Guest Post By Jean Summers
Flowers are the perfect way to showcase a Florida vibe at your wedding. The abundance of flowers in it led explorer Ponce de Leon to name it “La Pascua de Florida” — “The Passion of the Flowers” — in 1513. More than 500 years later, Florida’s flowers are the key to a memorable “I do!” Here are five native flowers perfect for your Orlando wedding.
Tickseed, or coreopsis, is a cheerful addition to your wedding day flowers. This is Florida’s official state wildflower, so it’s a perfect way to incorporate your Florida pride into your wedding day. The original wildflower is a buttery yellow, but growers have cultivated tickseed in other colors too. Don’t confuse the red or pink or multicolored coreopsis with the Florida native. Don’t want to spend a fortune on flowers? Picture a nature-filled outdoor wedding on a gorgeous green Orlando lawn, with a nosegay of tickseed blossoms and bridesmaids with daisy chains of it in their hair. It’s so on-trend.
This member of the honeysuckle family has a distinctive creamy white lacy look to it — the perfect accent to the white or ivory in the bride’s dress, or the pale-colored suit of the groom. Walter’s Viburnum is a shrub that feeds Central Florida’s birds and small animals. It’s widely available, and whether your florist is dreaming up flower arrangements using Florida natives or you’re making your own bouquets and centerpieces, you’ll find this flower at most nurseries and garden stores.
You can’t miss the scarlet salvia, with its spikes of brilliant red flowers. It’s also sometimes called hummingbird sage because — you guessed it — it attracts hummingbirds to the Orlando landscapes and gardens where it grows. It’s pretty common, so any reputable Florida florist should be able to incorporate this flashy bloom into your wedding day.
This charming member of the pea family is also called Cherokee bean or red cardinal. It boasts long stems of scarlet-red flowers, and blooms from March through November, making it easy to find much of the year. These bright red flowers will add visual interest to your arrangements. It makes a striking centerpiece on your reception table and an excellent groomsmen’s boutonniere.
It’s the daintiest of pale-pink or lavender daisies, and the climbing aster is one of Florida’s most elegant native flowers. Sometimes called the climbing Carolina aster, this flower is native to the entire region from North Carolina, all the way down the seaboard into Florida. If pale pastels and simple shapes are your thing, this flower will speak volumes when you say “I do” to your beloved.
You’re not lacking for flower choices on your wedding day if you choose only Florida natives. Flowers are a part of Florida’s natural heritage and an obvious choice for any couple with ties to the state. Whether you’re native Floridians, new transplants, or an out-of-state couple choosing Florida for a destination wedding, going native will make your nuptials picture-perfect.
Jean Summers owns a flower shop and sprinkler company. She’s as handy with power tools as she is a pen. She writes how-to manuals in her spare time, hoping to teach women how to install and repair their own irrigation systems.