Tarflower is a woody evergreen shrub that produces fragrant and showy white to pinkish flowers. Its leaves are arranged alternately and are ovate or elliptical in shape. The undersides of the leaves are often whitish. Its seed is a dark, almost black capsule.
The plant gets its common name from its sticky flowers that attract and then trap bees, flies and other insects.
Tarflower occurs naturally in scrub, pine flatwoods and scrubby flatwoods. It is found in most of peninsular Florida, but its native range does not extend into the panhandle.
Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)
Hardiness: North, Central and South Florida (Zones 8-11)
Soil: Dry, sandy soils
Exposure: Full sun to minimal shade
Growth habit: 4-8 feet tall, with 2-6 foot spread
Garden tips: Tarflower is great for use in naturalistic landscapes. It can be propagated by seeds and cuttings, and is sometimes available at nurseries that specialize in native plants. Visit PlantRealFlorida.org to find a native nursery on your area.
To see where tarflower occurs naturally, visit http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2335.