Join us for the Florida Wildflower Foundation's
2016 Wildflower Symposium, Friday, Sept. 23, and Saturday, Sept. 24
Location: Silver Springs State Park, Ocala Florida
Florida Wildflower Foundation members receive event discounts. Don't miss out! Join today.
Online registration has closed.
Register on site Sept. 23 and 24 at Silver Springs in Ocala.
Historic Silver Springs postcard image courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
Exhibitors * Field Trips
Presentations * Native Plant Sale
The Florida Wildflower Symposium is the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s signature annual event. It's the only educational gathering of its kind, focusing exclusively on Florida’s native wildflowers and the wildlife that depends on them.
The eighth 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. Join us for this fun and informative event at the historic Silver Springs, one of Florida's first tourist areas, with its beautiful botanical gardens, expansive natural areas, and crystal blue artesian springs.
Click here to download the full schedule.
Friday morning field trips
All field trips will start at 9a.m.
- Take a tram ride through Silver Springs State Park's sandhill ecosystem to see what wildflowers are blooming and learn about the park's history, land management and fire regime. (Click here for participation requirements. Trip duration: approx. 2 hours.) (THIS TRIP IS FULL.)
- Hike the big scrub region of the Ocala National Forest in search of scrub jays with Jim Buckner. (Click here for participation requirements. Trip duration: approx. 2 hours.) (THIS TRIP IS FULL.)
- Ride horseback along the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway Trail with expert guides from Cactus Jack's. (Click here for participation requirements. Trip duration: approx. 90 minutes. Must register by 9/15/16. No refunds will be issued after this date.)
- Paddle down the Silver River with adventure guide Lars Andersen of Adventure Outpost. (Click here for participation requirements and full description of trip. Trip duration: approx 2-2.5 hours)
- Enjoy a leisurely boat ride along the Silver River, narrated by Captain Tom of Captain Tom's Custom Charters. (Click here for participation requirements. Trip duration: approx. 2 hours. Must register by 9/5/16. No refunds will be issued after this date. A second boat may be added if there is enough interest.) (THIS TRIP IS FULL.)
Friday afternoon topical presentations
- Susan Carr, executive director of the Conservation Trust of Florida, will discuss the work of the Conservation Trust and the recent acquisitions of the Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area and Adams Ranch
- Terry Zinn will introduce the original "10 Easy Wildflowers" for attracting butterflies, birds and other pollinators to your landscape.
- John Moran, nature photographer and co-director of the Springs Eternal Project, will present "Our Water, Our Future"
Friday evening social
Join us for a good old fashioned BBQ in the newly renovated Silver Springs ballroom. We'll start the evening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the park's new wildflower demonstration garden, (funded in part by a Florida Wildflower Foundation Viva Florida grant), followed by a BBQ buffet and live entertainment with 6 Volt Rodeo, Florida's finest Western swing band. We'll also reveal the winners of our 2016 Land of Flowers photo contest!
Friday night at the movies!
Not a country music fan? Join us in the classroom adjoining the ballroom at 7 p.m. for a showing of a very special documentary, "Hometown Habitat: Stories of Bringing Nature Home." The film begins with a poignant interview with Dr. Doug Tallamy, author of the popular book, Bringing Nature Home, then visits locations throughout the U.S.— including two in Florida — where native habitat has been reintroduced or restored. After viewing everything from wildflower landscapes to artistic restoration projects, you'll be inspired to bring nature home to your neck of the woods!
Click to see a preview.
Saturday presentations and workshops
- Roger Hammer, award-winning author, naturalist, botanist and photographer, (pictured right) will give the keynote address, "Florida's Special Wildflowers: A Photographic Tour of the Most Fascinating Wildflowers of the Sunshine State"
- "10 More Easy Wildflowers for Butterflies and Bees" presented by author and naturalist Craig Huegel, PhD
- "Native Bees: A Critical Natural Resource" presented by H. Glenn Hall, PhD, associate professor at UF specializing in native bee diversity and natural history
- "Pollinator Conservation in the Built Environment – Roadways to Suburban Yards," presented by Jaret Daniels, PhD, Associate Curator & Program Director, Florida Museum of Natural History
- "Monarchs and Milkweed" presented by Scott Davis, botanist and ranger at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
- "Florida's Ghost Orchids" presented by Mike Owen, biologist and ranger at Fakahatchee Strand State Park
- "Native Plants and Beneficial Insects: Key to Sustainable Landscapes" presented by Taryn Evans, Creative Garden Structures
- "Introduction to the USF Herbarium and Florida Atlas of Plants" presented by Alan Franck, PhD, curator of the USF Herbarium
- "Cultivars, Clones and Genetic Diversity" presented by Nancy Bissett, The Natives
- "Transformation of a Turfgrass Lawn into a Native Landscape" presented by Stephen Turnipseed
- Native plant propagation workshop with Claudia Larsen, Micanopy Wildflowers
(THIS SESSION IS FULL; Email us to be added to the waiting list.)
Saturday guided walks
- Garden tour: Silver Springs State Park staff will be sharing the experience of remaking gardens at the park. Topics to be covered will include land use history, partnerships and use of native plants. The walk will finish with a stop at the Wildflower Garden, funded in part by a Florida Wildflower Foundation Viva Florida Grant.
- Ross Allen Island boardwalk tour: Enjoy a guided tour of the boardwalk on Ross Allen Island. Park staff will discuss land use history, ecology of the “island” and a brief history of Ross Allen at the park.
- Butterfly walk with Jaret Daniels, PhD
- Bee walk with Glenn Hall, PhD
Native plant sale
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.
Click here to download the full schedule.
Support wildlife and wild Florida —
ask for the State Wildflower license plate!
Support the 2016 Florida Wildflower Symposium by becoming a sponsor. Click to download the sponsorship brochure.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
(located across the street from
Silver Springs State Park)
5360 E Silver Springs Blvd
Silver Springs, FL 34488
Florida Wildflower Foundation group room rates apply. Mention code "FWF."
- Standard room: $101 + tax
- Suite: $111 + tax
Rates include breakfast, onsite parking and WiFi. Must book by Aug. 31.
Camp sites at Silver Springs State Park are now available for reservation via reserveamerica.com. Book yours now as they will not be available for long!
Please join us in thanking our sponsors!
Brightman & Nan Logan
Busy Bee Level
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or