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Friday, October 30, 2015

Flower Friday: It's no surprise bees love honeycombhead!

Photo by Stacey Matrazzo
Coastalplain honeycombhead (Balduina angustifolia) 

Coastalplain honeycombhead is an annual to biennial wildflower that produces showy, golden blooms. Each flower consists of many yellow ray and disk florets, and each plant produces 20 or more flowerheads. As the plant matures, the ray florets fall off, but the disk florets remain yellow. Eventually, the disc florets dry up and form what resembles a honeycomb (hence the common name). Leaves are narrow with entire margins. They are alternately arranged. The plant spends its first year as a set of basal leaves; it will send up a stem in its second spring.
left: mature flowerhead with yellow disk florets (no ray florets)
right: mature "honeycomb" seed head
Photos by Wayne Matchett

Honeycombhead typically blooms late spring or summer into fall. It occurs naturally in sandhills, scrub, dunes, and pine and scrubby flatwoods. It attracts a variety of butterflies, bees and other pollinators.

Honeycombhead is also known as yellow buttons.

Family: Asteraceae (Composite or daisy family)
Native range: Nearly throughout Florida
Hardiness: Zones 8–11
Soil: Dry, sandy soils
Exposure: Full sun to minimal shade
Growth habit: 3'+ tall
 
Propagation: Seeds 
Garden tips: Honeycombhead may reproduce by self-seeding, but it requires open, sandy areas to do so.

Coastalplain honeycombhead seeds are available through the Florida Wildflower Cooperative in their Super Nova Florida Scrub Mix. 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 coastalplain honeycombhead occurs naturally, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2093.

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