Showing posts from January, 2013

Florida Needs Your Help

Dear Friends and Native Plant Enthusiasts, Protecting our waters, cherished natural areas and wildlife is fundamental to a healthy and vibrant Florida. It’s not too late to make 2013 the year in which you make a difference. How? By helping FNPS and Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign place a critical conservation amendment on the November 2014 ballot. Good karma will come back to those who gather signatures! Given the glorious weather of late, it is no wonder there will be so many outdoor festivals in the coming months throughout Florida. These offer some of the most productive signature gathering opportunities that this campaign can benefit from. For this reason, we need volunteers now more than ever. To put the Water and Land Conservation Amendment on the 2014 ballot, we will need to gather 480,000 signatures (in addition to those we’ve already collected); we have less than one year to make this happen. Right now, the most important thing you can do to protect ou

Plant Profile: Lemon Bacopa/ Blue Waterhyssop, Bacopa caroliniana

By Jacqueline Maxwell, Joshua West, and Megan Van Fleet This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Botany students at Jacksonville University. Figure 1. Succulent leaves of lemon bacopa. Photo credit: Shirley Denton. Classification Kingdom: Plantae Division: Magnoliophyta Class: Magnoliopsida Order: Plantaginales Family: Plantaginaceae Genus: Bacopa Specific epithet: caroliniana Description Bacopa caroliniana , commonly known as lemon bacopa or blue waterhyssop, thrives in both fresh and brackish water. This aquatic herb can be found in both ponds and wetlands throughout the state, where it prospers in shallow water. Lemon bacopa is one of three native Bacopa species in Figure 2. B. caroliniana with bronzed leaves & flowers held above water. Photo credit: Roger Hammer. Florida. Some taxonomists may place the genus in the family Scrophulariaceae. The plant's common name is derived from its bright green, succulent leaves (Fi

Feast of Flowers: a One-Man Show at the Cummer Museum

Does that passionflower look familiar? It should, because Jim Draper graciously allowed the 2013 FNPS conference committee to use his image as the logo graphic for the conference. It is prominently displayed as part of his "Feast of Flowers" exhibit at the Cummer Museum and Gardens in Jacksonville. Jim Draper with his beautiful rendition of the Catesby lily. Jim Draper is the keynote speaker on Friday morning May 17th at the 2013 annual FNPS Conference.  He explained that the title of this show is a direct translation of "Pascua de Florida," the name give to the land on Easter Sunday 1513. He said that this title is also a metaphor for Florida's natural resources being consumed, not only from the early days of the hungry European settlers, but that our consumption of Florida is even greater today. Unfortunately this exhibition will close in April, so our conference attendees, will not have the opportunity to view this whole collection, but parts o

Walking the Walk

By Laurie Sheldon 2425 County Rd. 13 South, Elkton, FL 32033. This is where my chapter (Ixia) was meeting for a Saturday morning field trip, lead by Mike Adams. Adams is the owner of Adamscience (an environmental resource management company) and purveyor of "one of the finest examples of sustainable multiple-use forest management in Florida." I plugged the address into the GPS on my cellphone and hit the road. Little did I know just how out-of-the way this place was. To describe it as being just north of Hastings (potato capital of Florida) and due east of Bostwick (the blueberry pancake hot-spot) might give you a clue. I lost my cell signal a few minutes after exiting I-95 (uh-oh), but after a good bit of guessing, and a few turns determined by a coin toss, I finally arrived at my destination. With about a dozen or so Ixians standing in the port-cochere of Adams' lovely home, he began our tour. After purchasing the 94-acre piece of land from Rayonier in 1

Native Plant Myth Number One

by Shirley Denton Have you ever read a newspaper article or website that makes a statement like this: "Planting natives will save water."? This is an example of a native plant myth. Most myths, including this one, come from broad generalizations that are only sometimes true. Likewise, the converse, "planting non-natives will waste water" is a broad generalization that is not always true either. This article covers this myth, and future blog posts will address some others. Stay tuned... Florida's varied ecosystems Florida has a broad range of native ecosystems that support characteristic plant communities. We have rosemary and sand pine scrubs and sandhills (very dry), we have flatwoods (moderately wet to moderately dry), we have hammocks (some wet, some dry), we have wetlands such as swamps (very wet), and a long list of other ecosystems. A good summary of these and others is found on the FNPS website resource article: Native Plant Communities .