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Explore the Fascinating World of Native Florida Plants

At first glance, some tourists and visitors to Central Florida might think there’s not much diversity when it comes to vegetation. In fact, the state’s flowers and plants are of the most unique in the country. Here, you’ll find exotic selections (such as the Bird of Paradise) that many people have only previously witnessed in books and garden magazines.

While not all of these plants are available for in-store purchase, it’s simple and fun to spot them growing in the wild. Thankfully, along with nature walks and camping excursions, there are many ways to view these striking natural elements in person. In this article, you’ll learn more about the novel flowers and plants that grow in Florida, and how you can see them up close.

Favorite Selections

As with other areas of the country, gardeners and landscapers have no shortage of choices when it comes to exciting Central Florida flowers and plants.

Among the most popular is beach sunflower (sometimes referred to as dune sunflower). This hardy groundcover is ideal for hot and dry climates, including coastal areas. Butterflies are naturally drawn to this variety. Butterflies also love the partridge pea. This native wildflower is a known host for several butterfly species.

By contrast, birds enjoy the beautyberry. This bush flowers from June through August, and then produces berries through September. In addition, many wildflowers grow and thrive in the humid Central Florida climate.

Intriguing Elements

It may surprise you to know that the Sunshine State is home to many carnivorous plants, including sundew, pitcher plants, and more. These plants love to eat insects. Though they’re mostly native to the Panhandle, carnivorous plants have been spotted in bogs around Central Florida.

Florida’s live oak has been the subject of poetry and prose throughout the years. This elegant and ambling tree creates naturally-picturesque scenes. In addition, the shade produced by live oaks helps protect small wildlife from the hot sun.

Often seen growing on the side of live oaks (and other trees) is the Resurrection fern. This air plant is so named due to the fact that it can look brown and dry one day, and then spring to life the next.

Another visually-appealing plant is the coontie (zamia pumila). Once established, this plant can live almost indefinitely, thriving on seasonal rains. In some areas, coontie is used as a ground cover replacement for lawns and areas where grass refuses to grow. 

Old Standbys

Then there’s the Florida mangrove. This plant is known for its visible root system and ability to prosper in even the most unsavory conditions. Three varieties grow in Florida.

Along with the mentioned selections, there are other natural elements that contribute to the overall outdoor aesthetics of life in Central Florida.

That includes plants such as the silver saw palmetto. This cold-hardy variety features a wide fan that shelters insects and small animals from the sun and rain. A hummingbird favorite, the trumpet honeysuckle is a sun-loving vine that likes to climb trees and/or sturdy structures.

Get a Closer Look

Nature lovers can’t picture a more relaxing activity than viewing native Florida vegetation and wildlife in their natural habitat. However, it can be difficult and even dangerous to access some of these areas. That’s why a peaceful water cruise is the ideal activity to appreciate all that Central Florida has to offer from the safety and comfort of your seat.

Our two-hour excursions get you up close and personal with a variety of local plants and animals. You’ll marvel at the majesty of the Florida scenery while creating precious memories you’ll never forget.

Plus, with three options from which to choose, we have a tour to satisfy every budget and interest. Contact us today to learn more about how you can experience unique fun and excitement aboard The Manatee.