Recent Happenings

Ap. Nat. Forest, Oct. 16, 2022

The Sarracenia Chapter field trip for Native Plant Month drew a record 42 participants on a golden autumn day. We walked among wildflowers in variety in the pinelands. Participants came from five different chapters of Fla. Native Plant Society, three of them chapters seated in the Florida Peninsula. Among the many species we observed and commented on were three Florida endemic plants --plumose aster (Symphyotrichum plumosum), Florida tickseed (Coreopsis floridana), and the legume "scareweed" (Baptisia simplicifolia).

photo: Jim Folsom




Native Plant Month Proclamation (Wakulla)

The Wakulla County Commission in its most recent meeting designated October 2022 as Native Plant Month in Wakulla County. The proclamation cited in one clause the service of the Sarracenia Chapter. It was read by Chapter member and Commissioner Chuck Hess, and adopted after supporting statements by Chapter members and others. An illustrated presentation by Chapter officer Lynn Artz to the Commission on the importance of native plants preceded the official action.

Three Sarracenia Chapter officers (front row) and the Wakulla County Bd of County Commissioners (photo courtesy of Wakulla Co. BOCC)




Ochlockonee River SP, Sep 17, 2022

The Sarracenia Chapter on Sep. 17, 2022, conducted a record field trip party of 34 in a wildflower tour of the pristine pine flatwoods tract of the Park. We made the scenic loop by car, making stops and short walks at intervals. With the eminent botanist and professor Loran C. Anderson among the group, little went unidentified. Indeed, several plant species were added to the flora of the Park (which the Chapter keeps up) on the tour.

Among the flower highlights of the day were good populations of two very narrow endemics ---Godfrey's blazing star (Liatris provincialis) and zigzag silkgrass (Pityopsis flexuosa). The exquisite pine lily put in an appearance, and fine butterfly shows were on in good patches of Godfrey's blazng star and dense blazing star (Liatris spicata).


The field trip party at the reflecting pond in the pine flatwoods of Ochlockonee River SP


Godfrey's blazing star



Apalachicola Nat. Forest, April 23, 2022

Fifteen Sarracenia members and five other native-plant enthusiasts seized the opportunity to walk in a wildflower wonderland on April 23. We had chosen an area of  low pine flatwoods and bogs of Apalachicola National Forest  just east of the lower Apalachicola River.  We began in the Fort Gadsden Creek drainage. As anticipated, as soon as the party had made a few steps from the cars it was wading in delicate spring wildflowers stimulated by a prescribed fire applied nine weeks earlier.

With an orchid expert in the Chapter along and providing botanical commentary, the group enthused over no fewer than six species of native terrestrial orchids found flowering. Before the four walks of the day were finished (by picnic time), the party had also encountered three species of pitcherplants, three species of milkweeds, and three other species that are Florida endemics rare and endangered ---these along with dozens of other colorful native wildflowers.


The field trip party finding wildflowers where pine flatwoods give way to bog conditions


Found: the endemic and endangered Florida skullcap (Scutellaria floridana)





Winter Forest Walk, Feb. 20, 2022

The field trip conducted by the Sarracenia Chapter made a circuit walk in pristine hardwood forest in an eastern part of Wakulla Springs State Park. The stout live oak we had come upon in the picture below was one of many trees, in various species, of outstanding stature in this expansive forest under protection of the Florida Park Service.



Lauding St. George Island State Park

Sarracenia's Rebecca Dolan served as reviewer for the Florida Native Plant Society in the 2021 land management review of St. George Island State Park. Afterwards she authored the linked article recently published in The Apalachicola Times. Dr. Dolan, who lives part-time on St. George Island, is the recently retired director of the Friesner Herbarium of Butler University and a past president of the Indiana Native Plant Society.





Apalachicola NF, Liberty Co., Oct 16, 2021

Twelve FNPS members were joined by 10 others for a fall wildflower tour in the botanical "hotspot" around Sumatra, Florida. The party found a large variety of plants flowering in pine flatwoods, roadsides, and bogs. One feature was the Black Creek Bog (first photo below).






Aucilla Sinks Trip, Sep. 25, 2021

Seventeen Sarracenia Chapter members were joined by eight others for a forest walk on a spectacular section of the Florida Trail --where the Trail skirts the Aucilla River Sinks in western Taylor County. A diversity of Florida native trees canopies the appearance and disappearance of darkwater issuing from the underground aquifer, sometimes sinkholes and sometimes short, swift rivers. (Below, the field trip party on the trail, courtesy of Woody Woodward.)



Bicycle Field Trip, July 24, 2021

The joint field trip by the Sarracenia and Magnolia Chapters drew some 17 bicyclers with envronmental and native-plant interests. We rode slowly along the section of Ochlockonee Bay Bicycle Trail lying in St. Marks NWR, making stops at several points including three scenic lake shores. Among the plants we observed were the endemic and endangered Godfrey's blazing star and zigzag silkgrass.  Photo courtesy of Jeannie Brodhead of Sarracenia Chapter



Virtual Field Trip, Spring 2021

From the Ashes: The Pinelands in Spring

Conducted and Filmed in the Apalachicola National Forest by the Sarracenia Chapter in Spring 2021

View the field trip on YouTube:


FNPS Award of Excellence to a Local Native Garden

A native-plant landscape produced by the City of Sopchoppy, Wakulla County, in its Sopchoppy Depot Park in 2018 has won the 2021 Award of Excellence, institutional category, from the Florida Native Plant Society. The selection was announced May 22 by FNPS.

Documentation provided by the Sarracenia Chapter in support of the nomination chronicled the overture by Sopchoppy’s mayor (Lara Edwards) to Sarracenia, and a Sarracenia member’s (Lynn Artz) subsequent direction of planning and volunteer services. Volunteer contributions of expertise by professional landscape designer Betsy Smith were also critical, as were the planning inputs contributed by several Sarracenia members in addition to Lynn. Considerable capital input by the City, and turnout of Sarracenias and many other citizens for four planting workdays held thus far, have provided the wherewithal to realize the garden design.

In a parallel development, Sopchoppy Depot Park has now won a $3,000 grant from the Florida Wildflower Foundation for further native-plant installations, including a naturalistic wildflower meadow to be planted in fall 2021.

The Park is located on Sopchoppy’s main street across from the town’s long-defunct rail depot, now a museum.

photo David Roddenberry


Field Trip May 23, 2021 - Apalachicola Nat. For.

More than 25 native-plant enthusiasts met at Sumatra, Liberty Co., Florida, for a spring wildflower outing conducted jointly by the Sweetbay and Sarracenia Chapters of FNPS. Members of those chapters and the Magnolia Chapter, and a few people not in FNPS, explored a savanna and a bog in this recognized "hotspot" of botanical diversity. Both places were wildflower-rich. Among the field of attractions on every hand were eight species of carnivorous plants and a fine population of the endangered night-flowering wild petunia.

photos courtesy of Sandy Tedder and David Roddenberry


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Published on  August 11th, 2019