Wildflowers by Family A-C
By far our largest collection of galleries, these image sets are arranged by both color and by taxonomic family for use as a casual identification tool or field guide, or for more thorough scientific research for deeper understanding.
Acanthaceae (Acanthus Family)
Flowers of the acanthus family include a wide range of the world’s wildflowers found all over the world and in wildly varying habitats. These include honeysuckle, wild petunias, and bear’s breeches.
Alismataceae (Water Plantains)
Mostly aquatic in nature, members of the pond and marsh-loving Alismataceae family include the water plantains, burrheads and arrowheads that are very important in their ecosystems. The underwater stems and above-water leaves provide protection and shade for fish, amphibians, invertebrates and birds while the starchy tubers that grow under the mud have been a food source for humans for millennia. Even the roots help protect sensitive wetland banks from erosion.
Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis Family)
Amaryllids are very popular with horticulturists, gardeners and plant enthusiasts as ornamentals because of their fantastical shapes, colors and lily-like appearance. Members of the Amaryllidaceae include traditional bulb-grown favorites such as daffodils, crinum and spider lilies (both of the latter not true lilies). Many of the native species of North America rival the beauty of the most popular greenhouse-cultivated varieties!
Annonaceae (Custard Apple Family)
If a botanical family in botany could be compared to pure joy, this would be it. This large group of tropical plants is responsible for such delicacies as the custard apple (sugar apples, cherimoyas, atemoyas included), the soursop (also known as the guanabana in Latin America), paw-paws and pond apples in the Deep South and the highly aromatic and tantalizing ylang-ylang. This genus is found around the globe in temperate regions of the Americas, Indonesia/Malaysia and Africa.
Arethuseae are a small tribe of tropical and subtropical terrestrial orchids that are commonly found in scattered populations in the American Southeast, and in particular in Southern Florida. The exception is the genus Calopogon, which is found in all of the eastern half of United States and in all of the Canadian provinces east of Saskatchewan.
This easy-to-recognize family includes all of the milkweeds, and well as some less familiar flowering plants such as bloodflowers and calotropis. In North America, we have a large variety of stunning milkweeds that are essential for many species of our native butterflies – most famously the monarch butterfly, who would not exist without it as both a food source and a place to lay its eggs.
Asteraceae (Thistles, Asters and Daisies)
Can you imagine spring or summer day without our beloved daisies, sunflowers, asters, black-eyed susans, Indian blanketflowers and thistles? North Florida is home to a massive number of native, wild species of these seasonal beauties!
Boraginaceae (Borages and Forget-Me-Nots)
A collection of wild native North American wildflowers photographed in their natural environment belonging to the borage and forget-me-not family: Boraginaceae.
Burmanniaceae (Burmannia Family)
Burmannia Family: interesting, at least semi-parasitic family of plants is not reliant on the sun and photosynthesis for its food. In fact, it behaves like many myco-heterotrophic orchid species, relying on relationships with other plant species that steal nutrients by surrounding or actually piercing the host plant’s root system.
Cactaceae (Cactus Family)
Everyone knows what a cactus is, yet they are so difficult to define. A cactus is a succulent plant that has a particular pattern: many combined and merged sepals and petals (tepals), often hundreds of stamen, and usually numerous stigma lobes. They are typically found in arid climates and most of them have sharp spines that are actually modified branches. While all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti.
Primarily a terrestrial orchid tribe found in East Asia, there are a few native genera found in North America, mostly in scattered populations in the Caribbean and Mexico, but a few such as the fairy slipper orchid that is found across large stretches of the United States and Southern Canada.
Found all over the world – particularly in cosmopolitan regions, members of the Campanulaceae family include harebells and bellflowers.
Closely related to ginger, cannas are a tropical/sub-tropical flowering plant with large showy and colorful flowers, that are native from Southeastern North America to South America and are a very popular cultivated plant in gardens around the world.
Often also referred to the staff-tree family, or bittersweet family, a somewhat difficult to describe family of flowering plants with often thick leathery leaves and brightly colored fruits. Members of this family include grass-of-Parnassus, bog-stars and Oregon boxwood.
The dayflowers and spiderworts are an interesting group of worldwide tropical plants as all of their flowers are bisexual, and produce no nectar for their pollinators, who have to make do with just the pollen instead.
Convolvulaceae (Morning Glories)
Most everyone who knows anything about flowers can tell a morning glory from a non-morning glory. Most often found as vines, members of this family can be as wondrous and beautiful as they can be invasive and hard to get rid of, as in the case of field bindweed. Found in shades of blue, pink, purple and white, Convolvulaceae also include the commercially important food crop: the sweet potato!
The terrestrial orchids belonging to the Cranichideae tribe are widespread across North America with many species native across a vast number of habitat types. While several tropical species are only found at the extreme southern end of our continent, other species are found in great numbers high in the major mountain ranges and are even found frequently in Alaska!
Restricted to the southernmost portions of the United States in Florida, the pleasingly beautiful Cymbidieae tribe has few native species and only slightly more naturalized species. Almost entirely terrestrial, except for the couple members of the Cyrtopodioum genus in which one seems to grow on trees slightly above the ground, and the other which seems to prefer both.