As spring rolls in, the north east is filled with colorful flowering trees. Most of which aren’t native. But one small tree stands out, the redbuds. A native large shrub/small tree, the redbuds are covered in magenta pink flowers that occur in clumps right on the tree branch, or sometimes on the trunk itself. It is pollinated by long-tongued bees.
As the flower shape suggests, the redbuds belong to the Fabaceae family, also known as the pea/legume family.
The showy and long lasting flowers are why this plant is common in cultivation and is used in gardens and homes to add color to their spring gardens. Because its native, it also helps native bee population in the early months of spring and summer.
Epidendrum nocturnum, the night-scented Epidendrum, is the largest species of Epidendrum found in Florida. It is more common in Central America and the west indies.
This orchid is very rare in Florida but is globally secure. In Florida, if you know where to find it, it is locally common, but due to habitat destruction, it is endangered in Florida. The flowering period is July-January, but it can flower all year long. Most of the flowers never even open. As the name suggests, when they do open, they are very fragrant after the sun goes down. Unlike most orchids, the night-scented Epidendrum can self-pollinate and does not require insect pollinators. It is also common in the orchid trade.