By: Susan Albert, Freelance Garden Writer
Wildlife in South Central states brings a mixture of gameanimals, game birds, fur bearers and other mammals. Through wide-ranginghabitats, one might see white-tailed or mule deer, bison, Proghorn antelope,desert bighorn sheep, American black bear and brown bear, mountain lion andbobcat.
However, gardeners living in urban areas are likely to seemore common animals native to southern regions such as squirrels, rabbits, batsand raccoons. Let’s learn more about animals native to South Central U.S.
There are plenty of native backyard animals in Southerngardens. Here are a few:
Other mammals that may visit South Central gardens include:
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Landscaping with the native plants of Florida is very popular for their reputation of low maintenance. in fact, you may be using many in your South Florida landscape without realizing they're native plants.
. from ferns to wildflowers, grasses to groundcovers, palms to vines, trees to shrubs. Many attract butterflies with colorful blossoms and birds with tasty berries.
A lot of these plants work best in an informal setting, especially since during winter weather they can become scraggly - or even die back.
However, there are some that keep their good looks year round - and those that respond well to a clipped look so they can work in a more formal landscape.
You can sprinkle natives throughout your landscape or go for a complete Florida native yard. But before you do, you should know.
Native plants need no care.
Not true. All plants require watering to get them established. Once they're well on their way, most will do fine with watering only during dry spells.
However there are some that originated in wetlands and require more water than other plants.
All plants benefit from fertilization, though fertilizing is not a necessity. Most require trimming, though, to keep them lush and bushy.
They will grow anywhere in a South Florida landscape.
Again, not true. Some are from regions of scrub forests, others by the beach, still others from swampy areas. If your house is by the water, you need salt tolerant plants - native or no. Sun or shade, wet or dry - conditions in your yard may not be right for certain plants - again, native or otherwise.
Pests won't attack native plants. Garden pests aren't choosy - they don't discriminate between non-natives and natives.
Natives have been here forever.
Hardly. Florida was once at the bottom of an ocean.
Our "native" plants came here by way of wind, birds, and other natural means. Plants here in the mid 1500's when Spanish settlers arrived are considered Florida native plants.
"Exotics" are plants that have been introduced to our landscapes since then - brought in by nature or by man.
Many have been here for a long time and do very well, coexisting with native vegetation and decorating our properties with color and beauty. Some - like Brazilian pepper - are invasive and destructive, taking over thousands of acres.
Florida native plants are indigenous only to Florida.
Nope. Most are native to other areas as well - the Caribbean, Mexico, some from all over the Southeastern United States and even further north.
They're rare and endangered, so I should plant only native plants of Florida.
Many natives are common, growing in the wild and as landscape plants. Certainly you can do a native-only landscape, but most people opt to do a combination of natives and exotics.
That being said, land development and the encroachment of invasive exotics has threatened some natural habitats.
A prime example is scaevola plumieri.
This tough little plant, which will grow right on a sand dune, is considered a threatened species because it and many other coastal plants have been removed for building.
Scaevola - also called "Inkberry" - is planted as a beach colonizer, where it stabilizes a sand dune so that other plant material can grow there too.
A similar looking shrub - scaevola taccada or beach naupaka - has been sold as Inkberry, but it grows quickly into a larger shrub and is invasive.
For species that are more rare, native plant nurseries do a great job of keeping many of these plants (as well as more common ones) available.
We've included many native plants of Florida in our Plant Pages - see links to them at the bottom of this page.
But there are thousands of natives to choose from - for more information, check out the Florida Native Plant Society and PlantRealFlorida.org.
And don't miss our special section in Landscape in a Box on Native Plant Landscaping, with photos of plants to combine for a beautiful landscape.
Horticulture & Natural Resources
2021 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506
Welcome to the K-State Garden Hour Webinar Series, hosted by K-State Research and Extension horticulture staff across the state of Kansas. We hope you'll join us on select Wednesdays at noon for some horticultural refreshment and training. Sessions will be recorded and posted here after each event.
Your one-step registration will allow you to participate in any of the featured topics within the 2021 K-State Garden Hour series. Registering will also remind you of the upcoming live event and notify you when the recording is available.
REGISTER NOW FOR THE 2021 SERIES!
Wednesday, February 17th: Planning Your Vegetable Garden
Wednesday, March 3rd: Best Plants for a Beginner's Landscape
Wednesday, March 17th: Pruning Like A Pro - Tips for Trees & Shrubs
Wednesday, April 7th: Raised Bed & Container Gardening
Wednesday, April 21st: Gardening in the Shade
Wednesday, May 5th: Herbs - From Seed to Seasoning
Wednesday, May 19th: Xeriscaping: Beautiful Landscapes with Less Water
Wednesday, June 2nd: Effective Irrigation
Wednesday, June 16th: Native Plants to Support Native Bees
Wednesday, August 4th: Organic Gardening
Wednesday, August 18th: Gardening with Beneficial Insects
Wednesday, Sep. 1st: Basics of Growing Berries in Kansas
Wednesday, Sep. 15th: Composting with Worms - Vermicomposting 101
Wednesday, October 6th: Embrace your Landscape's Wild Side - Supporting Backyard Birds
Wednesday, November 3rd: Winter Interest in the Landscape
Previous K-State Garden Hour Series
2020 Sessions (Recordings Available in Descriptions Below)
Wednesday, December 2nd: Holiday Horticulture
Wednesday, November 4th: Trees & Shrubs For Pollinators & KS Wildlife – Tips From The KS Forest Service
Wednesday, October 7th: Everyone Can Compost
Wednesday, September 30th: Spring Flowering Bulbs
Wednesday, September 23rd: Fall Tree Planting: How to do it Right!
Fall can be an ideal time to plant trees & shrubs. Dr. Charlie Barden, K-State Forestry Specialist, will share his tips & techniques for selecting, planting, staking and mulching trees. In addition, learn about the trees for great fall color, and the differences when planting evergreen vs deciduous trees in the fall.
Wednesday, September 16th: Growing Garlic in Kansas
Wednesday, September 9th: Getting the "Buzz" on Honeybees
Wednesday, September 2nd: Fall Lawn Care (Part 2) - Fertilizing, Aerating, & Controlling Weeds In Your Tall Fescue Lawn
Fall is undoubtedly the most important time of year to care for your Tall Fescue lawns, and there’s more to it than just planting new grass seed. In Part 2 of this series, Matthew McKernan, Sedgwick County Horticulture Extension Agent, will cover the best tips for fertilizing, watering, aerating, and controlling weeds in your lawn in order to help you have the best lawn on the block!
Wednesday, August 26th: Fall Lawn Care (Part 1) - Planting and Overseeding your Tall Fescue Lawn - Matthew McKernan
Wednesday, August 19th: Preserve it Fresh, Preserve it Safe - Karen Blakeslee
Wednesday, August 12th: Hummingbirds in Kansas - Chuck Otte
Wednesday, August 5th: Fall Vegetable Gardening - Tom Buller
Wednesday, July 29th: How to Choose Potting Media for Gardening Success - Dr. Cheryl Boyer
Wednesday, July 22nd: Pesticide Label Safety - Lynn Loughary
Wednesday, July 15th: Hydrangeas for the Garden - Dennis Patton
Wednesday, July 8th: Nuisance Wildlife Control in Your Garden - Charlie Lee
Wednesday, July 1st: Weed Management in the Lawn and Garden - Jesse Gilmore
Wednesday, June 24th: Identifying Garden Insects--Integrated Pest Management Steps for the Garden - Frannie Miller
Wednesday, June 17 th : Bugs Galore: Bagworm, Japanese Beetle, Mosquitoes, And Other “Bug” Related Pests – Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Professor and Extension Entomology Specialist
Wednesday, June 10 th : Indoor Plants for Health and Happiness – Ariel Whitely-Noll, Shawnee County Horticulture Extension Agent
Wednesday, June 3 rd : Making and Supporting Pollinators In The Garden – Jason Graves, Central Kansas District Horticulture Extension Agent
Red-bellied piranhas. Image credit: Tatiana Belova/Shutterstock
Known for their razor-sharp teeth, scary bite, and penchant for flesh, the piranha is believed to have inhabited the fresh waters of South America for millions of years. But what many people don’t know or don’t see in movies is that some species of piranhas are actually vegetarian.
Some of them eat river weeds, while others prefer seeds. The piranha known around the world is the most ferocious among the 20 species, called the red-bellied piranha (Pigocentrus naterreri). These predatory fish that live in the Amazon eat other fish, molluscs, and crustaceans. They hunt in schools and are known to also attack small mammals.
Some of the best places to check out wildlife in Georgia are the state's aquariums, parks and wildlife refuges. The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is a fantastic spot to visit if you're keen on seeing sea creatures just be sure to book tickets in advance to save money (there are usually discounts available online). Bond Swamp Wildlife Refuge, located along the Ocmulgee River, is a great place to see wildlife. Hikers regularly spot black bears, muskrats, beavers, otters, squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons, in addition to reptiles like alligators, rattlesnakes, snapping turtles and eastern king snakes. Birders will love Bond Swamp as well, as there are over 200 species of birds that have been observed here. Finally, the Okefenokee Swamp Park is one of Georgia's most treasured (and most unique!) parks. At Okefenokee, you'll feel like you've stepped back in time in this prehistoric-like swamp that's home to a number of fascinating animals including, most infamously, a large alligator population.