Autumn Falls for Florida

Flattop Goldenrod (Euthamia caroliniana) a sure sign of Autumn

Happy Thanksgiving! The gardens of Central Florida are taking on the look of autumn as our overnight temperatures occasionally plunge into the 40s(F). As a native New Yorker, this pleases me, since I do miss the autumn of the northeast. Florida Fall, however, has its own advantages and I’m quite thankful for all it provides.

In Florida, Robins signify the Autumn and Winter months

Robins, harbingers of spring in most areas of the country make their return to Florida where they announce our impending winter. Since they also are here in spring, we get this added bonus.

The winged sumac (Rhus copallinum) brings forth its leaves turning red and gold as the abundant drupes hang awaiting the avalanche of wintering birds to chow down.

Goldenrods (Solidago spp.) blooms fade to round chunky seed heads with boundless fruits that will feed plenty.


How many Green Lynx baby spiders can you count?

Spider sacs explode in the Carolina Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana) and out come the offspring of Lynx spiders with thousands of spiderlings headed to the next phase of their lives, be it adulthood or food-hood for others up the foodchain.

Grounsel tree (Baccharis halimifolia) brings out its bright silvery blooms as it goes to seed.

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) seed pods prepare to break open to plant food for next year’s crop of Monarch and Queen Butterflies.

The native Asters (Symphyotrichum spp.) that bring life to our October and November gardens.

Silkgrass (Pityopsis spp.) offers the bright yellows that just shout AUTUMN!

One of the native thoroughtworts (Eupatorium spp.)

I can finally look forward to our cooler nights where I will light a fire in the fireplace (yes, we do have fireplaces in Florida and need them too!) and the signs of autumn in Florida mean that it is that much closer.

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  1. says

    Thanks for a peek at Autumn in Florida. Being a Midwesterner transplanted in So Cal, I know what you mean about needing to get your shot of Autumn. I didn’t really know what you had blooming down there this month. I am esp fond of the softness of the Grounsel tree. Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to you in your wildlife garden.
    kathy recently posted..A Time to Be Thankful at the Ocean

    • says

      Thanks Kathy and Happy t-day time to you also. The autumn garden in Florida is always a buzz. The grounsel trees make it especially pretty as they rear their bright silvery heads among those things that fade at this time of year. Like a light in the darkness!
      Loret T. Setters recently posted..Army Lives!

    • says

      Thanks Sue!

      Pine Lily President and native Floridian Jenny Welch wrote a piece some time back for our newsletter eloquently highlighting the Florida autumn. When I first got here over 8 years ago I was concerned about “lack of seasons”, but quickly learned that they do occur, just maybe a bit more subtle. I make sure to take a trip out to the east coast from my house where there is nothing but cow country along the way. Then you can see the fabulous autumn colors of Florida. Perhaps not the splash of the northeast, but a more than adequate substitute given that you can ride with the top down in short sleeves ;)

      Happy Thanksgiving to you also!
      Loret T. Setters recently posted..Army Lives!

    • says

      Thanks Donna,

      I am enjoying my fall into winter. Your snow is probably beautiful and sets the feel for the upcoming holidays. I do admit it feels a lot more Christmas-y when there is a nip in the air.

      I’m betting there are plenty of critters under your snow taking their long winter’s nap.
      Loret recently posted..Army Lives!

    • says

      Hi Dawn! oh how I wish :)

      Birdy in photo is an American Robin (Turdus migratorius), blackish top, red breast, white feathers under tail. Not the best of pictures, but I hadn’t had my coffee when they were dancing around the meadow one early morn last week. I wasn’t ready to chase em in my slippers hehehe.

      The more colorful Painted Buntings (Passerina ciris) do come up this way, but I’ve yet to see one. My ecosystem is not a favorite of theirs. I need to go plop myself in my friend’s yard. She gets them to her feeder when they are in town. I so want to add a painted bunting sighting to my life list…still waiting as I think they probably have headed back down to S FL again.
      Loret recently posted..Army Lives!

  2. says

    Loret what a beautiful glimpse of autumn in your neck of the woods! You’ve got so much more happening than I do here in PA. I spent part of last fall near Tampa while caring for my mom, and I got to experience some of the wonder of a Florida autumn. Someday I’ll have to come back at a time when I can relax and enjoy myself more.
    Carole Sevilla Brown recently posted..Ecosystem Gardening Essentials


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