General Landscape Uses:
Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also wildflower and butterfly gardens.
Ecological Restoration Notes:
Most common as an understory herb along the coast on the margins of hammocks and tidal swamps.
Grown by enthusiasts and occasionally by native plant nurseries.
Erect, medium to large annual herb with 6-angled stems and opposite leaves.
Typically 1-4 feet in height. Usually taller than broad.
Florida from the Monroe County Keys north mostly along the coasts to Volusia and Levy counties; disjunct in Calhoun County; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America.
Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.
Map of suggested ZIP codes north to Indian River and Manatee counties.
Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations north to Martin and Charlotte counties.
Coastal hammocks and thickets.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light shade to full sun.
Showy tubular flowers, about 1" long.
Inconspicuous green to brown capsule.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for Cuban crescent (Phyciodes frisia) butterflies. Nectar plant for large orange sulphur (Phoebis agarithe) and other butterflies.
Easily grown from seeds or cuttings.
Recruits readily from seed in the garden and can become quite weedy in disturbed areas. See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday