Foundation awards 11 Viva Florida grants

The Florida Wildflower Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration Garden grants. Eleven grants were awarded for the following projects: Depot Park, Sopchoppy; Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers; Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, Titusville; Lake David Park, Groveland; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota; Miami Dade College, Miami; Orange County Administration Building, Orlando; University of Florida Natural Areas Teaching Lab, Gainesville; Village Institute for Sustainable Technologies and Agriculture, Tampa; and West Oaks Library, Ocoee.

White peacock butterfly

Know your native pollinators: White peacock

White peacock butterflies, found in the brush-footed family, fly in Florida throughout the year. They are small white butterflies with brown markings and orange margins. The common name of the White peacock comes from black spots on the forewings and hindwings, giving the appearance of a peacock’s eyespot. You might notice these lovely winged friends flying close to the ground searching for Turkey-tangle frogfruit, which acts as both a host and nectar plant for them.

 

 

Night blooming petunia, Ruellia noctiflora

Saving Roadside Plants Works!

When Scott Davis found a large population of the state-listed endangered Night-blooming petunia (Ruellia noctiflora) growing along US 98, he asked the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to declare it a protected wildflower area. FDOT did. When the construction of the bike trail between Crawfordville and St. Marks was slated to roll right over the plants, Scott planned a rescue operation.

Wildflower landscape

It’s not a garden, it’s a habitat

Ecologists estimate that only 3 to 4 percent of land in the United States has been undisturbed by human activity. That’s why providing habitat — food, shelter and nesting areas for wildlife — within sustainable urban landscapes should be an important goal for everyone.

We can’t create a perfect natural habitat for each species. However, we can make a difference by using Florida’s native wildflowers and plants. Learn how!

Meadow at PEAR Park

Layering is key in Orange County meadow design

Central Florida gardeners will soon a have a new location to see and explore Florida’s native wildflowers and grasses. A no-mow wildflower meadow is being installed at the Orange County UF/IFAS Extension’s Exploration Gardens in Orlando, funded by the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration Garden grant. The meadow will be approximately 2,700 square feet and will include 25 species of Florida native wildflowers and grasses. Eventually, it will connect two sections of a planned native tree walk.

Rotary Park wildflower garden sign

Cape Coral garden showcases waves of native color

A visit to Cape Coral’s Rotary Park Environmental Center includes a new opportunity to become acquainted with some of Florida’s beautiful native wildflowers. With funds from the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration Garden grant program, a native wildflower garden has been planted near the park’s education center.

Mimosa strigillosa

Try these alternatives to common invasive species

Some of the plants that are common to our home landscapes are actually invasive species, many of which are now widespread in Florida’s natural areas. Removing these species from your landscape and replacing them with native alternatives can help prevent the spread of invasive species and will provide suitable food and cover for native wildlife. We suggest some “alter-natives” for your landscape.

Grow Wildflowers

See how Resources Plant sources Start with 20 Easy Wildflowers With interest mounting in using wildflowers in urban landscapes, there is a huge demand for information for those new to Florida’s native plants. Enter “20 Easy-to-Grow Wildflowers.” The 24-page magazine features a selection of 20 “tried and true” wildflowers that are easy to grow and…

Chris Waltz with pollinator pots

Create a pollinator garden in a pot!

Chris Waltz, volunteer extraordinaire and wildflower-gardening enthusiast, was inspired by people saying they can’t grow natives because they live in an apartment, condo, or other small space. He started thinking: They grow houseplants and annuals; why can’t they grow natives the same way? The result? A “pollinator garden in a pot.”

Wild petunia

Flower Friday: Wild petunia

Wild petunia (Ruellia caroliniensis) is a low-growing, erect perennial wildflower that typically blooms in late spring through late summer/early fall. It occurs naturally in mesic hammocks, flatwoods and sandhills, and along roadsides and in disturbed sites. It is the host plant for the white peacock (Anartia jatrophae) and common buckeye (Junonia coenia) butterflies, but attracts a variety of pollinators.