Prevent Introduction of Invasive Plants
The use of only native plants in your Florida landscaping helps limit the chances that potentially invasive, exotic plant species will be introduced into the native Florida environment around your home. Many of the invasive, exotic plant species present in Florida’s natural areas today were introduced as landscaping plants many decades ago. Continued introduction of new exotic plants into suburban landscapes will result in many new invasive plants in the future.
Benefits of Florida Native Plants
By going with Florida native plants, you can can help you provide wildlife with a habitat they need to thrive. The native plants that we grow can meet the needs, including food and cover, of native Florida wildlife without causing long-term damage to local plant communities. With the right diversity of Florida native plants in your landscaping projects, you can provide:
Protective cover for many animals.
Seeds, nuts, and fruits for squirrels and other mammals.
Seeds, fruits, and insects for birds.
Nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies.
Larval host plants for butterfly caterpillars.
1. Sabal Palm
Regenerated Sabal Palms are very cold-hardy and tough. It is commonly accepted that sabal palms (cabbage palms) are able to survive relatively short periods of temperatures as low as 7 °F (-13 °C). However, it has also been reported to survive temperatures much lower.
2. Sea Grape
Coccoloba uvifera is a species of flowering plant in the buckwheat family, Polygonaceae, that is native to coastal beaches throughout tropical America and the Caribbean; including southern Florida, the Bahamas, the Greater and Lesser Antilles and Bermuda. Common names include Seagrape and Baygrape.
In late summer it bears green fruit, about 2 cm (0.79 in) diameter, in large grape-like clusters. The fruit gradually ripen to a purplish color. Each contains a large pit that constitutes most of the volume of the fruit.
3. Indian Hawthorne
Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepsis indica) is a small, slow-growing shrub perfect for sunny locations. It’s easy to care for because it keeps a neat, rounded shape naturally, without the need for pruning. The shrub looks great year round and becomes a focal point in spring when large, loose clusters of fragrant, pink or white flowers bloom.
Cocoplum can be found in the wild as a small, multi-stemmed tree in the Everglades. Occurs from Cape Canaveral to Key West and Sanibel Florida. Reaching a height of 15 feet and a spread of 15 feet, salt-tolerant Cocoplum grows in full sun or partial shade on a wide range of soils, needing little irrigation once established.
5. Slash Pine
Pinus elliottii, commonly known as the slash pine, is a pine native to the southeastern United States, from southern South Carolina west to southeastern Louisiana, and south to the Florida Keys. It is fast-growing, but not very long-lived by pine standards (to 200 years), and prefers humid climates and moist soils. Slash pine is named after the “slashes” – swampy ground overgrown with trees and bushes – that constitute its habitat.
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