FNPS Promotes

the Preservation, Conservation, and Restoration of the Native Plants and Native Plant Communities of Florida.

We provide scientifically sound information on native plants, their habitats, the wildlife that depends on them, and their management and culture

Slide show photographs by Shirley Denton


Lucky's Market to Donate 10% of all Store Sales on April 10th

Posted February 15, 2018

Lucky’s Market is donating 10% of their total store sales to us on April 10th!  Please support them and thank them for helping to preserve and conserve natural Florida! We will have a table at the Lucky’s store in Orlando on April 10th.  Stop by and see us:   11750 East Colonial…

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Conference Volunteers Needed

Posted January 03, 2018

Looking for a low-cost way to attend the FNPS 38th Annual Conference? Why not volunteer? We have the following Coordinator positions still available. Interested? Drop a note to: conference.fnps@gmail.com 

  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Game Night Coordinator
  • Plant ID Contest
  • Onsite Vendor Coordinator
  • Silent Auction Coordinator

Save the Date for the 2018 FNPS Conference

Posted December 29, 2017

May 17-20, 2018 at the Miccosukee Resort in Miami 500 S.W. 177th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33194.   You will be delighted by mind-expanding experiences, tempted by sumptuous meals (including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free) and amazed by the networking and social opportunities.   As always,…

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FNPS Annual Awards

Posted December 27, 2017

The Florida Native Plant Society is fortunate to have many dedicated and outstanding members who donate their time in support of our mission.  We honor your service each year at our annual Palmetto Awards ceremony, which takes place during the Annual Members Meeting at the conference.  …

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2018 Landscape Awards

Posted December 15, 2017

New this year:  The Florida Native Plant Society will be giving monetary awards to the “best of” in award categories. As always, we will be honoring the work of Landscape Architects and Designers who utilize and showcase Florida’s native plants, through our annual Landscape Awards program. …

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2018 Grants for Research, Conservation, and Ethnobotany

Posted September 21, 2017

The Florida Native Plant Society maintains an Endowment Research Grant program for the purpose of funding research on native plants. These are small grants ($1500 or less), awarded for a 1-year period, and intended to support research that forwards the mission of the Florida Native Plant Society…

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Latest from the Blog

Why You Need to Know About Florida Grass by Jackie Edwards

Why You Need to Know About Florida Grass

There are three main types of grasses used for lawns in the state of Florida, which are indigenous to the area. Using the right grass in its natural environment is essential in keeping the delicate ecosystem balanced. Florida is unique in America because it has a different type of ecosystem, even from its closest neighbors. This creates a different type of need when preparing a yard. Choosing between bahia grass, St. Augustine grass, and centipede grass for a lawn depends on a number of factors. Choosing these grasses also help to sustain the natural habitat already in place before humans began building lawns for show.


Level of care varies with each grass type in America. Each type of grass includes an optimum maintenance level, which dictates how often it will need to be mowed and fertilized. Typically, higher cost means higher maintenance. Pest control must also be considered in grass choices carefully, as getting rid of pests means tipping the scales of the local ecosystem. Knowing what pests prefer which grass will help reduce their prevalence, and help the pests live elsewhere, keeping the ecosystem balanced. Understand the different required lengths for each type of grass, as well. Some grasses succumb to disease and weeds when mowed too short. Others thrive and look better when mowed to a specific height. Reviewing each type of grass with a realistic idea of maintenance is the first step in building the perfect yard.

Soil and Environment

Florida is one of the hottest states in the nation year-round. Considering the amount of water quality and quantity available to the area is essential in choosing the right grass. Type of soil, available drainage, pH, and other soil qualities also matter in how well the grass will be received. These factors vary, which means some grasses grow better than others in each specific area. Luckily, there are a variety of species within each grass type, so a homeowner still has a choice. However, be sure to choose a grass that is normally grown in Florida. Imported grasses may not survive Florida conditions or year-round heat. Imported plants also upset the delicate intricacies of the existing ecosystem. Foreign plants introduce disease to other plants, and animals who may be poisoned by foreign matter. Further, the grass must be able to tolerate specific circumstances, such as drought or saltwater stress. Considering the location of the lawn will weigh on the decision.

Leaf and Turf

The leaves of the grass give the lawn its appearance. The difference is in blade width, which is either fine, medium, or coarse. The texture of the grass only matters if the lawn is to be used for sporting events, and is otherwise strictly visual. Florida’s grasses tend to be coarser than most, as they need to hold moisture for longer than their Northern counterparts. The density of the turf is the amount of leaves in a specific area. Florida lawns typically look better with a high density type of grass. A lower density typically requires more mowing, as they must be kept at a more specific height to maintain a well-kept appearance.
Florida lawns must be able to withstand the ever-changing, harsh environment. The state is unique in its weather and environmental needs, so buying grass that grows naturally in Florida is the best way to guarantee a perfect lawn year-round.

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Wildflower Wednesday ~ Chapman's Blazing Star
Summer Farewell (Dalea pinnata) - a Titan among nectar plants for N.E. Florida Pollinators in September and October
Join the Pawpaw Chapter of FNPS on an exploration of Longfleaf Pine Sandhill in the Ocala National Forest
Why your Florida garden needs Yucca plants, and how to grow them
Wednesday's Wildflower: Skyblue Lupine