by: Lara Miller, Natural Resource Agent
Jennifer Jones, Brooker Creek Preserve Intern
Wildflowers, field. UF/IFAS: Photos Thomas Wright
The Florida Wildflower Foundation defines a “Florida native wildflower” as any flowering herbaceous species, or woody species with ornamental flowers, which grew wild within the state’s natural ecosystems in the 1560s when Florida’s first botanical records were created. Wildflowers are beautiful and can be the perfect addition to your garden, but they can become weeds if they are growing in the wrong place. Having wildflowers in your yard can increase plant and animal diversity in your neighborhood and can help support diverse wildlife, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Since plants and animals have evolved together, one often relies on the other for survival. Herbivores often feast on the flowers, while their nectar provides a food source to insects. The wildflowers also serve as shelter for insect eggs. Because these flowers have adapted to Florida’s climate and pests, they usually require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides than other flowers.
If you are interested in learning more about wildflowers please check out the Fall Wildflower Festival at Brooker Creek Preserve this Saturday, October 27th, 2012 from 9:00am-4:00pm. This is a free event, held rain or shine! You will have the opportunity to enjoy a walk-through tent with 500 plants and over 250 live butterflies! Come get up close and personal with hundreds of butterflies and learn about their life cycle! There will also be wildflowers for sale as well as a fun wildflower scavenger hunt!
The Friends of Brooker Creek look forward to seeing you there!
Stay up to date on news and information affecting our environment by following your Pinellas County Natural Resource Extension Agent on Twitter.