Florida native plants

  • Cheesy-toes (Stylosantha hamata) providing a nectar meal for a Dainty Sulphur butterfly (Nathalis iole). Boca Raton, FL, May 7, 2015.

    Diverse lawns in south Florida

    By / May 22, 2015

    Earlier this spring I started reading yet another book on gardening in south Florida. This one, by James Kushlan, with photos by Kirsten Hines, is called Attracting Birds to South Florida Gardens. It came out last fall from the University Press of Florida. I didn’t order it at first, because I already have tons of… Read more

  • Epicorsia oedipodalis detail. Note the stemmata rather high on the head

    Ants bite; they can also tend your garden for you

    By / June 10, 2014

    Last weekend I went out to Yamato Scrub for another volunteer clean-up event coordinated by Palm Beach County ERM. We were removing the last of the temporary irrigation installed years and years ago to jump-start the native plants that they imported to the site to replace the acres and acres of Brazilian Pepper and Australian Pine… Read more

  • Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescent with scale. Boca Raton, FL, May 1, 2014.

    New backyard bird: Downy Woodpecker, or why native plants love birds (and vice versa)

    By / May 2, 2014

    From time to time the native plants in my yard, which I do my best to foster, suffer from an overabundance of a certain tiny insect: scale. These insects aren’t scary to most people—they don’t bite, they don’t fly up and startle you, they don’t even move after they hunker down in their chosen spot to… Read more

  • Dune Sunflower (Helianthus debilis). Boca Raton, FL, July 9, 2012.

    Dune sunflowers, spiders, and moths, oh my!

    By / June 13, 2013

    Dune sunflower, Helianthus debilis, is a commonly recommended plant for Florida native gardeners. It’s in the daisy family (Asteraceae), and it’s very pretty: Yellow rays, purple disc flowers, loads of pollen—very attractive to bees and butterflies. It self-sows and reseeds annually, so once you’ve got it established, you don’t have to do much except remove… Read more

  • Thalia geniculata, Alligator Flag. Fern Forest, September 15, 2008

    Florida Native Plant: Alligator Flag (Thalia geniculata Linnaeus)

    By / November 21, 2012

    Alligator flag is a very common sight to birders in Palm Beach County, because it appears in abundance at two of our favorite wetland areas: the boardwalks at Wakodahatchee and Green Cay (where I’ll be leading a birdwalk this Saturday). Thalia geniculata, as it’s known to botanists, is a a tall (up to 10 ft… helianthus_debilis_20120530

    New backyard plant: Helianthus debilis

    By / May 30, 2012

    Last winter I ordered some seed from a Florida native wildflower nursery to spread in the bare patches in the front (I got rid of a bunch of turf grass with the idea of having a nice wildflower bed instead). I ordered sunshine mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa), Indian Blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella), and four other species that… mimosa_strigillosa__bloom_20120514

    New backyard plant: Mimosa strigillosa

    By / May 14, 2012

    The Saturday before Mother’s Day, I took Grammy and the boys up to Meadow Beauty Nursery in Lake Worth. Mom (Grammy) has a little sandyard that she wants to fill in with something pretty, so we went a-lookin’, and I decided that I needed some ground cover to fill in under my Bahama Strongbark.  It… spiderwort_20120423

    New Backyard Plant: Tradescantia ohiensis, Common Spiderwort

    By / April 24, 2012

    Whenever you go shopping (at least, whenever I go shopping; maybe you’re different) you seem to come home with more than you set to out to get. For instance, last month I went to my favorite native plant nursery (Mesozoic Landscapes in Lake Worth) to pick up a new tree (a Bahama Strongbark to replace… pearlberry

    New plantings: Vallesia antillana

    By / May 25, 2011

    I “won” a couple of the silent auctions at last month’s FNPS plant auction. One of the plants I brought home is pearl berry, Vallesia antillana. It’s a very pretty little plant, and apparently quite rare in the wild. (My Chafin tells me that it’s known only from 7 sites, 4 of which are state… Read more

  • zanthoxylum-newgrowth

    New plantings: Zanthoxylum fagara

    By / April 28, 2011

    One of the cornerstone plantings in my new backyard is a Wild Lime tree, Zanthoxylum fagara. It didn’t come from the native plant auction, but from one of my friends in the Audubon Society who is also an FNPS member and who graciously allowed me to come take many many plants to get my back… Read more

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