The purpose of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) is to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida. This blog presents ideas and information to further the cause of Florida's native plants and ecosystems.
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The Garden Professors Define Terms--alien, native, invasive & more
Holly Scoggins, one of the garden professors posted an interesting piece on the defintions of terms including alien, exotic, invasive and aggressive. The discussion in the comments is also worthwhile.
Australian pines seem to be everywhere in the coastal regions in the bottom half of Florida. Their name is deceiving because, while they are native to Australia, they aren't pines or even conifers. They are flowering trees with separate male and female flowers, and what look like needles are really green twiglets with close-set circles of tiny leaves that drop at the first sign of a drought. In the photo to the right, the light-colored lines are where leaves where once attached. Most of the photosynthesis takes place in the twiglets.
There are three species of Australian pine (Casuarina spp) that have been imported into Florida for various purposes. They were widely planted to soak up the "swamps" in Florida, stabilize canals, and hold beaches. Unfortunately for Florida's ecosystems, the "pines" accomplished all this and more--like seeding prolifically, growing five feet or more per year, producing dense shade, and emitting an herbicide that kills most a…
by Eugene Kelly, Policy and Legislation Chair
Florida Native Plant Society
Have you heard about the “M-CORES Project”? If not, you may want to start paying attention because it will affect communities across much of Florida and will certainly impact native plants and native plant communities. Short for Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance, the project proposes to build more than 330 miles of new toll roads through huge swaths of rural land for the stated purpose of promoting economic development. The projects were proposed by the Florida Legislature and are not purported to meet any transportation need identified or vetted by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The Suncoast Connector would extend from the northern end of the existing Suncoast Parkway a distance of at least 160 miles to the Georgia border in Jefferson County. The Northern Turnpike Connector would extend about 30 miles, from the current northern terminus of the Turnpike to the Suncoast…
What would the Florida landscape be without our palm trees? Those gracefully curved trunks and topknots of fronds are mainstays of any tropical setting. While many palms serve as trees in the landscape, they are not true trees, botanically speaking, because they don't have a cambium layer under a coating of bark and cannot develop annual layers of wood like actual trees. Palms are monocots and are more like grasses. A cross-section of a palm shows a curly or random fibrous grain rather than annual rings. This arrangement of woody tissue is usually quite flexible, making palms an excellent choice for wind tolerant landscaping.
After a palm seed sprouts, the plant goes into the establishment phase for several years when it looks and behaves like a shrubby palmetto. This time is necessary for the development of its growing tip and for the establishment of the tree trunk's diameter prior to its vertical growth. Once its trunk is established, then the palm starts growing vertically…