The Nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value. Theodore Roosevelt
Many of these rare plant species are found only in a few locales within the state, and some populations occur only in one location in a specific habitat. These habitats include forested uplands, wetlands, coastal, sand dunes, scrub, beach margins, savannahs, sandhills, and rocklands. Once a natural habitat is altered, native species may not be able to compete and survive with other weedier species that can quickly invade these now disturbed sites. Every year more and more natural habitats are lost to development, storms, and other natural disasters. Certain populations of plants can therefore be permanently destroyed. Some plants have even lost their natural pollinators, and populations of plants have diminished to such small numbers that they cannot reproduce in the wild.
We, as concerned professionals and amateurs, should support the preservation and conservation of native habitats and be more vigilant to what rare flora that may naturally occur around us. With such vigilance we can insure that future generations will have the opportunity to experience some of Florida’s rare flora that has existed prior to our births.
For more information about rare plants and conservation programs, visit these websites:
- Florida Natural Areas Inventory
- Florida Statewide Endangered and Threatened Plant Conservation Program
- Preserving Florida’s Native Flora
- The Nature Conservancy (Florida projects)
- The Florida Native Plant Society
- The Center For Plant Conservation
- United States Fish and Wildlife Service