Showing posts from November, 2011

The Green Swamp - Should Hunting Be Allowed Here?

Editor's note: Thanks to the dedicated and ongoing efforts of people like Lorraine, the Hampton Tract is currently being recommended for no expanded hunting. However, there is one more public meeting where comments will be heard on Hampton and three other tracts. This post is a tribute to the fact that your voice counts. The following two links will take you to the SWFWMD's page on the hunting evaluation process and the specifics for the next meeting:

The next meeting is set for December 5th:

The Green Swamp, a huge Southwest Florida Water Management District property holding purchased over time for aquifer recharge and conservation is probably the second most important property collection in the state after the Everglades.  The Hampton tract is one of the newer acquisitions, not many of you know it, but my husband Don and I got to know a bit of it and to experience th…

Reflections on the "Real Florida"

A letter from Steve Woodmansee, FNPS president

FNPS members recently received my letter describing childhood adventures in South Florida's outdoors – memorable experiences made possible thanks to preserved lands and my parents' initiative. I dug up some photos of these family trips to share with you. The quality of these photos is not the greatest - they were scanned from prints - but many readers probably have photos like these (maybe even older!) and can relate to a time without cell phones, the Internet or cable television.

At this time of year, we are grateful for our families, and also organizations like FNPS, which works every day, through grassroots volunteer members, to preserve, conserve and restore the native plants and native plant communities of Florida. As I said in my letter, my childhood experiences led me to being part of FNPS, because I believed in the mission before I even knew there was an FNPS.

You know FNPS, our mission and the many great things we do, de…

Plant Profile: The Sensitive Fern-Bead Fern

This post is one of a series from Botany professor Nisse Goldberg's students at Jacksonville University. Student authors: Jennifer Hoffman and Marie Chrest

Common name: Sensitive Fern- Bead Fern
Scientific name: Onoclea sensibilis
Classification:  Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom:  Tracheobionta
Division:  Pteridophyta
Class:  Filicopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus: Onoclea L.
Species: Onoclea sensibilis L.

Onoclea sensibilis’s name is derived from the Greek root words “ono,” meaning “vessel” and “kleio” denoting “to close,” referring to the ferns reproductive gametes present in the sealed vessel-like beaded pinnacles (Figure 1). The second half of the ferns name sensibilis which is Latin for “sensitive,” is from the plants vulnerability to quickly wither and die at the first sight of frost in the winter. Onoclea sensibilis is found in the southern states of the US such as Florida. The fern is typically associated with swamps, marshes, floodplains, and dit…

Fragrant Ladies’-Tresses

 A post by Roger L. Hammer

There are eighteen species of Spiranthes native to Florida, along with two varieties of one species, and three intergeneric, naturally-occurring hybrids involving five different species. All are known as ladies’-tresses because of the spiraling habit of the flowers up the stem, which superficially resembles braided hair.

One of my favorite members of this genus is the fragrant ladies’-tresses (Spiranthes odorata) and this past Wednesday (11/16) I encountered a flowering colony of them in the flooded prairies of Everglades National Park, where I’ve seen them each Fall over the past two decades. The species name, odorata, refers to the intensely fragrant flowers, so it’s very worthwhile to get your feet wet to get a whiff of the perfume that emanates from the flowers. It’s quite intoxicating.

Although very localized, this native orchid is frequent throughout much of Florida, except the Florida Keys. Look for it in wet prairies, along river banks, edges of p…

Searching for Florida's Indian Pipes


John Freudenstein and Mike Broe from the Ohio State University Herbarium asked us to pass along this research request:

We will be visiting Florida in mid-December on a plant collecting fieldtrip. We are specifically looking for Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora), the white form and particularly the pink to dark-pink forms. This research is part of a worldwide study on the monotropoid group of plants. If any of your members could supply information on locations where we might find these we would be most grateful! We have found that local knowledge can be crucial to successfully locating monotropoids. You can contact us at

Indian pipes and their close relatives (pinesap, pinedrops, pigmypipes, etc.) are fascinating because they completely lack chlorophyll: this means they depend on other plants for food. It used to be thought that they were parasites, but in fact they are part of a three-way symbiosis: an underground fungus forms a bridge between the roots of the In…

Enticing new members with dinosaurs and smiles

The Naples FNPS Chapter knows how to attract new members! This account is by Karyn Allman, membership chair, and Philip Tadman, The Coontie Man.

Last year the Naples Chapter, with the gracious help of native plant grower and FNPS member Philip Tadman, gave away small nursery trays with 11 native seedlings as an incentive to join the plant society at an Earth Day festival. During the event, we gained three new members, and all three greatly enjoyed their new native plants.

As the new 2011-2012 season of the Naples Chapter rolled into action in September, so did Philip. This time around, Phillip had the help of Mr. K.C. Klein from Duck Lake Trees and Shrubs, and they were able to gather twenty-five 3-gallon Zamia pumila (coontie) and have them ready for the two day Collier County Yard and Garden show in Immokalee in October. Prior to the event, Harriet Heithaus of the Naples Daily News interviewed Philip and placed an informative article in the local newspaper. The article not only let…

An Eco-tour of an Estuary on Sept 24th (Estuary Day)

To FNPS blog readers: from Joan Bausch (Cocoplum member, and the Native Plant Detective)

Hoorahs and congratulations are in order for/to Mark Wheeler and the PawPaw Chapter for offering an eco-tour (Sept 24) to see and learn about the Salt Marsh Restoration/Reclamation Project at Gamble Rogers State Recreation Area (Flagler County) and the North Peninsula State Park (Volusia County).

Wheeler coordinated with Barbara Roberts, park manager, and Paul Haydt, St. Johns River Water Management District, the project coordinator, to pull off a great morning-- even keeping the 60% chance of thunderstorms away!

Over forty people from as far away as Jacksonville (Ixia) and Martin County (Cocoplum) responded, filling the pontoon boat run by the International Marine Ecological Research Solutions. What a great vessel, perfect for looking, learning and keeping the sun off our heads. Paul Haydt explained the work of reclamation and restoration and then we saw it for ourselves.

The Work (in really bri…