The name [Florida] comes from the daring adventurer Juan Ponce de Leon, who accidentally stumbled upon the Florida peninsula ….
The year was 1513. Ponce de Leon was searching for gold and the “fountain of youth” — a legendary spring that gave people eternal life and health. He sailed from Puerto Rico on March 3 with three ships, the Santa Maria, the Santiago, and the San Cristobal, and about 200 men. After stops at Grand Turk Island and San Salvador, they reached the east coast of Florida, near St. Augustine.
Ponce de Leon claimed the land for Spain, calling it La Florida, the Spanish name for flowery, covered with flowers, or abounding in flowers.The Orlando Sentinel
As a fanatical gardener, one of the things I love most about living in South Florida is the growing season never ends. This truly is the flowering place, even in the months when everyone else is snowed in. The state is blooming literally every day of the year. (Though spring is still special here, if anything because that’s when the trees burst into bloom. And I don’t just mean the soft pink and white blooms you see up north. I’m talking bright orange Royal Poinciana flowers, deep purple Jacaranda, hot pinks and bright yellows…) When you go for a swim in the evening under the stars, the world is perfumed with ylang-ylang, jasmine, gardenia, plumeria, roses. Nothing in my life has ever compared to Florida.