Floridian Nature

Learn about Florida's beautiful and unique nature.

Florida Nature: Hummingbird Plants (3)
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!
obiediant plant, a native plant in Florida and the southeaastObedient Plant (Physostegia spp)- Obedient plant is also known as False Dragonhead. The plant has opposite lance shaped leaves and bears showy spikes of light purple flowers in September and also earlier. The large tubular flowers have white areas on margins and interior. The common name "obedient plant" results from the fact that the flowers will remain in place after being moved. The other name "False Dragonhead" results from the flower's similarity to a Snapdragon. The plant is easily cultivated and used as an ornamental perennial. In fertile soil it can become a weed pest. Obedient plant occurs in swamps, stream banks, ditches, seepages, damp meadows and prairies, moist open woodlands, bogs, and pine savannas. Obedient plant is happy in either sunny or lightly shaded spots, but it does best with some shade on drier sites, and full sun where it is wetter. This is a wonderful plant to add luminous rosy lavender late season color to the bronzy golds and yellows of a damp meadow. It holds its own with grasses very well. And it is classified as deer resistant, so it should bloom well in places where deer would eat the tasty buds off other flowers.

red basil found in the florida panhandleRed Basil (Calamintha coccinea)- The red basil plant is an upright, woody, smooth to slightly hairy perennial. It's preferred habitat is poor soils, flat pine woods and at roadsides. Red basil distribution is coastal in the Escambia region of Florida. The red basil leaves are opposite on the stem, consisting of one whole part that is small and egg-shaped. Re basil's stalk is tapering to the tip with sides less than equal. Its margins are toothed and the base is heart-shaped and attached to the stalk between lobes. Red basil flowers are in a panicle or a raceme. Calyx is long-lipped; corolla is red; two stamens and extending beyond the corolla. Flowering season is in the summer. Red Basil fruit is an ovary with two or more seed chambers. This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. It is important to pinch this variety back, as with all basil, in order to keep it from getting leggy. This produces a dense, round little plant.

red buckeye native to florida and attracts hummingbirdsRed Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)- Usually a single-stemmed, rather open shrub with palmate leaves, the red buckeye has spikes of showy red flowers, 4-8 inches. long. The flowers are pollinated by ruby-throated hummingbirds in spring. Foliage drops naturally in late summer. Brown, egg-shaped fruit in the fall replaces the flower. A good accent plant for large shaded areas, the red buckeye works well as an understory shrub or at the front edge of a wooded area. Red buckeye occurs in mesic woods and ravines from North Carolina to central Florida and west to southern Illinois and eastern Texas. It usually is found in the understory of beech-magnolia forests or on bluffs along wooded streams. Red buckeye grows best in rich soil in filtered shade. This colorful plant tolerates brief flooding.

red star hibiscus a hummingbird favoriteRed Star Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus)- Star Hibiscus, also known as Scarlet Rose Mallow or Swamp Hibiscus, is a slender, multi-branched perennial. Hardy in zones 7-10 and native to swamps, marshy areas and roadside ditches in the Southeastern United States, this hibiscus is known for its large red flowers, opening five to six inches in diameter. According to Dr. William C. Welch, Professor and Landscape Horticulturist at Texas A&M University, Texas Star Hibiscus in classified as a giant rose mallow and has the largest flowers of any hardy perennial. The single, five-petal blooms last a day, with new flowers quickly taking their place. Both butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the red Texas Star Hibiscus blossoms. These flowers are an important source of nectar, especially for large butterflies, and the bright color and sheer quantity of blooms will attract hummingbirds to further explore your garden. Texas red star hibiscus is a very hardy plant that sports beautiful five-pointed red flowers for almost the entire summer growing season. Each flower, which can be quite large, lasts only a day, but a healthy Texas red star hibiscus can blossom up to several dozen flowers in a single day. These plants like lots of sun and also lots of water since they are related to the swamp mallow. They attract bees, butterflies and birds and can grow to a height of 7 feet.
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