Sarasota News Leader

09/13/2103

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GROWING NATIVE A yard with Florida native plants also features a mix of modern and classic statuary. All photos by Fran Palmeri REASONS ABOUND FOR GIVING A HOME TO PLANTS NATIVE TO THE STATE By Fran Palmeri and and Laurel Schiller Contributing Writers There is no day in Florida when nothing is blooming. More than 2,800 native plants grow in this state, which has the third greatest diversity among flora of all the states in the union. Some wildflowers — blanket flower, duck potato and coreopsis, our state wildflower — bloom all year. Many others are around from spring through the heat of summer to year's end. Is spring or fall the most beautiful time of year? Spring holds a slight edge because it starts early. Sky-blue lupine, blue-eyed grass and pawpaw arrive soon after the new year rolls in. But fall is a winner, too, with blazing star, golden aster, paintbrush and its "ace in the hole" — the bright red pine lily. 
 You are not in Kansas anymore! You can enjoy Florida wildflowers, grasses, vines, shrubs and trees right at home. Pick a spot in your yard — in sun or shade — where you would like to see a bit of color and put in some native plants. They will thrive in our sandy soil and rainfall. Once established, they will tolerate drought, wet summers and cold blasts in winter. 


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