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Welcome to Floridata!

A cold front is sweeping through the Ohio Valley bring freezing temps and snow! Horrible weather but now I'll stay indoors and catch up on Floridata work and plan my next moves out it the garden once nice weather returns. I hope you will visit Floridata often this spring and let us help you plan this season's projects. Please tell your friends about Floridata and be good and grow. ~ Jack   April 15, 2014

New Profile!

broad bean
Vicia faba

Because of it association with a certain disturbing movie, we use "broad bean" (Vicia faba) as this species' preferred common name. Broad beans can be eaten raw (taste like edamame) or cooked. Immature pods are prepared like like green beans and young leaves prepared like spinach. Read more about this nutritious bean that is very easy to grow in USDA Zones 3 - 9 (but they dislike hot weather, they require cool temperatures and can handle mild frosts and freezes.

Cherry Blossom Time

Yoshino cherry blossoms
Yoshino Cherry Blossoms
These are Yoshino cherry tree (Prunus x yedoensis) blossoms. This is the species celebrated by Washington D.C.'s Cherry Blossom Festival each Spring - they were in peak bloom last Thursday! download a large version (800x600) of this cultivar (called 'Akebono') to display on your computer desktop.

Higan cherry
Higan Cherry

This spectacular flowering cherry species (Prunus subhirtella) has a number of distinctive cultivars including 'Autumnalis' seen in this photo that produces a secondary flush of flowers in the fall. Click to download a large version (800x600) for your computer desktop.

paperbark cherry
Prunus serrula

One of spring's showiest flowering trees is the paperbark cherry, so called because the young branches and stems are covered in glossy reddish-brown bark. Click here for more on this temperamental beauty for Zones 5-8.

Visit the Wallpaper Browser page to see more than 1,500 larger format (800x600px) plant images. Links to these images are also present in the title area of each Plant Profile.

Articles & Resources

Huntington Gardens
A Visit to Huntington Gardens

Bruce Bohm sent us a mini-tour of Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, California. It's famous for its collection of cactus and other desert plants. Click here for menu of Bruce's other articles.

It has been quite a while since I did any Gardener's Journal posts. I was feeling nostalgic after last month's trip back to North Florida and was reading what I was going on in the garden during March in previous years:
April - Dec. 2002 Gardener's Journal
April 2003 Gardener's Journal
April 2008 Gardener's Journal

April Briarpatch videos from the archive:
April 4, 2010 - Easter Buds
April 8, 2010 - See Hawks and Florida Flames
April 10, 2010 - The Dogwood
April 13, 2010 - Nests and Native Shrubs
April 17, 2010 - My Azaleas
April 25, 2010 - Blooming Olives and Kaki Persimmons

Visit Floridata's Resource and Articles page.

click to visit the Butterfly Gallery
Butterfly Gallery

Bean Family

Phaseolus vulgaris

Pole or bush, string or green, have fun this summer and grow some beans. Here are a few more for your consideration:
edamame/soybean (Glycine max)
lablab bean (Dolichos lablab)
lima or butter bean (Phaseolus lunatus)
scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus)
tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius)
winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus)

English pea

The garden peas (Pisum sativum) is closely related to the beans and are possibly even more delicious!

The infamous kudzu vine (Pueraria lobata) is also in the bean family and is edible as well (the starchy roots are processed and used in some Asian cuisines).

Floridata Master Plant List
The Floridata Plant Encyclopedia profiles all kinds of plants for every kind of climate. Visit the master Plant Profile List page that organizes species alphabetically by botanical name. Use the FloridataGrid page for advanced sorting, filtering and searching of the database.

Plant Tag Lists
Plant Type Tags
One or more "tags", represented as icons, are are assigned to a species to indicate plant form form and type.
Feature Tags
These tags are assigned to a species to summarize characteristics and uses.


Fragrant Spring Woodies

Carolina allspice
Carolina allspice
Calycanthus floridus

More fragrant woody species to perfume your yard and garden:
boxwood, common (Buxus sempervirens)
boxwood, littleleaf (Buxus microphylla)
chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)
Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha)
glossy abelia (Abelia X grandiflora )
honeycups (Zenobia pulverulenta)
Japanese adromeda (Pieris japonica)
lilac (Syringa vulgaris )
magnolia, Yulan (Magnolia heptapeta)
magnolia, Japanese (Magnolia x soulangeana)
magnolia, Ashe (Magnolia macrophylla subsp. ashei)
sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)
tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa)
witch alder (Fothergilla major)

sweetbay magnolia blossom
Sweetbay Magnolia
Magnolia virginiana

Woodies for Warmer Climates

American Olive
Osmanthus americanus

These fragrant wood grow in warmer climates (USDA Zone 7+ ):
anise, Florida (Illicium floridanum)
anise, yellow (Illicium parviflorum )
banana shrub (Michelia figo)
crepe-jasmine (Tabernaemontana divaricata)
fetterbush (Lyonia lucida)
Mexican orange (Choisya ternata)
oleander (Choisya ternata)
rose, Cherokee (Rosa laevigata)
rose, Lady Banks (Rosa banksiae)
Japanese mock orange (Pittosporum tobira)
sweet viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum)

Chinese fringe tree
Loropetalum chinense

Blue Notes

Viola sororia

The lovely little violet is beloved as a garden plant by some and reviled as an invasive pest by others. Violet flowers come in pink and white but shades of blue and violet-blue are the most common.


I love blue flowers and plumbago (Plumbago auriculata) has some of the bluest. Look for selections with flower color ranging from light baby blue to dark violet-blue.

small periwinkle
Small Periwinkle
The small periwinkle (Vinca minor) is blooming now. The blue flowers make a beautiful backdrop for daffodils.

large periwinkle
Lerge periwinkle
Big periwinkle (Vinca major) is blooming in warmer zones. The variegated form of this perennial vine is often planted in pots and other containers where it will grow over the edge to create cascades of colorful foliage and flowers.

blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium angustifolia

This lovely little North American native grows in open woodlands, fields and roadsides. Look for it beautiful blue blossoms at this time of year.

grape hyacinth

The grape hyacinth is a spring-spring flowering bulb with flower color varying from white to blue to purple. They are one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring but here in the Ohio Valley to harsh winter caused them to bloom late - the ones in my neighborhood just appeared this week!

Like Floridata

Daffodils Mean Spring Is Here!.

A Tulip History
A Tulip History

pygmy fringetree
Pygmy Fringetree

The pygmy fringetree (Chionanthus pygmaeus) is a smaller version of the American fringtree (Chionanthus virginicus). The pygmy fringtree is on the Federal and State Endangered Species lists due to its localized and declining distribution in Ancient Scrub on Florida's Lake Wales Ridge. This one in Steve's yard has responded to a severe pruning two years ago. The pruning eliminated most above ground parts of the shrub, simulating a fire, which is a natural occurrence in the Florida scrub. The pygmy fringetree is just one of several species of scrub plants that are adapted to periodic fires. Click to download a large version (800x600) of this beautiful American native.

© 1996-2013 LC
Tallahassee, Florida USA

v7.2 August 9, 2011