Platanus occidentalis (AMERICAN SYCAMORE)

sycamoreBarkJune2013Stately, fast growing tree that can reach heights of 150 ft. Deciduous, but the flaking bark provides wonderful winter interest.

Give this beauty room to grow.  Also called ; AMERICAN PLANETREE

sycamore091511Wildlife interaction: seeds feed multiple types of wildlife and older trees can provide nesting locations. Hosts several species of moths and I personally find butterflies resting for the night under the huge leaves.

Learn more:  http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/platanus-occidentalis

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Cercis canadensis (EASTERN REDBUD)

beeRedbud030911AGiving pollinators an head start, bright pink flowers greet you before the leaves develop each spring on the eastern redbud tree. Attains a height of 25-30 ft. making it a perfect specimen for a smaller garden.

Larval host: Henry’s elfin (Callophrys henrici) and io moth (Automeris io). Popular with bees.

Learn more:  http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/cercis-canadensis

Amorpha fruticosa (BASTARD FALSE INDIGO)

Amorpha fruticosa (BASTARD FALSE INDIGO) is a deciduous shrub with lacey leaves. It can be used as a specimen, screen, hedge, or background plant growing to a height of 6-12ft.

Larval host for butterfly: southern dogface (Zerene cesonia), gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus), and silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Attracts pollinators

Learn planting conditions: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/amorpha-fruticosa

Magnolia grandiflora (SOUTHERN MAGNOLIA)

Showy fruits

Showy fruits

Southern Magnolia is an evergreen, hurricane resistant tree perfect as a specimen.  Sun to shade.

interesting flowers

interesting flowers

Heavenly scent, showy flowers, interesting cone-like fruit makes this a winner. 50-100 ft.

beautiful buds

beautiful buds

Wildlife interaction: fruits eaten by squirrels, opossums, quail, and turkey; attracts pollinators.

magnolia053010

Learn planting conditions: www.fnps.org/plants/plant/magnolia-grandiflora

Hamelia patens (FIREBUSH)

jennyfirebush

Photo © Jenny Welch

Firebush grows 10 ft, tall to use as a hedge, specimen or backdrop. Cold sensitive, will die back if freeze but should regenerate from roots. Sun to part sun.

Don’t be fooled by common names. Before buying, check the species. Those sold in big box stores generally are not native to Florida. A clue is the color of the fruit. Orange/Yellow fruit are not the native, black fruit is!

Wildlife interaction: HUMMINGBIRDS and Zebra Longwing butterflies are attracted to red flowers. fruits feed birds/mammals

Learn planting conditions:  http://fnps.org/plants/plant/hamelia-patens

Solidago spp. (GOLDENROD)

goldenrodbee111410Bring in the bees by trying one of the many varieties of Florida Native Goldenrod as a backdrop to your pollinator garden.  The birds will chime in when the seeds set.

Hint:  Goldenrod is probably not the cause of your sneezing since ragweed, which blooms at the same time, has the high pollen count that causes allergic reactions.

Learn varieties and planting conditions: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/solidago-stricta

http://fnps.org/plants/plant/solidago-odora

http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/solidago-sempervirens