10 May · Admin · No Comments

Learn More About Native Plants in Tarpon Springs Florida

When you visit Hickory Point RV Park and the surrounding area of Tarpon Springs, you’ll notice an abundance of plant life no matter what time of year. Something is always blooming in Florida!

 

If you’re interested in learning more about our state’s native plants, then we have some great resources and tips for you. First, let’s look at the definition of a native plant:

A “Florida native plant” refers to a species occurring within the state boundaries prior to European contact, according to the best available scientific and historical documentation. Florida native plants include those species understood as indigenous, occurring in natural associations in habitats that existed prior to significant human impacts and alterations of the landscape. – from the Florida Native Plant Society website

The Florida Native Plant Society has a variety of resources on its website, including a map of Interpretive Trails that include signs or brochures identifying native plants in that area. Two near our campground are located in Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladesi Island State Park.

 

There is also a Pinellas County chapter of the Native Plant Society which holds year round activities that are open to the public.

 

Here are a few examples of native plants that can be seen right here at the RV Park and nearby areas:

 

Large trees that are native to our area include:

  • Long Leaf Pine
  • South Florida Slash Pine
  • Sand Pine
Hickory Point RV Park

Hickory Point RV Park

Along the Gulf Coast you’ll find three types of Mangrove.

  • Red Mangrove
  • White Mangrove
  • Black Mangrove

A “mangrove” is a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal areas, in saline or brackish water. Our Florida mangrove ecosystem is an important habitat for many species.

 

Mangroves - photo by Ken F Tracey

Mangrove

 

For our birdwatching friends, you can look for the Mulberry Tree, which provides fruit for migrating birds in this area.

 

Scarlet Tanager female eating Red Mulberry fruit - photo by Ken F Tracey

Scarlet Tanager female eating Red Mulberry fruit

 

The National Audubon Society has an interactive database that will tell you what bird-friendly plants are best for your own area. Just enter your zipcode (anywhere in the U.S.) and find out what birds will be attracted to your local native plants. Find the database here: Bring More Birds to Your Home with Native Plants

 

There are a variety of places in the Tampa – St. Petersburg – Gulf Coast area that offer tours on Florida’s native plant life. Only six to seven miles away from the campground is the Brooker Creek Preserve.

 

Brooker Creek Preserve – at 8700 acres, this park is the largest natural area in Pinellas County. Spend some time in the park and you’ll see quite a few native plants, including this one:

 

Bromilaid Native Plant in Brooker Creek Preserve, Florida

Bromilaid Native Plant in Brooker Creek Preserve, Florida

 

You can plan a day trip to two local gardens, in Largo and St. Petersburg, Florida:

 

Florida Botanical Gardens – with 90 acres of a Natural Area / Interpretive Trails, located in Largo.

St Petersburg Sunken Gardens – a 100-year-old garden with over 50,000 plants and flowers.

 

Birds aren’t the only wildlife you’ll see on native Florida plants:

 

Monarch Butterfly in Florida

Monarch Butterfly

 

So take advantage of some of the free resources and tours in our area to learn more about Florida’s Native Plants. Visit us on our Hickory Point RV Park Facebook Page (click here) and share photos of native plants or wildlife you’ve seen when you’re here for a visit!

 

Links to resources mentioned in this post:

 

Florida Native Plant Society – www.fnps.org

Pinellas County chapter of the Native Plant Society – http://pinellas.fnpschapters.org/

Bring More Birds to Your Home with Native Plants – https://www.audubon.org/native-plants

Brooker creek Preserve – http://www.brookercreekpreserve.org/

Florida Botanical Gardens – http://www.flbg.org/

S.t Petersburg Sunken Gardens – http://www.stpete.org/attractions/sunken_gardens/index.php

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