The purpose of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) is to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida. This blog presents ideas and information to further the cause of Florida's native plants and ecosystems.
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Conference coverage: Friday evening at Tall Timbers Research Station
Tall Timbers Research Station was originally Henry L. Beadel's quail-hunting plantation. Beadel had no heirs, so in 1958, Tall Timbers Research Station was established. In 1990, the Red Hills Conservation Association was formed as a program of Tall Timbers to conserve working lands that are used for forestry, agricultural, and recreational hunting. It focused its conservation efforts in the Red Hills Region located between Tallahassee, Florida and Thomasville, Georgia. http://www.talltimbers.org/.
The 30-year FNPS members gathered for a photo shoot. Is it a coincidence that this weekend was also the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man? I think not.
Banquet tables, decorated with copies of herbarium specimens, were set out under a spreading live oak tree. The food was great and the company was fabulous. There were two plant identification contests, an easy one and a more difficult one. We found out the next day that the winner of the more difficult contest guessed only about 50% correctly. Now that's hard, considering this group!
The Weeds provided great rock and roll. There was lots of dancing. The Weeds started playing together in 2000 after many informal sessions at the annual meetings of The Exotic Pest Plant Council. See this document for more information on who they are and what daytime jobs they hold.
And while not officially part of this conference, click here for coverage of the first ever Summit of Southeastern Native Plant Societies
Other Names: Dwarf Mulberry, Beautybush, Filigree, French Mulberry, Beautyberry
Introduction: Purple berries clinging around stems with bright green foliage make Callicarpa americana stand out from late summer to winter. It is easy to see how beautyberry got its common name. Don’t let its looks fool you though; Callicarpa is more than just eye candy. Callicarpa americana is useful medicinally and as food for wildlife and people. American Beautyberry is not fussy about location, soil or light requirements. This tough plant is an American Beauty in every sense of the word. Its name comes from Greek: Kalli, means beautiful; Karpos means fruit.
Historic Medicinal Uses:
Native Americans had many uses for beautberry, both internally and externally. According to Taylor (1940), Native Americans used beautyberry externally as a steam and topical application. All parts of the pla…
Australian pines seem to be everywhere in the coastal regions in the bottom half of Florida. Their name is deceiving because, while they are native to Australia, they aren't pines or even conifers. They are flowering trees with separate male and female flowers, and what look like needles are really green twiglets with close-set circles of tiny leaves that drop at the first sign of a drought. In the photo to the right, the light-colored lines are where leaves where once attached. Most of the photosynthesis takes place in the twiglets.
There are three species of Australian pine (Casuarina spp) that have been imported into Florida for various purposes. They were widely planted to soak up the "swamps" in Florida, stabilize canals, and hold beaches. Unfortunately for Florida's ecosystems, the "pines" accomplished all this and more--like seeding prolifically, growing five feet or more per year, producing dense shade, and emitting an herbicide that kills most a…
These perky natives have numerous and endearing charms. Authors and growers disagree about the proper Latin name, but they are in complete agreement that more people should use more coonties in their landscapes.
What's to like?
Coonties are spritely and graceful in their form, tough as the dickens, bright green all year, and host plant for the beautiful blue atala
hairstreak butterfly. In fact, coonties are the only larval food for atalas. You can use them as specimen or accent plants, mass them together for ground cover, or use them in a line as a border. And to top that off, they have an interesting sex life. A subject we hardly ever get to talk about around here. More on that later. See more in Roger Hammer's 1995 Palmetto article, The Coontie and the Atala Hairstreak.
Slow growers, coonties are more expensive to buy than some other natives by relative size, but don't let that put you off. They are well worth the investment. They can be planted in full sun or fairly …