Wildflowers for all seasons blooming along U.S. Hwy 98

April 29, 2016

Cosmos bipinnatus blooming along the median at Inlet Beach. Photo courtesy Jamie Conley
Cosmos bipinnatus blooming along the median at Inlet Beach. Photo courtesy Jamie Conley

Beautiful wildflowers are popping up along the medians of U.S. Hwy. 98 at Inlet Beach, and will continue to prosper throughout the year. More will be showing soon just east of U.S. Hwy. 331. All part of a Department of Transportation (FDOT) wildflower and natures area program.

According to Robert Farley, FDOT District 3 vegetation project manager, assorted varieties of wildflowers will continue to bloom throughout the year.

“The site at Inlet Beach has been sowed with several wildflowers that will emerge and bloom at different seasons and hopefully persist to become a sustainable display. The flowers that are showy now are Cosmos bipinnatus, an annual that is a reliable re-seeder. Emerging under the Cosmos are seedlings of Rudbeckia hirta and Gaillardia pulchella, two native perennials that will bloom later in the season, probably during June-September.  We will be monitoring and managing this site for maximum blooming period, with the issue being, of course, the weedy competition that always seems to interfere.  Most problematic for this site is the infestation of Common Ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia,” said Farley.

“Additional plots have been seeded in the median of U.S. Hwy. 98 just east of the intersection with U.S. Hwy. 331.  These have been planted with a perennial mix that includes those previously mentioned with the addition of Coreopsis lanceolata, our state wildflower.  It is our plan to increase the wildflower populations along U.S. 98, since it complies with our policy of planning wildflower displays on heavily travelled roadways in rural sections that have long unobstructed rights of way adjacent to conservation areas.”

Learn more about the FDOT wildflower project by clicking here.