Flora Friday: Post staff photos of beautiful flowers, gardens in Palm Beach County

photo starry rosinweed

Starry Rosinweed (Silphium asteriscus) at Mounts Botanical Garden. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Plant life in South Florida is unlike any other place in the country.

In our mild winters, we can grow most northern flowers, from pansies to snapdragons.

But during our hot, humid summers, our landscapes erupt into voluptuous tropical extravaganzas of color, odd leaf shapes and oddities from tropical zones around the world.

Recently, Palm Beach Post staff photographer Bruce Bennett started documenting the botanical splendor found in Palm Beach County. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring some of his favorite photographs.

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Bromeliad at The Society of the Four Arts Garden Monday, July 25, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Bromeliads are a family of monocot flowering plants of 51 genera and around 3475 known species native mainly to the tropical Americas.

photo araceae spathiphyllum

Araceae Spathiphyllum ‘mauna loa supreme’ White Anthurium at The Society of the Four Arts Garden Monday, July 25, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Anthurium is a genus of about 1000 species of flowering plants, the largest genus of the arum family, Araceae. General common names include anthurium, tailflower, flamingo flower, and laceleaf. The genus is native to the Americas, where it is distributed from northern Mexico to northern Argentina and parts of the Caribbean.

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Purple Top Verbena (Verbena bonariensis) at Mounts Botanical Garden Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

The stiff deep lilac spikes of this South American native perennial make long-lasting cut flowers. Purple Top Verbena blooms year-round and is irresistible to butterflies.

photo crinum lily

Droplets of water adhere to the leaves of a Crinum lily in Lake Worth early Friday morning, July 22, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Crinum is a genus of perennial plants that develop from bulbs and have large showy flowers. They are found in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide.

photo Heliconia Rostrata

The pendulous bloom of a Heliconia rostrata (or ‘lobster claw’) hangs colorfully at The Society of the Four Arts Garden Monday, July 25, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Also known as the ‘False Bird of Paradise,’ Heliconia rostrata is an herbaceous perennial native to Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, and naturalized in Puerto Rico. Known as a host flower to many birds, especially the hummingbird, Heliconias are often used in tropical gardens.

photo starry rosinweed

Starry Rosinweed (Silphium asteriscus) at Mounts Botanical Garden. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

This tough, long-lived native perennial bears yellow daisy flowers nearly year-round in South Florida, and its large blooms attract butterflies and other insects.

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