Flora in the United States
The United States of America has a rich native flora that comprises approximately 17,000 species of vascular plants, plus thousands of additional species of other plants and plant-like organisms such as algae, lichens and other fungi, and mosses. Several geographical and biological factors contribute to the richness and diversity of the U.S. flora. While most of the country has a temperate climate, Alaska has vast arctic areas and the southern part of Florida is tropical. The coastline of the country borders three oceans: The Atlantic, the Arctic, and the Pacific. Some flora typical to the U.S is listed below.
An ornamental garden flower that blooms in a variety of colours. It is a small flower that grows on a tender shrub. It is known to be a low maintenance bloomer. It tolerates partial shade even though they may require a full sun for growing into their full bloom. Traditionally, this flower has been used to make medicines to treat cardiovascular diseases and syphilis. They have simple, alternate leaves and two-lipped tubular flowers, each with five lobes. The upper two lobes may be erect while the lower three lobes may be fanned out. This plant has flowers which grow in abundance and their colours are intense hence their popularity as ornamental garden subjects.
The scientific name for a coneflower is Echinacea purpurea. It has daisy like purple petals and an orange spiky centre. It is also known to tolerate a variety of climactic conditions namely drought, fallow soil, heat, and humidity.
A species typical to the southwestern parts of the United States, white sage also known as bee sage or scared sage has many uses both traditional including both ceremonies, spring cleaning and spiritual. It is used in many households as a healer of common maladies and for driving negative energies out of the house or any space. It is an evergreen perennial shrub.
The Wintergreen is a typical Christmas plant. It has glossy green leaves and white flowers that open into red cherry like seeds when ripe. It is essentially a herb that is used to make wintergreen oil which has a variety of medicinal properties such as treating arthritis, headache, nerve pain and menstrual cramps. The term wintergreen was earlier used to name plants and shrubs that remained green throughout the year or which continues photosynthesis throughout winter. They are now known as evergreen.
Coral Bells sport airy flowers on winged stems. They are low-lying flowers and their foliage is often dramatic. Though their flower spikes are very delicate, they are not known to disturb any other flower of plant in their vicinity during their period of growth or blooming. Most coralbells sport tiny bell-shaped clouds of pink, coral, red, or white flowers in late spring or early summer. The colours of the foliage include red, purple, silver, as well as green, and some varieties sport marbled or patterned leaves. The height of the foliage ranges from 6 to 18 inches and the flower spikes can reach about 24 inches in length.
Wild columbine which is scientifically known as Aquilegia canadensis is a shade-loving bloomer. It is a species which belongs to the flowering plants in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. It is said to attract the native hummingbirds which are its main pollinators and other birds and insects such as butterflies, and bees. Its structure consists of drooping bell-shaped flowers which bloom red and have bright yellow centres. It is in fact prized for its flowers. It grows well in sun and shade with proper moisture.
The Red Twig Dogwood
The Red Twig Dogwood or Red Osier Dogwood is known to brighten up any winter landscape with its bright red branches, bright spring blossoms, year-round spruce, variegated leaves and red twigs on its bush. It is a broadleaf, deciduous shrub. The plant blooms the brightest from late winter to early spring. Its botanical Name is Cornus sericea. It needs full or partial sunshade to grow. When mature, it can grow up to a height of 8 feet and these plants prefer moist areas.
Winterberry which is scientifically known as Ilex verticillate. It is a species that is native to eastern and northern America and southeast Canada. It is a slow-growing, shrub with a rounded upright growth. The plant typically grows in swamps, damp thickets, low woods and along ponds and streams. This is a slow-growing, deciduous shrub It typically grows up to 3 to 15 feet tall and forms large thickets. Its leaves are dark green and elliptical roughly about 2 to 3 inches long. Its colour in the fall is usually not impressive. Fairly plain greenish-white flowers appear in spring, which, if properly pollinated, produce a dense crop of bright red berries in late summer and fall. It provides food to birds and other forms of wildlife.
Echinacea tennesseensis is the scientific name for the Tennessee coneflower. This is a daisy-like flower which has rose-purple, erect flowers with a copper centre and a green disc. It blooms very well in late spring to mid-summer. It makes for an excellent border flower or it can be used in flower beds. It requires full or partial sun, average water supply and well-drained soil (chalk, loam or sand which can either be arid or alkaline) for its growth. It attracts both bees and butterflies. It can grow up to 75 centimetres or 2.46 feet in height.
The Tennessee coneflower was listed in the list of endangered plant species and massive work has been done by the help of the Nature Conservancy and the State of Tennessee. But their work has been successful and the Tennessee coneflower has now been removed from that list officially from September 2, 2011.
The four-petal pawpaw which is also known as Asimina tetramera, a relative of the tropical papaya, is only found in Martin and Palm Beach counties on the south-eastern coast of Florida. The aromatic shrub can grow to 3 meters in height and is usually covered with yellow-green and dark green leaves. Flowering occurs from late March through July, so expect to see cream-colored blooms that transform to dark maroon and sometimes yellow as they mature. The fruit of this plant can be eaten and develops in late summer. It produces a banana-like aroma when ripe, much to the delight of raccoons, gopher tortoises and mice.
As the name suggests, the desert sunflower grows in the desert dunes of southern Arizona and southern California. It is scientifically known as Helianthus niveus ssp. Tephrodes. Commonly it is called by many names such as desert gold or hairy desert sunflower. Unlike other plants, this flower thrives in sand, needs little water, and blooms — with a reddish-purple core surrounded by yellow petals. Its bloom season is between the September and May. It grows from −130 to 3,700 feet in height on an average.
This is also known as kokiʻo in scientific terms, which also means white like the shine of silver. It is an endemic species of hibiscus with white flowers and dark to medium green leaves. It blooms all year round and these plants are prone to sucking insects such as Chinese rose beetles which can be removed by hand. It produces orange and yellow flowers. It needs full to partial sun along with well-drained soil which could be either cinder soil or organic soil. It needs protection against strong winds, especially when planted in containers or indoor arrangements.