Floridian Nature

Learn about Florida's beautiful and unique nature.





Florida Nature: Hummingbird Plants (4)
Birders who want to host hummingbirds in their backyards need to plan bird-friendly landscaping, especially flowers that attract hummingbirds. Flowers that are especially adapted for hummingbird pollination are long and tube-shaped and often red.  Browse through our alphabetical list of native Florida plants and find the ones that are best suited for your yard or garden!
 
scarlet morning gloriy, a humminbird favoriteScarlet Morning Glory (Ipomea coccinea)- Scarlet morning glory is a twining, smooth to hairy annual vine. The leaf shape is extremely variable. The leaves are generally ovate in shape with pointed tips and heart-shaped bases and are commonly deeply 3-lobed. The flower stalks are usually as long as, or longer than, the subtending leaf. Each flower stalk may bear a simple flower or may have several flowers. The sepals are oblong and 1.5-3 mm long, excluding the sharp pointed tip. The tip may be as long as, or longer than, the broader portion below. The joined petals may be scarlet to yellowish to orange-red and from 2.5-4.5 cm in length. The fruit is a round capsule up to 8 mm in diameter containing a few seeds. Scarlet morning glory is native to Florida and a hummingbird favorite! They arise in abundance in summer and fall, opening in the morning and tightly closed again by late afternoon.

a field if standing cypress in North FloridaStanding Cypress (Ipomopsis rubra)- Standing cypress is a sturdy, upright perennial variety native to the southeastern portion of the United States. It is occasionally found growing on sandhills and dunes of the northern and central Florida peninsula and west to the panhandle and Escambia county. The brilliant red, tubular flowers are marginally spaced throughout the entire length of the spike. The leaves are finely divided making this variety easy to identify when not in bloom. Standing cypress requires a very dry, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Standing cypress is drought tolerant once it becomes established. An excellent variety to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden, standing cypress blooms in the summer.


native florida trumpet vineTrumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)- The trumpet vine, or trumpet creeper as it is sometimes called, is native to the southeastern and Gulf Coast region of the United States where it grows along fences and at the edge of woodlands. Trumpet vine is a much admired garden plant in most temperate areas of the world. Trumpet creeper is one of the best plants for attracting hummingbirds to your yard as it produces quantities of nectar rich blossoms all summer long. The trumpet shaped flowers are big and beautiful and will attract hordes of hummingbirds from miles around. The trumpet creeper is a fast growing, high climbing deciduous woody vine that will grow to heights up to 40 feet. The vine's aerial roots that occur along the stems that attach tightly to surfaces. Once the vine climbs to a certain height it grows horizontal branches. Showy clusters of yellow orange to red trumpet-shaped flowers first appear in summer (earlier in frost-free climates) and are produced continuously until early autumn. The tubular flower buds are 3 - 4 inches in size.

wild azalea growing in the Florida hammocksWild Azalea (Rhododendron spp)- Native azaleas are deciduous shrubs that are in the rhododendron family. It grows along streams and swamp margins from North Carolina and Tennessee to central Florida, and west to East Texas. Color variations and natural hybridization makes positive identification difficult. Found in moist wooded hammocks, the wild azalea can reach a height of six feet. The blooms of the wild azalea come in a variety of colors, including pinks and whites. Wild azaleas bloom in late march and April and attract a variety of butterflies, along with attracting hummingbirds. Wild azalea needs an acidic soil. Never add lime. If your soil is alkaline, forget about growing azaleas. Azaleas do best with plenty of organic matter in the soil. Pile leaves or pine needles over the root zone, and never cultivate there as they have very shallow roots. Florida's native azaleas include, but are not limited to, R. austrinum (flame azalea), an Endangered Species which blooms bright orange and is very early flowering; and R. viscosum, or swamp azalea, which is evergreen and blooms in the summer with small white flowers.
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