This small vining plant was found in the same boat ramp park as the previous 2 posts. It managed to escape the big mower and was growing over a fallen dead tree. I was exited to see it – as it was a plant I had never seen! The small white flowers yielded puffy balloon sacks around the seeds. Once the balloon dried and fell off – blueberry colored seeds appeared. Each seed has a small white “heart” shape where it was attached to the vine – hence the name Heartseed.
HeartSeed - Cardiospermum microcarpum
This Swamp Sunflower (aka narrow-leafed sunflower) was growing near the same boat-ramp as the previously posted Aster. This time however, someone had staked up a barrier around a clump of these to save them from the mower. Yea for the county! Someone finally realizes that not everything needs to be mowed down in the park!
This one was close to 6′ tall with blooms all up and down the stems.
Swamp Sunflower - Helianthus angustifolius
Bushy Aster (aka Rice Button Aster) is another plant providing lavender flowers blooming this fall. This particular plant just missed being cut down my a massive mowing at a local park & boat ramp. It grows about 3′ tall.
My favorite Florida plant is blooming now. Each fall the Garberia in a field near my house blooms and every insect for miles around gathers around it’s pretty clusters of lavender blooms. The small woody shrubs are about 3′ high and only bloom for a few weeks in the fall.
The Garberia is endemic to Florida and is a threatened species. Most of the plants near my house were bulldozed by the land owner – luckily this cluster on the roadside right-of-way survived. They prefer to grow in the white sand scrub areas of Florida – which also happens to be a developers preferred land as well.
Garberia heterophylla with Gulf Fritillary
Garberia with Whirlabout skippers
Swamp Titi (pronounced like bye-bye!) aka Leatherwood is a small tree found in wetland areas. This one was found at Lake Louisa State park near the big lake. It looked very similar to an oak tree at first – but covered in berries! The photo below shows the clusters of orange-ish berries – the flowers are white. The entire 25′ shrubby tree must’ve been a white cloud when it was in bloom. I’ll have to go back next summer to catch it in bloom.
Swamp Titi - Cyrilla racemiflora
Anyone who spends time out on our lakes during the fall season has seen this flower before. It’s lavender daisy like flowers cover the 3′ -4′ tall bushes and look like purple clouds rimming the shoreline. They grow in wet shoreline areas of lakes, ponds, canals, and roadside ditches. Right now, State Rd 561 just north of Astatula is a good spot to see these blooming wonders.
Elliott's Aster - Symphyotrichum elliottii (Aster elliottii)
Bur-marigold (aka Smooth Beggarticks) is a fall blooming flower found along edges of lakes and ponds, wetlands and in wet ditches. It can grow in large clumps making a spectacular golden display.
Bur-marigold ; Bidens laevis