When Ponce De Leon arrived somewhere near St. Augustine, looking for gold and the fabled Fountain of Youth, he famously named it La Florida, and an early theory to why he did so was because in 1513 (or 1512 according to some early sources) he "discovered" it on Easter Sunday, which the Spaniards called "La Pascua de las Flores" (this is certainly the earliest theory, as I have found it is written down in numerous early 16th-century texts) But another famous, and perhaps likely reason why he called it "La Florida" was because of the abundance of flowers found on that great peninsula, untouched by any "White man" (as they would have said).
According to JSTOR Daily, the theory is written as thus:
Florida “received its name from the abundance of wild flowers that flourished upon its soil.” De León arrived in the middle of spring, when Florida, now famous for its botanical beauty, was in full bloom. Smitten by the abundance of plants, flowers, and colors, the explorer might have called the land not La Pascua de las Flores, but rather La Florida—“the place of flowers.”
From a mid-16th-century text on the New World:
This lande was named Florida,* in the yere 1512. by those that first dyd discouer it: for bicause that by the sea side it was flourishing with gréene trées, and with an infinite number of ••cures of diuers & sundry colour
My question is: hypothetically speaking, what flower-species might Juan Ponce De Leon and his fellow conquistadors have found when they arrived in the lower parts of Florida (so of course St. Augustine, and then also other parts of Florida around there.) In other words, what flowers were natively growing in Florida before the Spaniards arrived in those specific areas which the early Spaniards might have seen?
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
For Bounty: It would be appreciated profoundly to be given distinct details on which flowers (exact names--and if possible, the names that these flowers would have been known as during the 16th century) which would, hypothetically, have natively grown during the Springtime in the area "on the coast of Florida at a site between Saint Augustine and Melbourne Beach" (near where Ponce De Leon landed) prior to the Spaniards arriving in 1513.
Map of De Leon's 1513 journey:
According to this article the areas which Ponce De Leon would have first landed on were:
in April of that year landed on the coast of Florida at a site between modern Saint Augustine and Melbourne Beach.