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National Wildflower Week

Wildflowers typically seen at Gamble Rogers and North Peninsula State Parks.

National Wildflower Week is held the first week of May, at a time when most of the country is bursting with wildflower blooms.

Grass-Leaved Golden Aster (Pityopsis graminifolia) file photo

This week-long tradition was started in 1987 by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, to celebrate the beauty and environmental necessity of native wildflowers. Wildflowers are plants that

grow in their natural state with little or no interference from man. They create habitats by providing food (seeds, nectar, pollen, leaves) and shelter for insects and other wildlife. With their long tap roots, wildflowers provide a stable ground cover to help conserve water and reduce erosion. 

Coral Bean (Erythrina herbacea)

file photo

Florida, named by Ponce de Leon in 1513 La Florida meaning “Land of Flowers”, is home to a rich array of native wildflower species due to its warm climate and diverse ecosystems, from the sandy beaches to the wetlands and prairies.

In Florida, wildflowers beautify the landscapes throughout the year. Our state has more than 3,600 native and naturalized flowering species. Florida has 170 species of endemic wildflowers, which means they grow naturally in a certain area, and nowhere else. Florida's native wildflowers are more than just pretty flowers; they are vital components of the state's natural heritage. These plants have adapted to the state's unique climate and soil conditions over thousands of years, making them essential in preserving Florida's ecological balance.

Sunshine Mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa) file photo

Gamble Rogers and North Peninsula State Parks feature intriguing trails and stunning natural habitats perfect for wildflower sightings. On the beachside, there is a display of dune dwelling wildflowers that have adapted to the challenging coastal conditions. When venturing into natural areas, it is vital to do so responsibly, making sure that you leave no trace and minimize any impact on these delicate ecosystems. Stay on designated trails, refrain from picking or trampling wildflowers, and avoid disturbing wildlife or their habitats. Many Florida wildflower species are endangered or threatened species and therefore protected. Removing them from their natural habitat can disrupt delicate ecosystems, so it is illegal to pick or dig wildflowers from any Florida State Park.

Visit our parks to celebrate National Wildflower Week by looking for wildflowers! Pack your camera or sketch pad along with a field guide to admire the multitude of blooms in their natural setting.

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