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Welcome to Floridata!

Last Saturday we endured record low temperatures for the date and, like much of the eastern part of the country, spring is arriving late here in the Greater Cincinnati area. The nasty weather is keeping me at the computer where I'm busy working on the new mobile version of our Plant Encyclopedia. I have a preview version up and running that I hope you'll mess around with - especially if you are using a tablet or smart phone - so I can collect performance statistics. Floridata mobile is running on Google's cloud and is using a lot of new technology some of which is still in beta test. Everything is working, but expect some broken links and missing profiles - I should have everything fixed in the next week or so. After that I'll begin adding new features with the intention of having all of Floridata running "mobile friendly" on the cloud by summer. Visit the Mobile Floridata Plant Encyclopedia, tell your friends about us and be good and grow! ~ Jack   March 29, 2015

New Profile!

Magnolia acuminata

The cucumber magnolia tree (Magnolia acuminata) is a large forest tree that is, native to eastern North American. A smaller variety subcordata, know as the yellow cucumber tree is available as a number of cultivars suitable for home landscapes. Read more about this handsome tree that is hardy in USDA Zones 4 - 8.

Picture Gallery

lessar celandine
Lesser Celandine

The lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) is a tiny, low-growing perennial from Europe. It has escaped cultivation and naturalized over many parts of North American where it is often categorized as an invasive species. Although it should never be planted out of its native territory, it can still be enjoyed as an early sign of spring. It began blooming here in Kentucky last week and it is pretty enough that it inspired no less than William Wordsworth to verse that you can read in our profile. Click here to download a large version (800x600).

American olive blossoms
Cornelian Cherry Blossom

One of the first woody ornamental species to bloom around here in Northern Kentucky is the cornelian cherry (Cornus mas). This close relative of the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is a small tree or shrub that is showy in bloom and produces handsome (semi-) edible fruits later in the season. Click here to download a large version (800x600).

Annual Phlox

At this time of year, roadside plantings of annual phlox (Phlox drummondii spp.) and other wildflowers burst into bloom along roads and highways - another reason spring is my favorite time of year! Click to download a large version (800x600) of this springtime favorite.

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

black-eyed Susan
Wild American Beauty: The Black-Eyed Susan

Spring Break at Steve's Garden
2011 - A Spring Break at Steve's Garden
...where we saw these beautiful banana bush (Michelia figo) buds and blossoms. This is an old Briarpatch Field Trip video from 2011 when I took a break and drove over to Steve's to see his yard in full bloom. Click to view it now.

Here are some shortcut links to some of the content on Floridata's Resources & Articles page:

Pepper (Capsicum spp.) Gallery
The Master Gardener Program
How to Create a Meadow Garden
How To Germinate Palm Seeds
Start Your Own Pepper and Tomato Plants
What's in a Plant Name?
Click for more...

click to visit the Butterfly Gallery
Butterfly Gallery


Visit Floridata's Resource and Articles page.

Spring Flowering Woodies

baby's breath spirea
Spiraea thunbergii

Other Spiraea species that bloom in spring to early summer:
Japanese spirea (Spiraea japonica)
Reeve's spirea (Spiraea cantoniensis)
bridal wreath spirea (Spiraea prunifolia)

hybrid witchhazel
Hamamelis x intermedia

The hybrid witch hazel in my neighborhood bloomed later than usual this year due to the miserably super cold weather. They are a happy sight!

pink trumpet tree
Pink Trumpet Tree

The pink trumpet trees (Tabebuia heterophylla) in Central Florida bloom in March - they're probably just finishing up by now. Click to download a large version (800x600) of this image.

Susan magnolia
'Susan' Magnolia

The 'Susan' and other early blooming hybrid Japanese magnolias are finished blooming back home in North Florida (USDA Zone 8) but we're still looking forward to seeing them (soon?) up here in Cincinnati. 'Susan' is one of the Little Girls hybrid magnolia series developed at the United States National Arboretum. It is a cross between Magnolia stellata rosea and Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra'.  Click here to download a large version of  'Susan' (800x600) to pinup on your computer desktop.

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.


Medicinal Plants

Dandelion Seed Puffball

It's a weed and it's all over every one's lawn - but many will admit that the dandelion's (Taraxacum officinale) fluffy seed puffball is beautiful and fun to blow apart. Medicinally this plant, when made into tea, in a short while will make you pee (diuretic).

Here are a few more interesting species that have medicinal properties:
aloe (Aloe vera)
calendula (Calendula officinalis)
garden sage (Salvia officinalis)
soapberry (Sapindus saponaria)
papaya (Carica papaya)
peppermint (Mentha X piperita)
pinecone ginger ( Zingiber zerumbet)
rue (Ruta graveolens)
soapberry (Sapindus saponaria)
shampoo ginger (Zingiber zerumbet)
stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)
tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Cannabis sativa

Cannabis has scores of documented medical properties but remains illegal to use or possess in many places. Attitudes are changing and so are laws around the world. To determine the legal status of cannabis in your state see Legality of cannabis by U.S. jurisdiction. To learn more about the reform movement visit the NORML website.

Tilia cordata

Grow Edibles

Asparagus officinalis

It's asparagus season! Plant a few roots of this perennial species now so that next year you can feast on this springtime treat.

Tragopogon porrifolius

Here's a list of some of the unusual edible species that Steve likes to grow in his Gulf Coast (Zone 8) garden:
adzuki bean (Vigna angularis)
cassava (Manihot esculenta)
chayote squash (Tragopogon porrifolius)
corn salad (Valerianella locusta )
endive (Cichorium endivia)
fava bean (Vicia faba)
lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
Rangpur lime (Citrus x limonia)
roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa)
winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus)
yacón (Polymnia sonchifolia)

 'Kyoto' cucumber
Cucumis sativus

Jerusalem artichoke
Helianthus tuberosus

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© 1996-2015 LC
Tallahassee, Florida USA

v7.2 August 9, 2011