Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Florida Coontie plant

Hernando Sun Staff

The Florida coontie plant, Zamia floridana

The coontie plant is a Florida native cycad. (Cycads are known as living fossils since they can be traced back 280 million years.) The coontie attracts a rare butterfly called the atala. Plants are either male or female and produce a certain type of cone based on the sex of the plant. Male cones are thinner and shorter than female cones. Female cones are around 6 inches tall and are covered in fuzz.

West Hernando Middle School Grounds and Waterfall Renovated

Volunteers recently completed the renovation of West Hernando Middle School fountain

The act of giving without the expectation of something in return is the true definition of kindness,” quoted West Hernando Middle School Principal Lori Lessley. During a recent visit to the school, Board Member Mark Johnson and Lessley discussed the student-built fountain which has not been running for years. The school has not had funds to repair the fountain.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Persimmon

Hernando Sun Staff

PERSIMMON, Diospyrus virginiana

Be on the look out for these delicious fruits. Persimmons ripen from late Summer to late Autumn. The persimmon tree usually grows in dry fields or pinelands.

You can pick the half inch to three and a half inch fruit when they are yellow, but don't eat them until they are orange and very soft to the touch as they are very sour unripened. It is rumored that they need a frost to sweeten, but that is untrue according to Florida's Incredible Wild Edibles.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Tea Olive

Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

Tea Olive

Tea Olive, Osmanthus Frangrans is an underused shrub that should receive more attention as a landscape plant. This non-native grows well in horticultural zones 8b – 9. Hernando County is in zone 9a. This shrub will grow slowly, but eventually reach 15-30 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide. It likes dry soil, but has a medium drought tolerance. It does well in full to partial sun. It has little to no salt tolerance. This shrub produces small white flowers. This is a background shrub that won’t attract a lot of visual attention, but its wonderful sweet fragrance will certainly get noticed.