Friday, November 14, 2014

Flower Friday: Garberia glimmers in Florida's scrub!

Garberia (Garberia heterophylla)

Garberia is a member of the Eupatorieae tribe of the Aster family, whose members produce flowers consisting of only disc and no ray florets. It is unlike most Aster species in that its growth habit is woody and shrubby rather than herbaceous. 

Garberia blooms and leaves (Photo by Stacey Matrazzo)
Garberia's inflorescences are large, showy clusters of pink to purple flowers. Individual disc florets are tubular and have conspicuously extended styles. Leaves are alternately arranged and oval- to paddle-shaped (obovate) with entire margins and a distinctly grayish-green hue. Bark is also grayish in color. 

Garberia is endemic to Florida's north and central peninsula, and occurs naturally in scrub and xeric hammocks. It typically flowers in late fall, but has been known to flower throughout the year. It is an excellent nectar source for many butterflies and bees.

Family: Asteraceae
Hardiness: Central Florida (Zones 8-9)
Soil: Well-drained, acidic soil
Exposure: Full sun to minimal shade
Growth habit: 1–5+ feet tall with equal spread
Garden tips: Garberia works well in dry, sunny areas and works well as a border planting. In normal conditions, it is evergreen and is particularly long-lived. It is drought-tolerant and, once established, requires little to no irrigation.

Garberia is often available at nurseries that specialize in native plants.Visit PlantRealFlorida.org to find a native nursery on your area.

To see where garberia occurs naturally, visit florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=1225.

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