Alachua.
To find these delightful flowers and many more, visit the Ocala National
little farther south is Lake County, home to a variety of wildflowers.
When passing through this county, stop at Rock Springs Run State Reserve.
Keep an eye open for dewberries, pale grass-pink and hatpins. The dewberry flower has five petals colored white, pink or
rose. Pale grass-pink blooms have
an orchid shape and may be hard to find because they’re threatened in Florida.
Hatpins, as the name suggests, have a needle-like appearance with long,
thin stems and a whitish yellow flowered top.
Lake County, stop to see what’s blooming in Brevard. The Canaveral National Seashore is a wonderful place both to
visit and to look for wildflowers. In this area, look for the picture-perfect
beach sunflowers, identifiable by their yellow ray florets, and the coral
bean’s red, elongated flowers arranged in a long spike.
last stops -- at the bottom edge of the state -- are Dade and Monroe counties.
Starting in Dade, drive
become better acquainted with what you can find in each county Florida
Wildflowers in Their Natural Communities presents detailed descriptions and
colorful pictures of the wildflowers. The
book, used to map out this Florida flower spring tour, also suggests other
places to visit.
following parks are open from sun rise to sunset. The distance in miles given are just approximations.
All prices listed below include one vehicle, up to 8 people.
Caverns State Park
(850)482-9598: near the city of Marianna; price of admission is $3.25; starting
at U.S. 231 south, take State Road 73 for east 7 miles to U.S. 90 east for 1.5
miles to Highway 166 north for 2 miles until you get to park.
Look for these flowers: two flower medic, allegheny spurge, wood-nettle
few-flowered croomia, wild columbine, wake robin, may apple, jack-in-the-pulpit,
false rue-anemone, Indian pink and atamasco-lily.
Rivers State Recreation Area
(850)482-9006: near the city of Sneads; $2.00; get back on U.S. 90 east for 20
miles to Highway 271 north for 2 miles until you get to park.
Look for these flowers: cross-vine and trilliums.
River State Park
(904)362-2746: near the city of Live Oak; admission price $2.00; get back onto
Highway 271 south to U.S. 90 east for .25 mi. to Highway 280 south for 5 miles
to Interstate 10 east for 98 miles to Highway 255 north for 3 miles to U.S. 90
east for 8 miles until you reach the park.
Look for these flowers: fall gromwell, narrow-leaf pawpaw, persimmon,
styloden, skullcap, dollar weed and downy phlox.
Springs State Park
(904)497-2511: near the city of Fort White; admission price $3.25; get back onto
U.S. 90 east for 7 miles to Interstate 10 east for 11 miles to U.S. 129 south
for 30 miles to U.S. 27 east for 8 miles until you reach the park.
Look for these flowers: red buckeye, pineland ginseng, slender beard
tongue, New Jersey tea, southern
black haw and fall gromwell.
State Park (904)454-1853:
near the city of High Springs; $3.25; get back onto U.S. 27 east for 7 miles to
Highway 18 east for 7 miles to U.S. 441 south for 4 miles to Route 2 for about 2
miles until you reach the park entrance. Look
for these flowers: Carolina rock-rose and horse sugar.
County: Ocala National
Forest (352)625-2520: get
back onto U.S. 441 south for 10 miles to Interstate 75 south for 52 miles to
State Road 27 east for 12 miles to Highway 40 which takes you through the
national forest. Look for these flowers: greeneyes.
County: Rock Springs Run
State Reserve (407)
884-2009: near the city of Sorrento; $4.00; get back onto Interstate 4 and take
exit 51 to State Road 46 west; the park is on the left side 7 miles down this
road. Look for these flowers: sandhill milkweed, Florida dandelion, coral bean,
dwarf huckleberry and crow poison.
(407)267-1110: near the city of Titusville; admission price $5.00; get back onto
U.S. 441 east to Highway 436 east for 9 miles to Interstate 4 north for 13 miles
to Highway 46 east for 37 miles to Interstate 95 south for 4 miles to exit 80
and go east on Garden Street, go east and this road will take you through to the
and Monroe Counties: Everglades
National Park (305)
242-7700: admission price $10.00; get back on Interstate 95 south for 295 miles
(which will turn into U.S. 441 in Miami) to State Road 9336, which takes you
through the park. Look for these flowers: coffee colubrina, hairy tournefort,
snowberry, ground cherry, joewood, possum grape, Spanish leather and Boykin’s
Wildflowers in Their Natural Communities
is written by Walter Kingsley Taylor, professor of biology at the University of
Central Florida, Orlando. The
guide, the first of its kind for Florida, helps readers identify wildflowers by
where they’re most likely to be found growing—their natural habitat. Taylor
provides detailed descriptions and color photos of each community—pine
flatwoods, sandhills, upland pine forest, scrub, temperate hardwood forest,
coastal uplands, subtropical pine forest, tropical hardwood hammock, and ruderal
sites—and of the wildflower species associated with each.
a colorful display of wildflowers (and to download jpeg images of flowers) check
out the University Press of Florida website at: http://www.upf.com/bom/jan.html.
of the University of Florida Press.
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