Exhibitors • Field Trips • Presentations • Native Plant Sale

The Florida Wildflower Symposium is the only educational gathering of its kind, focusing exclusively on Florida’s native wildflowers and the wildlife that depends on them.

The ninth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, hands-on workshops, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. You won’t want to miss this fun and informative event!

The Orange County Extension campus will soon expand its plantings of Florida’s native wildflowers with the support of the Florida Wildflower Foundation.

Tentative Schedule

Symposium registration is required for all field trips, workshops, guided walks and presentations. Registration is $45 for FWF members, $60 for non-members. Some field trips, Friday night social and lunch not included.

Friday morning field trips

Pre-registration is required for all field trips. Start times, fees and participation requirements vary.

  • Enjoy a leisurely tour of the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey. Participants will see the Center’s non-releasable resident raptors and hear stories about the birds while learning about Florida’s natural history and Audubon’s conservation efforts. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements. (Fee: free for FWF members, $10 for non-members)
  • Experience the wildflowers of Wekiva Springs State Park with biologist and native plant nursery owner Nancy Bissett. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements.)(Fee: free for FWF members, $10 for non-members)
  • SOLD OUT! Todd Angel of the Florida Forestry Service and Dr. Reed Noss of UCF will lead a hike through Hal Scott Regional Preserve to visit a wildfire site that occurred this year and witness the wildflower bloom post fire, which should be at or near peak bloom. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements.)(Fee: free for FWF members, $10 for non-members)
  • Paddle Rock Springs Run, a tributary of the Wekiva River, with adventure guide Lars Andersen of Adventure Outpost. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements. Must register by 9/17/17. No refunds will be issued after this date.) (Fee: $49 for FWF members, $59 for non-members; includes $10 per person launch fee)
  • Take a buggy ride through the Florida Forever tract with Steve Morrison. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements. Must register by 9/12/17. No refunds will be issued after this date.) (Fee: $30 for FWF members, $40 for non-members)

Friday afternoon topical presentations

  • Mike Orlando, bear biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, will present “Be Bear Wise,” a discussion about human-bear interactions and the wildlife corridor, including what to do if you see a bear in your neighborhood and how best to keep your family, pets and property safe. (1 p.m. Magnolia Room)
  • WMFE’s environmental reporter, Amy Green, will update us on the state of the Everglades and talk about her forthcoming book on this important and fragile ecosystem. (2 p.m. Magnolia Room)
  • St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman will talk about the group’s efforts to defend, advocate for and activate others to protect and restore Florida’s most famous river. (3 p.m. Magnolia Room)

Friday night social

Join us at Bar Louie from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. for hors d’oeuvres, drinks and lively conversation. Bar Louie is an eclectic, urban restaurant located just minutes from the Orange County UF/IFAS Extension. Ticket includes buffet-style appetizers and one drink ticket good for soda, domestic beer or house wine. Vegan/vegetarian options will be available. (Fee: $30)

Saturday presentations and workshops

  • Humans live in a world visually dominated by plants, yet their ability to notice and name individual plant species is often limited. Elisabeth Schussler will give the keynote presentation on “Helping People See Plants in a Plant Blind World.” (8:30 a.m. Auditorium following the membership meeting)
  • Loran Anderson will introduce us to some of the different “Seed Dispersal Strategies” that wildflowers have developed over millions of years, taking advantage of wind, rain, sun and various animal interactions. (10 a.m. Auditorium)
  • Firefighter and Florida Forest Service volunteer Todd Angel will introduce us to “Florida’s Fire Flowers,” and discuss the necessity of fire to many of Florida’s endemic wildflowers and its relationship to threatened and endangered species. (11 a.m. Azalea Room)
  • Jaret Daniels of the University of Florida will update us on “Butterfly Conservation Efforts in Florida.” (1 p.m. Auditorium)
  • Go behind the scenes of “Flip My Florida Yard” with producer and adventurer Chad Crawford. (3 p.m. Auditorium)
  • Jonnie Dietz of the Florida Museum of Natural History will show us some of Florida’s native pollinators. (2 p.m. Magnolia Room)
  • Learn “How to Talk With Your Neighbors About Your Native Plant Landscape” with Russ Hoffman, former psychologist and owner of Beautiful Ponds. Russ will offer practical dialogue and simple maintenance techniques to improve the neighborly atmosphere. (10 a.m. Magnolia Room)
  • Discover “Sex in the Garden” with Dr. Craig Heugel. (2 p.m. Auditorium)
  • Nature photographer Dr. Steven Long will take us on “A Photographic Journey of Florida’s Rare Flowering Plants.” (3 p.m. Magnolia Room)
  • Dr. Hector Perez of the University of Florida will present “Sow what?! Why seed biology research matters for plant conservation.” (1 p.m. Magnolia Room)
  • Jennifer Reinoso of the American Orchid Society will present “Protecting Sacoila lanceolata.” Learn the plant’s history, efforts to protect it and which wildflowers and butterflies share the same spaces. (2 p.m. Azalea Room)
  • FWF Executive Director Lisa Roberts will give an overview of the Foundation’s work and current projects. (10 a.m. Azalea Room)
  • Walter Taylor is going “All Yellow,” highlighting the yellow wildflowers of Florida and giving special consideration to the ones that are difficult to identify. (11 a.m. Auditorium)
  • Bruce Turley, owner of Wilcox Nursery & Landscape, will present some of the new and lesser known native plants that work well in gardens and landscapes. (1 p.m. Azalea Room)
  • Florida Wildflower Foundation president Terry Zinn will provide guidelines on how to have a “Successful Large-Scale Wildflower Planting.” (3 p.m. Azalea Room)

Saturday workshops

  • Dr. Jeff Norcini will present the concepts and simple steps for “Establishing a Small Wildflower Meadow from Seed,” then demonstrate the process in the UF/IFAS Extension’s new wildflower meadow. (11 a.m. Rose Room. Free to symposium attendees. Pre-registration is required as space is limited.) This workshop is FULL! You may add your name to the waiting list when you register.
  • Learn the basics of native plant propagation with Claudia Larsen of Micanopy Wildflowers. (1 p.m. Rose Room. Free to symposium attendees. Pre-registration is required as space is limited.) This workshop is FULL! You may add your name to the waiting list when you register.

Saturday guided walks

  • Take a tour of the UF/IFAS Extensions gardens with extension agent Kelly Greer.
  • Go on a hunt for butterflies with Dr. Jaret Daniels.

Native plant sales

Saturday’s native plant sale will feature a selection of plants adapted to Florida’s unique environment. Find the perfect additions for your landscape or garden.

Saturday lunch

Pre-order a boxed lunch from Panera for $12. Choose ham and swiss, roasted turkey or Mediterranean veggie (vegan) sandwich. All lunches includes chips, pickle, cookie (vegan option comes with apple instead of cookie) and tea or lemonade.

Student scholarships

Scholarships are available for qualifying college students. For qualifications, details and to apply, click here.

Sponsorships

SponsorshipOpportunities

Support the 2017 Florida Wildflower Symposium by becoming a sponsor.

Event location

6021 S Conway Rd, Orlando, FL 32812 (Map)

Local lodging

Hyatt Place Orlando Airport

(2 miles from UF/IFAS Extension)
5435 Forbes Place, Orlando, FL 32812 (Map)
407-816-7800
Florida Wildflower Foundation group room rate of $119 per room applies. Must book by April 14, 2018. Rate includes breakfast, onsite parking and WiFi. Complimentary shuttle service to/from the symposium available. Use this link or call 888-492-8847 and mention code G-WLD1 to book.

Holiday Inn Express Orlando Airport

(1.5 miles from UF/IFAS Extension)
7900 S. Conway Rd., Orlando, FL 32812 (Map)
407-581-7900
Florida Wildflower Foundation group room rate of $109 per room applies. Mention code FWP. Must book by March 31, 2018. Rate includes breakfast, onsite parking and WiFi. Newly renovated rooms.

Vendors & Exhibitors

Interested in being a vendor or exhibitor? Tables are available. Please email us for details.

 Questions?

Contact us at info@flawildflowers.org or 407-622-1606.

  Support wildlife and wild Florida — ask for the State Wildflower license plate!