Southern Umbrella-sedge (Fuirena scirpoidea)

Southern Umbrella-Sedge (Fuirena scirpoidea) is now blooming. This species is often found on marsh and pond edges throughout Florida.
F. scirpoidea was described in 1803 by botanist Andre Michaux1. It is vouchered for most counties in Florida and occurs throughout the southeast United States.

The genus Fuirena was first described in 1773 by Christen Friis Rottbøll, a Danish botanist2. Fuirena is within the tribe Fuireneae which is in the Cyperoideae subfamily and finally within the Cyperaceae family. This means it's more closely related to the Saltmarsh Bulrush (Bolboschoenus robustus) than any other sedge in Florida3.

The FWC and UF/IFAS CAIP have a how-to video for identification. It does not appear to available in cultivation for use in a rain garden, bog, or wetlands restoration4.

References [1] Michaux, A.M. 1803. Flora boreali-Americana. p.38. link
[2] Rottbøll, C.F. 1773. Descriptionum et Iconum Rariores. p.70. link
[3] Simpson, et al. 2007. Phylogeny of Cyperaceae Based on…

Oakleaf fleabane (Erigeron quercifolius)

You may be noticing a small white flower popping up in your lawn and/or on roadsides, that may be Oakleaf Fleabane, a common native wildflower in Floria and throughout the Southeastern US. Check out our growing guide here.

This flower appears to be a favorite of the small native pollinators: sweat bees, small skippers, and nearly invisible flies.

E. quercifolius is in Section Quercifolium of the Genus Erigeron, which means that it is more closely related to Erigeron species in the Western US and Central America like the Rio Grande Erigeron (Erigeron tenellus) and Darrel's Fleabane (Erigeron darrelianus) in Bermuda than it is to the other native species of Erigeron in Florida (E. annuus, E. pulchellus, E. strigosus, E. tenuis, and E. vernus)1,2.

Oakleaf fleabane is occasionally available from native nurseries. If you yard is moist enough, you may be able to see some if you delay mowing in the spring.
References [1] Nesom, G.L. Classification of Subtribe Conyzinae (Asteraceae: Aste…

Florida Anise disjunct population found in Putnam County by FNPS

Illicium floridanum is Florida Anise, which is documented in the FL Panhandle and further west along the Gulf Coast. 

Recently, the lovely flowering Florida Anise was found on private lands in Putnam county near the Rice Creek Conservation Area (map).  Acting on a tip from FNPS President Susan Carr, Mark Whitten (Botanist with the UF Herbarium and FNPS member, Paynes Prairie Chapter) collected a specimen to document this significant disjunct population!   This just goes to show that there is a lot to learn about the distribution of our native plants!  Thanks Mark for documenting this range extension, and thanks to private landowners who love and care for their native plant habitats.  Maybe there are more Panhandle plants out there to find in North Central Florida! Florida Anise on the FNPS plant guide and in the USF Plant Atlas by Valerie Anderson

A Rare Plant Census Experience

by Mark Elliott, President, Paynes Prairie Chapter

On Tuesday October 30th, 2018 Charlie Pedersen, a Biologist with the Florida Forest Service (and Paynes Prairie Chapter member) led a group of intrepid botanists/biologists from multiple organizations including Santa Fe Audubon, Bok Tower Sanctuary and 2 additional members of Paynes Prairie chapter through the undergrowth of Etoniah Creek State Forest to count Etonia rosemary (Conradina etonia) plants. Etonia rosemary, endemic to Etoniah Creek white sand scrub1, wasn’t described until 1991. In the abstract of the paper2 first describing it, the authors (Kral and McCartney) stated that “C. etonia is a narrow endemic, that is on land that is presently being developed for residential use and that it therefore should receive high conservation priority.”

It is now on both State and Federal lists of endangered plants. Based on reports from Charlie Pedersen, these plants have been counted annually for about 18 years. In 2000, biologists cou…

What's up with land conservation in Florida and how does FNPS fit? Dr. Susan Carr answers. - Audio

by Valerie Anderson, staff

Check out our first trackConservation and the Role of the Florida Native Plant Society by President Susan Carr, PhD. Susan delivers a podcast-worthy speech to make sure you understand what happened to Florida Forever, what land trusts do, exactly, and what we're doing about rare plant habitat loss. Susan spoke at the Tarflower chapter meeting last night. Listen here!

I am collecting plenty of audio from plant rescues, chapter meetings, and member interviews. SoundCloud is perfect for periodically releasing quality audio - followers can subscribe to our channel, receiving notifications of new tracks via email, the SoundCloud app, and/or the web interface. I'll also tweet (@fl_native_plant) when I drop a new track.

Native Plant Art

by Valerie Anderson, staff

Florida native plants and ecosystems have long been appreciated and have been memorialized in media. Bartram's Travels document with words and in great detail the natural communities, flora, and fauna of Florida. The Highwaymen painted Florida's landscapes on found material and became legends in the process. Minna Fernald created beautiful watercolors of native plants around the time of WWII.

The native plant art scene is being reinvigorated. Longtime artists and FNPS members like Marjorie Shopshire and Cindy Liberton and photographers like Shirley Denton and Paul Rebmann are joined by Kara Driscoll and Mark Kateli. Kara is a fantastic artist, a hidden talent I wasn't aware of until Mark created the Florida Native Plant Art Group on Facebook.

UPDATE on Veggie Garden legislation

by Bonnie Basham, Sarracenia Chapter

Last week, the House Bill (HB 145 by Elizabeth Fetterhoff, Deland) passed its first committee of reference. The bill was amended with a new definition of vegetable garden: A vegetable garden will now be defined as “a plot of ground where herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables are cultivated for human ingestion.” The bill declares it “in the best interest of the state to encourage the development of the sustainable cultivation of fruits and vegetables at all levels of production including personal consumption.”
The bill forbids local governments from passing or enforcing, ordinances which regulate vegetable gardens on residential properties. The bill does allow local ordinances regulating things like water restrictions during droughts. Thus, a local zoning ordinance prohibiting vegetable gardens in the front yards of homeowners would be unenforceable if the bills become law. In addition, any existing ordinances or regulations which regulate vegetabl…