Wild Flower Alert - Lady Lupine and Candyroot
April 13th, 2018 | last Update: 8 months ago
posted by: Nan Thompson
This showy biennial wildflower (Lupinus villosus) can be seen now, growing on the back slopes of sandy roadsides March through June. The species name, villosus, means densely covered with long, curving hairs. Almost all parts of the plant are covered with these silvery hairs. The leaves are soft. This flower is in the pea family, so its blossoms have the typical pea structure with an upright petal (the standard) that has a dark purple spot on it; the rest of the petals are blue to lavender. The flowers grow densely along an upright stalk. Because it grows in very dry sandy soil, it must put down a long taproot in order to get water, and it can’t be transplanted.
This small yellow wildflower (Polygala nana) can grow in many different kinds of habitats but is found most frequently in damp areas throughout most of Florida and blooms from spring through fall. It is in the Milkwort family, where the typical flower structure has two spreading “wings” (which are the sepals) and three petals in the center that are united into a small tube with a fringed tip. In this plant, the flowers are tightly packed into a cone-like structure with the flowers opening at the top. It gets its common name from its roots that reportedly smell like wintergreen, but I never want to pull up this plant to test that assertion.