Meeting Information & Upcoming Citrus Chapter Events - Fall 2023

Happy Florida Native Plant Month! October is the best time to see wildflowers and enjoy the outdoors as the weather turns more mild. Below you'll find a photo of Janie, Gail, Cindy, and Athena accepting the official Proclamation naming October as Native Plant Month in Citrus Co. There are loads of activities to help you commemorate the month with us and we hope to see you at one or all!

Citrus Chapter Happenings

Tuesday, October 3rd, 6:15pm In-person Monthly Meeting

"Barbara's Bits" leads as the pre-meeting presentation at 6:15pm, and after a short break we'll have a few announcements at 7pm, followed by the guest speaker. Our in-person meetings include chapter merchandise, free informational handouts, sign up sheets for upcoming events, enthusiastic native plant people, and perhaps taking a native plant or two home!

Meeting is at the Crystal Oaks Civic Association building located at 4958 W. Crystal Oaks Dr., Lecanto, FL 34461.

The feature presentation is: Road Trip To Florida's Wildflowers with Athena Philips

October is the best month for wildflowers, so let's take a tour of the flora of Florida. We'll discuss what makes a wildflower a wildflower and then zig-zag around the state at warpspeed to see a spectrum of botanical beauties. There will be some tips on learning more about them, including them in your life, and where you could see them in your own travels.

Tonight's speaker is a familiar face at monthly meetings. Athena is a late bloomer, having found a love of native plants after moving to Citrus County and joining Citrus Chapter FNPS about 10 years ago. She has a special interest in sandhill ecosystems, ethnobotany, and helping people find their place in their ecological community.

Tuesday, October 10th, 8am-12pm - Withlacoochee State Forest Floristic Inventory.

Help add observations to the State Forest plant inventory. This is part of a statewide project, using iNaturalist to document plants across the forest. If you'd like to help, if you'd like a slow meander in the forest to learn about sandhill plants, or if you'd like to learn how to use the iNaturalist app - these are all good reasons to come along. We will be looking to confirm the ID of a suspected false foxglove which should be in bloom. Meetup at the Oak Park South trailhead in the Lecanto/Homosassa area (map here). We frequently go off trail, so we highly recommend long pants, hiking shoes, water, and sun protection. Snacks and bug repellent are also good ideas. Call or text Athena at 813.263.5963.

Saturday, Oct 14, 9 AM until noon – Janet Butterfield Brooks WEA Brooksville

Mingle with the Hernando Chapter of the Native Plant Society in this fall field trip. Hosted by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Meet at Bailey Hill Road across from the gate, park on the north side of the road. Join Chinsegut Conservation Center education specialists for a field trip at this hidden jewel of a preserve. This beautiful upland habitat is not open to the public and is accessible only with FWC staff. The hike will be moderate in duration and difficulty, and our focus will be the mosaic of upland species that call the preserve home, as well as the land management strategies that support them. The Janet Butterfield Brooks WEA encompasses approximately 319 acres in Hernando County and has some of the area’s last tracts of older growth longleaf pine sandhill forests and hardwood hammocks. The mix of mesic hammock, upland hardwood forest and bottomland forest found here provides important wildlife habitat for species including gopher tortoises and southeastern American kestrels.Janet Butterfield Brooks enjoys a regular burn regime and we should see the outcomes in fall blooms. The hike is just under 2 miles along sandy and somewhat uneven terrain and should take about 2 hours. Please bring your own water and snacks. There are no restrooms at Janet Butterfield, so please plan accordingly. Please meet at the south entrance of the WEA (comprised of a vehicle-sized gate) along Bailey Hill Road and be ready to start by 9am. Carpooling is strongly encouraged! There is no address for this entrance, but participants can use the address for the residence directly across from the entrance for navigation: 15478 Bailey Hill Rd, Brooksville, FL 34614. All participants should park along the side of Bailey Hill Road as far off the road as they can manage. No rsvp is required.f you can't make it Sunday October 14, the Adventure Coast Group of the Sierra Club is sponsoring a trip on Wednesday, October 25. For more info see below.

Friday, October 20th, 10:30-12pm, Florida's Wildflowers: Unparalleled Beauty by Marcie Clutter

Marcie will be representing the chapter at the Central Ridge Library to give the presentation Florida's Wildflowers: Unparalleled Beauty. Florida contains a profusion of beautiful native wildflowers. These wildflowers have developed over hundreds of years in Florida’s challenging environment with unique blossoms and scents. Location: 425 W. Roosevelt Blvd., Beverly Hills

Saturday, Oct 25, 9 AM until noon – Janet Butterfield Brooks WEA Brooksville

We'll join the Adventure Coast Group of the Sierra Club's Outings Leader Eugene Kelly for a second opportunity to visit this preserve. The Janet Butterfield Brooks Wildlife and Environmental Area (WEA) is owned and managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and is only opened for public visitation by prior arrangement, so this is a rare opportunity. The outing will be co-led by Hana Brinkley, our host from FWC. Gene will introduce you to the mosaic of upland habitats present on the 319-acre property. Special emphasis will be placed on the 118 acres of “sandhill” habitat, which is distinguished by a canopy of mature longleaf pines and an extremely diverse groundcover. October is the best time of the year to observe sandhill’s annual explosion of wildflowers. FWC’s management of the property includes regular applications of prescribed fire, and the most recent “burn” is expected to generate an especially spectacular display of wildflowers this fall. Other habitats we will encounter include pine flatwoods and hardwood hammocks. Collectively, these habitat areas support populations of gopher tortoise, fox squirrels, kestrels, and many other species. Bring your binocular to better enjoy the many migratory bird species that could be present during our visit. The outing will consist of a hike that is moderate in length and difficulty, covering about 2 miles of mostly sandy and uneven trail. Wear appropriate footwear, and be sure to bring a water bottle and and snacks. Reservations are required and will be limited to 20 participants. We will start the outing at 9:00 am, so please plan to arrive 10 or 15 minutes early for “sign in” and to receive an overview about “JBB”. The outing will conclude by noon. There is no street address for JBB, so we suggest using the address for the private residence located immediately across the street from the entrance gate (15478 Baily Hill Road, Brooksville, FL) to find the location, which is approximately 0.3 miles west of Citrus Way on Baily Hill Road. For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Eugene Kelly at

Florida Native Plant Month events

Saturday, October 7th, 10-12pm, Anson Nursery's Native Plant Month Celebration

Meet the chapter at Anson to hear Barbara McCormic and Donna Carrigan speak on native plants and enjoy the day. There will be FREE food, music, and giveaways! Come out, bring a chair and enjoy this celebration. The chapter will be there with a booth and the presentations are: “Introduction to Natives” and “Incorporate Natives into your Landscape”. Location: 5296 W Homosassa Trl, Lecanto

Saturday, October 14th, 9-2pm, Parks & Recreation 2nd Annual Native Plant Month Event

Celebrate Florida Native Plant Month. Learn about native plants and why they are essential to not only our greater landscape but Florida’s native pollinators too. Mingle, check out the displays and exhibitors, there will be three presentations in the morning, games for adults or kids in the afternoon. Register here to be entered to win gardening swag! Citrus chapter will be there with a booth and a presentation on identifying plants with iNaturalist. Come out and say hello.

Location: Citrus County Canning Center 3405 West Southern Street, Lecanto 34461


FNPS Happenings

Tentatively October 26th, Dicerandra Day - Florida Native Plant Month, Dunnellon

One of the Society's conservation projects is monitoring and preserving the rare longspured mint, Dicerandra cornutissima, in Marion County. Nine of the eleven Dicerandra species occur in Florida and eight are endemic to only Florida. This Endangered species of fragrant mint is found in only two counties, in scrubby white sand habitat.

This is a two-part activity, with a morning visit to see it blooming in the wild and help protect it by removing any invasive plants in the vicinity. Then we'll head indoors to have lunch and a Dicerandra workshop to learn about this imperiled plant. Location is near Ross Prairie State Forest. If interested, RSVP to us and we'll get you more information as it comes in.

Native Plant Month merchandise - stay tuned to the Society social media outlets for the October release of a special design in honor of Florida Native Plant Month.


Other events of interest:

Citrus County Parks and Recreation would like to invite you to help celebrate Florida Native Plants Month! Every Wednesday in October, join Naturalist and Recreation Program Specialist Alice Mary Herden for an interpretive walk to discuss the variety of flora in our parks. Walks begin at 9am and last approximately one-two hours. This event is suited for adults. Registration is appreciated. RSVP by calling 352-527-7547 or register online here.

Locations: Inverness, Floral City, Beverly Hills, Holder.

Saturday, October 21st, 8:30-12:30pm, Master Gardener Annual Fall Plant Sale

The chapter will have a booth to promote native plants while everyone shops till they drop. Master Gardeners will be available to provide gardening advice at the “Ask a Master Gardener” information table. Purchase plants propagated from the personal gardens of the Master Gardeners, including natives, pollinator-friendly plants, herbs, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and porch plants. Location: at the UF/IFAS Extension office 3650 W Sovereign Path, Lecanto (352) 527-5700.

Should you have any questions, please send us an email.


Published on  September 28th, 2023