Real Plants Florida
Growing, planting and promoting
Florida native plants for sustainable landscapes.
Gardeners & Homeowners

Learn more about native plants

These articles provide an introduction to Florida native plants and the benefits of using them. For suggestions of specific plants, cultivation and maintenance tips, please consult with your local professionals.

Retrofit landscape for upscale residence in Volusia County. Design by David Drylie, Green Images Native Landscape Plants.

Introduction to Florida Native Plant Selection

Correspondence Course for Professionals in the Real Florida Landscapes™ CEU Series For landscape architects, designers, installers and maintenance professionals. Learn and earn continuing education credits from the comfort of your home or office, at your own pace. Benefit from practical, […]

Florida Freshwater Marsh Elevation Drawing

Xeric Landscaping with Florida Native Plants – back in print

In 1991, FANN (then AFNN) published the Xeric Guide to Landscaping with Florida Native Plants book that promotes the use of the Davis Vegetation Map of Florida’s native plant communities as a framework for plant selection. FANN modified the map’s […]

Customers in wildflower area of native nursery field

Tips on Selecting Florida Native Plants

When selecting native plants, there are a few important factors that can “make or break” a project’s success. Availability More native plants are available than ever before, but many are still limited in availability, and considerable time is often required […]

Central Florida Sandhill in the Making

Even More About Native Plant Communities

Compared to other states, Florida has a rich variety of native plant communities, including beach dunes, maritime forests, pine flatwoods, sandhills and scrubs, hammocks, marshes and prairies. These communities occur as a function of soil type and fertility, drainage, exposure […]

Palm Beach County Plant Communities Map segment

History of the Plant Communities Map

  The Plant Communities Map used on this website is directly adapted from the original “General Map of Natural Vegetation of Florida” developed by John Henry Davis, University of Florida (UF), and published in 1967 by UF’s Agricultural Experiment Station, […]

Dwarf Firebush goes rogue

The Hamelia Mess

A thorough critique of the genus in Florida, by Florida firebush expert Roger L. Hammer Butterflies and hummingbirds are constant reminders of why gardeners who live in southern and coastal Central Florida cultivate our native Firebush (Hamelia patens var. patens). […]

Asclepias humistrata, Sandhill Milkweed

Native Milkweed Research Update

The following information provided by Jaret C. Daniels, Ph.D., Assistant Curator of Lepidoptera, University of Florida IFAS Assistant Professor of Entomology, Florida Museum of Natural History Every year as fall approaches, millions of monarch butterflies throughout eastern North America make […]

Monarch Butterflies nectaring on Swamp Milkweed. Photo by Peg Urban.

Save our Monarchs: Plant Native Milkweed

  The monarch butterfly is one of our most easily recognized butterflies and well known for its long migration across North America. Unfortunately, the loss of natural habitat, in particular native milkweeds, has resulted in dwindling monarch populations vulnerable to […]

About the Plant Communities Map

Broward County is one of Florida’s most heavily urbanized areas. Yet it was probably one of the most botanically diverse, with more than a dozen different native plant communities, as shown on this close-up view of the Plant Communities map. […]

North Florida Sandhill

About Native Plant Communities

Why Native Plant Communities are Important Models for Landscape Design – philosophy statement by Michael Jameson, native plant grower and founding member of FANN When children are nurtured and raised into adulthood, the ideal is that these people will then […]