One of our favorite spring wildflowers is blooming! We spotted – and smelled – the first pawpaws blooming last week along the edges of the flatwoods in the Cypress Dome Trails and the CREW Marsh Trails.
For visitors lucky enough to attend one of the remaining free guided walks at the Marsh Trails with Janet Bunch, you’ll learn all about the pawpaws and likely get nose-close and personal with their sweet scent.
Pawpaws are important for several reasons beyond their beauty and smell. First, they are a host plant for zebra swallowtail butterflies. Second, the fruit they produce is a delicious foodsource for many animals including gopher tortoises.
Want to learn more about CREW wildflowers?
Additional resources to help you find and ID southwest Florida native wildflowers include:
- A Guide to Native Wildflowers of Southwest Florida by Gary Schmelz and Glen Stacell
- Everglades Wildflowers by Roger Hammer (includes many found at CREW)
- Florida Wildflower Foundation
- The Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
Click HERE for a partial list of wildflowers found at CREW.