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Featured Plants in Florida

Florida is one of the most botanically rich areas in the United States. The number of our native plant species–over 2,840–exceeds that of each of the other lower 48 states except for Texas and California. Florida has the less fortunate distinction of having a high percentage of its native flora listed as endangered, threatened, or rare. Fifty-five species are listed as endangered or threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and another 154 species are candidates for listing or are considered of management concern.

Notable Florida Plants

  • Florida Torreya Tree

    The Florida Torreya Tree is an evergreen that is found only in a small area along the Apalachicola River in Florida's panhandle and in an immediately adjacent region in South Georgia. An endangered species, trees formerly reached a height of 60 feet tall but are now seen in the wild only as low sprouts as the trees are top-killed by a lethal fungus. The trees have whorled branches and bright needles that are 1 - 1.5 inch long, flat, stiff, and sharply pointed.

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  • Scrub Blazing Star

    The Scrub Blazing Star is a long-lived herb with bright purplish-pink flowers. The species prefers open, fire-maintained habitats along the Lake Wales Ridge of Florida. This plant was originally found in areas of Polk and Highland counties in central Florida that have largely been converted for agricultural, commercial, residential and recreational purposes. As a result of habitat loss, this species was listed as an endangered species in 1989.

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  • Semaphore Cactus

    The Semaphore Cactus has numerous flowers with orange to red petals and can grow between 3 and 15 feet. The plant is typically found between the rockland hammock and coastal swamp of the Florida Keys. The Semaphore Cactus is listed as an endangered species and the wild population is severely threatened by a deadly exotic moth.

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