University of Florida

Protecting Florida's Native Plants

Anyone who has read "The Orchid Thief" will understand the seductive power of rare plants. In the book, the lead character is obsessed with finding the elusive ghost orchid that's native to the Everglades.

Not all native plants are as endangered as the ghost orchid, though Florida does have more endangered plants than any state except California. Under Florida's Plant Protection Law, it's illegal to dig up or destroy any of the 600 plants on the regulated plant list, unless you have the appropriate permits and permissions. And even unprotected species can suffer when wild populations are overcollected.

So if you're interested in growing native plants in your landscape, don't remove them from the wild. Instead, purchase your plants from a reputable nursery or plant sale.

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