Friday, September 18, 2015

Flower Friday: Color your landscape with Florida paintbrush.

Florida paintbrush (Carphephorus corymbosus)

Photo by Eleanor Dietrich
Florida paintbrush is a showy, perennial herbaceous wildflower. Its inflorescence is a large, flat-topped cluster comprised of many bright pink to lavendar tubular disc florets and no ray florets. It is borne on an erect and unbranched stem that arises from a basal rosette. Basal leaves are flat, linear and succulent in appearance; stem leaves are sessile and alternately arranged. 
Florida paintbrush blooms from mid-summer into fall. It occurs naturally in sandhills, pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods. mesic flatwoods and ruderal areas. It is very attractive to butterflies as well as other pollinators.

The species name comes from the Latin, corymb, meaning flat or convex.  
Photo by Katherine Edison
Family: Asteraceae (Aster or Composite family)
Native range: Peninsular Florida, Bay County
Hardiness: Zones 8–10a
Soil: Well-drained, sandy soils
Exposure: Full sun to minimal shade
Growth habit: up to 3' tall

Propagation: Seeds 
Garden tips: Florida paintbrush makes a great addition to formal and naturalistic landscapes. It is easy to integrate and maintain. Mature plants will produce a number of  progeny nearby. Spent flowerheads should be deadheaded to prevent the spread of seed.

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

To see where Florida paintbrush occurs naturally, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.

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