Wilson Plover father and chick at Stump Pass Beach State Park. Photo by Mary Lundeberg.
Audubon Society at www.veniceaudubon.
org for information on special events and
bird walks in the area.
According to the state of Florida, a native
plant is a plant species that is presumed
to have been present in Florida before
European contact. Exotic or invasive are
terms most often applied to major nonnative
plant pest species. An interesting fact:
Florida has more native trees than any other
state except Hawaii, so there is no way we’ll
be able to list them all here.
One of the most photographed trees in
our area is the banyan tree. These grand
trees form canopies along Manasota Key
Road and on the aptly named Banyan
Street in Boca Grande. The Southwest
Florida region is also home to the majority
of Florida’s red, black and white mangroves
and the buttonwood. These tropical trees
grow along the shore and are crucial to many
aquatic species, and so are protected by local
and state regulations. Other trees common
to the area are slash and spruce pines, the
laurel and diamond oak and unfortunately,
the invasive Brazilian pepper trees, an
especially troublesome species as contact
with it can cause a nasty skin reaction.
Ripe Sea Grapes.
Photo by Linda Nelson.