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FNPS Mission: To preserve, conserve, and restore native plants and native plant communities.
Learn more by visiting the FNPS website • Check our calendar for upcoming events sponsored by the Pinellas, Nature Coast, and Suncoast Chapters • Not a member yet? Join today!

Be sure to visit our web site calendar  for updates and additions.

Thank you to members Robin Peacock and Debora Moran for this month's feature articles!
Event Updates

Please check our Facebook Group and website calendar for the most up-to-date information.
  • Wednesday, 8/05 The presentation scheduled for our August Chapter Meeting will be delivered via video conference using Zoom software, at 6:30 pm. Follow the directions at the bottom of the next article to view the presentation.
  • Saturday, 8/08 Native Plant Walk at Boca Ciega Millenium Park 8:00 - 11:00 am See details below
  • Tuesday, 8/11 Moccasin Lake Butterfly Garden Volunteer Opportunity 8:00 - 10:00 am
  • Saturday, 8/22 Moccasin Lake Butterfly Garden Volunteer Opportunity 8:00 - 10:00 am

If you are interested in opening your garden or
landscape to FNPS chapter members during a
Members Only Landscape Tour  -  September 19, 2020
contact us at
or all us at 727-320-5135.

Wed., August 5th, 6:30 pm
Zoom Video Presentation

Converting Turf Grass to Florida Native Habitat

Garden Coach Amanda Streets will share how to successfully transform a traditional turf-grass yard to native plant habitat. Amanda will share her personal experience along with projects completed by two chapter board members, with assistance from Hort & Soul Landscape Design and Wilcox Nursery and Landscape.

Amanda is a mother and life-long gardener who spent her childhood on a working farm in northern Michigan. After moving to Florida for college, Amanda spent 11 years as an educator in all areas of STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering, Art and Math). She left public education and now focuses on ecological landscaping, permaculture, and composting. Her firm, Living Roots Eco Design, was formed to help families have an affordable and accessible alternative to landscape and garden design, including composting help.  Amanda lives in Clearwater, Florida with her young child and partner where they nurture a food forest and edible and native plant gardens.

more information on Amanda visit

Use this link to join the meeting on August 5th at 6:30 pm.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 875 5878 6729
Password: 334715

One tap mobile
+13017158592,,87558786729#,,,,0#,,334715# US (Germantown) 
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Green Palmetto Award Goes to Pinellas Chapter Dynamo Jan Allyn

By Robin Peacock, PCFNPS Director

Our chapter’s very own Jan Allyn was presented with the prestigious Green Palmetto Award by Susan Carr at the June 6, 2020 Florida Native Plant Society annual membership meeting. The event was held on-line this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Green Palmetto Award is given by the state organization to members who “make major contributions to the Society through Service, Education, or Conservation.” Jan has done all those things during her first 20 years of service to our chapter. 

When Jan joined our organization in 2000, she hit the ground running and has been a guiding and building force ever since. Her knowledge and skills have been invaluable to the Pinellas Chapter. Jan was Chapter President for eight years. Also, she has served as Chapter Secretary, Chapter Representative, Newsletter Reporter, Sales and Merchandise Chair, Special Events/Festivals Chair, Social Media Chair, and Landscape Tour Chair. Often, doing several of those jobs at once!  

Jan has a wide range of skills and knowledge. With a degree in computer science, she enjoyed a career in the tech industry, ran a publishing business for twenty years, and currently is working in environmental writing and publishing at USF as Content Manager for the Water Institute overseeing technology and content for websites on water quality as well as the Florida Plant Atlas web site. 

Jan first got interested in the Florida Native Plant Society, when she was running the family business, Great Outdoors Publishing Company. Working with the Suncoast Chapter to publish their book The Right Plants for Dry Places in 1997, she discovered a new passion. “I loved the concept of native plants,” she said of that experience. “Once you learn about it and see how the urban environment has almost extirpated them and replaced them with exotics, you realize not only do we lose biodiversity, we lose the sense of place.”

Jan’s message for anyone who is interested in getting more involved with the FNPS? Volunteer, ask questions, and share your knowledge with others. 

“I hope that when life returns to normal more members will get involved with going to State Conference. You get to know other areas of the state through conference field trips. You get to know people throughout the state who are interested in native plants. Learn from them. Share information and talk to each other.  FNPS provides a forum for discussion on-line on Facebook. Learn about different chapter activities and research.”

She also stressed that members should not be afraid to ask questions. “Ask more questions and share what you know.”

“Volunteer more. By volunteering you learn a lot. Even if you learn a little, it’s really exciting to share what you have learned. Grow in your knowledge and enjoyment.” 

Congratulations to Jan on receiving the Green Palmetto Award and many thanks for all she has done during her first twenty years with the Pinellas Chapter. 

Old Friends and New Acquaintances
in a Florida Garden

by Debora Moran

After gardening in upstate New York for many years, I moved to Florida about 18 months ago. My northern garden included several native plants to attract birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects. Unlike exotic species, native plants are adapted to local soil and climate conditions, and I found they would grow with the minimum of fuss or coddling.

My new Florida garden has challenging conditions: part shade and dry, sandy soil. Gardening here has involved some experimentation (and a few fatalities). Happily, several of my old friends seem to like it here, and I’ve made some wonderful new native plant acquaintances. I’d like to share some of my experiences.

Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea)
Surprisingly, tropical sage was quite content in my northern garden and is equally at home here in Florida. This attractive annual produces flowers that are both delicate and showy, with multiple spikes of small, tubular red blossoms encircling the upright stems. It is also available in pink- and white-flowering varieties. Tropical sage tolerates average, well-drained soil in sun or part sun and will often reseed in the garden. This plant frequently attracted hummingbirds in my New York garden. While the Florida bees have been visiting, I’m still waiting for a hummingbird to stop in.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) 
As its name indicates, butterfly weed is a wonderful butterfly attractor. Its clusters of bright orange to reddish, flat-topped flowers provide a perfect landing pad for butterflies. Butterfly weed can be slow to get started, but once established, this perennial likes well-drained soil and sun. Although I grew butterfly weed in the northeast, it did not appreciate my former garden’s moist, loamy soil. It seems much happier in the sandy Florida garden. When sourcing plants, beware of the non-native, tropical variety (Asclepias curassavica). Although easier to find in garden centers, it can transmit a parasitic disease that infects monarch butterflies. It is worth your time to locate a native plant nursery or grow the native variety from seed. Several other Asclepias species are native to Florida, including options for moist sites. I look forward to trying some new ones.

Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)
This annual is one of my new discoveries and is a charming addition to the garden. It features delicate, feathery foliage, which folds up each evening. The cheerful, bright yellow, five-petaled flowers sport a small red splotch at the base. Because partridge pea is a member of the legume family, it fixes its own nitrogen and performs well in average to poor, well-drained soil in sun or part sun. The flowers attract a variety of pollinators, and the bean-shaped seed pods are a food source for birds. While it may reseed in my garden, I’ll be sure to save a few seeds just in case.

Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) 
Another of my new acquaintances is blue porterweed, which is considered one of Florida’s best butterfly-attracting plants. It is quite versatile and tolerates sun to part sun and well-drained, average to poor soil. Although a perennial, it functions as a groundcover in my garden with its low-growing and rather sprawling habit. When buying new plants, be sure to avoid the very similar but taller, non-native species, Stachytarpheta cayennensis, which is invasive. Blue porterweed has dark green, toothed leaves and thick spikes, which produce small purple flowers. Although each flower only lasts one day, there are usually a few in bloom--except on very cloudy days, when the plant takes a day off.

As the months go by, I’m continuing to experiment in my Florida garden. It’s fun to welcome familiar faces, and I’m enjoying getting to know many new and beautiful native plants. After all, you can never have too many friends.
Debora Moran has a Bachelor of Technology in Plant Science from the State University of New York at Cobleskill and was a Senior Extension Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Schenectady County, New York. She has written for Fine Gardening magazine and Green Scene, the journal of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Native Plant Walk at Boca Ciega Millenium Park, Saturday, August 8th 8:00 - 11:00 am

Join us for a guided hike on nature trails and boardwalks, through seven natural communities: pine flatwoods, coastal oak hammock, mangrove swamp, salt marsh, bay head and wetlands. The first Pinellas County Park to have opened using only native plants throughout the parks formal landscaping. This “Great Florida Birding Trail” attracts shorebirds, waterfowl, wading birds, birds of prey and a myriad of upland birds.

Meet at Shelter 3 at 8:00 am. Wear a mask, sturdy footwear, bring water, sun and bug protection. Please RSVP to help us plan group sizes and the number of trip leaders needed.

Boca Ciega Millennium Park, 12410 74th Ave N, Seminole, FL 33772

Keep Keene Green

Hello. My name is Joanne Kliesh and I have lived in the Marymont Section of Clearwater for 38 years.

The Landings Golf Course at 1875 Airport Drive is under attack by a developer, Harrod Properties. The City of Clearwater was given  (or was donated) the 77 acres by the Fugazzi family. The Landings Golf Course leases the 77 acres from the City of Clearwater for $1000.00 per month.

A developer, Harrod Properties from Tampa, wants to convert the open space into a light industrial manufacturing complex of 9 buildings for Offices and Warehouses. These will not be open to the public. Entrances to this complex will be off of Keene Rd. Traffic from this complex (it has been stated there will be 3,281 jobs from construction and renters) will be using Keene Rd., Drew St., Sunset Point Rd. and Hercules Rd., with bypass roads being Airport Dr., Gilbert St., Cincinnati Parkway and McKinley St. Trucks will be using Drew St. and Sunset Point Rd. to get to US19. All of these roads already have a high volume of traffic.

Residents are concerned about the safety of the roads; safety of the students that attend the 5+ schools in the area and the students crossing the roads; safety of the Clearwater Air Park which is next to this green space (and FEMA needs available as an evacuation site ); ecology impact; possible flooding of properties from the green space being paved over; how property value will be effected and how will the quality of life of the residents be effected.

Please ask yourself, do we really need more light industrial manufacturing buildings in the Clearwater area? Just look at either side of Hercules Rd. between Sunset Point Rd. and Drew St. There are so many buildings that are empty. Once a green space is gone, it’s gone forever. We need to save green spaces now and for future generations.

Voters of Clearwater get to have a say November 3 with a referendum on the ballot. (see below) Voters need to be aware of this. Please pass the word around so the voters can make their own decision.

If anyone needs any further information, please feel free to contact me. There is a facebook site called : Keep Keene Green. Please check it out.

Thank you,

Joanne Kliesh
727-447-3671 home or 727-313-1390 cell


Shall the City Council be authorized to lease approximately 58 acres of municipal real property
that is recreation/open space on the land use plan map and is a majority of The Landings Golf
Course, located on the east side of Keene Road, on the north side of Airport Drive, whose post
office address is 1875 Airport Drive, Clearwater, Florida, for the purpose of development as a
light industrial, research, technology and office park?

Yes – For
No - Against


Thank You To Our Business Members

Bartlett Law Offices

City of St. Pete Beach

Vision Ace Hardware - Oldsmar

Hort & Soul Landscape Design

Rebecca Wellborn, Realtor, Coastal Properties Group

Wilcox Nursery & Landscape

Pinellas Chapter Florida Native Plant Society
2020 Officers, Directors and Committee Chairs

President - Michael Coleman
Vice President - Stefan Babjack
Secretary - Susan Taylor
Treasurer - Rebecca Wellborn
Past President - Jan Allyn
Director - Belinda Lambert
Director / Membership Chair - Bonnie Carine
Director / Programs Chair - Pam Schrader
Director / Events & Volunteer Chair - Nicole Jones
Director / Communications Chair - Robin Peacock

Florida Native Plant Society Mission

The Mission of the Florida Native Plant Society is to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida.

The Society fulfills this mission through:
  • Support for conservation land acquisition
  • Land management that enhances habitat suitability for native plants
  • Education
  • Public policies that protect our native flora, especially rare species
  • Research on native plant species
  • Encouragement of local landscaping practices and policies that preserve Florida's native plant heritage
Join/Renew Membership
Pinellas Chapter Website
Copyright © 2020 Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, All rights reserved.

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