Rudbeckia hirta

Fall planting – it’s the perfect time for wildflowers

“Fall is for planting” has been the unofficial promotional campaign of the nursery industry for many years. This slogan applies to sowing seeds of native wildflowers and grasses as well, at least here in Florida. Learn how to establish a planting of wildflowers, whether as a garden or converting some turfgrass to a low-maintenance meadow.

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Wildflower garden in bloom

When wildflowers blow in the wind

As summer progresses many of our fall-blooming wildflowers become tall and stately, forming backdrops and filling fence rows as they reach peak bloom from September through December. But this also is when storms increase, bringing intense waves of wind and rain. And there are always those unpredictable hurricanes. Here’s how one wildflower garden survived Hurricane  Irma’s big blow and steps you can take to hopefully rescue your own plantings.

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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.

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Agapostemon bee on Blanketflower

Know your native pollinators: Sweat bees

Halictidae, or sweat bees, are an extremely diverse group that are often abundant year round. Some are metallic green, others are smaller than a grain of rice, and nearly all are valuable pollinators.

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Eleanor Dietrich

A retirement and a new face in the Panhandle

Eleanor Dietrich stepped down July 28 from her post as the the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)/Panhandle Wildflower Alliance (PWA) liaison. Liz Sparks, a veteran of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and state Department of Environmental Protection, will take over Dietrich’s responsibilities.

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Monarch on Asclepias incarnata

Prisoners help Monarchs while learning research, horticulture techniques

With a $21,000 grant to the University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History, the Florida Wildflower Foundation is supporting a unique research project that will train prison inmates to test and document propagation techniques for milkweed, the only host plant for Monarch butterflies. The grant is made possible by sales of the State Wildflower license plate.

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Dr. Walter Taylor

Dr. Walter Taylor presents at the 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium.