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Showing posts from December, 2016

X Marks the Spot: The Search for the Celestial Lily

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submitted by Donna Bollenbach, Suncoast Chapter
(originally printed in The Grapevine, the Suncoast Chapter's  monthly newsletter)

The Map
Back in October, I ran into a friend at a native plant talk. He enthusiastically told me about a colony of Celestial Lilies, Nemastylis floridana, that were blooming in central Florida, and hastily drew me a map to locate the beautiful and endangered wildflowers. The map was very rough, so I tried to ask questions, but the talk we were both attending started, and I was left with this somewhat cryptic diagram. In any case, that weekend my husband, Bob, and I decided we were going to try find the spot, and invited a few unsuspecting friends for the hunt.

I first tried to see Celestial Lilies at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve. It was late fall, a little pass their peak blooming time, and all we found was one bud. With at least six pairs of eyes staring at it, it did not open. I should also say that Celestial Lilies are unusual in that they only open …

Personal Thoughts: Share the Earth

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submitted by Richard Brownscombe, Broward Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society

(Richard wrote this inspirational holiday appeal to help make Broward County a better place for all creatures, large and small. The same could be said for any county in Florida, or place in the world.)

The holidays engage us in the kind and generous inclinations of the human heart. We hear holiday stories of the world's needs and generous people doing something about it. In this era of climate change and species extinction, we think not only of other people, but the other species upon the earth. Some of the best we do for the environment and nature is in our home, yard, neighborhood, city, and our efforts in Broward County that celebrate nature and inspire us to create a sustainable community.

The paradigm for Broward should become sharing our land and resources, making space and leaving water for all the creatures great and small. As we set about evolving our homes and cities to be sustainable…

Wednesday’s Wildflower Sneak Peek Grass-of-Parnassus

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Grass-of-Parnassus or bog-stars,Parnassia grandifolia
Submitted by Roger Hammer
Grass-of-Parnassus or bog-stars (Parnassia grandifolia) is one of Florida’s prettiest wildflowers. The oval, somewhat succulent, shiny leaf blades measure 1½"–4" long with long petioles (leaf stems), and the flowers measure 1½" wide with intricate green, brown, or yellow venation on the petals. Look for it flowering along shaded stream banks and cypress bogs in Liberty, Franklin, Putnam, and Marion Counties. The plant photographed was blooming in the Apalachicola National Forest in November 2016 but its bloom season lasts through December.
Parnassia was named for Mount Parnassus in Greece and it is said that cattle grazing on the mountain relished eating the local Parnassia palustris, so the ancient Greeks made it an “honorary grass.” The name grandifolia relates to the large leaves compared to other species, which in no way resemble a grass. Some members of this genus live in arctic and alpin…

DON'T CUT DOWN THAT SNAG

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Submitted by Donna Bollenbach



The Wildlife Tree
SNAGS, often referred to as “The Wildlife Tree”, are dead tree trunks that are still standing.

They provide perches, food and nesting sites for birds and other wildlife. Wildlife also uses dead wood as landmarks for navigation, basking platforms, perching and nesting.








Cavity Dwellers Nearly 40 species of birds and several species mammals in Florida nest in tree cavities.Woodpeckers, are a “primary excavators.”

Owls, Blue-birds, Squirrels and Nuthatches are a few of the “secondary cavity users.”













Snags as Perches Many birds perch high on snags so they can spot prey below.

Some birds perch on snags for the greater visibility to a potential mate.












Snags as Cover
Birds and small mammals take shelter in the cavities of trees

Bees may also create hives in tree cavities.








Snags for Nesting Ospreys and eagles will build their nests in the tops of snags, especially if they are located close to a body of water that will provide them fish for their yo…