December eNews for Broward Native Plants
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Dahoon Holly, Ilex cassine, is an excellent holiday decoration for those wanting the real Florida and real greenery. This small to medium tree (occasionally large) prefers moist soil so might be well suited to low places that puddle when it rains. It enjoys sun or light shade and the fruiting female tree needs a flowering male tree (dioecious). Berries are sometimes yellow or orange. Feel the edges on the leaves for the diminutive holly thorns, that vary from none to prickly.

Florida Native Plant Society

Promoting the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Broward County
Membership $35
Broward Chapter site & CALENDAR
Email Us (we read it and respond to it)
Plant List (Inst. for Regional Conservation)
The Broward Chapter on Facebook

December Events

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 7 pm
Secret Woods, 2701 W. State Rd. 84, Dania Beach, FL 33312

Secrets of the Secret Woods
Molly Taylor, Park Naturalist, will tell us some of the many less commonly known facts about the parks, history, ecology, and changes underway. After answering questions, Molly will lead us on a short night walk to appreciate that night is the best time for some creatures and plants.

Saturday, Dec 12, all day

Visit Broward's Five Nurseries with Natives:
"Gift You Garden with Native Plants!"

As we promote urban native landscaping, we should also support and promote our local Broward nurseries. If you have not yet visited all five, you may not realize the diversity of species that is currently available. Each is quite unique in its capacity and species. Tell them you are a FNPS Member for a 10% discount on Dec 12. (see poster below)

Saturday, Dec 19, 9 am to noon
Crandon Park, 6747 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne 33149

Bear Cut Preserve, Crandon Park (Key Biscayne)

A joint field trip hosted by the Dade Chapter:
Explore and botanize coastal habitats, including beach dune, coastal strand, and hammock. The preserve offers some of the best examples of intact coastline remaining in southeast Florida and is home to several rare plant species, three of which are endemic to South Florida, most others being tropical species toward the northern limit of their range. Jimmy Lange, a field botanist at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, will lead us to discuss the flora and the work his group does with rare coastal species.
  • Meet: 9 a.m., north end of the first parking lot next to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Nature Center (address above).
  • Cost: Crandon parking fee $7, Causeway toll $1.75 by Sun Pass or Toll-by-Plate.  Split the cost: Contact Patty 305-255-6404 by December 16 for carpool opportunities from the north and south.
  • Bring: Water, sun protection, lunch if you want to picnic afterward.
  • Difficulty: Easy. Sandy paths, sun and shade.
  • Delayed or lost?  Try Patty's cell, 305-878-5705. Latecomers will probably find us down a trail along the dunes.
Calendar at
Groundnut, Apios americana, (Fabaceae, pea family) a high-climbing perennial vine named for its edible tuber (cooked). Many historic accounts mention its use by Native Americans as food. It is widespread in central and eastern North America and in the wild prefers wet to moist soils in moderate to light shade. In cultivation groundnuts may prefer moist, well-drained soils. The flower is fragrant and the plant is laval host to northern cloudywing and silver spotted skipper butterflies. Photo by Mary Keim.
Long Strap Fern, Campyloneurum phyllitidis, showing the sori on the back of the long strap-like leaf. Sori (bunches of spore packets each containing the fine dust of spores) often make it easy to remember and distinguish among species. This fern is not difficult to identify, but these highly ordered rows, two wide between veins, are distinctive. Photo Annkatrin Rose, blueridgekitties on Flickr.
Alan Cressler, the photographer, says he did not adjust or exaggerate the red color on these Christmasberries, Lyceum carolinianum. In different light, they look glossy. This small to medium shrub is not difficult to grow, but needs the extra water and moist soil of a rain garden or low place in sun or light shade. It makes a great accent shrub alone or with a clean wall behind because its branching is so random, individual, and open (short gray-green succulent leaves). The showy four-pedal flower is normally lavender with white anthers. Do not hesitate to buy a scrawny-looking plant if the leaves look healthy, as it will grow upright in time. One or two artful snips with a pruner will complement its naturally artistic character.
Broward Nursery Notes

Donna's Garden Gate has a surprising number and interesting variety of native species in a relatively small Sears nursery space: trees and shrubs, but also wetland plants, many small species, annuals and perennials. Ask for Donna for help to find the natives.
Jesse Durko's Nursery has greatly expanded their native plant section in the southwest corner on these several acres of nursery. Expect one gallon or larger, herbaceous plants, vines, trees, and shrubs. Keep hunting in that SW corner to find species you didn't notice at first look.
Runway Growers is now open on Saturdays. As a grower they often have many plants of each species, especially useful when you need more plants. They have a species search tool on their website,, but Adolfo will help you find the species currently in stock.
Zugar's Growers has not grown many native species in the past, but wants to expand. As a grower, they recently filled some native species orders. Stop by to encourage Zeke and Paula and tell them the types of native species you are looking for. They are opposite Runway Growers on SW 36th St at SW 30th Ave, so it is easy to visit both.
Alexander Landscaping and Plant Farm has many native species throughout this rather large nursery. Ask Alyssa for help. She and her father, Bryan, have long supported FNPS and sold at our plant sales. You'll like the plants and attentive help you receive.
The address, hours, and phone of each nursery is on the poster above.

Chapter President Letter to
Broward Planning Council 

  • The following email was sent to Ivan Cabrera by Chapter President, Richard Brownscombe, for comment regarding the proposed “Highlighted Regional Issues and Strategies” (Section 1) of the updated Land Use Plan. Ivan Cabrera responded, "Thank you for your valuable input. I will share your comments with the BrowardNext team."
  • We urge you to participate in Broward's land use decisions (in whatever ways you think are effective). It is especially important that citizen's now express their expectation that sustainability be the centerpiece of future development. Think globally (climate change and mass species extinction), but act locally. Broward can lead on green, if citizens make this our priority.

Dear Broward County Planning Council,
Thank you so much for your hard work on BrowardNext.
In the context of climate change, build-out, and much more planned growth, it is extremely important to keep “green” in the vision. Transportation is THE biggest category of carbon-emitting energy use, so better public transportation has many benefits, including creating a more environmentally sustainable county and cities. Public transportation is in this vision; that’s good and important. Also the emphasis on increasing housing density is good and necessary. On the whole, this is the right vision.
However, “green” is only weakly expressed in this vision. Green means sustainable (not damaging the environment, water, air, and land) and it mean[s] literally green native plants because all the local wildlife (200 native bee species, countless insects, butterflies, birds, turtles, frogs etc.) are directly dependent on native greenery for food, shelter, and reproduction. Green is also cooling, interesting, and pleasant for people.
Although 2/3 of Broward is in the Everglades Management areas (the swamp), only about 1/3 of all floral and faunal species live there. That is because it is almost entirely one type of natural environment (a wetlands community). About 2/3 of all plant and animal wildlife live in the remaining pockets of “built-out” Broward, the urban 1/3 (reference the Institute for Regional Conservation inventory studies,, and others). Therefore, 25% of local plant species (and all the wildlife that depends on them) are currently in peril of local extinction. The “pockets” of natural areas (many unprotected) include lots, lot edges and wedges, and back yards. Again, about 2/3 of all of Broward’s extant plant and animal wildlife [species] now live in these remaining green pockets of “built-out” (urban) Broward.
            • Permit municipalities to adopt “Transfer of Development Rights” programs that identify an overall plan or strategy that would further a public purpose, such as enabling the creation of significant public or private open space areas or corridors, protect environmentally sensitive lands, historic resources, or areas identified as subject to significant climate change impacts (such as “Priority Planning Areas”), and direct new development to more suitable areas such as designated “activity centers,” including downtowns, transit oriented corridors or hubs, and/or approved redevelopment areas.

[It is] important to “protect environmentally sensitive lands”, of course. However, “open space areas and corridors” does not convey the critical need to allow extant species to survive in Broward. Rather we should say “open and green spaces and corridors” to remind ourselves that planned developed changes need to include our native plants to aid species survival and create natural beauty where we live, walk, bike, drive, and breathe. Please add “green" to paint a better vision. It conveys sustainability, wildlife survival, and beauty.
Broward County supports a development strategy which promotes the principles of “Smart Growth,” which seeks to maintain and create desirable communities and neighborhoods for Broward County residents, visitors and economic interests, including quality housing for all, integrated with excellent public facilities, recreational opportunities and open space areas, and which preserves and conserves natural resources.

Better: “green space, and which preserves and restores natural resources”. Extant wildlife cannot survive if undeveloped land edges and wedges and parks are all put to human use and recreation. It is not enough to conserve existing protected land. There is a tendency in land use planning of built-out areas to see land for human use instead a mixed-use vision of co-existing with nature. Restoration of natural land in our midst and native landscaping are essential for Broward’s wildlife survival. Local extinction is the alternative; our wildlife cannot survive on exotic species alone.
Regarding: STRATEGY IG-1 Potential Implementation Approach, page 1
Expand land use plan category permitted uses.
Example – allow limited community facility and utilities uses within lands designated “Parks and Recreation,” subject to conditions.

This looks exactly like putting all land, including “unused” space in parks, to human use instead of making some space for nature. “Limited” is far too permissive. Parks, of all places, need to be dedicated green space. Unused park land should be for natural restoration or native landscaping. Remember we have taken almost all of eastern Broward for human use. Dense housing makes sense, but taking park land for utilities does not. This is human selfishness. Green pockets are the only spaces left for Broward’s wildlife. Look at this County map of protected areas. It includes “parks” as protected when actually many parks are exclusively for human use (like ball diamonds) without even trees in the parking lots. Please save parks as green space. Remember 19 out of 22 Broward voters voted FOR Amendment 1 to protect the environment. The general public does not want to see the loss of green space. Instead, we want the restoration of green space.
Whatever you do to keep “green” in our plans is what the public wants as we all worry about what we have already done to damage the environment and cause local species extinction. Learning to think in terms of co-existing with nature in densely urban places is not just good for the environment, it creates a Broward that is far more interesting, beautiful, and relaxing for every person who lives here or visits.
Richard Brownscombe
President, Broward Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society
The Broward Chapter is on Facebook. Like us. Participate in the conversation.
Speaker events are on 2nd Wednesdays at 7 pm at the Secret Woods.
Field Trips are usually on a following weekend but they vary,
so always check the Calendar and check again for last minute trip updates.
Visit for a wealth of information about local plants.
Copyright © 2015 Broward Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, All rights reserved.

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