Chris Waltz earns MVP Volunteer award

Chris Waltz of Palm Bay was named the 2018 MVP Volunteer of the Year by the Florida Wildflower Foundation at its Florida Wildflower Symposium in Orlando on April 28. At Foundation events, you’re likely to find Chris unpacking, setting up, teaching and promoting native plants.
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Sex in the garden — just what’s going on out there?

Gardens are such peaceful places: colorful, tranquil, quiet except for the comforting buzz of a bee or the fluttering wings of a bird. Yet they are a hotbed of (we blush) seduction and sex.

“People often look at plants as being boring and passive, and animals as being interesting and active,” says Dr. Craig Huegel, a speaker at the April 27-28 Florida Wildflower Symposium in Orlando. “But plants make the same choices ecologically that animals do, so it makes perfect sense that reproduction in plants isn’t a completely passive thing.”

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Plant blindness: Have you hugged a wildflower today?

When was the last time you read a bedtime story about Morning glories to your kids? Or bought them a cuddly stuffed plant? If you’re a typical 21st century individual, the answer is “never.” Plant stories and toys aren’t wildly popular because most people today suffer from plant blindness, an inability to notice the myriad plants in our environment.

Dr. Elisabeth Schussler, the Florida Wildflower Symposium keynote speaker, will shed light on this phenomenon, which she discovered during a research project.

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Bloom Report: Spring wildflowers — small is beautiful

Many of Florida’s spring native wildflowers have large, showy flowers –– such as Iris and Purple thistle. But some common ones may be underappreciated because their flowers are small, near the ground, or just positioned on the stem where they may be hard to see. However, they are quite beautiful when viewed close up.

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Dr. Walter Taylor

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