Seedlings for Schools garden

30 schools win Seedlings for Schools grant awards

The Florida Wildflower Foundation has awarded 2017 Seedlings for Schools grants to 30 Florida schools in 16 counties. In fall 2017, each school will receive personalized growing assistance and $50 of assorted native Florida wildflowers from a Florida Association of Native Plants nursery to plant on campus.

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Standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra), Softhair coneflower (Rudbeckia mollis)

PEAR Park project to test weed control methods

As anyone who has started a small wildflower meadow at home probably knows, weeds can make or break successful wildflower establishment. That’s why the Florida Wildflower Foundation has joined with Lake County on a research project at PEAR Park in Tavares that will experiment with various weed control methods.

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For sizzling summer wildflowers, head to the wetlands

Many areas are very dry now, especially in Central and South Florida. When traveling in West Central Florida in mid-May, I saw very few wildflowers blooming, even in normally moist areas, many of which had dried up. The good news is that the NOAA Climate Prediction Center is forecasting that drought conditions should be alleviated by the end of August in all but east Central Florida, and even in that part of the state drought conditions should improve.

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520_roadside_driscoll

Award-winning roadside wildflowers

In a first for Florida, a project to manage naturally occurring wildflowers – versus displays that have been planted – has been recognized for its success. The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs recently gave a “Paths of Sunshine” award to Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 5 for successfully protecting and nurturing a natural wildflower display along a stretch of State Road 520 in east Orange County.

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Wildflowers bloom earlier than normal

Earlier-than-normal blooming of spring wildflowers seems to be occurring more often, but this year stands out because some wildflowers are blooming nearly a month earlier than expected. The influence of this “abnormal” weather will probably be greatest in North Florida. If the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) climate predictions hold true, March will likely be wetter and warmer than normal, which would speed up the time when mid- or late-spring wildflowers bloom, such as Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) and Blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella).

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Powderpuff (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.

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Upcoming events

2018 symposium

Join us Friday and Saturday at the Florida Wildflower Symposium

Want to learn about Florida’s native wildflowers and the butterflies, bees and wildlife depending on them? Join us at the Florida Wildflower Symposium on April 27 and 28 in Orlando to learn from expert speakers and workshop leaders. Visit the symposium page to learn more. Online registration is closed, but you can register onsite Friday and Saturday. Cost is $45 for Florida Wildflower Foundation members and $60 for nonmembers.

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2018 symposium

Apr. 27-28 Florida Wildflower Symposium

Registration is now open for the Florida Wildflower Symposium (rescheduled from September due to Hurricane Irma). Join us on April 27–28, 2018 at the Orange County UF/IFAS Extension on South Conway Road in Orlando for two days of field trips, hands-on workshops, educational presentations and more!

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March 24 Florida Wildflower and Garden Festival

Join us — rain or shine — for the Florida Wildflower and Garden Festival, Saturday, March 24, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. This free, family-friendly event offers speakers, demonstrations, plant and gardening supply vendors, a Kids Art Zone, music and more.

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Click here to see a full list of events including past events.

Need a speaker for an upcoming event?

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Dr. Walter Taylor

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