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Learn more about native plants

These articles provide an introduction to Florida native plants and the benefits of using them. For suggestions of specific plants, cultivation and maintenance tips, please consult with your local professionals.

Central Florida Sandhill in the Making

Even More About Native Plant Communities

Compared to other states, Florida has a rich variety of native plant communities, including beach dunes, maritime forests, pine flatwoods, sandhills and scrubs, hammocks, marshes and prairies. These communities occur as a function of soil type and fertility, drainage, exposure […]

Palm Beach County Plant Communities Map segment

History of the Plant Communities Map

  The Plant Communities Map used on this website is directly adapted from the original “General Map of Natural Vegetation of Florida” developed by John Henry Davis, University of Florida (UF), and published in 1967 by UF’s Agricultural Experiment Station, […]

Dwarf Firebush goes rogue

The Hamelia Mess

A thorough critique of the genus in Florida, by Florida firebush expert Roger L. Hammer Butterflies and hummingbirds are constant reminders of why gardeners who live in southern and coastal Central Florida cultivate our native Firebush (Hamelia patens var. patens). […]

Asclepias humistrata, Sandhill Milkweed

Native Milkweed Research Update

The following information provided by Jaret C. Daniels, Ph.D., Assistant Curator of Lepidoptera, University of Florida IFAS Assistant Professor of Entomology, Florida Museum of Natural History Every year as fall approaches, millions of monarch butterflies throughout eastern North America make […]

Monarch Butterflies nectaring on Swamp Milkweed. Photo by Peg Urban.

Save our Monarchs: Plant Native Milkweed

  The monarch butterfly is one of our most easily recognized butterflies and well known for its long migration across North America. Unfortunately, the loss of natural habitat, in particular native milkweeds, has resulted in dwindling monarch populations vulnerable to […]

About the Plant Communities Map

Broward County is one of Florida’s most heavily urbanized areas. Yet it was probably one of the most botanically diverse, with more than a dozen different native plant communities, as shown on this close-up view of the Plant Communities map. […]

North Florida Sandhill

About Native Plant Communities

Why Native Plant Communities are Important Models for Landscape Design – philosophy statement by Michael Jameson, native plant grower and founding member of FANN When children are nurtured and raised into adulthood, the ideal is that these people will then […]

Coreopsis field

Why Local Matters: Ecotypes & Provenance

A fundamental selling point for native plants is that they are naturally adapted to the place they occur – the soils, climate, natural water regime (not sprinkler systems), and surrounding plants, animals, insects and other organisms. This natural adaptation makes […]

palamedes swallowtail caterpillar on red bay leaf

Bringing Nature Home: Why Native Plants Matter

The science is in. If you want birds, butterflies and other wildlife, you need native plants. What does the extinction crisis have to do with our yards? As it happens, a lot. And to a great extent, we have Dr. […]