Showing posts from February, 2012

10 Ways to Observe National Invasive Species Awareness Week in Florida

February 26 – March 3, 2012
What is an “Invasive Species”?It isa non-native plant, animal, fungus or other organism whose arrival causes or is likely to cause economic harm, environmental harm, or harm to human health. These “invaders” are aggressive species which grow and reproduce rapidly, causing major problems to the new areas in which they thrive.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week includes activities, briefings, workshops and events across the United States. It is focused on creating solutions to address invasive species prevention, detection, monitoring, control, and management issues at local, state, tribal, regional, national and international scales. Check for more details and further developments!  

10 Ways to Observe NISAW in Florida
1.   Do Some Research: You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home. Get on the internet and find out what’s invasive in your area, region or state. Identify which species might be growing in your backyard or neigh…

NISAW: Acronyms & Activities in Florida

February 26 – March 3, 2012

Acronyms FISP: Florida Invasive Species Partnership, which has facilitated the formation of CISMA(s): Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area(s) throughout the stateCWMA: Cooperative Weed Management Area PRISM: Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management  Activities

1.North Central FL CISMA
Air Potato Round Up at Alligator Creek Sat, February 25, 2:00pm – 3:30pm Edwards Road Sports Complex, 930 Edwards Rd, Starke
2. Invasive Plant Removal Workday Sat, February 25 & Sun, March 11 from 9am –Noon Angus K. Gholson, Jr. Nature Park,  Chattahoochee
Meet at the parking lot off Morgan Avenue, behind the Women's Club. Bring work gloves, a hand weeder tool if you have one, water, wear sturdy shoes or boots, and dress in layers for any kind of weather.
Sponsored by the City of Chattahoochee and the FNPS Magnolia Chapter Contact LeighBrooks 850-663-4361 for information on volunteering
3.Treasure Coast CISMA NISAW event Tue, February 28, 8:30am – 3:00pm FP&L&#…

Plant Profile: Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)


 This post is one of a series from Botany professor Nisse Goldberg's students at Jacksonville University. Student authors: Krystal Dannenhoffer & Ashley Gustafson

“First year it sleeps, second it creeps, and then it leaps.” (FloridaGardner)

The coral honeysuckle is native to many parts of Florida and elsewhere in southeastern United States. It is widely planted and the vine grows best on trellises and fences and does well in slightly acidic soils and full sun.

Known for the bright, coral clusters of tubular flowers that bloom throughout the spring and summer, the coral honeysuckle is a definite eye-catcher. They attract all sorts of pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. During late summer and the beginning of fall, berries are produced and eaten by songbirds.

The coral honeysuckle is not a high-maintenance plant. In fact, it is tolerant of drought and does not attract pests. The vines can grow more than 20 feet and therefore, may require some pruning. It…

Plant Profile: Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans)

This post is one of a series from Botany professor Nisse Goldberg's students at Jacksonville University. Student authors: Shari Dillet, Devin Resko, Jonathan Kelly

Mangroves are found in Florida because of its sub-tropical environment. The humid, coastal regions of Florida offer ideal conditions for the black mangrove (Avicennia germinans). This particular tree can be seen along the intertidal salt marshes of St. Augustine down to the Keys. The increasing water temperatures of the Atlantic have contributed to the mangroves range expansion northward along the east coast of the U.S.

Avicennia germinans wood is a dark brown with square scales that aids in protection against harsh winds. Its leaves are 2-4 inches in length by 1 inch in width. The topside of the leaf is smooth and glossy while the bottom side is fuzzy. The black mangrove can grow up to 50 feet tall in Florida regions but that is rare. In Louisiana, the mangrove only reaches heights up to ten feet.

The black mang…

Darwin and Lincoln - Two Peas in a Pod?

Today in History by Laurie Sheldon

Both Charles Darwin and Abe Lincoln were born today, February 12, in 1809. Darwin's influence on the study of the natural world is widely known, but Lincoln's is not. Sure, he successfully led our country through Civil War, preserved the Union and ended slavery, but he also made a lasting impact on the green front. Here's how:
Justin Smith Morrill, a Congressional Representative from Vermont, was an outspoken advocate for the democratic ideal that a college education should be available, at low cost, to all who desired one. The issue was dear to his heart, having been the son of a blacksmith who had to go to work at 15 years old because his family did not have the means to provide him with a higher education. At any rate, Morrill proposed a plan that called for the establishment of state agricultural colleges through the use of federal land grants, and, although the plan had passed in both House and Senate by 1859, President Jam…

Valentines Gifting Made Easy

by Laurie Sheldon
Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching. While some people may consider it to be a trivial or sappy holiday, I believe that it’s the perfect opportunity to tell your loved ones that they are an important part of your life.
Although it’s fairly standard to give your sweetheart a bouquet of red roses or a fancy box of chocolate, the truth remains that neither one has a chance of lasting into March (unless your love is allergic to chocolate). Surely, you want to get the most bang for your buck, so to speak. Why not consider giving something that stands the test of time, and can be a continued reminder of your enduring affection? No - I'm not talking about jewelry or a Keurig! Think GREEN. Bring that special someone a native plant. It’s the gift that says, “I’m in it for the long haul,” and “I’m too thoughtful to give you something I grabbed at a 24-hour drug store.” Aside from making his/her heart beat a little faster, you’ll be keeping Florida’s air cleaner and you…

Trout Lilies Bloom Early

Can you imagine 10 acres of forest floor covered in Yellow-dimpled Trout Lilies (Erythronium umbilicatum)? It's a reality right now at the Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve, the 140 acre area that boasts the largest and most concentrated occurrence of these little yellow beauties in the U.S.. Although they normally do not flower until mid to late February, an unseasonably warm winter has coaxed them into an early display that is not to be missed. Among the other rare and interesting wildflowers on the site are thousands of deep maroon Spotted Trillium (Trillium maculatum).

If you can visit the Preserve, it is highly recommended that you do so within the next week, before the blooms begin declining. It will be open to the public Saturday and Sunday, February 11 & 12. If you wish to go on another day, however, the gate is kept closed, but not locked. Visitors should wear good shoes with treads, as the terrain is a sloped hardwood forest. Those with minor mobility problems should ca…

Saving Florida's Symbol: Take Care of Our Sabal Palm


It's not a well-known fact, but this most regal name for the Sabal palm (pronounced Sāʼbăl) (Sabal palmetto) originated with Native Americans, perhaps on seeing their first palm trees. With that being the case, it bodes for us to pay closer attention to the heritage of our state symbol.


These nobles began life in the Unite States in our southeastern region after having wandered north from the Caribbean area where they can thrive here today—with the proper care. They are also commonly called Cabbage, Palmetto or Hat palms, with 16 species spread across northeastern Mexico to Florida.

They find a comfortable habitat in open areas, where the dunes flow and flats tidal, savannas breeze, occasionally swamp shades and even—salt marshes!

How many of us know that the State of Florida has honored this tree by designating it as the official state tree—that happened in 1953—more than likely because it's all over the state. Then things finally came to a he…

Plant Profile: Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata)

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

If you have ever been to a sandy beach in the state of Florida then you have likely seen sea oats. This grass can grow up to 6 ft tall and the individual grass leaves can be as big as 2 ft long and 1 in wide. Like most grasses, the leaves are long and tapered.
These grasses are extraordinarily tough. Naturally growing in coastal dunes, they thrive in the hot sands, where the top layer can reach temperatures between 120⁰ and 127⁰ F. Unlike many other dune plants, sea oats are found along the dune crest and can tolerate daily exposure to sea spray. They even can withstand hurricane winds and periods of drought. The plant has a special relationship with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi. The fungi bind to the roots (in a positive way!) and thereby increase access to nutrients for a plant growing in such a challenging habita…