Florida feathershank is an evergreen perennial. It forms a basal rosette of very narrow elongated leaves that are noticeably channeled. Each is nearly 12 inches long and no more than 1/8 inch wide. Flowering occurs in late spring through mid-summer. The bluish green flower stalk rises up out of the basal leaves and reaches a mature height of 2-2 1/2 feet. The tiny flowers are produced along the upper portion of this stalk. The flowers lack petals. The yellowish stamens protrude from the sepals and give the appearance of the flowers being yellow. It is this tall, thin flower stalk that makes this species noticeable among all of the other plants it's associated with.
Florida feathershank is an interesting plant with very limited use in a native plant landscape. I have never seen it offered for sale by any of Florida's native plant nurseries and it is unlikely to be offered in the future. Its diminutive size and lack of a striking flower stalk make this a true connoisseur's wildflower. Look for it in Late-May through July and admire it simply for its uniqueness.
|Basal leaves (the linear ones) among other understory plants|