Friday, May 23, 2014

Flower Friday: Look for the stunning marsh-pink in wet flatwoods near you!

Photo by Stacey Matrazzo
Sabatia grandiflora is a beautiful herbaceous wildflower found in moist, open areas throughout Florida. Its showy blooms are bright pink, and the base of each petal is yellow with a red outline, forming a star in the center of the bloom. The stigma is also yellow and is prominent as it is twisty and protruding from the obvious green ovary. Leaves are linear to filiform and opposite. Marsh-pink is a summer bloomer in northern Florida, but can bloom year-round in southern Florida. It is an almost-endemic species as it occurs in only one county in Alabama outside of the state of Florida.

Family: Gentianaceae
Hardiness: North, Central and South Florida (Zones 8–11) in mesic pine flatwoods and wet prairies, and along the margins of freshwater marshes.
Soil: Damp to wet rich soil

Exposure: Full sun
Growth habit: 1–3 feet tall
Garden tips: Marsh-pink is not widely cultivated as it does not tolerate root disturbance. It does, however, produce an abundance of seeds that are easily sown. Learn more in A Gardener’s Guide to Florida Native Plants (Rufino Osorio, University Press of Florida — Purchase online: www.FlaWildflowers.org/learn.php.)

To see where marsh-pink occurs naturally, visit http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2356.

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