General Landscape Uses:
Groundcover in open, dry areas. Also wildflower gardens.
Widely cultivated. Available in Lake Worth at
Medium herbaceous wildflower.
About 1-3 feet in height. Generally broader than tall.
Its native range in South Florida is obscured, but almost definitely native to the Monroe, Dade, Collier and Lee counties, and possibly Broward and Palm Beach counties; West Indies, Mexico and Central America. Widely cultivated and likely spreading naturally due to climate change and through cultivation.
Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.
Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.
Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties. Habitats:
Coastal rock barrens and open disturbed sites.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, without humus.
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Blue or purple with a white center.
Small, semi-showy flowers on long spikes.
Two inconspicuous tuberculate nutlets.
Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host plant
for tropical buckeye (
for many butterflies and moths including: Bahamian swallowtail (
), clouded skipper (
), Cuban crescent (
), Dorantes longtail (
), fiery skipper (
), great southern white (
), gulf fritillary (
), julia (
), large orange sulphur (
), little yellow (
), long-tailed skipper (
), lyside skipper (
), Meske's skipper (
), Palatka skipper (
), red admiral (
), Schaus' swallowtail (
Papilio aristodemus ponceanus
), swarthy skipper (
), tropical checkered-skipper (
) and variegated fritillary (
). Attracts many other pollinators, including bees, beetles, and hummingbirds.
Widely cultivated outside of its native range, and perhaps escaping from cultivation in central Florida and Alabama. See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's