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Showing posts from September, 2016

October is Florida Native Plant Month, and a great time to buy natives…

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by Donna Bollenbach, Suncoast Chapter
Originally published in part in the Plant City Observer to promote Florida Native Plant Month and the Suncoast Native Plant Society Fall Plant Sale. 


 For the second year in a row, The Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners and the Mayor of Tampa have officially proclaimed October as “Florida Native Plant Month.” The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) chose the month of October because, while many states have stunning displays of spring flowers, Florida’s mild climate provides for a spectacular showcase of native flowers and grasses in the fall as well. Additionally, with a slight drop in the temperature, October is the month when many Floridians escape the confines of their air-conditioned home to visit our wonderful parks and preserves, or to work in their gardens.

October is also the month that the many chapters of the Florida Native Plant Societyholds native plant sales. The Suncoast Chapter (SNPS) in Hillsborough County holds their sale a…

All questions are good questions, but can you trust the answer you find on line?

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 by Amanda Martin, Tarflower Chapter

Where do I find reliable plant information online?

What a great question. When I start thinking about planting in my landscape, I think about foliage color, density, and overall growth shape of the plant. I think a lot about flowers; flower color, flower size, flower abundance, and what time of year can I expect these flowers to emerge? Is there anything attracted to the flower color, pollen or nectar? Is there a berry or larger fruit that will come after the flower is exhausted? Can I eat these berries or larger fruit? I always have many questions, so I try to read a lot.

Books, magazines, blogs, and databases are filled with so much useful information, and there are so many reliable sources for Florida gardeners and plant enthusiasts:

Of course,  our own FNPS website section on Native Plants for Your Areahas an excellent search engine that will easily find plants by common and scientific names. What I like about the search engine is the ease of findi…

Letting the Light In for Rare Plants!

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Submitted by Michael R. Jenkins, Magnolia Chapter. Plant Conservation Program Biologist, Florida Forest Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Sometimes sun-loving (usually pyrophytic) plant populations are in heavy competition with taller, woody plants and in need of help from an outsider. Here, someone with a pair of loppers, work clothes, water, and a few hours can really help. How about an 80% increase-in-stems kinda help? This situation was encountered where a nice population of White Birds-In-A-Nest (Macbridea alba) highly benefited from hand removing competing small trees and shrubs from around the plants, done to open up the habitat and to mimic fire (somewhat). This was done by one person working for just four hours. This person is the "fuel buster." 

This particular “White Birds” population covers about a quarter of an acre in a habitat classified by Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) 2010 Natural Community Guide as a Wet Prairie but wit…