Yay! It's the COCCOLOBA JAM!
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The Coccoloba Chapter meets on the third Thursday of each month at  the
Holton Eco-Center at Unitarian Universalist Church, 13411 Shire Lane,
Fort Myers, FL 33912, which is about halfway between Six-Mile Cypress and I-75.

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Like us on Facebook: Coccoloba Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society
Inside February 2017
  • February Speaker
  • Follow Coccoloba happenings on the web & Facebook  
  • Council of Chapters 
  • Koreshan Diary
  • Oasis Charter School
  • Annual Conference
  • Butterfly & Blossom Fest
  • Havana Skullcap
  • Blue Sky Lupine
  • FNPS Annual Conference Sponsorship
  • COC Meeting Summary
  • Coccoloba Minutes
Follow Coccoloba happenings on the web, Facebook, & Twitter! 
Check out Coccoloba's website for up-to-date information on chapter events (  Like us on Facebook (type in Coccoloba Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society) and follow us on Twitter (@FNPSCoccoloba) to join the conversation!
February's plant of the month is blue porterweed. Ben Johnson will describe this plant and we will have a small supply for sale.
Dee Serage-Century

The Human Uses of Florida Native Plants Past and Present... Plus Native Bees

As the second in the line of five SCCF nursery managers, Dee Serage-Century's thirty years plus observations of Sanibel and Captiva native plants continues to be a joyous education. These hardy plants have led her to learn about the cultures that have relied on them for food, shelter and medicine.  Her newest passion is the observation of their pollinators in my home landscape and leading walks in the Wildflower and Pollinator Garden at the SCCF Bailey Homestead Preserve. 
The Coccoloba Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society is proud to feature Dee Serage-Century as their February speaker.

Upcoming Events: 
  • CHNEP Conservation Landscaping Workshop, Saturday, February 18,  7-1, Turner Center, Arcadia
  • FGCU Native Plant Club -- Wednesday, February 22nd at 5 pm at Reed Hall 236.
  • Blooms and Blossoms Festival -- Saturday/Sunday, February 25-26, 9-4 **Volunteer Opportunity"**
  • Matanzas Pass Visions of the Past Native Plant Sale -- Saturday, February 25, 9-2 **Volunteer Opportunity**
  • Koreshan Farmers Market and Native Plant Sale -- Sunday, February 26, 7-2 **Volunteer Opportunity**
  • WETPLAN Neighborhood Pond Management Class -- March 16, Holton Eco Preserve, noon to 4 (prior to chapter meeting)

Council of Chapters Meeting Minutes

Find out what is happening in other chapters throughout the state

The council meeting minutes from the January 29th gotomeeting have been posted to the council website. You can access them here:

Chapter Diary

The weekly Koreshan State Historic Site Farmers Market and Native Plant Sale continues to be quite popular with Lee and Collier County residents and visitors. We set new sales records in January and helped 53 customers add native plants to their yards. February sales are going strong, too.

As we all know, February is our peek snowbird month. We have three events on the last weekend of the month, which is massive for us. At all three events, will be selling native plants. 

We need volunteers for these events. It is a great opportunity to learn more about native plants and help others to do the same. These overlapping events are in different parts of town -- downtown, Fort Myers Beach and Estero.

Our volunteer work continues at a record pace. We are:
  • Monitoring rare and endangered plants at Koreshan;
  • Watering pots and new plantings at Koreshan and in Bonita Springs;
  • Making native plant runs to various nurseries to maintain a supply of plants for all our events; 
  • Organizing all these events at the Chapter Board level; 
  • Planning and executing conference details at the Society level; and 
  • Many, many other exciting things.
If you have a native-plant interest, we can likely help you fulfill your dreams. For example, Barbara Forster and Marlene Rodak were bee-bopping around Koreshan taking care of business when we bumped into Katie Schulman, a Koreshan volunteer. Following is the report on this. Katie will also be presenting this information at our March Chapter meeting. 

Barb and I had a great day today. Besides doing good works at the park, we met up with Koreshan volunteer Katie Schulman. Katie is a recent FGCU grad with experience working at Naples Botanical Garden. While at The Garden, she specialized in tillandsia propagation and protection from the "evil weevil."

Katie would like to build a protective box at the Koreshan nursery to protect some of the tillandsias on park property. She would also monitor naturally-occurring species to collect and propagate seeds. 

The reason this is necessary is because we have the "evil weevil," which is destroying the tillandsias in the Everglades and Florida. Today, we even found a plant that fell from a tree near the nursery. Katie methodically dismembered it until she found the two evil weevils and ruthlessly squished their ugly red heads. The affected plant was bagged in a black garbage bag and is now baking in the sun. This "bagging and baking" process helps us comfortably destroy the evil weevil and other invasive exotics.  

Katie would like to have a box built along the backside of the barn shed. We would encase this in special screen fabric. This physical barrier will protect plants from the evil weevil and allow us to propagate and replace them around the park.  Katie would be our Tillandsia Princess and be in charge of all things tillandsia-related. (She is working up specs for her "lab.")

The evil weevil is here!  It is chomping away at the park's tillandsias as you read this. It is estimated that in 3 years, the tillandsias will be completely devastated by the evil weevil. I think this is a great opportunity for all of us. 

Please feel free to call Marlene at (239) 273-8945 or email to chat more.

Mexican bromeliad weevil - Metamasius callizona (Chevrolat)
common name: Mexican bromeliad weevil (suggested common name) scientific name: Metamasius callizona (Chevrolat) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

Oasis Charter School Butterfly Project

Pascha Donaldson retired Teacher and Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife member

Students from the Oasis Municipal Charter Schools began a project to attract butterflies and hide the fences at their schools. Children did research on what vines to plant and decided to plant corkystem, pipevine and passion vines. As the saying goes -- "build and they will come."
The vines grew and flowered and attracted their respective butterflies. Students are challenging other schools to follow suit in the hopes that we will be creating butterfly corridors throughout Cape Coral. Planting milkweed and other nectar plants along the fence helps for beautification and to sustain butterfly populations that are often lost to pesticides and lack of native plants. Special thanks to the teachers and students who participated in this project.

May 18-21, 2017
Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo
3200 River Ranch Boulevard
River Ranch, FL 33867


Theme:  Connections: Above and Below

The 37th Annual Conference of the Florida Native Plant Society will be held in the heart of Florida, and central to the largest river restoration project in the world! The Kissimmee River restoration, a joint project by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District, is designed to restore the complex relationships between land, wildlife, water and climate that were torn apart when the river was channelized in 1962. Before channelization, the river was a haven for native plants and wildlife, but afterwards many species of birds, fish and plants were lost, creating havoc on our economy and our environment. The restoration project to restore the river to its natural path is nearly half complete, and already  much of the original flora and fauna have returned and the water quality is improving.

This year’s conference addresses those connections that are so important to the Kissimmee River Basin and beyond. What can we learn from the negative impact of the channelization, and the surprisingly quick recovery that has followed the restoration? What more needs to be done?  How can the lessons learned in the Kissimmee River Basin be applied to other areas of Florida, the country and the world?


The venue will be the Westgate River Ranch Resort. This upscale dude ranch is in the heart of Florida, just south of SR 60 and south of Lake Kissimmee.  
View your resort options and make your reservation now!
Our room blocks are filling fast!
(If you experience issues booking your lodging, please report it to We can help.)


Wednesday, May 17 - onsite registration begins
Thursday, May 18 - Field trips and workshops
Friday, May 19 - Speakers and workshops
Saturday, May 20 - Speakers and workshop
Sunday, May 21 - Field trips


Program Highlights

Our speakers will address environmental connections that are known, broken, restored, and newly discovered. These include University of British Columbia professor, Dr. Susan Simard’s research on “How Trees Talk.” We will hear from Florida experts Steven Bousquin, project manager of the Kissimmee River Restoration Evaluation Program, Dr. Thomas Lodge on the ecology of the Everglades, and Dr. Tonya Clayton, on sea level rise in Florida..
Other speakers will provide insight into specific habitats, flora and fauna, such as Roger Hammer on the Wildflowers of the Kissimmee Valley, Dr. Alan Franck on fungi in Florida, Dr. Paul Gray on the connection between the decline of the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow and the loss of native habitat, and Connie Caldwell on pine rockland post-burn restoration.
Learning about these issues requires that we also address how we respond to them:
Dr. Susan Carr will discuss floristic variation across the landscape of pyrogenic pinelands of Florida.
Todd Hopkins of the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative will define Landscape-Scale Conservation Targets for Florida.  
Dr. Craig Huegel will discuss creating wildlife habitat in developed landscapes that creates connections with natural areas.    
Eugene Kelly and Sue Mullins will  talk about becoming effective advocates for the environment through public policy.  
Nicole Cribbs and Wendy Poag will talk about implementing native plant education programs by FNPS Chapters
Juliet Rynear will provide information on FNPS initiatives in conservation, restoration and citizen science and about the FNPS conservation grants.
Results of research on Florida native plants will be presented.

Field Trips

Field trips will further our education by taking participants to see parts of the Kissimmee River Restoration in different phases of restoration. We will visit some of the vast array of ecosystems that connect in central Florida to form a long natural corridor from north to south through the center of Florida.  These include ancient scrubs, dry prairies, swamps, and flatwoods.   Many of these provide important habitats for rare plants and animals. We will have trips that will let people see good land management practices and environmental stewardship on some of our working agricultural lands.

Havana Skullcap

Amazingly small
To offer a gossamer
Sense of beauty
~ Dorothy Rodwell
I recently acquired, from the Native Plant Society, a rare and endangered specimen of the Lamiaceae,(Mint) family for my plant collection.  The specimen is the Havana Skullcap, Scutellaria havanensis. The Havana is rare because it only grows naturally in Miami-Dade County’s Pine Rocklands. It is endangered because, regretfully, the Pine Rocklands are rapidly being turned into a development. The specimen that I have is a juvenile plant barely 12 inch high.
Havana is a multi-stemmed perennial with paired ovate leaves widely separated on square shaped reddish and hairy stems. Leaves are hairy on both top and bottom with smooth margins and are barely ¼ inch long. When fully mature the leaves will be about ½ inch in length.
The flower’s corolla structure has the typical Mint configuration; two lipped, five lobed. The upper lip has two lobes combined into a hood like appendage.  The lower lip has a center dorsal lobe with two winged lateral lobes that curl over the dorsal lobe.  The corolla’s color is a dark blue with white stripes on the dorsal lobe. Between the two lips is a lengthy and narrow corolla tunnel. Four male stamens ascend up and under the upper lip. Overall length of the bloom is barely ¼ inch. When mature the flower can be 5/8 inch in length.
The genus Scutellaria has 12 other native species five of which are rare. 
I got my specimen from the Native Plant Society's weekly plant sale at Koreshan State Historic Site. It was supplied by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation's Native Landscapes and Garden Center.

Blue Sky Lupine

Beautiful in blue
Rises from the sandy soil
A tall observer

~ Dorothy Rodwell

One of the most striking of Florida’s plant inventory. The Blue Sky Lupine, Lupinus diffusus, of the Fabaceae (bean) family is a perennial evergreen herbaceous plant.  Blue Sky has a single erect stem that can reach about two feet in height. Single elliptic leaves are arranged in alternate order on the stem.  Leaves are heavily covered in silky hairs. Dense leaves take up the lower half of the plant.
The upper half is a terminal spike that supports dozens of tiny blue colored flowers. Flower structure has the typical bean family pea shaped structure. A banner with two fused petals on top with two winged petals below that surround a keel of two smaller fused petals. Ten male stamens are fused into one and emerge from a slight tunnel directly below the banner.  Two white stripes are found at the base of the banner to attract flying pollinators. This is Sky Blue’s corolla or bloom.  Individual plants often grow in clusters providing an attractive blue hue to see. The fruit is a small pod.
Sky Blue is found through the State in sandy well drained soils.  It is very particular, however, about where it will grow no matter how much sand. Seeds are difficult to propagate.  Unfortunately, Blue Sky is also poisonous.
The specimen in the picture was found in a small population in the Koreshan State Park. The population is being closely monitored by members of the Chapter.

It is almost time again for the FNPS annual conference!                                  

Your organization’s support makes a positive impact on the success of our conference each year.  Your business or chapter can be seen on the FNPS conference website for months before the event and in the program/signage on site for our 300 plus attendees.
We will see you at Westgate River Ranch Resort and Rodeo in May 2017! 
For questions or more information, contact FNPS Development Director Andy Taylor at or 813-416-6880. 
Florida Native Plant Society
37th Annual Conference
May 18 – 21, 2017
Westgate River Ranch Resort and Rodeo
River Ranch, FL
Sponsorship Opportunities

Scrub Lupine - $5,000
● Custom promotional opportunity developed with the sponsor’s input
● Full-page color ad in a prominent position in the conference program
● Top level recognition in all promotional opportunities, including conference website and program
● Exhibit Booth, includes 2 conference program registrations
● 2 full conference passes for field trips and social events
● Opportunity to present a conference breakout session about your organization
● Annual FNPS corporate membership
● Recognition in the print magazine Palmetto

Liatris - $2,500
● Custom promotional opportunity developed with the sponsor’s input
● Full page color ad in the conference program
● Top level recognition in all promotional opportunities, including conference website and program
● Exhibit Booth, includes 2 conference program registrations
● 2 passes to field trips or social events
● Recognition in the electronic newsletter Sabal minor

Live Oak - $1,000
● Limited promotional opportunity developed with sponsor’s input
● ¾ page color ad in the conference program
● Prominent recognition in all promotional opportunities, including conference
website, and program
● Exhibit Booth, includes 2 conference program registrations

Magnolia - $500
● 1 /2 page color ad in the conference program
● Logo & recognition on conference website and program
● One conference program day

Sabal Palm - $250
● 1 /4 page color ad in the conference program and on website

Longleaf - $150
● Business card sized advertisement in the conference program and website

Wiregrass - $50
● Listed as a sponsor in the conference program and on website

Custom promotional opportunities may include:
Native plant sale sponsor – prominent display of company banner.
Social event benefactor – includes welcome announcement, display of company signage, display table, and 2 event tickets.
Break sponsor – includes company banner with logo and display table.
T-Shirt supporter – Includes company logo on all conference shirts.
Promotional items – Includes company logo on items.

Council of Chapters meeting Summary

18 attended.

A chapter report should be posted on the forum prior to the meeting. I guess I will start doing that to coincide with entering volunteer hours since that information comes from the same source.

It was asked if all those present have received the landscape brochures, and if they meet their needs. One of the chapters (Ginny Stibolt) put a sticker with their information on it. That is actually the intention of the blank spot on the brochures which is for chapters to put their own information on them. It was also asked if Florida Gardener magazines and FANN brochures would be available at the upcoming retreat.

Nominating committee progress on finding a replacement for Dave Feagles as Council leader. According to policy, nominations should come from Presidents and/or Chapter Representatives. Nominations will possibly be made at the retreat, followed with an online voting format.

Linda Smith (Chapter?) inquired about chapter garden activities such as successes and failures, past, present and future projects, issues, costs, who takes care of them, etc. Each chapter is requested to post their information on the forum (see email below). After data collection, it will likely be transferred to the Wiki-page. Also mentioned was the importance of signage with explanations, contact information, and the possibility of adding QR codes linked to the FNPS database.

It was asked if there were any issues to present to the board. The following responses were given:

1. Asked if a workshop could be conducted for Chapter representatives in a separate room at the annual conference while the board meeting occurs to have a more efficient use of time. Juliet Rynear will see if another room can be used. It was also noted the board meeting would be the next morning, and not conflict with the representative meeting.

2. Request that chapters talk about how they are using the landscape brochures, their plans for funding future printings, taking brochures to plant nurseries, etc.

3. Asked if the board could look into reprints of the coloring books for children's outreach.

Briefly discussed annual retreat items - Feb 11 and 12, bring your own food, there will be coffee, and bring snacks.

Actual minutes will be posted on the forum at some time.

The Council of Chapters meeting has decided to begin collecting information about gardens that have been created ormaintained by FNPS Chapters. The discussion item can be found on FNPS.ORG under Chapter Resources - Council of Chapters - Forum Discussions. Here is the direct link for your convenience.,62.0.html . 


Minutes of the Membership Meeting

Coccoloba Chapter Florida Native Plant Society

Thursday, January 19, 2017
Barbara Forster, Secretary
Attendance for the program: 21
Attendance for the meeting: 18

Martha Grattan, President, introduced Tony Pernas, botanist at the Big Cypress National Preserve. He gave a comprehensive overview of the identification and management of invasive plants, reptiles, and fish in south Florida. He gave the hotline number to call to notify authorities of invasive animal species-1-888-IVE-GOT1.

Ben Johnson reviewed the plant of the month, Encyclia tampensis, the butterfly orchid and had a sample, which was auctioned. He then auctioned numerous donated plants, along with 3 more orchids. Total for auctioned plants was $133.

Martha opened the business meeting by announcing the unanimous vote by the board to accept the resignation of Rodger Bunnell from position of Vice President and to appointment Marlene Rodak to that position. Rodger has done a great job over the past few years as Vice President. He was instrumental in the success of the Fort Myers Middle Academy project and developing our wonderful relationship with SCCF Native Landscapes and Garden Center. He will still be involved in activities but needs to focus on personal issues. The board also unanimously voted to accept the appointment of Kara Tyler-Julian to the now-open position of Treasurer. A motion to accept the changes was made by Lucy Breitung, Marlene Rodak seconded and the motion was unanimously carried. The new slate of officers/directors will be presented at the February 16 meeting for a membership vote:

Martha Grattan-President
Marlene Rodak-Vice President
Kara Tyler-Julian-Treasurer
Barbara Forster-Secretary
Jim Rodwell-Director
Ben Johnson-Council of Chapters Representative
Isabella Peedle-Newsletter

Nominations will be taken from the floor for any of the positions prior to the voting.

Marlene gave treasurer’s report that there is currently approximately $11,000 in the bank account. She also reported that a  golf cart has been purchased for Koreshan and the second shed to house it has been completed. She also reported record plant sales last Sunday.

Martha asked for any additions under old or new business.  Marlene reported planning a new project in Bonita at the Cutting Horse Lane site to develop demonstration gardens and ditch restoration.

There being no further business Gregg Victor moved to adjourn the meeting and Roger Bunnell seconded. The motion was unanimously passed.

To see the newsletter visit www.
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Florida Native Plant Society, Coccoloba Chapter
P.O. Box 61432
Fort Myers, FL 33906-1432

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Florida Native Plant Society, Coccoloba Chapter · P.O. Box 61432 · Fort Myers, FL 33906-1432 · USA

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