Showing posts from March, 2017

Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum

Submitted by Tom Palmer, Hernando Chapter. Edited by Valerie Anderson

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) emerges in floodplain forests in most of Florida at the beginning of spring. The plant’s Latin name refers to its three prominent leaves that spread above the spathe that is the “pulpit” from which the common name (also known as Parson-in-the-Pulpit) derives.
The spathe ranges from green to purple. The plant also includes a cluster of red berries that ripen later in the year. This plant is widespread, growing all over the Eastern United States and as far north as Nova Scotia. However the plant is not uniformly distributed and sometimes may be absent or infrequent in suitable habitat.
Arisaema triphyllum was once divided into two species (A. triphyllum and A. acuminatum) based on morphological differences described by Small and others. It was originally described as Arum triphyllum in 1753. Another common name is Indian turnip. The plant can be eaten as a root vegetable if i…

Reasons to Register NOW for the FNPS Conference

Submitted by Donna Bollenbach

Registration is now open for the 2017 FNPS Conference. If you know you’re going, you should register early. If you’re undecided, I'm going to try to persuade you! Consider this a sneak preview of what’s in store for you….
Reason #1: There’s Nothing Like It

Florida Native Plant Society President, Catherine Bowman sums it up: There is nothing like it:  You will be in a place of awe inspiring, thought provoking, energizing beauty in the heart of Florida.  The Kissimmee River and Everglades Restoration Areas will extend before you to the south, as the headwaters of the St. Johns River, with its restoration projects and recreational opportunities, flow to the north.  River Ranch, once a cattle trail stop, then a dude ranch, is now a comfortable resort in this rustic, history-rich part of Florida. From River Ranch, the Florida Trail will take you down to KICCO (for Kissimmee Island Cattle Company), now a ghost town with just a few sidewalks but lots of stories…

Wednesday's Wildflower: Venus Looking-Glass

Triodanis perfoliata  Bellflower Family (Campanulaceae)
Photo and text submitted by Roger L. Hammer, Dade Chapter

Venus’ looking-glass is a native herbaceous annual with hairy, ribbed stems and ovate to elliptic, alternate, clasping leaves that reach about ⅜"–¾" long. The axillary, sessile, 5-lobed flowers measure about ⅜" across. 
Look for this species from February into May, mostly along roadsides and other disturbed sites through the Florida panhandle, across the northern peninsula, and south in the peninsula to Pinellas, Hillsborough, Hardee, Polk, Osceola, and Volusia counties. Globally it ranges from Argentina northward throughout the United States into British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.
Native Americans made a tea of the roots and leaves to help relieve indigestion and also “to make one sick all day” as a treatment for overeating. The leaves were also smoked during ceremonies.   Triodanis means “three-toothed” and possibly relates to the 3 calyx lobes on some flowe…

Wednesday's Wildflower: Florida Greeneyes

Berlandiera subacaulis
Submitted by Jean Evoy, a 30-year veteran of FNPS. She has been active in several chapters including Miami-Dade, Serenoa, and Mangrove.

There are a lot of plants that say “spring”, but one of my favorites is the endemic Florida Greeneyes, Berlandiera subacaulis, named for Jean-Louis Berlandier, a Swiss Physician who collected plants in the early 1800s.

This drought tolerant plant grows throughout most of the Florida peninsula in sandhills, dry flatwoods, and disturbed sites in acid to neutral sandy or loamy soils.  The related Soft Greeneyes, Berlandiera pumila, grows in  the Florida panhandle and south to Marion and Volusia Counties.

Greeneyes flowers are a common sight along roadsides in central Florida. This short-lived perennial can be grown from root division or seeds that are quite easy to collect.  You may also find plants at native plant sales or nurseries.

Greeneyes plants have a deep taproot and hairy stems that may grow up to 20 inches tall.  The bas…
Why Sponsor the  Florida Native Plant Society Conference?
Submitted by Andy Taylor FNPS Development Director
It is almost time for the 37th annual FNPS conference! You may have been asked to be a sponsor of the conference, but why? What are the benefits for the sponsor?

First, the FNPS annual conference is a premier event on the calendar for Florida’s conservation and environmental community.  People from all walks of life will be in attendance, from homeowners and scientists, to government agencies and environmental professionals to other not for profit organizations. As sponsor you will be connected to a statewide network of environmental advocates. 

This year's conference is being held in the heart of Florida, and central to the largest river restoration project in the world! Our speakers are renowned leaders in the environmental community, both nationally and internationally.

The Florida Native Plant Society is acknowledged by like-minded environmental groups to be a highly …

Wednesday’s Wildflower: American White Water Lily

Nymphaea odorata Submitted by Lynn Sweetay, Palm Beach Chapter

One of my very favorite wild flowers is Nymphaea odorata, commonly known as the American White Water Lily.  As the name suggests this is a floating aquatic plant (Nymphaea = water sprite; odorata =fragrance) with large, fragrant, white or pink flowers and flat, round, floating leaves. 
The leaves are bright green above and purplish beneath.  It is native to Eastern North America from Florida to Canada.  It can be found in still shallow water (5-7 ft deep) with mucky bottoms.
The flowers open in the morning and remain open until around noon.  There is one flower to a stem, each flower is 2 to 6 inches wide with many rows of white petals.  Petals are ¾ to 4 inches long and pointed at the tip. There can be more than 25 petals to one flower!

The abundant pollen of the flowers attracts small bees (mainly Halictid), various flies, and beetles Turtles also feed on the leaves, petioles, and fruits/seeds of water lilies, as well as…

Wednesday's Wildflower: Blackberries

Native Blackberries, Rubus spp.  Submitted by Tom Palmer, Hernando Chapter

The lovely white blooms of Florida’s various species of native blackberries (Rubus sp.) in late winter and early spring offer plenty of food for wildlife ranging from Florida black bears to songbirds in late spring.
The flowers attract bees and other pollinators.
Blackberries are common in dense thorny patches along roadsides and in natural areas throughout north and central Florida. The fruit is composed of drupelets that vary in the sizes of the drupelets and the size of the fruits. Although fruiting in central Florida typically occurs in late May or early June, I have observed some fruiting as early as late March.

For people, the flowers offer the promise of cobblers and pies at Fourth of July picnics.
Any blackberries you harvest can be eaten fresh or frozen for later use in pies or cobblers and processed to make jams or jellies.
Here’s a recipe for blackberry cobbler from Farm Journal’s Pie Cookbook.  Put …