Florida Tassel Flower (Emilia fosbergii)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Florida Tassel Flower
Give a thumbs up Florida Tasselflower
Give a thumbs up Cupid's Shaving Brush
Give a thumbs up Flora's Paintbrush

Botanical names:
Emilia fosbergii Accepted
Emilia sonchifolia var. rosea Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Plant Height: 12 inches to 30 inches
Leaves: Deciduous
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
Other: Red and medium to dark pink
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Other: Year round
Underground structures: Taproot
Wildlife Attractant: Butterflies
Resistances: Humidity tolerant

arty shot of seedhead

Photo gallery:

Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Feb 18, 2013 1:57 PM

Emilia fosbergii is a perennial herb that pops up in my yard every year. It is considered a weed by many, but I think it's an interesting plant with quite dainty and lovely flowers. My wildflower book states that this plant grows from 12 to 30 inches in height, but the plants in my yard barely get to even 12 inches, usually attaining heights of only about 6 to 8 inches.

The plant has erect stems with violin-shaped green leaves that clasp the stems. Leaves are broad at the base and tapering up the stem and are lance-shaped with toothed edges. The flowers are borne on long, slender, sometimes drooping stalks and are small, approximately 1/2 to 1 inch cylindrical heads with numerous red to dark-pink disk flowers. The flower is aptly named because the elongated flower heads in their green bracts resemble little dangling tassels. Flowers are attractive to butterflies and small insects.

Florida Tassel Flower grows in habitats of dry sunny sites, roadsides, forest margins, fields, and disturbed areas. It has naturalized throughout the state of Florida and several other southern states. It often appears in nursery material and spreads with the ornamental landscape trade.

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Posted by mellielong (Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Jan 3, 2015 3:08 PM

Despite the name, this plant is not native to Florida. It is very common, though. It usually gets mowed down by my dad and the neighbors, but when in bloom it is quite attractive to butterflies, particularly the smaller butterflies. This species has light red flowers, but is often found growing along with Lilac Tassel Flower. The two are separate species, however. Although it is considered a weed, I never see it get too out of hand and often don't bother pulling it. As a butterfly gardener, I've learned that many weeds make the best nectar plants.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
What plants are these? by Sukiro Mar 4, 2019 10:25 PM 14
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Springs around the corner ! by mjsponies Apr 22, 2015 5:43 AM 144
January 2015 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Feb 1, 2015 3:37 PM 105
Looking for weed identification. by plantladylin Sep 30, 2012 5:07 PM 5
Wildflower from Brazil for ID please.. by bonitin Nov 1, 2011 3:19 PM 24

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