The Florida Wildflower Foundation defines “Florida native wildflower” as any flowering herbaceous species, or woody species with ornamental flowers, which grew wild within the state’s natural ecosystems in the 1560s when Florida’s first botanical records were created. The Foundation also recognizes as a “Florida native wildflower”:
- Species that may have been introduced prior to the 1560s by Native Americans through trade and travel.
- Species introduced to Florida without the aid of human intervention (for example, via tropical storms, floods, animals, insects, etc.), regardless of when these species were first officially documented.
- Any cultivated selection or horticultural variety that: 1) meets the criteria described in this document, 2) was collected in a natural Florida ecosystem, and 2) was not intentionally manipulated to alter any characteristic.
Furthermore, the Foundation fully recognizes that change is inevitable. We may be positive of a plant’s native or non-native status until modern-day research brings forth new facts. For this reason, the Foundation welcomes open discussion based on substantiated scientific or historic evidence.
“What is a Native Wildflower” Task Force, 2010
Nancy Bissett, Dr. David Hall, Ray Jarret, Brightman Logan, Dr. Jeff Norcini, Dr. Walter K. Taylor, Terry L. Zinn