Native Plants existed in Florida prior to European contact, occurring as part of the natural landscape. Exotic Plants found in the wild are sometimes "naturalized", a naturalized plant is an imported plant that persists in the wild on its own without being cultivated. Some of these pose major problems for Florida's ecosystems. Introduced exotic plants account for 1,300 + species found in Florida's forests and wild lands. There are two classifications for exotic plants: Naturalized Exotic plants are non-native plants persisting in nature, without displacing native species or causing damage to Florida's habitats. Invasive Exotic plants displace our native plants, causing damage to all types of natural habitats and threatening the food supply of indigenous wildlife. There are 67 introduced plants in Florida that are considered invasive.
Environmental Management is constantly working to restore beach and shoreline vegetation. Maintaining our beaches through dune plantings provides stability for the wildlife which live near the shore and rely on it for shelter and a food supply.
The removal of Invasive Exotic plants in our parks and conservation lands is a priority to Volusia County. See how you can help identify these plants and help become a good steward of Natural Florida Lands, as well as maintaining and enhancing your own backyard.
Native planting restores and conserves ecosystems natural to Florida. Native plants attract wildlife, and provide habitat necessary for their survival. See a list of Florida Waterwise plants.