More than 200 participants packed the Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center in Gainesville last Friday and Saturday for the Florida Wildflower Symposium and its array of workshops and presentations.
About 100 people participated in five Friday morning field trips then converged with other attendees at the Straughn Center Friday afternoon for presentations on growth issues, Florida’s troubled springs and supporting birds in urban landscapes.
Afterward, participants gathered to socialize at First Magnitude Brewery near downtown Gainesville, where a wildflower beer brewed especially for the event was served. The brew was derived from yeast collected from Spanish needles (Bidens alba).
Saturday brought participants back to the Straughn Center for a day of presentations and workshops, with vendors, a native plant sale and a silent auction. Distinguished UF professors Drs. Pam and Doug Stolis kicked off the day with a keynote presentation that provided an overview of their work with herbarium samples, which can be used to predict how plants may react to Florida’s changing climate.
Also on the agenda were presentations on roadside wildflowers, rain gardens and landscaping, 20 Easy-to-Grow Wildflowers, restoration tales and travails, edible native plants and more. Participants also got coaching in wildflower propagation and making a “pollinator pot” of wildflowers from experts Claudia Larsen of Micanopy Wildflowers and Marc Godts of Green Isle Gardens.
Did you miss the fun? Click to see symposium photos!