Friday, June 29, 2012

Power of the plate: Central Florida Zoo grant restores pollinator habitat

By Sandi Linn
Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens

The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens was thrilled to be the recipient of a $3,000 grant from the Florida Wildflower Foundation through the 2012 Viva Florida Quincentennial Gardens grant program. Funding was provided by sales of the State Wildflower license plate.

The native garden took the place of invasive alien species.
The native plant garden we were able to create serves several purposes.  We chose a strategic location that was in need restoration and offered both a more shaded and a sunnier spot, in addition to wetter and drier locations.  Invasive plant removal was done in this area, and will be ongoing, as part of the project. Planting was completed in May.

The plant list includes  Coeopsis, Wild petunia, Anise, Purple conflower, Oakleaf Hydrangea, False indigo, native violet, Wild columbine, Wild coffee, Powderpuff, Lizard’s tail, Scorpion’s tail, Stokes’ aster, Blue flag iris, St. Johns-wort, Standing cypress, Saw palmetto, Love grass, Blazing star, Blackeyed Susan, Blanketflower, Tropical sage, Yellow canna, Goldenrod, Muhly grass, Elderberry, False rosemary, American beautyberry and Hibiscus. The plants were purchased from Biosphere Nursery, Winter Garden, and Brantley Nursery.

Pollinators are already at home in the garden.
One of the main focuses of the garden is to help bring awareness of the need to provide habitat for native pollinators.  Several of these pollinating species are identified on the signage, with photos generously donated by Mark and Nancy Deyrup, authors of Florida’s Fabulous Insects.

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