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The Preservation of the Native Flora of Florida

Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying “No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden”.  At Landscape Maintenance Professionals we too view the culture of the earth as delightful; we only differ from our esteemed predecessor in that we delight in the soil, the pests, the liquid nectar of life (water), and all the seedlings and plugs that bring grandeur to the landscape.  The state of Florida, often envied for our warm weather and miles of beaches, is home to some of the most fascinating trees, plants, shrubs, and flowers.  Over the course of our history many of these natural wonders have been placed in danger as they are removed for more popular species or destroyed during development.  The Preservation of Native Flora of Florida Act (Ch. 581.185 F.S.) was adopted to aid in the commercial destruction of native plants.

According to the Florida Native Plant Society nearly 20%, or 542 species, of Florida’s native plant species are currently listed as threatened, endangered or commercially exploited by the Regulated Plant Index.  The state defines each category as:

  • “Endangered plants” means species of plants native to Florida that are in imminent danger of extinction within the state, the survival of which is unlikely if the causes of a decline in the number of plants continue, and includes all species listed as endangered or threatened by the state of Florida Rule 5B-40 or endangered or threatened by the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.
  • “Threatened plants” means species native to the state that are in rapid decline in the number of plants within the state, but which have not decreased so much as to cause them to be endangered.
  • “Commercially exploited plants” means species native to the state that are subject to being removed in significant numbers from native habitats in the state and sold or transported for sale.
  • “Florida Regulated Plant Index” includes all plants listed on the Endangered Plant List, the Threatened Plant List, and the Commercially Exploited Plant List. These plants are referred to as regulated, and together, these lists are known as the Florida Regulated Plant Index.

Understanding the role these native plants play, Landscape Maintenance Professionals has decided to do its part to preserve Florida’s plants by working diligently to educate its clients, employees, and the public in general through sharing information on the plants native to Florida.  Our most recent effort has included a weekly presentation of native Florida plants that contribute to the butterfly population of the state by serving as feeding or larval sources.  If you, as a resident of Florida, are interested in learning more about the Preservation of the Native Flora of Florida Act then be sure to check out some of these sources:

Florida Statewide Endangered and Threatened Plant Conservation Program

The Florida Bar Journal

Florida Legislature

Florida Native Plant Society