Blooming Beauties, Amelia Island Wildflowers

Take a look at barrier island blooms of the dunes and Greenway on Amelia Island, Florida. In the coastal South, summertime wildflowers dot the seascape adding pops of color in natural areas.

In the coastal South, summertime blooms dot the seascape adding pops of color in natural areas. Take a look at nature’s beauty, a selection of Amelia Island wildflowers seen in the dunes at the seashore and in the marsh habitat of Egans Greenway.

Scarlet Spikes in the Dunes
Scarlet Spikes Seaside, Standing Cypress (AKA Spanish Larkspur) Amelia Island photo
Scarlet Spikes Seaside, Standing Cypress (AKA Spanish Larkspur)

Swaying in seaside breezes along with the sea oats, pictured above, a spray of scarlet in the dunes on Amelia Island. Standing Cypress, beautiful bright red spikes of tubular flowers, have fern-like leaves on tall stems that can reach 3 to 6 feet.

Standing Cypress, Tall Spikes of Red Tubular Flowers In The Dunes, Amelia Island photo
Standing Cypress, Tall Spikes of Red Tubular Flowers, Amelia Island

Adding a lovely splash of color at the oceanfront (pictured here in the Summer Beach area), these wildflowers, also known as “Spanish Larkspur,” have also been spotted recently in the sand dunes at Amelia Island State Park. (Scientific name, Ipomopsis ruba).

Indian Summer
Wild Blanket Flower Near Florida's Tallest Sand Dune, "Nana" on Amelia Island photo
Wild Blanket Flower At Florida’s Tallest Dune, “NaNa,” Amelia Island
Wildflowers, Barrier Island Blooms

Seen above, wild Blanket Flower blooming near 60-foot dune system (the state of Florida’s tallest dune dubbed “NaNa”), on Amelia Island at American Beach.

Wild Blanket Flower, Florida Native Blooming At the Beach, Amelia Island.
Wild Blanket Flower, Florida Native Blooming At the Beach, Amelia Island.

Blanket Flower is also known as “Indian Blanket” and “Firewheel.” A highly salt-tolerant plant, it thrives in full sunshine and dry, sandy areas — dunes and coastal scrub. (Scientific name, Gaillardia pulchella.)

Cheerful Seaside Yellow
Wild Beach Sunflower Blooming Seaside, Amelia Island, Florida photo
Wild Beach Sunflower Blooming Seaside, Amelia Island, Florida

Seen around Amelia Island’s dunes, from one end of the island to the other, these yellow native wildflowers border the beach.

Beach Sunflower, Yellow Rays Around Center Dark Disk, Amelia Island photo
Beach Sunflower, Yellow Rays Around Center Dark Disk

Beach Sunflower features “10-20 yellow rays” around a brown center disk. A spreading perennial, Beach Sunflower is an ideal flowering ground cover for coastal landscapes. It thrives in sandy soil, can take full sun and salt spray. (Scientific name Helianthus debilis.)

Blooming Yellow in the Dunes, Wild Partridge Pea, Amelia Island, FL photo
Blooming Yellow in the Dunes, Wild Partridge Pea

Attracting bees and butterflies and prolific in the coastal dunes, yellow flowering Partridge Pea also produces seed pods that songbirds like to eat. Partridge pea is also a forage plant of the gopher tortoise (they live in burrows in the dunes and can often be spotted roaming around). Photographed above at historic American Beach on Amelia Island. (Scientific name Chamaecrista fasciculata.)

Coastal White
Beach Morning Glory At The Seashore, Amelia Island photo
Beach Morning Glory At The Seashore, Amelia Island

Beach Morning Glory, a white wildflower with yellow throat (AKA “fiddle-leaf”), seen here at Peters Point Park. The blooms open in the a.m. and close in afternoon heat. (Scientific name Ipomoea imperati (Vahl) Griseb.)

Green Trails, Purple Blooms, Railroad Vine, Amelia Island, Florida photo
Green Trails, Purple Blooms, Railroad Vine, Amelia Island

The long, green trails of another morning glory, Railroad Vine (AKA bayhops), adds pops of purple against the white sand, pictured here at Amelia Island State Park. Railroad vine is a dune stabilizer, the blooms also open in morning and close in the afternoon. (Scientific name Ipomea pes-caprae.)

Purple Passion
Wild Purple Passionflower Vine, Egans Greenway in Fernandina Beach
Wild Purple Passionflower Vine, Egans Greenway in Fernandina Beach

Those who take a nature walk in the Greenway’s salt marsh habitat (photos from north side), will be rewarded with an outstanding display of purple Passionflowers. A rather intricate flower with a delicate fringe, it’s one of the most interesting and lovely native wildflowers seen blooming summers along the trails adjacent to Egans Creek. (Scientific name Passiflora incarnata.)

Pretty In Pink
Large-flower Rosegentian (AKA Marsh Pink), Egans Greenway in Fernandina Beach photo
Large-flower Rosegentian (AKA Marsh Pink), Egans Greenway

Three’s a charm, this pale pink, dainty-looking wildflower. Native to Florida (and Alabama), Large-flower Rosegentian has an intricate center, a 5-pointed yellow star with red outline. This pretty bloom is also known as “marsh pink.” Rosegentian likes moist sites and marsh edges, pictured here growing in Egans Greenway (north), but also seen this summer at Fort Clinch State Park. (Scientific name Sabatia grandiflora.)

Seashore Mallow, Blooming in Egans Greenway, Fernandina Beach
Seashore Mallow, Blooming in Egans Greenway, Fernandina

Seashore mallow, also known as Virginia saltmarsh mallow, is abundant in the Greenway. These pink blooms can be spotted along water’s edge (often seen growing alongside Southern cattails). (Scientific name Kosteletzkya pentacarpos L.)

Florida-Friendly Landscaping

Many people these days are re-thinking yard sod. Florida property owners can use a selection of these native Florida wildflowers, plus many more, for a beautiful and environmentally-friendly Southern coastal garden. Learn tips to achieve a thriving landscape of wildflowers and native plants and trees (that may also save you time and money), by visiting University of Florida’s “Florida-Friendly” Landscaping website (Extension, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences — IFAS). Mimic what Mother Nature put here in the first place, for Florida gardening success.

What’s Blooming Throughout Florida?

Want to know what’s blooming around the Sunshine State? Check out the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s wildflower map by county. Also find out more about buying wildflower seeds.

Learn more about Florida State Statue 581.185 to preserve and protect native Florida flora. It’s best to “click not pick!”

By The Editor

Observations of island life, news & opinion by W.B. Lawson. Wendy has enjoyed the laid-back Amelia Island lifestyle since 1993. Her professional background began at a newspaper in NY. She then worked in PR/Investor Relations at Fortune 500 company, and later became a managing editor at an equity research publishing firm. She was Series 7 licensed while with Merrill Lynch Private Client Group.