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Freedom Park is oasis of nature in spring

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See larger Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata): It has arrowlike leaves and spikes of small blossoms that will make Midwesterners homesick for hyacinths. It grew primarily in the pond beds.

J.C. Heithaus/Special to the Daily News

Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata): It has arrowlike leaves and spikes of small blossoms that will make Midwesterners homesick for hyacinths. It grew primarily in the pond beds.

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  • Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata): It has arrowlike leaves and spikes of small blossoms that will make Midwesterners homesick for hyacinths. It grew primarily in the pond beds.
  • Coralbean (Erythrina herbacea): These blooms grow on 4- to 5-foot bushes that eventually leaf out, but are solid blossoms and branches, much like forsythia, in the spring. They're striking shrubs, perfect for photographs.
  • Mystery red flower: Gary Schmelz, co-author of  "A Guide to Native Wildflowers of Southwest Florida,"  said this bloom was not only not on his list of Florida wildflowers, but he couldn't find it in a search of U.S. wildflowers in general. Freedom Park does have a number of cultivated flowers, such as gaillardia (blanketflower) and periwinkle, that have taken root.
  • White beggarticks (Bidens alba): These bushy-growing, white flowers with fuzzy golden centers grew on the shorelines of all the sunny ponds at Freedom Park.
  • Freedom Park is a surprising piece of forest and water, a quiet and soothing place for a morning walk just east of Goodlette-Frank Road.

Freedom Park, off Golden Gate Parkway just east of Goodlette-Frank Road, has all kinds of natural as well as cultivated flora throughout its half-mile or more trails.

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