Native Plants In Florida

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FLORIDA PLANTS What is a native plant? • Plants native to Florida are plants that were here before the arrival of the Europeans • Plants native to this area of Florida have evolved mechanisms over the centuries that enable them to handle our climate. • Hot dry weather in the spring, followed by even hotter wet and humid summers in infertile sandy soils, is a regime that many non-native plants will find hostile. • In addition, native trees have had to be able to withstand the frequent hurricanes and tropical storms. • Native Plants have evolved within their own ecological niches, and are not invasive within their own native ranges. Native plants provide food and shelter to our animals of all sorts, stability to our shorelines and fields, and…show more content…
Rarely do our non-native food crops spread as weeds. (As far as we know, there aren’t any forests being threatened by tomato plants.) • Some ornamental non-native plants (roses,etc.) also are benign. Genetics, climate, soil, disease, insects prevent some cultivated plants from being able to spread on their own; they simply will not survive unless humans take care of them. As a result, they generally don’t cause any significant problems in the wild. Therefore, we have little to worry about when it comes to certain non-native plants that will not spread “on their own.” INVASIVE Plants: What’s the problem? • Under the right conditions, some non-native plants can become invasive. An invasive plant is a non-native plant species that has escaped cultivation, is spreading on its own and causing environmental or economic harm. • Non-native Invasive plants can outgrow, replace, and otherwise destroy our native plants. That's because non-native plants usually do not have their natural enemies -- the diseases, insects and other environmental stresses -- that keep them in check in their native ranges. • The destruction and replacement of our native plants has several significant consequences: • Our natural biodiversity is destroyed; • Our native plants can be eliminated; • Our wildlife have evolved to use native plants are not able to make use of non-native plants. As a result, they leave the area or die off; • invasive plants can completely fill the water column or cover the…show more content…
Leaves have a “peppery” smell when crushed. Sap is a irritant similar to that of Poison Ivy to which it is related. Smoke from burning wood is also toxic. • Casuarina equisetifolia (Australian Pine) • Illegal to plant in many areas. Poisonous plants • • Oleander • Nerium oleander • One of the most toxic and common poisonous plants is the Oleander. THe entire plant is toxic. The Oleander plant contains a deadly heart stimulant that resembles the prescription drug digitalis. If a child (or small pet) eats a single leaf or two from this plant it could be deadly. There have been several instances where people have died from eating meats that were roasted from a wood fire that contained Oleander twigs or branches. People have died from eating cakes decorated with oleander flowers. • Castor Bean • Ricinus communis • If the seed is swallowed without chewing, and there is no damage to the seed coat, it will most likely pass harmlessly through the digestive tract. However, if it is chewed or broken and then swallowed, the ricin toxin will be absorbed by the intestines. • Just one seed can kill a child, 8 seeds are considered toxic for an adult. • Rosary pea • Abrus precatorius • Toxins are released only if the seed is chewed and swallowed. Other parts of the plant are not poisonous and animals

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