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

Photographs from the 2015 conference -- Click here to enjoy more and for photo credits


Kissimmee Prairie Wildlife Video Released

Posted July 12, 2015

Enjoy this video that was developed under the direction of the FNPS Education Committee.


You can view this video in full screen. We recommend that you view it on a device that is a least the width of a tablet.

Landscape Award Winner Gets More Praise!

Posted July 08, 2015

Archbold Biological Station was awarded a well-earned Landscape Award by FNPS this year.  We have just learned that they have received national level recognition for the same project.


Click here for a scan of the award document!


Native Plant Month Event -- Martin County, October 10

Posted August 31, 2015

October will be Native Plant Month!  The Society and its chapters have many events planned.  Keep your eyes on this site to learn about planned events and when and where they will be held. A great opportunity to learn how to maintain a native landscape is being presented by the Ginny Stibolt…

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Teaching Students About Butterfly Gardening

Posted August 07, 2015

Tim Harrison has had a few surprises pop up during the discussion when he helped Brevard school kids plant butterfly gardens before school ended for the summer.  “Some kids told me they had never seen the roots of plants,” said Harrison, on a mission to introduce kids to the benefits of native…

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Latest from the Blog

Finding Native “Apples” in Florida

The Story of a Field Trip Leader who Just Wouldn’t Give Up

By Sande Habali

Native “Apples” in Florida!  “Apples” in Volusia County?  Thanks to the dedication of our intrepid field trip leader, Sonya Guidry, the two year search for the endangered Harrisia fragrans is over!  Pawpaw chapter members located a Prickly “apple” orchard in southern Volusia County!

Sonya and I first met Dr. Jon Moore from Florida Atlantic University, Wilkes Honor College, where he presented a paper on the Prickly Apple at the 2012 FNPS Conference in Plant City. His research paper was entitled "Transplantation of the Endangered Fragrant Prickly Apple Cactus, Harrisia fragrans, in St. Lucie and Indian River Counties." He explained the scrub habitat and conditions of its survival historically and that it exists now in St Lucie and Brevard County coastlines. He mentioned it could “possibly” be found in Volusia County and gave Sonya the coordinates. When he said it would be “hard to find”; I think that was all the challenge she needed to make it her mission to go out and locate this important cactus!

First, Sonya tried by land to find the little guys. If anyone has ever been to Castle Windy Midden in Canaveral National Seashore  (CNS), you know why the area is known as Mosquito Lagoon. Sonya and I battled swarms of mosquitoes while we traipsed through the dense foliage in search of Harrisia fragrans. And by “we,” I certainly mean Sonya!  I was too busy trying to find sunlight to relieve the buzzing noises and discomfort that follows. Of course, we realized we were a bit too far north and we were not looking in the right terrain. We needed to be in scrub-like conditions.

But Sonya was not ready to give up. She began asking anyone and everyone she met with a boat to take her by water to find the Fragrant Prickly apple.  She continued to keep the subject “alive,” by discussing her quest and speaking with Dr. Moore again at another event.

The fuzzy blooms of the endangered
Fragrant Prickly Apple Cactus (Harrisia fragrans)


Eventually, Sonya added another feather to her cap and became a tour volunteer and plant ID guide at CNS. Naturally, her enthusiasm for finding Harrisia fragrans, carried over to the other volunteers who then enlisted the help of a CNS Park Service boat with Captain Walt at the helm. The exploratory group of CNS volunteers, fellow Pawpaw members Dot Backes and Sonya, and MDC’s kayak specialist, Warren Reynolds set off in early April. Success! Not only did they find lots of cool treasures, but they found the Prickly Apple, Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simaruba), and strangler fig. Sonya’s determination paid off.

Now she wanted to share her findings with her Pawpaw Chapter folks and friends. An outing to Canaveral National Seashore became our June field trip in 2015.

Fruit of the Fragrant Prickly Apple Cactus (Harrisia fragrans)

Both the fruit and bloom of the Fragrant Prickly Apple Cactus (Harrisia fragrans)

Looking for “apples” and other treasures located in Canaveral National Seashore will be part of the field trips offered by  Pawpaw Chapter at the 2016 Conference. 

Photos by Sonya Guidry
Posted by Ginny Stibolt

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