We are documenting occurrences of Florida’s rare plant species throughout the state, especially those in the path of development or that are located within road right-of-ways and utility easements. This is important because many companies and contractors have begun using herbicide in place of mowing. Additionally, many of our rare species require occasional or reduced mowing in order to flower and reproduce. Management protocols for rights-of-ways are essential for the conservation of many of our rare and endemic plant species.
Some of our successes (preserving rare plant occurrences in rights-of-ways):
Wakulla County - Ruellia noctiflora, Brickellia cordifolia (this roadside also contained milkweed plants with Monarch butterfly larvae)
- Bay County – Road-widening Project - Sarracenia leucophylla
- Jefferson County - Leitneria floridana
- Lake County - Lilium catesbaei
- Lee County - Sacoila lanceolata (and milkweeds)
- Flagler and Putnam Counties – Roadside management protocol developed for Helianthus carnosus populations. Funded by an FNPS Conservation Grant.
In addition, the Conservation Committee is working with partners from the Putnam Land Conservancy, St. John’s River Water Management District, local schools, and local residents to acquire and preserve habitat for critically endangered species such as Clasping Warea (Warea amplexifolia).
How you can help:
- Document all sightings of rare plants in road rights-of-way and report to firstname.lastname@example.org to help fill in gaps and build the database. Please provide an accurate location either using GPS or your cell phone. Please take a close-up picture of the plant and send with your email.
- Encourage your county to adopt a wildflower resolution (if they haven’t yet).
- If your county has adopted a wildflower resolution and you see a roadside rare plant population with no signs of protection, you can simply contact FDOT for populations located on state highways or a county roads department for populations located on county roads.