FNPS comments on Gadsden County proposed land use change in Rhododendron chapmanii protection zone

FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY PO Box 278 Melbourne, FL 32902-0278 July 10, 2024 Gadsen County Planning Commission 9 East Jefferson Street Quincy, Florida 32353-1799 Subject: Mainline Contracting Small Scale Future Land Use Map Amendment (SSPA 2023-02) and Likelihood of Impacts to Chapman’s Rhododendron Dear Gadsden County Planning Commission: The Florida Native Plant Society is committed to the conservation of Florida’s native plants and native plant communities. The proposal to allow mining on the Mainline Contracting parcel may pose a very serious threat to one of Florida’s most imperiled and distinctive native plant species. Chapman’s Rhododendron (Rhododendron minus var. chapmanii) is listed as Endangered by both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Department of Agriculture due to its dire level of imperilment, which is partly a function of its extremely narrow geographic range. The proposed change to Gadsden County’s Future Land Use Map would allow sand mining

[Job Opening] Executive Director

The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) seeks an experienced and passionate Executive Director to lead the organization in its mission to preserve and promote the native plants of Florida. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated track record of successful leadership in the nonprofit sector and a strong commitment to environmental conservation. Application deadline is July 15th, 2024. The Florida Native Plant Society is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. A detailed job description and application instructions can be here: Apply for Executive Director Position

2024 FNPS Annual Meeting

The Florida Native Plant Society holds a members meeting once a year. All FNPS members are invited to participate. We will provide a "year in review" and announce grant awards, Palmetto Awards for members and then we will vote on new officers and directors. This year's meeting is July 20th, 9am Eastern. Registration for the meeting is here . Agenda Welcome & Opening Statements - Mark Kateli Welcoming Cherice Smithers, Operations Manager - Valerie Anderson Interim Executive Director Statement - Lynda Davis Council of Chapters Report - Melanie Simon Policy & Legislation Committee Report - Gene Kelly & Travis Moore Conservation Committee Report - John Benton & Lilly Anderson-Messec Science Committee Report - Paul Schmalzer Finance/Treasury Report - Ann Redmond & Chris Moran Communications Committee Report - Shirley Denton Landscaping Committee Report - Natalia Manrique & Charles LaGreca Conference Committee Report - Athena Philips Awards - Mark Kateli

Why Become An FNPS Member?

Join A Community of Native Plant Nerds! Join your local chapter to learn about Florida native plants and ecosystems in monthly meetings, and get hands-on experience with local field trips, hikes, plant sales, plant rescues, and more.  We have 33 chapters across the state - find one closest to you: Help Florida’s ecosystems by volunteering for local and statewide science and conservation projects organized through FNPS. Learn about Plants, Ecology and Conservation! Enjoy our quarterly magazine, the Palmetto, filled with in-depth articles on native plants, gardening, conservation of native habitats, and rare native plants. Our bi-monthly newsletter, the Sabal minor, will help you stay up to date on FNPS news and activities. Watch our Friday Lunch and Learn livestreams on Florida native plant topics. Our Social Media provides a constant stream of education about native plants and ecology. Learn about local conservation and policy issues and take col

Florida Native Plant Society Position on Monarchs and Milkweeds

This policy statement was prepared by the Florida Native Plant Society's Science Committee and is endorsed by the Florida Wildflower Foundation and the Florida Association of Native Nurseries. The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) supports the conservation of native plants and native plant communities. FNPS makes decisions and policy recommendations on the best available scientific information. Recommendations may change with time and circumstances as new information becomes available. Native insects, including pollinators, are critical components of native ecosystems. It is widely recognized that insect populations are in decline. The monarch butterfly ( Danaus plexippus ) is a charismatic insect, whose unique migration attracts much attention. Recently, a controversy regarding monarch butterflies and milkweeds in Florida has raised concerns. Claims that native milkweeds planted in yards and gardens or even those growing in natural areas are damaging to monarch populations are n

๐ŸŒฟ Endangered Scrub Mints: Unveiling Florida's Hidden Treasures ๐ŸŒฟ

Photo of Blushing Scrub Balm / Dicerandra modesta by Valerie Anderson. Meet the scrub mints, some of Florida's most endangered plants. With over half of the 24 known species facing threats of endangerment at state or federal levels, these botanical wonders are struggling to survive amidst climate change, rapid human development, and agricultural expansion. In a groundbreaking study with funding assistance from FNPS, researcher Andre Naranjo and colleagues analysis of a distinct DNA marker suggests that some species, like the Titusville balm, may have been overlooked for federal protection due to taxonomic technicalities. Scrutinizing the evolutionary history of scrub mints, Naranjo and his team unveil a story of resilience amidst tumultuous environmental changes. Originating during the Pliocene era, these plants moved into the southern Florida peninsula as the land emerged from the sea. Yet, their existence is now imperiled by modern threats including development, climate change, a

Study Names Three New Species of Lupines in Florida

A newly published study of lupines in Florida names three new species, all of which are endemic. The rigorous, exhaustive study also raises the rank of one species variation to the species level, a move that may help conservation efforts to protect the species. Authors Edwin Bridges and Steve Orzell focused on the unifoliate group of the genus Lupinus in Florida for their study published in Phytoneuron . (Unifoliate species have a type of compound leaf that consists of a single leaflet.) This unifoliate-leaved group is also known to be a clade, meaning its members share a common ancestor. Bridges and Orzell obtained DNA sequencing data of the unifoliate Florida clade of Lupinus using RADseq, short for restriction-site DNA sequencing. RADseq is a relatively new, cost-effective technology that allows for comparisons of populations at the genetic level. The researchers combined their genetic data with morphologic, geographic and ecologic data — an approach known as “integrative taxonomy”