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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Eco Explorers - Kids Welcome!
We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging to let you know what great programs your kids can enjoy when you attend the FNPS Conference in May. Children 5-14 will be eligible for a wide variety of experiential and entertaining learning opportunities, conducted by educators who will share their own passion for the natural world.
Join the fun for one or two days of eco-fun as we learn about plants, animals, nature, Florida ecology and MORE!
MeetSwamp Girl and a few of her reptilian friends as she shares her adventures rescuing and releasing Florida’s animals.
Take a field trip to the nearby Audubon Center for Birds of Prey. Meet Toni the Eastern Screech Owl, Trouble the Bald Eagle and and other rescued and rehabilitated raptors and learn about their journey to and at the Center from the experts
Learn about waste — how we produce it and how you can reduce it — with Keep Orlando Beautiful.
Ever wonder what cattail tastes like? Or if beautyberries are as sweet as they look? See, touch and taste some of Florida’s incredible edible plants with Peg Lantz, author of The Young Naturalist’s Guide to Florida and Florida’s Incredible Wild Edibles.
Find out where the rain goes as we follow stormwater runoff through an interactive model of the Floridan aquifer.
Explore and experience native plants, animals and ecosystems through hands on activities and games including:
nature scavenger hunt,
making seed balls
role-playing and MORE!
The program runs on Friday and Saturday and includes both classroom and field trip experiences. You can download a complete brochure from the conference page, by clicking on Youth on the left hand side.
So you can bring the kids and everyone will have something meaningful to share on the trip home!
Austrailian Pine fruits 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
by Bob Silverman Blanketflower, Galliardia pulchella You don’t have to travel far to see one of the hundreds of native flowers that make Florida stand out. They’re nature’s roadside attractions, and many can make for colorful additions to your yard. Consider these natural wonders: Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana - this shrub dazzles with its clumps of purple fruit that will draw birds to your yard. Black-eyed Susans, Rudbeckia spp. - with a brown center surrounded by petals of yellow, golden, orange, or red petals, is perfect for attracting butterflies to your garden. Firebush, Hamelia patens var. patens - with its bright red flowers, can serve as a beacon for hummingbirds, butterflies, and songbirds (which like to feed on its berries). Tickseed, Coreopsis spp. - our state wildflower, sometimes called Coreopsis, comes in 12 species native to Florida. You’ll find all of them in the northern part of the state, but South Florida is limited to Leavenworth’s tickseed, Co
Man-in-the-ground ( Ipomoea microdactyla ), fantastically beautiful morning glory for southernmost Florida. A post by Roger L. Hammer Most everyone is familiar with morning-glories in the genus Ipomoea, and certainly everyone reading this has even eaten Ipomoea batatas, the common sweet potato. The Morning-Glory Family (Convolvulaceae) is well-represented in Florida, with 67 species in fourteen genera. Of those, twenty-four species are naturalized exotics, and four species are endemic to Florida, found nowhere else. The genus Ipomoea is the largest in the family, with twenty-five species and one naturally-occurring hybrid of two native species. Exactly half of the species (13) in Florida are native. Only two species are rare enough to be listed as endangered by the state of Florida, and these are the rockland morning-glory ( Ipomoea tenuissima ) and man-in-the-ground ( Ipomoea microdactyla ). Both are on the northern extreme of their natural range in Florida, and both are re