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.
2022 Annual Fund Appeal
"This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land, and Native Plants Are Meant for You and Me" - Mark Kateli
Conservation. Preservation. Restoration. What do they mean for the future of Florida? What do these words really mean to you? Many decades ago, these questions were answered as if by premonition. Unaware of the staggering growth that Florida would experience, a group of grassroots plant enthusiasts formed our organization and gave their voices to our precious plants. By sharing their love of natural Florida to newcomers, they grew from a chorus of a few, to a symphony of many that tangibly amplified the native plant priority. The Florida Native Plant Society was precedent setting.
WE DEPEND ON YOU. Florida Native Plant Society is YOUR Society. Your gift of $100 or more can help make a difference today. Please help us reach our goal of $50,000 or more for this appeal.
Our chapters have been remarkably resilient post-pandemic. The sheer volume of reported volunteer hours has surpassed far beyond last year’s totals already. We are particularly proud of their constructive, supportive work and thank them for their enduring volunteerism. ‘Adaptations’ is the apt theme for next year’s Conference. It is our hope that you can join us then in late spring for popular plant topics and burgeoning concepts that keep our minds and passions growing. The upcoming year promises new blooms of memories for an organization so in love with nature.
The ripple effect of a founding organization like ours runs deep - generations of people from all walks of life discovering and rediscovering their joy for Florida native plants together. It is a cultural shift towards understanding our native plant heritage. And it is this that spurs our citizen science, policy and legislation, education, landscape, communications, conservation, and many other lines of outreach. FNPS is indeed a rare environmental nonprofit that provides such continuity in a changing world.
Native plants are the answer for native bees, birds, and biodiversity in their local regions - they provide nectar, pollen, seeds, and habitat for native butterflies, insects, birds, and other animals. They are a critical component for the entire food web, water conservation, as well as our own well-being. They have adapted beautifully to our native soils. Because of their value that is closely tied to our way of life, we press on with vigor for their cause to reach more people.
The Florida Native Plant Society has lived and breathed everything native plants for decades- it is a lifestyle that our staff, contractors, and board remain committed to. I count myself fortunate by the sustaining affection that has been extended by people such yourselves. It is because of your encouragement, we remain a constant presence in so many lives. I cherish the times I have spent with you, and many special moments in between. Above all, I am glad you remain in our community of supporters and conservers of native plants.
If you make your gift before December 31, 2022, the Society’s Board and Staff will match your contribution for up to $10,000 in donations. Your gift will support the Society’s mission and will leverage additional match funding. Please consider doubling your contribution.
We all live a life of service. It is this call to a higher purpose that unites us. We deserve a vibrant, strong, sustainable community for our future. Continual engagement with local communities about our land matters. You enable us to make a difference. Florida’s native plants are meant for you and me.
Thank You for Your Generosity
For Florida. For All.
The Florida Native Plant Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is registered as a charitable organization in Florida (Reg No. CH3021)
By Lilly Anderson-Messec The red and yellow blooms of tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica , are ubiquitous in Florida butterfly gardens. This non-native milkweed has exploded in popularity as demand for milkweed grows to support declining monarch butterfly populations. This tropical species is native to Mexico and very easy to propagate, so growers are able to quickly produce plant material to meet the milkweed demand. It’s also very showy, blooming prolifically all season and regrowing quickly after being decimated by hungry caterpillars. Unfortunately, tropical milkweed has been an increasingly invasive species in Central and South Florida for many years, and has begun spreading in North Florida as well. It’s fast growth and prolific re-seeding have resulted in large monocultures of tropical milkweed in natural areas. This unchecked growth replaces native plants and disrupts the native ecosystems that both wildlife and humans rely on. The invasive quality of this plant is is j
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
Piedmont Azalea, Rhododendron canescens. Photo by Lilly Anderson-Messec By Lilly Anderson-Messec While growing up in North Florida, I began to recognize the arrival of spring by the boisterous show of white, pink, and fuchsia blooms of azalea shrubs. The house I grew up in had large, mature azalea hedges with a variety of different colors and forms. Every spring, my mom would bring in vases full of them and my dad loved to point out the showy shrubs as we drove through town. I suppose I assumed these plants were native, but most likely I never gave it a thought. I didn’t differentiate a native plant from a non-native one because I didn’t yet know the importance of native plants as the basis of our functioning ecosystems. I was so surprised when I learned the azaleas I was so familiar with (Rhododendron indicum) are actually transplants from Asia! They are favored by the horticultural industry for their fast, vigorous, and dense growth of evergreen leaves and large, showy blooms. Curio