October eNews for Broward Native Plants
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Diospyros virginiana, Persimmon
"Discovering Grassy Waters Preserve" (below)

Florida Native Plant Society

Promoting the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Broward County
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Broward Chapter site & CALENDAR
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October Events

Cara Abbott on Understanding the Impacts of Invasive Plant Species in Natural Areas

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 7 pm
Secret Woods, 2701 W. State Rd. 84, Dania Beach, FL 33312
Photo: Forest and Kim Starr
    Melaleuca quinquenervia viewed from Alligator Alley
Cara Abbott is Education and Outreach Coordinator and Administrative Assistant for the Institute for Regional Conservation. She has an MS in Environmental Science from Florida Atlantic University. She has studied a threatened salamander species, vertebrate morphogenesis, and the Black Needlerush, Juncus roemerianus, and taught school.

She will speak about "Understanding the Impacts of Invasive Plant Species in Natural Areas". Invasive plants are one of the most urgent problems for survival of critically imperiled species in South Florida natural areas.

Broward Chapter Cleanup of Secret Woods

Saturday, Nov. 5, 9 am - 4:30 pm
Secret Woods, 2701 W. State Rd. 84, Dania Beach, FL 33312

We want to help this valuable natural area stay clean. Please join us on Saturday, Nov. 5th for a cleanup of the natural land at the Secret Woods Nature Area. The Secret Woods hosts the Broward Chapter rent free.

Protecting the last few places of our natural wild legacy is important. Garbage, pollution, and all things that harm the environment and habitat have no place here. We need many hands, young and old, to help make a significant difference, so please set assign Saturday, Nov. 5th for the Secret Woods. The public is invited.

For years the staff of the Secret Woods have provided free rent and care for the Broward Chapter. Let's show them we care, too.
Check our Calendar at for any schedule updates.
Special Opportunity:
Archbold Biological Station Field Trip
October 28-30, 2016

Visit this important center of Florida biological research and education.
Can’t stay all weekend?  No problem!
  Come for one night or both. Or come Saturday only. We would enjoy having you along! Registration closes October 19.
Don’t miss this special opportunity organized by the Dade Chapter FNPS for a weekend at one of the most interesting places in Florida -- about 130 miles NE of Ft. Lauderdale or 2 hours, 10 minutes via US-27.  Archbold Biological Station is a nonprofit facility devoted to ecological research and conservation.  It has 5000 acres of globally significant natural preserve northeast of Lake Okeechobee near the southern end of the Lake Wales Ridge, including xeric uplands, prairies and diverse wetlands.  The Ridge has one of the highest concentrations of endemic species in the United States.  See
   At 10 a.m. Saturday, Dr. Eric Menges will lead a 2-hour tour. This will include seeing recent prescribed burns and plant responses to those burns, and discussion of how land management can benefit plants of the Florida scrub.  (Difficulty: moderate, walking may be in sand and sun.  After an hour, you may choose to end or continue.)
   Other excursions on Saturday and on Sunday morning will be with our own knowledgeable members. There are also short self-guided nature trails with signage. You are free to explore the station. Some visitor services are available before 4 p.m. Friday (
   On Sunday, you are welcome to continue exploring on your own.  Mid-morning, we are invited to make a short detour on the way home to see the beautiful 4.5-acre scrub near Lake Placid now home to former Dade member Jerry Russo.
   Accommodations are in the station’s modern Platinum LEED lodge with overflow in cottages (2/room, shared bathrooms).  Meals are in the dining room except for a bag lunch on Saturday. Vegetarian is available.  You can bring a cooler and use ice available in the lodge to store additional food.
● The trip is open to FNPS members and a guest. REGISTRATION CLOSES OCTOBER 19. If you aren’t a member of FNPS or it is past Oct. 19, please contact Patty (below) to see if she can still accommodate you.
Please register and pay online at  There are several options for lodging and meals to fit your needs. $124 covers 2 nights, Friday supper, meals Saturday, and Sunday morning breakfast.
Everyone must register in advance, even to attend only for the daytime on Saturday (no fee if you do not want meals). 
All attendees will also pay separately for the tour with Dr. Menges when they arrive ($5 collected by DCFNPS).
Please contact Patty Phares if you need additional information (or try to arrange carpools)., 305-255-6404, 305-878-5705 cell. More details will be sent to registrants.
Discovering Grassy Waters Preserve
Richard Brownscombe

   Last month James Lange, Researcher and Field Biologist at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, took us on a wonderful walk in Grassy Waters Preserve just an hour north of Fort Lauderdale in West Palm Beach. This wetlands is an example of doing the right thing to build a sustainable urban environment. The naturally clean waters of the preserve are supplying the drinking water for West Palm Beach and helping keep the aquifer healthy. At the same time all these wetland plant and wildlife species have a place to thrive and townsfolk have easy access to this beautiful place.
Ilex cassine, Dahoon Holly (female) and Taxodium ascendens, Pond Cypress
The facilities of the parking lot, restrooms, picnic tables, waterside deck, canoe and kayak launch, rain shelter, benches, and boardwalk, say "Welcome. Enjoy." We were so fortunate to have "our botanist", James, along to name the plants and point out many interesting things we would not have known. As a few other couples, groups, and individuals passed by us, I wanted to say, "Stop! Did you see this!" (I did engage one or two, but people are doing their own thing, too.)
Nymphaea odorata, American Waterlily

   The others who came on the walk spotted quite a few interesting flowers, butterflies, birds, and insects that neither Jimmy nor I saw. With many excited eyes looking around, we found many more interesting plants and wildlife than we would have seen otherwise. It is interesting to observe how people's different experiences allow them to each discover different things to see in the wild. 
The Lubber grasshopper, a native and beautiful in orange.

   Photos never do justice to the experience. The wildlife is especially difficult because it moves. This still Lubber was an exception. The boardwalk is another challenge because it is hard to get close to the subject. I have a telephoto lens for that, but with so many twigs and grasses and leaves, the camera never knows what to focus on. When I got home, I finally took out the manual, read, and practiced so that next time I can manually control the focus. My apologies are not for these photos, but to my companions for not getting any great shots of you!

Sagittaria lancifolia, Lance-leaved Arrowhead

Peltandra virginica, Green Arum

   Arum has an interesting encased white spike in the flower that we can try to capture on another visit. This would make a nice pond plant if you have a water feature. The long stems are spikerush (photo below).
Hydrolea corymbosa, Skyflower

    This photo fails to capture the wonderful blue intensity of this blue-like-the-sky Skyflower. These flowers are less than an inch, but easily catch your eye.

Diospyros virginiana, Persimmon

The tasty Persimmon needs to be fully ripe to enjoy that great flavor without the overly-astringent bite of the under-ripe fruit.

Vittaria lineata, Shoestring Fern

This pleasant epiphytic fern with young uncoiling leaves might be available from an enthusiast grower, but it needs a place of high humidity and favors the Sabal palmetto.
Fraxinus caroliniana, Pop Ash, Blechnum serrulatum, Swamp Fern, and Thelypteris interrupta, Interrupted Maiden Fern (in front)

   Both ferns shown here were abundant. If you find ferns confusing, keep looking and comparing the pinnae (leaflet) margins and veins and look at the underside of fertile fronds to see the pattern of the sori (spore capsules that become brown). This closer look shows off their many differences.
Thalia geniculata, Alligatorflag
Magnolia virginiana, Sweet-bay

   This Magnolia is another reason to visit again in spring or summer to see its bloom. The flower is not the grand one of the non-native Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora, but it is also lovely. The leaves are aromatic when crushed. If you have wet soils, you might want to consider this accent tree for your garden. The Institute of Regional Conservations says, "Most botanists would consider this to be the most primitive tree native to South Florida," meaning of course, that its ancient origins are manifest, for example, in the flower structure.

Nymphoides aquatica, Big Floatingheart and Taxodium ascendens, Pond Cypress (branches reflected)

   These would seem to be the perfect pad for a smaller pond. The flowers are not like the American White Waterlily, but small, simple, white, and delicate.

Hypericum cistifolium, Roundpod St. John's-wort

   The seedpods of this Saint John's-wort are a glossy mahogany color, distinctive and as showy as the flower.

Panicum rigidulum, Redtop Panicum
Hyptis alata, Musky Mint

   The flowers and square stem help identify this as a mint (but not so much, the smell).

Eleocharis cellulosa, Gulf Coast Spikerush

   Beware those common names, this spikerush is native on our Atlantic coast, too.

Eriocaulon decangulare, Tenangle Pipewort (?)

The similar Pipewort listed for Grassy Waters Preserve is called Flattened Pipewort, Eriocaulon compressum, and this button looks quite puffed up, so we are going with Eriocaulon decangulare. Let us know of any misidentifications. We welcome learning and passing the information on.
Eriocaulon sp
These are probably the leaves of the Pipewort, but the photographer in me was just enjoying the reflections.

Note: James Lange contributed to the identification and some of the information, but any foolishness is likely our own.
The Broward Chapter is on Facebook. Like us. Participate in the conversation.
Photo above is by Mary Keim
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 © 2016 Broward Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, All rights reserved.

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