Promote the preservation, conservation and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida



Meeting Day and Time

First Tuesday of the Month, January-April and September-November at 7PM

Join us early for “Barbara’s Bits” that starts at 6:15 and runs until 6:45. See "Barbara's Bits" tab for schedule.

Refreshments are served from 6:45 to 7 PM


Meeting location is at the Crystal Oaks Civic Center, 4958 W. Crystal Oaks Dr., Lecanto, FL 34461.


Feb 4th  

"Florida Fungi and the USF Herbarium"

Despite being a vital part of the ecosystem and an incredibly diverse group of organisms, fungi remain overlooked by most, with little known about them. There are an estimated 2 million species of fungi, yet only eight percent described. In this talk, I will discuss a broad overview of fungi (particularly the macrofungi), their ecological importance, and selected species that are common to our area. Finally, I will discuss the importance of herbaria, where collections of both plant and fungal vouchers are preserved.

Arian Farid, Curator of USF Herbarium & Mycology specialist. Arian Farid holds a M.S. degree in Biology, and is currently engaged in a Ph.D. program in the Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology at the University of South Florida. His research interests include phylogenetics and evolution of macrofungi, particularly the boletes. Before graduate school, Arian conducted field work and assisted with digitizing specimens at the USF Herbarium, where he is currently the Curator.


Mar 3rd

Anita Camacho, President Tampa Bay chapter North American Butterfly Association.

Why are some butterflies common in your garden, but others rarely seen outside of wild spaces?  Did you know there are 105 butterfly species that reside in Citrus County?  There are over 200 species that come to Florida – but not all are considered residents.  Get an introduction to Citrus County’s butterflies and learn about their importance, the role native plants play in their lives, and how to provide the most appropriate plants to support them.  We’ll have an update on the Monarch migration and Anita will share her top picks from our plant sale selections.

North American Butterfly Association chapters work at the state and/or local level to conserve butterflies and to educate the public about the importance of butterflies (and other pollinators).  Anita Camacho, is a Florida native from the Tampa Bay area and considers herself an amateur Lepidopterist.  She has been an avid gardener for over 40 years, specifically gardening for butterflies, pollinators, and roses.  She has served on the Executive Board and is Treasurer of Tampa Federation of Garden Club Circles, and a member of Tampa’s Garden Club Rose Circle and Moonlight Circle. She is also currently the treasurer for Tampa Green Fest.  She is an active member of International Association of Butterfly Exhibitors & Suppliers, International Butterfly Breeders Association, The Lepidopterists' Society, Florida Native Plant Society-Suncoast Chapter, Xerces Society, USF Botanical Gardens, Florida State and Tampa Bay Beekeepers Associations, Tampa Rose Society, and American Rose Society.  Her home gardens were on the Rose Circle annual garden tour in South Tampa with record attendance of over 900 visitors in 2016.  For more fun, she became a Beekeeper through the USF program last year.  She has been an accredited American Society consulting rosarian for more than 15 years and a certified rose show judge.  Professionally she has been a CPA in Tampa for over 25 years and has her own accounting practice.


April 7th

"Edible Natives in Your Garden"

Did you know that many of Florida’s native plants are edible? Even some of those pesky “weeds” that pop up in your yard have culinary value. In this presentation, Stacey will introduce you to the edible, medicinal and nutritional properties of some common native plants. She might even help change your view on “weeds” to see them as food you didn’t have to plant!

Stacey Matrazzo has worked for the Florida Wildflower Foundation since 2008 and joined them full time as their program manager in 2015. She is a certified Florida Master Naturalist, and an environmental educator with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a master’s in liberal studies, both from Rollins College where she is also an adjunct professor. Stacey is a native Floridian who spends much of her free time kayaking, hiking, birding, and photographing Florida’s amazing natural environments.


Check out Meeting Extras and Notes from Barbara's Bits Here

Our meetings always include a "Native Plant of the Month" brief presentation along with “what’s blooming” and we will start with “Barbara’s Bits” from 6:15-6:45. Barbara will have another educational program for us to enjoy. Refreshments will be served from 6:45 to 7 PM and our chapter meeting will start promptly at 7. The meeting will conclude with an opportunity to take some native plants home from the donation table.

Unless otherwise noted, our meetings are open to the public.




Published on  13.01.2020