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Old 06-23-2007, 08:35 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,321 posts, read 29,633,471 times
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Default Favorite Native Plants: Northern Florida

I am sure my spouse will have some ideas of his own, and this is one area where he and I usually agree.
However, I want to come to the planning table educated.
I've been looking at books and for me it is hard to tell what is *truly* native from what has merely been naturalized over the years. Example: is plumbago really a native or not? (btw, plumbago here is way different from plumbago in Colorado.)
Does anyone have a few suggestions for me?
::looks at ellie and karla::
We like interesting foliage and contrasting colors.
I especially love ferns and grasses--but want to stay native.
For flowers, we do prefer pastels but do not eschew all bright hues.
We have butterfly weed and I'd like to add echinacea if that's okay.
Neither of us like "too much going on" in the garden (but I can be guilty of causing this to happen.)
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:51 AM
 
Location: a primitive state
6,970 posts, read 11,852,123 times
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There is a book that I use frequently. It's at my office or I'd be able to give you the correct title. It's called something like Favorite Native Plants for Florida Gardens. If you can wait till Monday evening, I'll try to get you the correct title.

The "rule" for native plants is that it must have been growing in your particular region before Europeans arrived in North America.

You can stretch that to include all of your growing zone, like native plants that will grow in Zone 8, or you can restrict it to native plants that are well adapted to your specific locale, Amelia Island or NE Florida.

The book I'm recommending is rather nice because it will tell you the type of ecosystem the plant can be found in, and what other plants can be found growing with it. Gives you a ready-made planting palette.

You can also check with the Florida Native Plant Society. Florida Native Plant Society I wish that other states had similar advocacy/educational organizations.
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:46 AM
 
Location: on an island
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Thanks ellie.
The model ordinance in the website you posted is interesting.
I have been reading about invasive species such as the popcorn plant.
It gets tricky though, it is hard to know where to draw the line.
I do love the sun-splashed feast-for-the-senses Mediterranean feel that herbs such as rosemary, lavender and so many other herbs promote, and I have seen a lot of those here, they do so well.
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Old 06-23-2007, 12:26 PM
 
Location: a primitive state
6,970 posts, read 11,852,123 times
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I don't see anything wrong with growing herbs, perennials, and other ornamentals you are fond of. Growing natives, especially as filler and in mixed borders between homes, along property lines, and in places where you can display them to their best advantage makes sense when you're looking for plants that are likely to be well adapted and provide food and shelter for animals. Plus it's a big picture, responsible thing to do. Why not promote using native landscape materials and make them the default choice, as opposed to non-native plants that are prone to disease, drought stress, or are likely to replace native plants growing in the wild? The problem with invasive exotics seems to become more pronounced the farther south you go in Florida. I think that's why the state is such a leader in this field.

The other thing I love about using regionally appropiate natives is that sense of place that comes from using them. Your yard will look like NE Florida rather than NC, or NJ, or Oregon.

You're a good egg, Cil.
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Old 06-24-2007, 03:35 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,321 posts, read 29,633,471 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellie View Post
Why not promote using native landscape materials and make them the default choice, as opposed to non-native plants that are prone to disease, drought stress, or are likely to replace native plants growing in the wild? The problem with invasive exotics seems to become more pronounced the farther south you go in Florida. I think that's why the state is such a leader in this field.
Yes, it occurred to me that south Florida probably has it much worse in terms of invasive non-native plants as well as animals--and that they have been learning the hard way.
I do like making natives the default choice...
Quote:
The other thing I love about using regionally appropiate natives is that sense of place that comes from using them.
...and what you say above is why. Sense of place.
What stuff I did purchase (herbs etc) is in pots and I'll just keep them like that for now. I haven't put anything in the ground.
Thanks for the props, but the funny thing is that after so many years in Colorado, some of the NE Florida native plants actually seem fairly exotic to me.
There is some overlap, though, so I am not a total noob.
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Old 06-24-2007, 04:16 AM
 
Location: NE Florida
17,800 posts, read 21,164,248 times
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Cil
the extension agent for your county is a really terrific source.
She taught many of our Master Gardener classes.
you can also check ou the U of Florida Ifas on native plants
here is a link

Native Florida Plants for Home Landscapes

here is also a link to invasive and non-native plants
Information and Photos -- Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

karla
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:13 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,321 posts, read 29,633,471 times
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Thanks Karla,
There are actually a lot of familiar "faces" in the first site, such as fire bush and virginia creeper, which we had in Colorado--this is helpful to both the husband and me.
The second site is a great reference and easy to navigate (it is helpful for me to have the common names.)

Nice to see "Florida rosemary" (it looks sort of like a creeping variety?) listed as a native nearly throughout the state, I have seen rosemary growing by itself in fields, but then I have also seen wisteria growing all by itself.

Wow, I am blown away to see that there are two native species of Baby's tears here in Florida, and that one of them is found throughout the southeastern US.

Lantana is really tricky, isn't it? Some is okay, some not. .
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 23,501,061 times
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Talking I love this question!

Some of my favorite Florida natives.......

TREES:

Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)

Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)

Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii)

River Birch (Betula nigra)...not sure if this is native, but it has 'the look'


SHRUBS:

Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

Coontie (Zamia pumila)


PALMS:

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)


GRASSES:

Florida Gamma Grass (Tripsacum floridana)

Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

Sand Cordgrass (Spartina bakeri)


NON-NATIVES THAT DO REALLY WELL HERE:

Butterfly Weed - perrenial (Asclepias tuberosa)

Confederate Jasmine - vine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)


FAVORITE FLORIDA BOOKS:

Florida Gardener's Guide by Tom MacCubbin & Georgia Tasker

Florida Top 10 Garden Guide by Sunset


I get a lot of inspiration from the conservation area at the back of my lot, here are some pics (you can see Slash Pine, Sweetbay Magnolia, Palmettos and some native Maples):



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Old 06-25-2007, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Warwick, NY
1,172 posts, read 4,302,734 times
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Any of the Sarracenia. They're unusual, beautiful, and devour wasps at a stunning rate !

Of them all, I think Sarracenia leucophylla is the most attractive.
http://www.usbg.gov/plant-collections/conservation/images/Sarracenia_leucophyllalarge.jpg (broken link)
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:08 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,321 posts, read 29,633,471 times
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Thanks so much Riveree! I love visuals.
Your pictures sure resemble what's around here, though there are fewer pines. We have lots of live oaks, though. Confederate vine seems to be accepted, as does butterfly weed--butterfly weed was planted out front before we even moved in.
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