Botanical Name: Carphephorus corymbosus
Common Name: Florida Paintbrush, Coastal-Plain Chaffhead
Description: Very pretty Florida native perennial with bluish/purple flowers that bloom late summer into fall. Give it a sun, part sun, or part shade area in your garden in well-drained sandy soils. Will reseed itself if the spent blooms are left on the plant. It works on growing its root system first, so don’t expect a lot of new growth right away. Then it quickly grows to 3′ tall. It is an important fall food source for many pollinators, including bees, wasps and butterflies. Despite its delicate appearance, this wildflower is drought tolerant and easy to grow. Makes a great addition to formal and naturalistic landscapes.
It occurs naturally in pine, scrubby, and dry to mesic flatwoods, sandhills and ruderal areas.
Flowers are born in large flat-topped corymbs. Each bloom is comprised of many bright pink to lavender tubular disk florets and no ray florets. The inflorescence appears atop an erect, unbranched stem that arises from a basal rosette. Basal leaves are flat, linear and succulent in appearance; stem leaves are sessile and alternately arranged. Stems are covered in tiny hairs. The fruit is an achene-like cypsela with a rough surface and a tuft of bristly hairs.
Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water. Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray.
This plant in 1-gallon containers is 5-15″ tall.
Plant Lore: The species epithet corymbosus is from the Latin corymbus, meaning “cluster of fruit or flowers.”
Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 10