and as an ornamental. The shaggy-headed cabbage palm or sabal palmetto is most common of all
palms and found throughout the State. Cocos Plumesa is planted in many parks, being tall and
straight, with arching fronds. The thatch palm is relatively small, with spreading fan-shaped
leaves. The date palm is also grown, although here its fruit has no commercial value. The slow-
growing sage, which has a maximum height of 10 feet, and the comptie, a small plant, are not
true palms, but cycads. The comptie, resembling both a palm and a fern, yields a nutritious starch
eaten by early pioneers and Florida Indians.
The saw palmetto, a dwarf palm, forms the most common undergrowth of the entire
State, appearing wherever there is sand. The base of this strange plant puts out numerous strong
roots on the underside of the stem. Advancing, its buds continue to grow, branching, dividing,
and producing new plants as the parent dies.
Wild flowers differ in variety according to their location: dark or sandy soil, swamp or
pineland, dry hills or marshes.
The common dandelion is seen on dry soil in spring and summer. Also in dry pinelands, in
summer, is false foxglove, with large, pale-yellow flowers and jagged dark-green leaves. The wild
lupine, its blue flowers resembling a sweet pea, appears in mid-winter and its present until early
summer. This plant folds its leaves at night; it bears pods containing four or five seeds. The
spreading stems of milk vetch, with heart-shaped leaflets and small, pale-purple flowers, form gray-
green carpets from late winter until summer.