HomeBest and Top of Gardening62 Native Florida Plants and Trees

62 Native Florida Plants and Trees

Read on to know about the most famous Native Florida Plants and Trees! To make it easy for you, we have included the best ones you can grow!

Florida, also known as The Sunshine State falls under the USDA zones 8-11. With a subtropical climate, it is home to over 2840 native plant species making it the richest state in the United States botanically! Lets’s have a look at the best Native Florida Plants and Trees.

Check out the best houseplants native to Australia here


Native Florida Plants and Trees

1. Firebush

Botanical Name: Hamelia patens

USDA Zones: 8-11

Sunlight Requirement: Minimum 6-8 hours of full sunlight

A hardy perennial plant that blooms clusters of bright orange flowers from late spring to the first frost. Firebush can grow as tall as 15 feet and is heat and drought-tolerant.

Gardening Tip: Needs well-drained soil.

2. Beautyberry

Botanical Name: Callicarpa americana

USDA Zones: 7-11

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

A native Floridian plant blooms lavender-pink flowers from spring to summer and turns vibrant purple when matured in September. Beautyberries can be 3-8 feet tall and are drought-tolerant.

Gardening Tip: Blooms best in rich soil and needs plenty of water until fully established.

3. Muhly Grass

Botanical Name: Muhlenbergia capillaris

USDA Zones: 7-11

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun

An ornamental grass that blooms fluffy pink, purple and white flower stalks from early spring to winter. Muhly grass can grow up to 2-3 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in well-drained non-soggy soil.

4. Coral Honeysuckle

Botanical Name: Lonicera sempervirens

USDA Zones: 5-11

Sunlight Requirement: 6-8 hours of full sunlight

This beautiful native plant produces bright red tubular flowers throughout spring and summer. It can grow as tall as 15 feet and remains evergreen all year round.

Gardening Tip:  Grows best in slightly acidic soil.

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5. Marlberry

shutterstock/HollyGuerrio

Botanical Name: Ardisia escallonioides

USDA Zones: 9b – 11b

Sunlight Requirement: Partial sun

Marlberry has glossy dark green leaves and grows small white flowers all year round. These plants also grow purple fruits in spring.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in sandy or loamy soil.

6. Oakleaf hydrangea

Botanical Name: Hydrangea quercifolia

USDA Zones: 5a – 9a

Sunlight Requirement: Maximum 2 hours of morning sunlight

This subtropical plant has oakleaf-shaped leaves with cone-shaped white flowers in summer.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in fertile and well-draining soil.

7. Seagrape

Botanical Name: Coccoloba uvifera

USDA Zones: 9a – 11b

Sunlight Requirement: 6-8 hours of sunlight

A drought-resistant plant with light green round-shaped leaves and red veins. This native produces small clusters of green fruit.

Gardening Tip: Needs sandy well-draining soil.

8. Southern wax myrtle

johnson

Botanical Name: Myrica cerifera

USDA Zones: 7b – 11b

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

Southern wax myrtle is an evergreen shrub that produces wax berries. It can grow as high as 15-25 feet.

Gardening Tip: Grows in almost every soil type.

9. Walter’s viburnum

Botanical Name: Viburnum obovatum

USDA Zones: 7a – 10b

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

Evergreen shrub with glossy dark green foliage that blooms white flowers in spring.

Gardening Tip: Prefers well-drained, occasionally moist soil.

10. Wild coffee

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Botanical Name: Psychotria nervosa

USDA Zones: 10b – 11b

Sunlight Requirement: Partial to full shade

A member of the coffee family that produces clusters of white flowers from spring to summer then fruits in winter.

Gardening Tip: Thrives in well-drained sandy or loamy soil.

11. Star anise

escoladebotanica

Botanical Name: Illicium verum

USDA Zones: 7a – 10b

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun to partial shade

An evergreen shrub, found in three species that blooms red, white, and yellow flowers. These shrubs are hardy that can survive most conditions.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in slightly acidic soil and need constant moisture

12. Beach sunflower

backyardnature

Botanical Name: Helianthus debilis

USDA Zones: 8b – 10b

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

A perfect ground cover for coastal areas that sprouts bright yellow flowers year-round. Highly salt tolerant and grows 2-10 inches long.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in sandy soil

13. Blanket flower

Botanical Name: Gaillardia

USDA Zones: 3a – 10b

Sunlight Requirement: 6-8 hours of direct sunlight

A plant native to Florida that grows in mounds and produces bright flowers in orange, yellow, red, and reddish-purple shades. This groundcover is high heat and salt tolerant.

Gardening Tip: Needs slightly acidic and well-draining soil

14. Blazing Star

Botanical Name: Liatris

USDA Zones: 8a – 10b

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun

A perennial plant that blooms vibrant bottlebrush-shaped flowers in fall. Grows upto 5 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in well-draining soil

15. Southern magnolia

Botanical Name: Magnolia grandiflora

USDA Zones: 6a – 10b

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun to light shade

An evergreen tree with dark green foliage that blooms large white flowers throughout spring and summer.

Gardening tip: Thrives in slightly acidic, moist, and well-draining soil

16. Saw palmetto

palmerasyjardines

Botanical Name: Serenoa repens

USDA Zones: 8a – 11b

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun to partial shade

A clumping palm with fan-shaped leaves. Salt tolerant and grows upto 10 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in fully dry soil

17. Southern live oak

flickr

Botanical Name: Quercus virginiana

USDA Zones: 8a – 10b

Sunlight Requirement: 4 hours of direct unfiltered sun

An evergreen native to the open grounds of Florida whose branches spread upto 100 feet wide and survive for centuries.

Gardening Tip: Prefers acidic loamy soil

18. Red buckeye

Botanical Name: Aesculus pavia

USDA Zones: 4a – 8b

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

A small deciduous tree that blooms clustered tubular flowers in spring. Grows upto 20 feet tall and has poisonous seed pods.

Gardening Tip: Grows best well-drained soil

19. Pond cypress

treesplanet

Botanical Name: Taxodium ascendens

USDA Zones: 5b – 9b

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun to partial shade

A drought-tolerant deciduous tree that survives well in moist and swampy areas.

Gardening Tip: Prefers moist well-draining soil

20. Sabal palm

Botanical Name: Sabal palmetto

USDA Zones: 8a – 11b

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun

An evergreen palm tree that is native to Florida with cabbage-like leaves, also known as Florida’s state tree. Grows upto 50 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in well-draining loamy or sandy soil

Read about the Best Palm Trees in Florida here.

21. Gumbo Limbo tree

iplantz

Botanical Name: Bursera simaruba

USDA Zones: 10b – 11b

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun to partial shade

A deciduous native tree with an interesting copper-colored peeling bark, also known as the tourist’s tree.

Gardening Tip: Prefers well-draining loamy or sandy soil

22. Florida Maple

Botanical Name: Acer barbatum

USDA Zones: 6b – 9a

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

A heat-tolerant tree, native to Florida, whose leaves turn beautiful orange and yellow in fall.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in clayey and loamy soil

23. Eastern redbud

Botanical Name: Cercis canadensis

USDA Zones: 4b – 9a

Sunlight Requirement: Blooms in full sun

A deciduous species that bloom bright pink flowers in late winter and grows upto 20-30 feet.

Gardening Tip: Prefers moist well-drained soil

24. Chickasaw plum

Botanical Name: Prunus angustifolia

USDA Zones: 5a – 9b

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun to partial shade

Often used as a specimen tree, the Chickasaw plum tree blooms small white flowers in spring.

Gardening Tip: Prefers well-draining sandy soil

25. Yucca

Botanical Name: Yucca 

USDA Zones: 5a – 10b

Sunlight Requirement: 3-6 hours of filtered bright light

An evergreen plant with blade-like leaves which blooms clusters of white flowers in mid-summer or early fall. Yucca has three species, native to Florida — Spanish bayonet (Yucca aloifolia), Adam’s needle (Y. filimentosa), and mound Spanish dagger (Y. gloriosa).

Gardening Tip: Grows best in well-draining, non-soggy soil

26. Southern shield fern

Botanical Name: Thelypteris kunthii

USDA Zones: 7a – 10b

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun to partial shade

A green groundcover with triangular light green fronds that grow in spring and turn bronze by fall. Deer-resistant and grows upto 4 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Loves moist, well-draining soil

27. Jamaica caper

Botanical Name: Capparis cynophallophora

USDA Zones: 10a – 11b

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun to partial shade

A native Floridian plant with light green, glossy, oval-shaped leaves and produces purple flowers with long showy stamens. Grows to a height of 18 feet.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in well-draining loamy or sandy soil and lime rock

28. Fakahatchee grass

Botanical Name: Tripsacum dactyloides

USDA Zones: 8a – 11b

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun to partial shade

A perennial grass-like native that grows in a shrub-sized clump. Can resist flood and drought, is nonresistant to long-frozen periods, and grows 4-6 feet long.

Gardening Tip: Needs well-drained to moderately drained soil

29. Coontie

gardensonline

Botanical Name: Zamia integrifolia

USDA Zones: 8a – 11b

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

A shrub-sized evergreen, native to North Florida with feathery leaves. Cold and salt tolerant and grows upto 3 feet.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in well-draining sandy moist soil

30. Button Sage

yellowgardening

Botanical Name: Lantana involucrata

USDA Zones: 8b – 11b 

Sunlight Requirement:  8-9 hours of full sun

A hurricane-resistant shrub with tiny green leaves that blooms small white flowers and purple fruits year-round. A ground cover that grows upto 5 feet.

Gardening Tip: Prefers dry sandy soil

31. Black-Eyed Susan

Botanical Name: Rudbeckia hirta

USDA Zones:  3a – 9b

Sunlight Requirement:  2-6 hours of direct sunlight

A Floridian native that blooms vibrant yellow, orange, or red petals in the sweltering heat of Florida. Salt and drought tolerant, grows upto 3 feet.

Gardening Tip: Prefers moist to dry well-drained soil

32. Columbine

Botanical Name: Aquilegia canadensis

USDA Zones: 3a – 8b

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun

A wildflower with red and yellow blossoms. Can grow from 6 inches to 4 feet.

Gardening Tip: Prefers sandy well-drained soil

33. Coral bean

candace_nelms

Botanical Name: Erythrina herbacea

USDA Zones: 8a – 11b

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to partial shade

An ornamental tree that can be pruned into desired shape and size and blooms bright red tubular flowers.

Gardening Tip: Prefers sandy well-drained soil

34. Elliott’s aster

wikipedia

Botanical Name: Symphyotrichum elliottii

USDA Zones: 8a – 11b 

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun

A perennial plant that blooms small lavender flowers with yellow centers in winter. This native plant grows upto 5 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Loves moist soil type

35. White Wild Indigo

Botanical Name: Baptisia alba

USDA Zones: 8a-9a

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to partial shade

A native to Florida that produces nearly 18 cm large pea-shaped white flowers. With low tolerance to the salty wind, this plant can grow upto 2.5 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Prefers acidic clayey, loamy, or sandy soil

36. Passion Flower

r/houseplants

Botanical Name: Passiflora

USDA Zones:  6a – 10b

Sunlight Requirement:  4-6 hours of full sun

A Perennial vine that blooms showy flowers with pretty fringe coming out from lavender petals and an interesting pattern at the center. Climbs upto 30 feet in height.

Gardening Tip: Prefers moist well-drained soil

37. Powderpuff mimosa

Botanical Name: Mimosa strigillosa

USDA Zones: 8a – 10b

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun

A perennial ground cover with puff-shaped soft pink flowers that bloom from spring to fall. Spreads easily and grows 3-4 inches high.

Gardening Tip: Prefers moist well-drained soil

38. Railroad vine

territorynativeplants

Botanical Name: Ipomoea pes-caprae

USDA Zones: 9a – 11b

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun

A perennial vine that blooms pink or white trumpet-shaped flowers all year round. Railroad vine is salt spray resistant and can grow 4-6 inches tall.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in sandy soil

39. Scarlet sage

Botanical Name: Salvia coccinea

USDA Zones: 7a – 11b

Sunlight Requirement:  6-8 hours of full sun

A perennial with bright red tubular flowers from spring to fall. This native Floridian plant grows upto 4 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Prefers well-drained slightly alkaline soil

40. Swamp mallow

Botanical Name: Hibiscus coccineus

USDA Zones: 8a – 10b

Sunlight Requirement:  6-8 hours of full sun

A species of hibiscus that blooms bright red flowers in mid to late summer. Grows 4-8 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Prefers moist well-drained sandy loamy soil

41. Tickseed

Botanical Name: Coreopsis

USDA Zones: 4a – 10b

Sunlight Requirement:  6-8 hours of full sun

A short flowery plant, native to Florida that blooms vibrant yellow flowers in spring and summer. Height varies typically from 1-4 feet.

Gardening Tip: Prefers slightly moist well-drained soil

42. Violets

Botanical Name: Viola

USDA Zones: 8a – 10a

Sunlight Requirement:  6-8 hours of full sun

A native Floridian plant that blooms in blue and white violet shades. Grows upto 12 inches in height.

Gardening Tip: Prefers humusy moist soil

43. Azaleas

Botanical Name: Rhododendron

USDA Zones: 5a – 9b

Sunlight Requirement:  7 hours of full sun

An evergreen shrub that is covered with spring blossoms of bright pink, red, and white. Grows typically upto 3-5 feet.

Gardening Tip: Blooms best in acidic well-draining soil

Click here to read about the best flowers to grow on your balcony.

44. Bahama cassia

toptropicals

Botanical Name: Cassia bahamensis

USDA Zones: 10b – 11b

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to partial shade

A short-lived upright shrub that blooms little yellow flowers in fall. Bahama Cassia grows upto 9 feet in height.

Gardening Tip: Prefers well-drained acidic sandy soil

45. Buttonwood

Botanical Name: Conocarpus erectus

USDA Zones: 10b – 11b

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun

A dense multi-trunked tree that bears red to brown clustered button like fruits. Generally rises upto 40 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Prefers moist to well-draining soil

46. White Fringe Tree

Botanical Name: Chionanthus virginicus

USDA Zones: 4-9

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to partial shade

A long-lived perennial tree that blooms white flowers in late spring. White Fringe Tree is drought tolerant and can grow upto 20 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Grows best in moist well-drained fertile soil

47. Butterflyweed

Botanical Name: Asclepias tuberosa

USDA Zones: 4-10

Sunlight Requirement:  8-9 hours of full sun

A short-lived perennial that blooms bright orange flowers. Butterflyweed is drought resistant and blooms 2-3 years after being planted.

Gardening Tip: Loves well-drained dry loamy or sandy soil

48. Yellow Jesamine

Botanical Name: Gelsemium sempervirens

USDA Zones: 7-10 

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to partial shade

A long-lived perennial vine that produces showy yellow flowers and interesting foliage. Yellow Jesamine has little tolerance to salty wind but is intolerant to salt spray.

Gardening Tip: Loves acidic loamy and sandy soil

49. Clusia

Botanical Name: Clusia

USDA Zones: 10

Sunlight Requirement:  5-6 hours of full sun

A low-maintenance plant that branches out close to the ground with thick-leathery drop-shaped leaves. Clusia is a salt-tolerant plant and generally grows upto 10 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Needs well-draining soil to grow

50. Eugenia

Botanical Name: Eugenia

USDA Zones: 10-11

Sunlight Requirement:  6 hours of full sun

A fast-growing dense and hardy plant that blooms creamy white flowers in spring followed by red berry-like fruits. Eugenia is a fast grower, which can grow 15 feet tall if not trimmed.

Gardening Tip: Prefers well-drained sandy soil

51. Blue Mistflower

Botanical Name: Conoclinium coelestinum

USDA Zones: 5-10

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to partial shade

This perennial wildflower plant blooms clusters of bright blue, violet, or white flower heads from late summer to fall. Blue mistflower spreads extensively and grows upto 2-3 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Prefers moist fertile humusy soil

52. Holly Trees

Botanical Name: Ilex spp.

USDA Zones: 5-9

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to partial shade

This native Florida tree shows glossy green leaves with clustered red or orange berries in the fall. Holly Trees are heat resistant and can grow upto 50 feet.

Gardening Tip: Loves slightly acidic clayey soil

53. Southern Red Cedar Tree

houzz

Botanical Name: Juniperus silicicola

USDA Zones: 7-10

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to partial shade

This evergreen tree, native to South Florida covered with beautiful emerald-green, soft, fine foliage is salt and drought tolerant. Grows upto 40 feet in height.

Gardening Tip: Prefers dry sandy and rocky soil

54. Slash Pine Tree

Botanical Name: Pinus elliottii

USDA Zones: 9-11

Sunlight Requirement:  6-8 hours of unfiltered light

This native conifer tree provides a canopy of soft needle-like leaves and is home to a number of birds. Slash Pines reaches upto 60-80 feet.

Gardening Tip: Grows in well-drained sandy soil

55. Wild Tamarind

Botanical Name: Lysiloma latisiliquum

USDA Zones: 10a – 11

Sunlight Requirement:  6-8 hours of full sun

Native to South Florida, this semi-deciduous tree shows green feathery leaves on branches sprouted in all directions forming a crown on top. Grows to a height of 60 feet.

Gardening Tip: Prefers loamy and sandy soil.

56. Joewood

davesgarden

Botanical Name: Jacquinia keyensis

USDA Zones: 10a-12b

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to light shade

Small flowering tree with small white ivory funnel-shaped flowers with 5 widely spread petals. With high drought, salt, and wind tolerance, this Floridian native can grow upto 10 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Grows in well-drained acidic or alkaline clayey, sandy and loamy soil

57. Golden Creeper

Botanical Name: Allamanda cathartica

USDA Zones: 10-11

Sunlight Requirement:  8-9 hours of full sun

A strong tropical vine that blooms bright yellow trumpet-shaped flowers that spread from 3-12 feet.

Gardening Tip: Prefers moist but well-drained clayey, loamy and sandy soil.

58. White Indigo Berry

Botanical Name: Randia aculeata

USDA Zones: 9a-11

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to partial shade

A native Florida shrub with small, spiny, leathery leaves clustered towards the tip of the branches that can grow upto 20 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Loves well-drained sandy or rocky soil

59. Red Bay

plantsmap

Botanical Name: Persea borbonia

USDA Zones: 7-11

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to partial shade

An evergreen tree that produces dark blue spherical fruit. Red bay can grow from 30-70 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Loves light sandy to medium loamy soil

60. Wild Lime

Botanical Name: Zanthoxylum  fagara

USDA Zones: 9b-11

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to partial shade

A woody, evergreen, multi-stemmed tree with compound leaves, sharp thorns that blooms clusters of small, yellow-green flowers. Drought-tolerant and grows upto 25 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Loves acidic or alkaline, sand, loam, and clayey soil

61. Gopher Apple

vanishingsouthgeorgia

Botanical Name: Licania michauxii

USDA Zones: 8a-11

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun to partial shade

A hardy groundcover with small white creamy flowers on green leathery stems. Drought and salty wind tolerant, grows upto 5 feet tall.

Gardening Tip: Thrives in moist to dry well-drained sandy or limestone humus-free soil

62. Dotted Horsemint

Botanical Name: Monarda punctata

USDA Zones: 4-9

Sunlight Requirement:  Full sun

A herbaceous perennial with spikes of densely clustered small flowers above light pink-purple tinged bracts that bloom late spring through fall. Drought-tolerant and grows to a height of 4 feet.

Gardening Tip: Loves dry sandy, loamy soil

Check out these Best Red Tropical Plants for Growing Indoors and Outdoors!

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