While researching Exploring Florida’s Botanical Wonders, I had the honor of a visit to Angus Gholson’s herbarium in Chattahoochee, as well as a guided hike through the new Gholson Nature Park, a wonderland of rare wildflowers.
Wildflowers in Florida
Parks, trails, and natural lands notable for their showy wildflowers. The best wildflower viewing times in Florida are during the spring and fall.
Alfred A. Ring Park features a dense slope forest along Hogtown Creek with old-growth trees and rare wildflowers along Appalachian-style ravines, a scenic hike
In late winter, azaleas create ribbons of bright color beneath the live oak canopy across the grounds of Maclay Gardens, a series of formal gardens along the hillsides sweeping down to Lake Hall.
Above the Apalachicola River, the community of Chattahoochee hides a natural treasure in its deep ravines—a park named for its native son, botanist Angus Gholson.
In the Apalachicola National Forest, the Apalachee Savannas Scenic Byway is a winding stretch of scenic road through expansive wet flatwoods and open pine savannas
The tropical hammock at Arch Creek Park was the site of a Tequesta Indian village between 500 B.C. and 1300 A.D. Gentle natural footpaths wind through the dark forest
At Babcock Wilderness Adventures – a popular ecotourism attraction east of Punta Gorda – the Ecotour Trail is a no-cost option to getting your feet wet on an exploration of wet flatwoods habitats along a well-maintained trail through the palmetto prairie.
Following old forest roads, the purple-blazed loop of the Footprints Trail through the heart of Babcock Ranch, a vast prairie punctuated by cypress strands, provides a simple introduction to this often-squishy ecosystem.
Home to a gentle 1-mile loop hike through coastal habitats, Barrier Island Sanctuary is a gateway to Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, with an informative oceanfront coastal biology center.
Bayard Conservation Area preserves an untouched riverfront forest on the St. Johns River. Follow this route through the John P. Hall Nature Preserve to visit the river