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Native plant landscape

Nature’s mismatches — How you can help

Phenology, nature’s calendar for matching plant maturity and animal needs, is ideal when plants are blooming and providing vegetative habitat and food for insects, birds and other animals in the right place and at the right time. Here’s what you can do when nature’s timing is off.

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Bees on Softhair coneflower

Nature’s schedules

Nature, like a machine, has processes that keep the system running smoothly. But when there’s a mismatch between such things as flower bloom time and insect emergence, that machine ceases to function correctly.

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Leavenworth's tickseed flowers

Adjusting to climate changes

According to the National Phenology Network (NPN), spring arrived about three weeks early in much of the southeastern United States, with the first tiny leaves and flower buds appearing notably earlier than usual in North Florida and, to a lesser degree, Central Florida.

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Cloudless sulphur on thistle

When spring arrives too soon

To everything there is a season, but what if those seasons aren’t quite as predictable as they once were? Anecdotal and scientific information increasingly show changes in when plants are blooming, fruiting and going to seed. And that can spell trouble.

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Wildflower planting at Jacksonville Day School

Seedlings for Schools grants – apply through June 15

The Florida Wildflower Foundation’s popular Seedlings for Schools grants program is open for applications through June 15. Pre-K-12 teachers at public and private Florida schools may apply for a grant, which includes $50 worth of Florida native wildflower plants.

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