Showing posts from November, 2012

Apply for Grants and Awards

Do you have a pet native plant project that needs recognition or some funds to get it off the ground? Now is the time to apply...
Native Plant grants FNPS is inviting researchers on Florida native plants to apply for small grants to support their research.  Research grant applications are granted on the basis of importance to the protection, preservation and restoration of Florida native plants and subject to funds availability.  The deadline for the 2013 grant cycle is March 1, 2013.  For more information on the grants and submittal process, please view and download the award application.  For examples of past grant recipients, please see:

Native Plant Conservation Grants
FNPS invites you to apply for a Florida Native Plant Conservation Grant. When funding is available, grants will be awarded to applied plant conservation projects that will promote the preservation, conservation, restoration, and/or protection of Florida’s rare or imperiled native p…

Plant Profile: Populus deltoides, Eastern Cottonwood

By Jeffrey Petterson and Ashley Knight

This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Plant Taxonomy students at Jacksonville University.

Family: Salicaceae (Willow)

Populus deltoides (figure 1) is a North American hardwood tree. It is usually found by rivers or mud-banks and in canyons or valleys. They specifically like the swamps of Florida’s panhandle.

Cottonwood bark is yellow green in the adolescent stage and gray when mature. The alternating leaves are large and triangular with toothed edges (figure 2). The tree is dioecious or having male flowers on separate trees from those that have female flowers. The flowers bloom in the spring with purple male catkins and green female catkins. The ‘male’ cottonwood produces pollen, which is carried by the wind to fertilize the ‘female’ cottonwood. The ‘female’ trees have a cottony seed inside the capsule that matures in summer. These seeds create cotton- like clouds that are helpful for wind-disper…

A Post-Thanksgiving Post

By Laurie Sheldon

I’m a firm believer in themes - both as literary devices and design tools. Themes provide one’s ideas with structure and organization, and assist in the creation of meaning, whether expressed linguistically or artistically. That said, when I realized that this blog was to be posted on Thanksgiving, I felt the need to write something relative to the holiday - a thematic piece. Naturally, I put way too much time into finding a topic that could be both compelling and informative.


First I considered exploring the connection between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans as a means of transitioning into some deeper statement about natives in general. A day of research later and I tossed that idea out the window. Truth be known, the REAL Thanksgiving story isn’t half as lighthearted as the one we’re taught in grade school, and, quite frankly, I’d rather not be “Debbie Downer” on a national holiday.

The advice I was given as a design student - “K.I.S.S.” (keep i…

Shoreline Restoration and Habitat Creation in Palm Beach County

The Snook Island project, a public/private restoration in Palm Beach County, was dedicated on November 2, 2012.  This project includes, planting mangroves, spartina grass, and other native plants on the shoreline and on islands and jetties built with rubble from the old drawbridge here. Some of it had been left in place after the new bridge was built and had been used for many years as a fishing pier, but it had become unsafe. So instead of transporting the spoils to a landfill, the cement blocks were used to create the substrate for the plantings and as an artificial reef for the new fishing pier. Other niceties included here are the benches, a boardwalk along the mangroves for the birdwatchers, a launch platform for kayaks and canoes, water taxi docking stations, and reconfigured parking for the trailers. So now instead of a rotting cement bridge and an eroding shoreline of the public golf course, the local residents have a beautiful recreational resource and cleaner water in the La…

Plant Profile: White Mangrove, Laguncularia racemosa

By Kelsey Cooper, Rebecah Horowitz, and Katie Kara

This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Botany students at Jacksonville University.

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales
Family: Combretaceae
Genus: Laguncularia Specific epithet: racemosa

Laguncularia racemosa, or white mangrove, is a sprawling, woody shrub found in coastal habitats along West Africa, Northern South America, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, and Florida. It can grow to be approximately 40 feet in height. In Florida, it is known to occur along the coast from Volusia County, around the southern tip of the state and northward on the Gulf side to Levy County. Laguncularia is a monotypic genus.

White mangroves' paddle-like leaves are oppositely arranged along the stem (figure 2). They have extra-floral nectaries -  glands at the leaf base that produce a sugary substance that wasps and ants like to eat. In turn, it is believed that these in…

Veterans Day, Flowers, and Inspiration

By Laurie Sheldon

The Eleventh Hour
A popular expression to indicate something done at the last minute (like when I wrote this blog), the root of this phrase dates back to November 11, 1918, when an armistice (an agreement to cease hostilities) between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, signifying the end of "the war to end all wars" - World War I. One year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the date as "Armistice Day", a day of parades, pride in our country's heroic servicemen, gratitude for its victory, and silent reflection at 11am. In 1938 it became a legal holiday, and in 1954 it was re-named "Veterans Day" to extend the holiday's respect to those who served in World War 2. Members of the British Commonwealth of Nationsnow refer to the date as "Rememberance Day," and both France and Serbia continue to observe the date as it was originally named.

A …

Family Profile: The Fagaceae

By Romina Delfino and Ann-Marie Connolly

This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Plant Taxonomy students at Jacksonville University. FNPS blogger Laurie Sheldon assisted the students with their initial drafts, providing suggestions for editing and content development.

Leaves: Alternate and can be lobed, serrate to entire
Flowers: Unisexual or monoecious with male or staminate flowers and female or carpellate flowers associated with a cupule
Fruit: Nut associated with cupule (e.g. acorns and chestnuts)

The family Fagaceae is also referred to as the Beech family, and includes beeches (Fagus), oaks (Quercus), and chestnuts (Castanea). Pollination occurs primarily by wind, but insects such as beetles and bees pollinate Castanea spp. Birds and mammals eat the nuts, as well as humans! For example, roasted chestnuts (yes, like the Christmas song) are delicious. Sadly, an actinomycete fungus commonly known as “chestnut blight” decimated many pop…