UF/IFAS Okeechobee County Extension
Okeechobee, FL 34972-2578
Phone: (863) 763-6469
E- mail: email@example.com
July 19, 2006
Feature Article - for immediate release.
FYN Program Assistant Ed Ayen
Edible Native Plants of
is another in a series of articles written about the new
area urban conservation program called Florida Yards
may not realize it but some of those carefree native
Red Mulberry fruit turn from green to red to dark purple. Photo: Dan Culbert, UF/IFAS
Gallberry looks like a shrubby holly with black fruit. Photo UF/IFAS IRREC
Flowering Dogwood has many uses besides a valuable ornamental and wildlife food plant. Photo UF/IFAS Leon County.
American Persimmon trees do well as a rootstock for cultivated Oriental Persimmons. Photo: Will Cook, Duke University
Red Mulberry (Morus rubra) has edible berries that may
be eaten fresh from the tree or you can make mulberry
pie, sauce, jam or jelly. The Mulberry tree is
deciduous so it will lose it leaves during the winter
months. It is a medium size shade or background
tree with large, rough textured, showy leaves and it
fruits in the spring. The delicious fruit also
attracts birds and other wildlife.
We usually think of Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) as a weed, but remember a “weed” is only a plant out of place. Purslane or fatweed makes a wonderful ground cover and its’ succulent leaves and stems may be eaten raw in salads or steamed. The flavor is said to be similar to green beans, watercress or spinach.
(Ilex glabra) is an evergreen shrub whose leaves may be
used to make great tea without caffeine. Gallberry
is a member of the Holly family that grows from 3 to 7
feet in height and can be used as a screening or
background plant. The showy black fruit provide
food for birds in the wintertime. To prepare the
leaves for tea, dry them and then roast in an oven until
golden brown. Steep them in boiling water for two
minutes and enjoy!
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus
American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is a slow
growing deciduous tree with delicious two inch orange
fruit when fully ripe. The tree can grow up to
fifty feet in height when fully mature. Two or
more trees are necessary for pollination purposes.
persimmons are delicious eaten from the tree and can be
made into puddings and cakes, while dried persimmons are
like dates. Enjoy!
Florida Yards and Neighborhoods program is being
implemented through your local County Extension Service
in Highlands, Okeechobee and
Ed Ayen is available to address interested groups such as homeowners associations, voluntary organizations and clubs. For further information he can be reached by calling the Highlands County Extension Service office. If you are interested in having a Florida Friendly Yard please contact Ed Ayen at the Highlands County Extension Service office. Phone: (863)402-6540 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org . His office location is 4509 George Blvd. in Sebring, FL 33875-5837.
More information is available on
the Okeechobee web page, http://okeechobee.ifas.ufl.edu.
If you need additional information on Florida Friendly
Yards, please email us
or call us at 863-763-6469. Local residents can stop
by our office at 458 Hwy 98 North in Okeechobee, and visit
our Okeechobee County Master Gardeners from 1 to 5 PM on
|Trade names, where used, are given for the purpose of providing specific information. They do not constitute an endorsement or guarantee of products named, nor does it imply criticism of products not named. The Florida Cooperative Extension Service - Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information, and other services to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. Florida Cooperative Extension Service / IFAS / University of Florida. Larry A. Arrington, Dean Last update: 08/21/2006 . This page is maintained by Dan Culbert|
Knox, Gary, et al. Yard Certification Checklist. Gainesville: UF/IFAS Extension Service, (1995). http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/fyn/certification.pdf
Lofland, Billie, et al. Florida Yardstick Workbook. Gainesville: UF/IFAS Extension Service, (1999). http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/fyn/Florida-Yardstick-Workbook.htm