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Florida Paintbrush Carphephorus corymbasus

The Florida Paintbrush, also known as Coastal Plain Chaffhead, is a native plant found on the southeastern coastal plain in the states of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.  In Florida, it is found mainly on the Peninsula and I or 2 counties in the Panhandle.  It grows in well-drained sandy areas, such as pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, sandhills and ruderal areas.

This plant is a long-lived perennial that dies back each winter after its seeds are dispersed.  It reappears in early spring as a flat rosette of basal leaves that are linear to spatulate in shape.  It remains this way until mid-summer when a leafy flower stalk begins to grow.  It typically grows to a height of 2-3 feet.  The leaves on the stalk are attached alternately and are much smaller than the basal leaves.

The stalk terminates in a tightly-bunched cluster of flower heads. The flat or convex-shaped cluster is typically 2-4 inches in diameter.  The individual flower heads,each about 3/8-inch in diameter, contain several disc florets and no ray florets.  These florets usually bloom from late summer to fall.  Their colors range from pinkish-purple to bluish.  They are quite bright and showy and attract a multitude of insects, such as bees and butterflies.

The photos on this page were taken in Deep Creek in Charlotte County. Additional information on this plant may be found by clicking on the following links:

     Atlas of Florida Plants

     USDA PLANTS Database

      Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center