Why Plant Native?

The Benefits of Native Plants

In Florida, a plant species is considered to be native if it was present in Florida before Europeans arrived in 1513. Most exotic species were introduced to the state intentionally or accidentally by humans.

Native Wildflowers Add Color to a Landscape

Firewheel Flower

Native perennials such as Firewheel, (Gaillardia Pulchella) pictured, Vanillaleaf (Carphephorus Odoratissimus), Blazing star (Liatris sp.), Butterflyweed (Asclepias Tuberosa), and Dune sunflower (Helianthus Debilis) can replace exotics and attract a diversity of pollinators to home landscapes. The Florida Native Plant Society website can help you find the right native plant for any location. In Volusia County, many native species can be purchased at local nurseries such as and Debary Nursery.

Photos of native plant species courtesy of Dr. Peter May.

Native Flowering Plants Support Pollinators

attracting pollinators

You can help support native pollinator populations by incorporating Florida native plants into your yard or garden. Stetson professor Cindy Bennington has created a How-to video on Attracting Pollinators with Native Florida Wildflowers.

Consider Replacing Exotics with Native Species

   Exotic Native
Trees Camphor, Raintree, Weeping, Willow, Mimosa Live Oak, Redbud, Longleaf Pine, Cear, Dahoon, Holly
Shrubs Azaleas, Lantana, Pittosporum Walters, Viburnum, Yaupon, Holly, Florida Anise, Coontie
Bedding Plants Petunias, Impatiens, Begonias Partridge Pea, Butterfly Weed, Firewheel, Dune Sunflower












The Gillespie Museum is proud to have received funding from the following organizations to promote, plant and maintain native Florida plant species. 

Florida Wildflower Foundation, Volusia County Florida, EPPC

Protect Native Landscapes From Exotic Invasive Plants!

Lantana Plant

Ornamental plant species such as Heavenly bamboo, Lantana (pictured), and Mexican petunia may be planted intentionally, but are known to invade native habitats and disrupt ecosystem function. To determine whether plants in your own landscape are “invasive” check the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council website.

Caesar's Weed

Invasive plant species such as Asparagus fern, Caesar's weed (pictured), and Air potato can outcompete desirable species and spread to neighboring areas. Remove these if you find them in your yard.

Photos of exotic species courtesy of the University of Florida/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.