Wildflower alert

by Eleanor Dietrich, Florida Panhandle Wildflower Alliance

Black Titi

If you ride through the Apalachicola National Forest now, you will see large stands of tall shrubs in the wet areas, covered with fragrant white flowers. That is the Black Titi (Cliftonia monophyla). It is not actually a Titi (Cyrilla) but they grow together in the same habitats and have a similar look to them. Another common name for this shrub is Buckwheat Tree because their seeds resemble buckwheat. They are evergreen and  bloom in early spring. One spring I met a beekeeper in Liberty County, out on the roadside, and he said his bees were feeding heavily on this abundant bloom.