Florida Paintbrush: Carphephorus corymbosus
A Florida Paintbrush (Carphephorus corymbosus) superbloom is occurring the first week of November 2021 in Canaveral National Seashore and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Also known as Coastal Plain Chaffhead and False Blazing Star, Florida Paintbrush is a showy herbaceous wildflower that only blooms from late summer into fall when conditions are right.
In the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge Florida Paintbrush can be found among stands of various Blazing Star species (Liatris spp.; Liatris chapmanii, Liatris gracilis, Liatris pauciflora). The Blazing Star are easier to spot in the swamps and along ditches as they grown to 5-feet tall sporting clusters of purple flowers up their long, swaying stalks.
Carphephorus corymbosus generally occurs naturally in pine, scrubby and dry to mesic flatwoods, sandhills and on the uplands around ditches and canals.
The flowers are large and striking, occurring in clusters that attract lots of butterflies, especially the orange Gulf Fritillary.
Flowers are born in large flat-topped corymbs. Each bloom is comprised of many bright purple to pink tubular disk florets and no ray florets.
The inflorescence appears atop erect, unbranched stems that arise from a basal rosette. Basal leaves are flat, linear and succulent in appearance. Stems are covered in tiny hairs and more robust than the longer stems of Liatris spp. that surround the less abundant Florida Paintbursh.
Stems are covered in tiny hairs and more robust than the longer stems of Liatris spp. that surround the less abundant Florida Paintbursh.