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Friday, January 8, 2016

Flower Friday: Florida scrub roseling is a winter surprise!

Photo by Stacey Matrazzo
Florida scrub roseling (Callisia ornata)

Click on terms for botanical definitions.

Florida scrub roseling is a beautiful and delicate perennial wildflower in the dayflower family. Its pinkish-purple blooms are three-petaled with six stamens topped by bright yellow anthers. Its leaves are long, thin and grasslike with entire margins. They are alternately arranged and form a sheath at the base of the stem.

Florida scrub roseling typically blooms spring through autumn, but was recently spotted blooming in Brevard County. It is endemic to Florida and occurs naturally in scrub and sandhill habitats.

It is a close relative of (and its blooms look very similar to) spiderwort (Tradescantia spp.) and dayflower (Commelina spp.). And like these species, the Florida scrub roseling bloom is ephemeral, meaning it opens in the morning and closes by early afternoon. 

The genus name Callisia is derived from the Greek word kallos, which means "beauty." 
Photo by Shirley Denton

Family: Commelinaceae (Dayflower or spiderwort family)
Native range: Central and southern peninsular Florida (excluding Monroe and Miami-Dade counties), as well as Gulf, Franklin and Wakulla counties in the Panhandle 
Hardiness: Zones 8b-10a
Soil: Well-drained, sandy soil
Exposure: Full sun to minimal shade
Growth habit: 6 to12"+ tall
Propagation: Division, seed
Garden tips: Florida scrub roseling is somewhat difficult to establish and maintain in a landscape setting. It is also rarely propagated commercially. The best way to experience it is to see it in its natural habitat.

To see where Florida scrub roseling occurs naturally, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=1171.

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