Floridian Nature

Learn about Florida's beautiful and unique nature.

Florida Nature: Hummingbird Plants (2)
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!
Coral Bean plant, sometimes called cherokee plant a florida native plant that attracts butterfliesCoral Bean ( Erythrina herbacea)- Coral bean is is native to hardwood hammocks in the deep southern states of the eastern United States, including Florida. Coral bean is deciduous and has interesting compound leaves made up of three leaflets that are uniquely shaped with pointed tips and a bulge in the middle. In late spring and early summer showy scarlet blossoms appear. These long flattened tubes are about 2 inches long by approximately 1/8 inch in diameter. They are arranged in clusters at the stem tips and appear custom designed for hummingbird beaks. Flowers are followed by large pods that split open to reveal bright red seeds in late summer and fall. Coral bean produces herbaceous stems from a woody base that are typically about 3 feet in height but sometimes more. In areas that experience freezes the stems are killed back in winter but in frost-free areas the plant will form woody stems and may grow to 16 feet in height. This South Florida form is sometimes referred to as E. arborea , a name that most authorities now consider a synonym.

stunning coral honeysuckle growing in FloridaCoral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)- Coral honeysuckle grows wild in open woodlands, roadsides, fence rows and the edges of clearings, from Connecticut to Nebraska, and south to Texas and Florida..Coral honeysuckle is a twining or trailing woody vine that is evergreen or tardily deciduous in mild climates. The smooth leaves are 1-3 inches long and arranged opposite each other along the stem. The last two leaves at the ends of new growth are joined at their bases, cup-like around the stem and the showy flowers are in terminal clusters just beyond. The flowers are tube shaped, about 2 inches long, coral red or bright orange on the outside and yellow on the inside. The fruits are orange red berries, about 0.25 inch diameter..Wherever coral honeysuckle grows, ruby-throated hummingbirds and butterflies will find it. Songbirds relish the juicy fruits. This is a spectacular vine that the local wildlife will enjoy as much as you.

Florida blooming cross vine, a hummingbird favoriteCross Vine (Bignonia capreolata)- Cross Vine 'Tangerine Beauty' is a woody vine or shrub is commonly grown on trelliswork or walls and grows to an average height of 10 to 20 feet, but can reach up to 30'. This vine clings to objects with tendrils that usually will not damage the object like other vines, and has narrow bell-shaped flowers. The flowers of Tangerine Beauty are 2 inches long, cluster at the leaf axils and have yellow throats surrounded by tangerine colored tubes. Cross Vine flowers from late spring and throughout the summer. Cross Vine is native to southeastern North America, from Maryland to Florida, and west to Missouri and Texas. It occurs widely in uplands, lowlands, forests, and clearings, and is hardy to USDA Zone 6. Cross vine is one of the first red, trumpet shaped flowers to greet returning hummingbirds in early spring. Fast-growing cross vine makes an outstanding screen when trained to a trellis. The vine will clamber up a tall pine tree, while brilliantly colored clusters of trumpet flowers cascade back down along the trunk.

Floridian cypress vine attracting hummingbirdsCypress Vine (Ipomea quamoclit)- Cypress-vine is a very attractive twining morning-glory with smooth stems, lacy leaves and scarlet flowers. The leaves are 3-4 inches long and feather-like, finely divided pinnately into threadlike segments. The scarlet red (rarely white) flowers are tubular, about 1.5 inch long, and flare out at the mouth into a five-pointed star. Under ideal conditions the vine can climb to 20 feet or more, but it is always a dainty, fragile vine and not at all aggressive. Cypress-vine is the perfect plant for the just-germinating gardener. The seeds are relatively large, easy to handle and take only 4 days to sprout; the cotyledons (seed leaves) are large and distinctive, looking like swept-back airplane wings; the next leaves to appear are the handsome feathery leaves that distinguish the plant; the vine grows quickly, producing beautiful scarlet flowers in less than 30 days. Then the butterflies and hummingbirds come!
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