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Florida Native Plant Society Logo        

Sea Rocket Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society

444 Columbia Blvd, Titusville, FL 32780
321-264-5185

        Environmentally Endangered Lands Program logo
President
Lois Harris
lois6459@att.net

Vice President
Jim Robey

OCTOBER 2017 NEWSLETTERPREVIOUS NEWSLETTERS
The purpose of the Florida Native Plant Society is to promote the preservation,
conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida.

MEETINGS

Sea Rocket's monthly meetings are held at The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Blvd, Titusville, FL 32780. Phone: 321-264-5185
There is no General meeting in August, 2017

Sea Rocket monthly meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:00pm. Please email Lois Harris at lois6459@att.net for meeting information:.

All Sea Rocket meetings and activities are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Sea Rocket Chapter serves north and central Brevard County from Scottsmoor to Rockledge and east to Merritt Island, Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach.

REMINDER! The Sea Rocket Chapter does not meet in July and August; full programs resume in September.

MISSION

The purpose of the Florida Native Plant Society ~ Sea Rocket Chapter is to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida, primarily through education and community outreach.

Monthly guest speakers provide programs on a variety of topics relevant to the mission of the Sea Rocket Chapter. Please view the current Sea Rocket newsletter for program information.

Monthly field trips to conservation lands in central Florida are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. View upcoming field trip information in the current Sea Rocket newsletter.

Sea Rocket Chapter volunteers maintain a native plant nursery and sell plants to the public at events throughout the year; for information on volunteer work email Lois Harris at lois6459@att.net.


Recent improvements to our nursery


Date Line 11-11-16
Whew! The prototype water table has been completed. The table stands about 4 ft. high. It is 4 ft wide by 8 ft long, and 1 inch deep. The 1 inch is the allowed water level that will keep the plants moist. Why water from the bottom? The ground water we use at the nursery is full of iron. When we water the plants the iron deposits coat the leaves, cutting out the sun, thus killing the plants. By watering from the bottom the leaves will not get coated with iron oxide, and the plants will hopefully thrive. This table is a prototype to test the feasibility of following on with this method. The table is level within reason, the plastic is solid, and the plants are drinking, as required.

Our new


Today, 11-10-16, I saw "Nursery Nan" back in her burrow. I call her "Nan" because I've been told she is a girl tort. She was gone for a couple months but thankfully has returned.

Nursery Nan


11/16 - A recent addition to our Nursery is the "Water table". The reason for this table is because of the ground water quality we use to water our plants. Originally our water quality was poor at 3600 ppm salt. Many of our plants could not tolerate this level of salinity. The Board decided to sink another well, about 60 feet for salt free water. We did, and we got salt free water, BUT it was loaded with iron. O.K, I thought, not a problem. Not so, heavy iron content as we have is a problem. It coats the leaves of our plants with iron stain and cuts off the sun from their photosynthesis factories. No photosynthesis, no life. We were losing our plants to an artificial night. The object with this table is to have the plants sitting in water, maybe one inch layer of it. No water will coat the leaves. But will water from beneath

Sea Rocket's water table.


4/16 - The temperatures can get pretty high in the greenhouse, which is not good for the young and tender sprouts and rehabilitating plants the greenhouse is expected to house. We had shade cloth for over a year, but it too succumbed to the brutal Florida sun. Nothing we did seemed to tame the brutal heat built up in this structure. Sea Rocket abandoned use of the greenhouse idea. Eventually the County sold it and put in a storage building.



The Sea Rocket Chapter display and native plant sales at Earth Day Family Fun Festivals in Titusville's Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary.
Click on the picture to see enlargements.


UPCOMING EVENTS
& THINGS TO DO

Note: All future plans can change presently. If in doubt, verify the date and times are accurate. Page numbers below refer to the newsletter.
Every
Saturday

GUIDED NATURE HIKES - 10:00am - the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Bring hat, water and walking shoes. Groups of 5 or more, please RSVP. For more information, please call 321-264-5185.
Every Tuesday FNPS Sea Rocket Chapter Nursery Workday—9am-12noon, email Lois at lois6459@att.net for further info and schedule.
October Native Plant Month.
October 2 BBG presents Florida Friendly Landscaping Grant Workshop. A grants workshop for the Florida Friendly Landscaping Grant program will be conducted on Monday, Oc-tober 2, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Brevard County UF/IFAS Extension Office located at 3695 Lake Drive in Cocoa.
October 7 Butterfly Garden Workday - from 9 AM till 12 PM. Volunteers are working in the various butterfly gardens around the kiosk at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Weed-ing, trimming, planting, and whatever else needs to be done to enhance the natural beauty and functionality of these native gardens. Bring water, hat, gloves, and stable shoes.
October 7 Barrier Island Center presenting—Creatures Fest from 11 am to 3 pm. This is a free, family fun event filled with creatures! Featuring live critters big and small, animal games, eco-arts, sanctuary searches for creatures, animal themed environmental booths, mermaids with a conservation message, puppets, children's author, lionfish, food carts & more… Costumes encouraged, carpooling suggested.
October 21 Harvest Festival and Native Plant Sale. The Harvest Festival plant sale is important to our community to help repopulate the native communities and slow the slide from "La Florida," as Florida once was called. We will be selling all native varieties at prices less than exotics. Ask questions, let us help you pick plants that will work in your spe-cific conditions
October 25 Sea Rocket General Meeting at the Enchanted Forest. Refreshments at 6:30 pm. We will hear from Arlene on "How Florida Places got their names."
October 28 Butterfly Garden Workday - from 9 AM till 12 PM. Volunteers are working in the various butterfly gardens around the kiosk at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Weed-ing, trimming, planting, and whatever else needs to be done to enhance the natural beauty and functionality of these native gardens. Bring water, hat, gloves, and stable shoes.
October 28 Dicerandra Field Trip, Saturday at 9:00 am till noon. Hosted by Dr. Schmalzer. Dicerandra Scrub Sanctuary. This is a joint project of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and the State of Florida. Vegetation is primarily oak scrub and scrubby flatwoods with a depression marsh down slope. Prescribed burns have been conducted on the site since acquisition. The endemic Dicerandra thinicola occurs here and should be in flower.
Please send calendar items to David Humphrey at brevcracker@gmail.com
For a comprehensive view of Sea Rocket activities go to www.FNPS.org; events, "searocket."

Please send calendar items to David Humphrey at brevcracker@gmail.com
For a comprehensive view of Sea Rocket activities go to www.FNPS.org; events, "searocket".



Volunteers are needed all the time to keep the nursery and gardens in top shape. If you think you'd like to be involved, but are new to native plants, no problem! I volunteered with zero knowledge of native plants and have been taught by the best about native plants and how to grow them. If you are interested there are opportunities to learn and be a part helping Florida regain many of it's vanishing plants.

Volunteer opportunities exist for plant sales, or working the nursery, or helping to maintain the various butterfly gardens around the building.. Volunteering is a great chance to learn from the best, and meet and work with master gardeners, and experts in botany, and native plants, .


Current Program! - Ongoing

As explained in the attached PDF, Dr. Teresa Cooper is asking for some help with supplies. She will be speaking at the Sea Rocket June meeting (6-24) about this project. If you can help in any way contact Martha at tigerlily1953@aol.com or myself at brevcracker@gmail.com and we'll get it to Dr. Cooper. -- David Humphrey

Dr. Teresa Cooper is currently conducting research in the Enchanted Forest for the species Tillandsia utriculata.
Webmaster: Tillandsia utriculata, commonly known as the spreading airplant, is a species of bromeliad that is native to Florida and Georgia in the United States.


Our gardens in the Enchanted Forest
Nature Sanctuary.

Sea Rocket greenhouse in the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Inside our Enchanted Forest Sanctuary greenhouse.
Our gardening plot in the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Some seedlings in our gardening plot in the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary.


Sea Rocket Chapter Completes Keep Brevard Beautiful Xeriscape Garden

The Sea Rocket Chapter has completed an 800 square foot pollinator garden at Chain-of-Lakes Recreation Area in north Titusville. Keep Brevard Beautiful awarded the Sea Rocket Chapter a Xeriscape Grant earlier this year to help offset some of the costs associated with the garden.

Sea Rocket's contribution to the project exceeded $1,800 in value and included over 140 hours of donated labor and nearly $500 in plant material. Volunteers planted 150 native plants representing 20 species, many of which are butterfly larval host plants.

The two halves of the garden are split by a hardened trail, making it easy for visitors to view the many native pollinator species which visit the plants, including several species of butterflies, moths, and dragonflies.

Chain-of-Lakes Recreation Area is located at 1614 Snowy Egret Drive. Contact Brevard County Parks & Recreation at 321-264-5105 for more information.

East Bed Completed West Bed Completed
Click for Gallery of Enlargements

Eileen Szuchy's "A Sampling of Native Edible Plants of the Central Florida Region"
Dr. Paul Schmalzer's "Scrub Habitat"
Dr. Paul Schmalzer's "Woodland Habitat"

The Florida Native Plant Society

UFL Florida - Landscaping for Wildlife

2001