One of the great mysteries of plant science appears to have been resolved with the discovery that the protein FT can act as a phloem-mobile florigen hormone. The collective evidence from several laboratories, many from studies on photoperiod response, indicates that FT and its homologues are universal signalling molecules for flowering plants. Duplication and divergence of FT-like proteins reveals an increased complexity of function in certain taxonomic groups including grasses and legumes. There are additional components of long-distance flowering time control, such as a role for gibberellins in some species but probably not others. Cytokinins and sugars are further putative signals. Vernalization processes and responses are generally considered to occur in shoot meristems, but systemic responses to cold have been reported several times. Finally, there is increasing evidence that FT does not act purely to switch on flowering, but in addition, has broader roles in seasonal developmental switches such as bud dormancy and tuberization, and in the regulation of meristem determinacy and compound leaf development. This review seeks to highlight recent progress in systemic floral signalling, and to indicate areas in need of further research.