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Florida Wildflowers*

*At least those in my backyard.

Technically, Florida’s climate is classified as “sub-tropical,” but you’d be forgiven for thinking “tropical” when you’re standing in our backyard.  This is the view of the four feet above our six-foot tall fence:


That is the profusion of weeds growing up and over from the drainage ditch behind our neighborhood.  Gorgeous, aren’t they?  They’re also home to innumerable birds in the spring and fall, which is why I get testy when the HOA makes noises about mowing it all down.  Yes, there’s plenty of alternate habitat, but this bit is MINE, dangit.

Now, I’d just adore to tell you all exactly the botanical and common names for each of these flowers, but there are only so many hours in the day.  Resources for identifying them are rather slim on the ‘net, and I don’t have the hours required to plow through them all.  There’s an excellent wildflower ID group on Flickr, and I’ll submit them there, then update these pictures as I get IDs.

This has to be some kind of wild pea:


It vines faster than the honeysuckle, and makes dark purple buds that open into gorgeous deep red pea-flower-shaped blossoms about the size of a quarter.

This one grows on 7+ foot tall stems, and has amazing architectural-looking leaves:


It’s blooms are dime-sized and pink, with an almost, er…anatomical detail:


This one appears to be more of a shrub, with lovely lemon-sized blooms:


It makes a fine trellis for the all the climbers.

This one I’ve seen both on foot-high stems in the rose garden (where the butterflies prefer it over the roses) and up high over the fence in among the other climbers:


You have to get down on the ground for the rest of these flowers, as they’re tiny, no bigger than english peas.  The tinier they are, the more complex they seem to get.

This is the Turkey Tangle Fogfruit (Phyla nodiflora), which looks like Battenberg lace up close:


This is appears to be a kind of Lobelia but it only gets about three inches tall.  


This little guy is almost orchid-like, grows on longish stems with multiple blossoms every few inches:


This tiny cluster of flowers sits right on top of its leaves, about an inch off the ground:


This little trumpet-like flower grows on a stem about five inches tall, a Lobelia relative, perhaps:


And finally, this amazingly peach-colored cuphea lookalike grows on spear-shaped stems only about 6 to 8 inches tall:


I had been planning this wildflower post for several weeks, as the profusion growing over our back fence became more and more impressive, but it was only this morning that I found the last five wildflowers on this list.  A lesson to slow down and watch where you step, I suppose.