When I decided to take photos of Florida flowers and then try to identify them, I thought this would pretty easy. What I’ve come to realize is that sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it ends up being quite difficult.
So, when I read this article, I felt a lot better: https://laidbackgardener.blog/2019/03/23/why-plant-names-change/
It’s a great write-up about how, historically, even taxonomy experts sometimes get it wrong. Through modern DNA testing, many plants and flowers that were previously misclassified have been reclassified correctly.
Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal when it comes to aesthetic appreciation, but then I remembered the story of Chris McCandless and his death in the Alaska wilderness. Even though there has been much speculation, it is generally agreed that he died of eating a plant he’d misidentified as being non-toxic.
In such cases plant misclassification can be a big deal.
I had a little trouble with the Princess Flower. I had originally thought it was some kind of azalea, since it was growing so close to an azalea garden. Not all of the characteristics seemed to fit though.
That’s when I discovered that there are aps for plant identification. Not sure if this has been around for a while and I just missed it until now. Wow though, it works great. Love it! The one I’ve been using is called PlantSnap.
That’s how I learned that this beautiful royal-purple flower is definitely not an azalea. It is called the Princess Flower and it is native to Brazil. It’s formal name is Tibouchina semidencandra, and is also commonly called glory bush or lasiandra.
Florida is so rich in plant life you just don’t know what you’ll find sometimes.
Check out this Daytona news page for beautiful flowers in Flagler and Volusia counties. I discovered it when I was checking out Florida headlines.