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Spring Time Splendor in the Sunshine State
As pointed out in my very first La Floridiana column, the name "Florida" itself is derived from the Spanish description "land of the flowers". As a result of this, I thought I would share photographic observances taken within the past two months from my yard and Florida's roadsides to remind us of our wonderful state's namesake.
A low-chill "Martha Jane" Double Flowering Nectarine (Prunus persica cv.) struttin' its stuff in Plant City. Although meant as a flowering tree and not an edible fruit bearer, "Martha Jane" has stunning deep-pink double flowers which beautifully contrast deep burgundy spring foliage. One of the premiere flowering plants of the Deep South is the Azalea. Although there are Azaleas native to the north and central portion of the state, the majority of Azaleas seen in yards throughout Florida are from southeastern Asia. Pictured here is a "Lavender Formosa" Azalea (Rhododendron x simsii) in my yard in Plant City. The natives are restless! The Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) graces forests in central and north Florida, typically being one of the very first trees to herald the spring with its cerise-pink, pea-like blooms. Seen again in Plant City. You don't need to live in Washington D.C. or Macon, Georgia to grow Cherry trees in Florida that will grow vigorously and bloom reliably in our high summer heat and short winters. Pictured is a Taiwan Flowering Cherry (Prunus campanulata) in its spring bouquet in Plant City. An example of wildflowers sown by the Florida Department of Transportation in the medians of State Road 50 and U.S. Highway 98 in Hernando County, Florida. A close up of the wildflowers. These are annual wildflowers known as Phlox (Phlox drummondii). These are from seed gathered by Mister Joe Melton of Dade City, Florida who operates one of Florida's few wildflower farms. His farm is located in an idyllic valley nestled amongst the hills of Hernando County. It is both Melton's and the F.D.O.T.'s intention to sow more wildflower seed grown in Florida for roadside beautification in the Sunshine State. For more information on this, link to the Monday April 14, 2003 edition of the St. Petersburg Times at: http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/14/Hernando/His_toil_in_the_field.shtml A natural stand of Annual Phlox along State Road 50 and U.S. 98 in Hernando County. The bridge in the background is the Withlacoochee Recreational Trail.
"La Floridiana" is ©2003 by William Moriaty. Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.