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Nov. 18 Field trip to Heartwood Preserve

Heartwood Preserve is the first conservation cemetery within a nature preserve in the Tampa Bay area. Join us on this unique opportunity to learn about the efforts to conserve and permanently protect this endangered natural habitat through environmentally friendly burial options. Visit longleaf pine flatwoods and cypress wetlands. Learn the land’s history and management, the importance of fire ecology and the process of conservation burial. 

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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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.

Leavenworth’s Tickseed

Leavenworth’s Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii) Blooms spring-summer; height 1-3 ft. Plant Sept.-mid-Dec. in full sun to light pine shade in slightly moist to moist sandy soil. Sow seeds in: N – September, October C – Late September to mid-November S – Mid-October to mid-December

Lanceleaf Tickseed

Lanceleaf Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata) Blooms in spring; height to 1-1½ ft. Plant Sept.-mid-Nov. in full sun to light pine shade in slightly dry to slightly moist well-drained soil. Sow seeds in: N – September, October C – Late September to mid-November

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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.

Swamp tickseed (Coreopsis nudata) by Eleanor Dietrich

Flower Friday: Swamp tickseed

Swamp tickseed is a short-lived perennial with charming pink and yellow blooms. It occurs naturally in wet prairies, bogs, seepage slopes, wet flatwoods and roadside ditches. It blooms in spring (typically April and May) and is attractive to bees, although butterflies and other pollinators are known to visit them. Birds eat its seeds. Swamp tickseed is often confused with the non-native Cosmos bipinnatus.

Native Roadside Wildflowers in Rural Areas: Developing Best Management Practices for Establishment of Plantings by Seed and Enhancement of Naturally-Occurring Populations 

The main goal of this study was to determine the effects of competition and mowing on native wildflower establishment on road-side right-of-ways (ROWs) dominated by bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum). The species were Flordia ecotypes of Coreopsis lanceolata, C. leavenworthii, Gaillardia puchella, and Ipomopsis rubra. Bahiagrass competition was the main factor limiting establishment of wildflowers under simulated…

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Sweat bee on blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium sp.) by Mary Keim

Bloom Report: 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).

Dr. Loran Anderson

Member profile: Dr. Loran Anderson

Dr. Loran Anderson is a professor emeritus in the department of biological science at Florida State University in Tallahassee. His research has focused on plant taxonomy and systematics in the Florida Panhandle and elsewhere. He is currently compiling a checklist of native plants in Panhandle counties that will include rare and endangered species. Over the course of his career, he has authored numerous publications and has named (i.e., described for science) 12 new Florida native plant species or subspecies. Dr. Anderson is a long-time member of the Florida Wildflower Foundation. In 2016, he received the Foundation’s “Coreopsis Award” in recognition of contribution to Florida’s wildflowers.

Research

Why do research? We know a lot about cultivating food crops but little about growing and managing the wildflowers that have important roles in keeping our natural ecosystems balanced and strong. With the occurrence of wildflowers waning throughout the world, it’s especially urgent to discover the best practices of successfully growing, establishing and utilizing these…

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Handouts Shop

Great wildflowers for your dry landscape Download and print OR Order free printed versions and pay only for the shipping and handling. Read more 7 steps to collecting and sowing wildflower seed Download and print OR Order free printed versions and pay only for the shipping and handling. Read more Establishing a small planting of…

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Shop

Browse the Flower Shop Let everyone know you’re a fan of Florida’s native wildflowers. We have seeds a plenty for your landscape, and accessories for the garden. Wildflowers for home and garden Let them know… where not to mow! Protect your roadside wildflowers and help them set seed for the future by displaying this 9 x…

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Common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) on purple thistle (Cirsium horridulum) by Mary Keim

Know your native pollinators: Bumble bees

Bumble bees are very efficient pollinators because they “buzz pollinate.” The bee grabs onto a flower and vibrates its flight muscles but not its wings. This causes the flower to release its pollen. It also creates an audible buzz at the frequency of a middle C note. The genus name Bombus comes from the Greek bombos, which means “buzzing sound.”