Before ornamental plants were brought to Florida, native plants provided vital habitat for wildlife. The developments have replaced large acreages of Scrub, Pine flatwoods and wildflower/grass prairies. The developments often use non-native ornamental plants that have interesting textures and showy flowers, but they also require excessive watering, trimming and can be prone to disease.
An alternative to non-native plantings can be found in Florida native plants for landscaping. They often require little or no extra watering after establishment and are hardy because they have adapted to the Florida climate. They are also resistant to many of the bugs, molds and root ailments that hinder ornamental plants. Native plants in the landscape attract a host of butterflies, birds and various wildlife species. Native plants can provide texture, function, habitat and even seasonal flowers to accent your yard.
Canopy: Dahoon holly, Live oak, Gumbo limbo, Slash pine, Red maple
Shrub: Buttonbush, Cocoplum, Firebush, Myrsine, Wild coffee, Coontie
Grass: Muhly grass, Sand cordgrass, Fakahatchee grass, Love grass