Want to know more about #Monarch butterflies, what wildflowers are best for landscaping, and how to help Florida’s #bees and #butterflies? Plan to attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium to learn about these topics and many more!
The annual event is the only one of its kind in the state, focusing exclusively on the state’s #native #wildflowers and their ecosystems.
Exhibitors • Field Trips • Presentations • Native Plant Sale
The Florida Wildflower Symposium is the only educational gathering of its kind, focusing exclusively on Florida’s native wildflowers and the wildlife that depends on them.
The ninth annual symposium will offer field trips to local natural areas, hands-on workshops, and educational presentations by experts on planting and growing native wildflowers, creating habitat for pollinators, and much more. You won’t want to miss this fun and informative event!
The Orange County Extension campus will soon expand its plantings of Florida’s native wildflowers with the support of the Florida Wildflower Foundation.
Symposium registration is required for all field trips, workshops, guided walks and presentations. Registration is $45 for FWF members, $60 for non-members. Some field trips, Friday night social and lunch not included.
Friday morning field trips
Pre-registration is required for all field trips. Start times, fees and participation requirements vary.
- Enjoy a leisurely tour of the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey. Participants will see the Center’s non-releasable resident raptors and hear stories about the birds while learning about Florida’s natural history and Audubon’s conservation efforts. (Click here for details, including start time, duration and participation requirements.) (Fee: free for FWF members, $10 for non-members)
- Experience the wildflowers of Wekiva Springs State Park with biologist and native plant nursery owner Nancy Bissett. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements.) (Fee: free for FWF members, $10 for non-members)
- Todd Angel of the Florida Forestry Service will lead a hike through Hal Scott Regional Preserve to visit a wildfire site that occurred earlier in 2017. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements.) (Fee: free for FWF members, $10 for non-members)
- Paddle Rock Springs Run, a tributary of the Wekiva River, with adventure guide Lars Andersen of Adventure Outpost. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements. Must register by 4/22/18. No refunds will be issued after this date.) (Fee: $49 for FWF members, $59 for non-members; includes $10 per person launch fee)
- Take a buggy ride through the Florida Forever tract with Margaret Broussard. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements. Must register by 4/16/18. No refunds will be issued after this date.) (Fee: $30 for FWF members, $40 for non-members)
Friday afternoon topical presentations
- Bear biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Bear Management Program will present “Be Bear Wise,” a discussion about human-bear interactions and the wildlife corridor, including what to do if you see a bear in your neighborhood and how best to keep your family, pets and property safe. (1 p.m. Magnolia Room)
- WMFE’s environmental reporter, Amy Green, will update us on the state of the Everglades and talk about her forthcoming book on this important and fragile ecosystem. (2 p.m. Magnolia Room)
- St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman will talk about the group’s efforts to defend, advocate for and activate others to protect and restore Florida’s most famous river. (3 p.m. Magnolia Room)
Friday night social
Join us at Bar Louie from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. for hors d’oeuvres, drinks and lively conversation. Bar Louie is an eclectic, urban restaurant located just minutes from the Orange County UF/IFAS Extension. Ticket includes buffet-style appetizers and one drink ticket good for soda, domestic beer or house wine. Vegan/vegetarian options will be available. (Fee: $30)
Saturday presentations and workshops
- Humans live in a world visually dominated by plants, yet their ability to notice and name individual plant species is often limited. Elisabeth Schussler will give the keynote presentation on “Helping People See Plants in a Plant Blind World.” (9 a.m. Auditorium)
- Loran Anderson will introduce us to some of the different “Seed Dispersal Strategies” that wildflowers have developed over millions of years, taking advantage of wind, rain, sun and various animal interactions. (10 a.m. Auditorium)
- Firefighter and Florida Forest Service volunteer Todd Angel will introduce us to “Florida’s Fire Flowers,” and discuss the necessity of fire to many of Florida’s endemic wildflowers and its relationship to threatened and endangered species. (11 a.m. Azalea Room)
- Jaret Daniels of the University of Florida will update us on “Butterfly Conservation Efforts in Florida.” (1 p.m. Auditorium)
- Jonnie Dietz of the Florida Museum of Natural History will show us some of Florida’s native pollinators. (2 p.m. Magnolia Room)
- Learn “How to Talk With Your Neighbors About Your Native Plant Landscape” with Russ Hoffman, former psychologist and owner of Beautiful Ponds. Russ will offer practical dialogue and simple maintenance techniques to improve the neighborly atmosphere. (10 a.m. Magnolia Room)
- Discover “Sex in the Garden” with Dr. Craig Heugel. (2 p.m. Auditorium)
- Nature photographer Dr. Steven Long will take us on “A Photographic Journey of Florida’s Rare Flowering Plants.” (3 p.m. Magnolia Room)
- Dr. Hector Perez of the University of Florida will present “Sow what?! Why seed biology research matters for plant conservation.” (1 p.m. Magnolia Room)
- Jennifer Reinoso of the American Orchid Society will present “Protecting Sacoila lanceolata.” Learn the plant’s history, efforts to protect it and which wildflowers and butterflies share the same spaces. (2 p.m. Azalea Room)
- FWF Executive Director Lisa Roberts will give an overview of the Foundation’s work and current projects. (10 a.m. Azalea Room)
- Walter Taylor is going “All Yellow,” highlighting the yellow wildflowers of Florida and giving special consideration to the ones that are difficult to identify. (11 a.m. Auditorium)
- Bruce Turley, owner of Wilcox Nursery & Landscape, will present some of the new and lesser known native plants that work well in gardens and landscapes. (1 p.m. Azalea Room)
- Florida Wildflower Foundation president Terry Zinn will provide guidelines on how to have a “Successful Large-Scale Wildflower Planting.” (3 p.m. Azalea Room)
- Dr. Jeff Norcini will present the concepts and simple steps for “Establishing a Small Wildflower Meadow from Seed,” then demonstrate the process in the UF/IFAS Extension’s new wildflower meadow. (11 a.m. Rose Room. Free to symposium attendees. Pre-registration is required as space is limited.)
- Learn the basics of native plant propagation with Claudia Larsen of Micanopy Wildflowers. (1 p.m. Rose Room. Free to symposium attendees. Pre-registration is required as space is limited.)
Saturday guided walks
- Go on a hunt for butterflies with Dr. Jaret Daniels. (11 a.m. Meet behind the Exhibit Hall.)
- Take a tour of the UF/IFAS Extensions gardens with extension agent Kelly Greer. (1 p.m. Meet behind the Exhibit Hall.)
Native plant sales
Saturday’s native plant sale will feature a selection of plants adapted to Florida’s unique environment. Find the perfect additions for your landscape or garden. (The plant sale is open to the public. Symposium registration is not necessary in order to shop.)
Pre-order a boxed lunch from Panera for $12. Choose ham and swiss, roasted turkey or Mediterranean veggie (vegan) sandwich. All lunches includes chips, pickle, cookie (vegan option comes with apple instead of cookie) and tea or lemonade.
Support wildlife and wild Florida — ask for the State Wildflower license plate!