Showing posts from August, 2012

Hashing it out, Brady style

by Laurie Sheldon

If you've been reading our blog or following us on Facebook, you are probably aware of what I can only think to describe as either the Battle of the Blogs or Blogominoes. One blog fueled another, and another - from Washington to Michigan to Florida - and the dirty gardeners' fingernails came out... onto the keyboard.

No eyes were scratched out, and no one wore tights like a wrestler (that I know of), but the virtual tension was palpable, and the cross-blog commentary stunk like Black Cow. Rather than re-setting the scene, you can catch up to speed by checking out Taryn Evans' blog. Jeff Gillman (a Minnesota-based contributor to the "Garden Professors" blog) graciously responded to Taryn's post by inviting us to a video-conference using Google+ technology. This morning at 11:20 Eastern, 10:20 Central, 9:20 Mountain and 8:20 Pacific, a group of nine suprisingly sane people gave their typing skills a rest and discussed government requirements …

Plant Profile: Yellow or Orange Fringed Orchid, Platanthera ciliaris

By Tyra Davis
This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Botany students at Jacksonville University.
Classification Kingdom: Plantae Division: Magnoliophyta Class: Liliopside Order: Orchidales Family: Orchidaceae Genus:Platanthera Specific epithet:ciliaris
Description Florida is known for beautiful beaches and theme parks but the “Sunshine State” is also home to the native and endangered Platanthera ciliaris! Of the other 9 native Platanthera species, 5 are listed by the state as endangered or threatened.
Commonly known as the yellow or orange fringed orchid, it is easy to see how P. ciliaris got its common name. As for its botanical name, consider that the margin of the flower's labellum looks as though it has fine whiskers or cilia - hair-like projections (figure 2). This terrestrial orchid is not one to hide; when in bloom it can reach up to 3 feet tall (figure 1).
The orange fringed orchid is mainly pollinated by butterflies. They stick their ‘tongue’ or proboscis…

Are Natives the Answer? Professor Cregg, Why Are You Asking?

Introduction by Laurie Sheldon
Article by Taryn Evans


The Seattle Department of Planning and Development is focused on long-term green priorities (water and material conservation, sustainable transportation and healthy landscapes) and working on a draft of some new "Green Code Provisions." These provisions were presented to the public on August 13, 2012. Comments and questions were encouraged.

The "Healthy Landscapes" component of the "Green Code Provisions" outlines the following initiatives:
Invasive Species and Native Vegetation (Regional Plan)
Who it Applies To: All new vegetated landscapes, or those being replaced
• Existing invasive plant species shall be removed and no invasive species planted.
• 75% of all new plantings will be native to Western Washington.
• A vegetation plan must be submitted for review.
• Existing native plant species shall be protected whenever possible.
Code Impacted: Code appropriate to jurisdiction…

Family Profile: The Orchidaceae

By Kellie Glover & Virginia Iwinski

This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Plant Taxonomy students at Jacksonville University. FNPS blogger Laurie Sheldon assisted the students with their initial drafts, providing suggestions for editing and content development.

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Orchidales
Family: Orchidaceae

Leaf: alternate, spiral or 2-ranked, simple, and are often plicate, basal, or along the stem
Flower: bisexual, bilateral with tepals forming a lip or labellum
Fruit: capsule

The orchid family, Orchidaceae, is one of the largest flowering plant families in the world.   It is so large that there are actually more orchid species than twice the number of bird species! In Florida, we are lucky to have so many 109 native species, varieties, and hybrids. Unfortunately, 56 of those species are listed as endangered in Florida. The state also has 13 non-native species.


FNPS Ixia Chapter Project: Native Park Restoration

The City of Jacksonville’s Native Park, located at 3312 Park Street in the Riverside Avondale Historic District, was established by the Avondale Garden Circle in 1923. The purpose was to increase public awareness of plants indigenous to north Florida and demonstrate that, while exotic species often died during adversity, the Park’s native plants prospered with little care through drought, freeze, and hurricane.

During the nearly 90 years that have passed since that time, the Park became a tangle of invasive exotics and overly vigorous natives. Native Park was adopted in 2010 by the Ixia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society as part of the City's Friends of the Park program to carry out the Park's original purpose and to advance the mission of the Florida Native Plant Society.


After many Saturday mornings spent digging up vast amounts of invasive and other non-desirable plants, Chapter members and other volunteers have planted 138 native species to add to the 37…

Wildflower Profile: Narrowleaf Silkgrass

Pityopsis graminifolia
By Steven W. Woodmansee, FNPS President

Narrowleaf silkgrass is a showy perennial wildflower, a native throughout all of Florida, and a must for any wildflower connoisseur. It is found in mesic (intermediate between wet and dry) to xeric (dry) pineland and prairie habitats. As a result, it tolerates drought fairly well once established. It is a member of the Sunflower Family (Asteraceae), and is a great attractor for pollinators. Its stalkless ray and disc flowers are clustered tightly together to form a capitulum, which is commonly referred to as a "head" (Fig. 1). Upon maturity, plants are generally less than 18 inches in height, and produce 20-30 blooming heads on several branches.
Narrowleaf silkgrass is herbaceous (non-woody), and has attractive, often "grass-like" leaves , which emerge in the spring. Its silvery-green appearance is attributable to the whitish, silky hair covers the plant's stems and leaves (Fig. 2). Gorgeous yellow …

And the winner is...

By Laurie Sheldon

Palmetto Awards

The Florida Native Plant Society bestows various awards to members and chapters for their contributions to the mission of the organization. The Green Palmetto Awards were established in 1986 by Sherry Cummings (then FNPS President) to honor those who had given special service to FNPS. Three Green Palmettos, ordinarily presented at the FNPS annual conference, are awarded each year for (1) service or education, (2) science, and (3) the outstanding chapter of the year.

The 2012 Green Palmetto Award for service was given to Paul and Winn Lowry. It was presented by the board of Southern Brevard County's Conradina Chapter on July 31, 2012. Conradina nominated Paul and Winn because of their longstanding membership and chapter involvement. Although their address changed one year ago, their loyalty to FNPS remains the same. They are currently members of the Pine Lily Chapter in Osceola County.

Unfortunately, because of the unique timing of the award's p…