Passionflower Chapter

Florida Native Plant Society

Past Activity News

June 9, 2021 - The Incredible Green Swamp

Peggy Cox presented a program about the Green Swamp - the "Liquid Heart of Florida" - right here in Lake County.  Learn its history, how it feeds our rivers and lakes (including the Clermont Chain of Lakes), provides flood protection, and recharges the aquifer to supply our household water.  Learn how the area is also ecologically important since it contains native habitat that is home to a wide diversity of native plant life and provides food and shelter for a variety of wildlife including mammals, birds, and butterflies. This "Area of Critical State Concern" needs protection if we want to continue to have a readily available water supply and enjoy the many recreational opportunities our beautiful county provides.

Watch a recording of The Incredible Green Swamp presentation and look at the Lake County Water Atlas to find out about the status of our water resources.


May 23, 2021 - Field Trip to Lake Louisa State Park

Standing on a bridge over Big Creek at Lake Louisa State Park, the Passionflower and Lake Beautyberry field trip group admired a banded water snake sunning itself on the tree roots.  From sandhills and scrub to cypress swamp and this blackwater stream location, the trip traced the hydrology of this section of the Green Swamp and saw and learned about how each plant community fits into the hydrology that supplies a large part of the water in the Clermont Chain of Lakes and beyond.


May 22,2021 - Congratulations to Passionflower Award Winners!

Two Passionflower members were announced as award winners at the May 22nd FNPS Annual Meeting.

  • Passionflower’s President, Melanie Simon, received a Silver Palmetto Award.  Award recipients, chosen by the FNPS President, are recognized for making a major contribution to the functioning of the Society.  In addition to her duties with Passionflower, Melanie has served as the Council of Chapters Secretary this past year. 
  • Passionflower member Pam Adams was awarded this year’s FNPS Landscape Award in the Residential category.  FNPS evaluates landscapes around the state and gives an annual award of merit for high quality native plant landscapes in 7 categories. 


May 8, 2021 - Maintaining a Florida Native Yard

Planting Florida Native Plants is only the beginning.  As we learned in our February and March 2021 programs (watch via links below), the key to an attractive yard, regardless of the type of plants, is a cared-for look. Although our native plants have many low maintenance benefits - including needing less water, fertilizer, and pesticides - all plants require some maintenance.  This program explains native plant maintenance for Prevention, Pests & Disease, and Wildlife and includes lots of care instructions and tips for healthy plants, a cared-for look, and an attractive yard that people, birds, and butterflies can enjoy. 

Watch Maintaining a Florida Native Plant Yard here.


April/May 2021 - Plant Rescues

On multiple days in April and May, Passionflower volunteers joined volunteers from other FNPS chapters to rescue native plants from a development site in Clermont.  These plants, many of them threatened due to habitat loss, will be hardened at a nursery and replanted later in the summer at a restoration site.  This not only increases the native plant population at the site, but also increases the biodiversity.

Rescues and replanting will continue through the summer.  Email Passionflower if you are interested in helping with this important work.


April 10, 2021 - Plant Identification

Want to learn about some tools and techniques for identifying plants?  Some of our Chapter member sent in pictures of "Mystery Plants" wanting to learn if they were friend (native, useful to wildlife) or foe (non Florida-Friendly exotic, invasive).  See the pictures, test your plant knowledge and learn about useful tools for plant identification as we talk about how we identified the plants and how you can improve your skills.

Watch Plant Identification here.


March 10, 2021 - Legislation and HOA Talking Points for Native Landscaping

UF/IFAS FFL Program Statewide Florida-Friendly Communities Coordinator, Clair Lewis, spoke to Passionflower members and supporters on March 10th.  Her presentation included very interesting (and sometimes surprising) research and focus group data about water usage, yard task labor, and landscape preferences developed for educational activities with homeowners, developers, HOAs, and landscaping companies.  She also shared some of the features of the updated UF/IFAS website including a very useful Florida-Friendly Plant Guide (which includes a lot of native plants and allows searching by zip code and plant form) and tips (and layouts) for Butterfly Gardens and identifying butterflies.  Some of the educational materials Claire mentioned are posted on our Resources Page.

One conclusion of the research Claire presented was that concern focused on maintenance, not just the type of plants.  Our program on Saturday, May 8th will address "Maintaining a Florida Native Yard".

If you missed the program watch the Legislation and Talking Points for Native Landscaping recording.

February 13, 2021 - Creating Harmony with Natives and HOAs

Kirsten Sharp-Ortega, Passionflower Member and Designer and Co-Owner of My Dragonfly Gardens spoke to the chapter about Creating Harmony with Natives and HOAs.  Her program focused on design fundamentals, how to create visual interest and a neat look, and maintenance considerations,  Throughout she talked about specific native plants appropriate for this area - how they grow and look during different seasons and the care they need - with an emphasis on wildlife value.  So this presentation is a must for anyone looking for plant suggestions for an existing or new garden.  If you missed it or want to watch again use this link Creating Harmony with Natives and HOAs.


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