Eco tours offer the opportunity to see more than just fascinating native wildlife. You’ll also have the chance to see a variety of beautiful flowers on an eco tour! Here are a few of our favorite native species that call Babcock Ranch home:
Punta Gorda Spider Lily
Did you know Charlotte County is the only place in the world where you can find the Punta Gorda spider lily? This beautiful flower received its name from its long, spindly petals that extend from the center of the flower — like a spider’s legs! This flower is rather rare, however, the Center for Plant Conservation led an initiative to find the plant in the wildlife management area surrounding Babcock Ranch and found them! Now we know these beautiful flowers live here, if you are lucky, you may be able to see some for yourself on the Babcock Ranch Eco-Tour!
Not only is the bright red coral bean native to Florida, but it grows to its largest in Southwest Florida! However, if you do see this beautiful flower on an eco tour, it is best to keep your distance. While you may be tempted to touch its gorgeous, tubular flowers— they are poisonous! Instead, just admire this native flower from a distance on your tour.
Sea grapes are a rare type of native plant in Florida— their flowers are actually fruit! Did you know there are very few native fruits in Florida? In fact, even those delicious Florida oranges aren’t originally from the state— they are from China! If you see this beautiful plant on an eco tour, stop and admire its hardiness. Sea grapes can withstand hurricane-force winds and don’t mind salty soil, either. If you find a ripe one, you can even give it a taste!
Firebush may be one of the most beautiful flowers you see on an eco tour! Like the coral bean, these flowers are red and tubular. However, the Firebush is much larger than the coral bean and will be easier to spot. You may also not be the only one admiring this beautiful flower on an eco tour. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and birds all love spending time around this gorgeous plant!
Southern magnolia is a southern staple. You’ve likely seen it hanging in many a southern household but seeing it in the wild is something truly special! The magnolia tree can grow up to 90 feet tall and produces beautiful, lemon-scented flowers. Enjoy these flowers with all your senses on your eco tour!