Wildflowers do much more than give La Florida, the “land of flowers,” its unique sense of place.
Because they’ve adapted to Florida’s conditions and pests, they typically
require less water, fertilizer and pesticides than other flowers. They also
support myriad native wildlife, from bees to hummingbirds.
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Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, will be the keynote speaker at the Florida Wildflower Symposium, Sept. 19 and 20 at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. A nationally renowned speaker, Tallamy chairs the University of Delaware's Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology in Newark, Del. He has written more than 65 research articles and has taught insect taxonomy, behavioral ecology, and other subjects.
A recently released Florida Department of Transportation study conservatively estimates that roadside vegetation along the state highway system performs nearly a half-billion dollars worth of ecosystem services.
The study found that value would increase to $1 billion if sustainable vegetation management practices such as reduced mowing were adopted. The value would triple to $1.5 billion if wildflower areas were incorporated into roadside landscapes.
Ecosystem services include carbon sequestration, runoff prevention, and support of crop pollinators and other insects, as well as contributions to air quality, invasive species resistance and roadside aesthetics.more...