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Seeds from a wild flower, the Artic Lupine, found in Alaska, have grown in the lab after being frozen in the ground for 10,000 years.

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Right Plant, Right Place

The MOSI Gardens are designed using the 9 Principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping especially the concept of Right Plant, Right Place. By incorporating many Florida native and friendly plants that are well suited to this environment and also by carefully selecting the right spot for planting we work to create a garden that will thrive with a reduced need for water, fertilizer, pesticides, and pruning.


Try these tips for Right Plant, Right Place

  • Make a note of the type of soil, sunlight exposure, and water conditions of the planting site before you shop. Choose plants that thrive under the conditions you noted.
  • Limit the number of plants that need a lot of water or care.
  • Keep only as much grass as you directly use for recreation and other purposes. Plant beds and mulched areas use less water than grass.
  • Remove invasive exotic plants so they don’t steal water and nutrition from Florida-friendly plants.

Here are a few Florida-friendly plants from our garden:


Tampa Verbena (Glandularia tampensis) Tampa Verbena is an upright-growing wildflower with groupings of light purple blossoms. Attractive to butterflies, this verbena makes an excellent perennial in gardens and is especially native to the Tampa bay region of Florida. It can occasionally be found for sale in garden centers but it is a protected species so seeds or cuttings should not be gathered in the wild. Tampa Verbena prefers full sun and well-drained soil.





Maypop (Passiflora incarnata) Also known as purple passionvine, Maypop is a fast-growing vine that bears large, fragrant and showy flowers. The matured orange fruits of the vine are sweet and edible but mostly benefit wildlife because they contain so many seeds. Maypop is the larval host for the state butterfly of Florida, the Zebra Longwing. It is also the host for a variety of fritillary butterflies, including the Gulf Fritillary and also the Julia Longwing. Maypop is drought tolerant and will thrive in many sun conditions.




Canna Lily (Canna flacida) Golden Canna is a native perennial wetland plant that blooms in brilliant yellow flowers with orange centers. Canna is host to the Canna Skipper larvae. These caterpillars roll the leaves of the Canna into tubes to provide them extra protection from predators. Canna prefers full or partial sun but needs moist soil to thrive. Canna is a great plant for low, boggy or regularly wet areas.





Walter's Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum) Walter's Viburnum is a shrub to small tree with small shiny leaves. Tolerant to heavy pruning, this viburnum can be used in formal plantings or as a topiary. Allowed to keep its own shape, this plant will become a slightly rounded large shrub and settle into a tree-form with a spreading crown. Walter's Viburnum blooms profusely in white five-petaled blossoms throught the spring and is very attractive to butterflies. The late-autumn tiny fruits are a favorite of wild birds. Viburnum is drought tolerant and prefers full to partial sun locations.




Want to learn more about water? Take a virtual field trip to the Southwest Florida Water Management District .

Brought to you by the Southwest Florida Water Management District/Bank of America.



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