Written by Jackie Rolly and edited by Juliet Rynear
So why am I bringing this up? I have now volunteered to serve on the FNPS Conservation Committee and we are in the process of writing a draft policy on the Conservation and Preservation of Florida’s native plants and their communities. What’s so hard about this? We as members are sold on this. We hold native plant sales, provide tours of gardens planted with natives, we restore old orange groves to original habitats, take field trips, and on and on. We believe we are “talking the talk” and “walking the walk” on conservation and preservation. But are we?
|West Coast (above) and East Coast (below)|
Beach Dune Sunflower - similar, but different.
So, how do we come to terms with this dichotomy? Back to Russ Hoffman’s talk, how do we put this in a positive mode? Let’s address our sense of pride in our beautiful native plants, and actually adhere to our Society’s mission. We need to educate and make members aware of our responsibility, but also inject a “Sense and Pride of Place.” Let’s emphasize in talks to groups, members, and conferences, that we must be aware of the historical range of a plant and why that’s important. Let’s stop trying to make the whole State look the same. We have unique and beautiful plants, and when planted in the right place, i.e., their historical range and natural community, they thrive and we can tell when we have moved from north to south or east to west, thereby achieving a sense of place. More importantly, we preserve the unique genome of each plant rather than risking its loss.
|Although Lantana depressa may grow|
elsewhere, it is only endemic to Dade County
Sense of place image by Kim Seng
Helianthus images by Shirley Denton
Lantana image by Roger Hammer
Note: if you are unaware of the natural range of a given native plant, you may find that information on the FNPS website.
posted by Laurie Sheldon