October 3, 2013
A federal agency said Wednesday that two wildflowers – and 2,700 acres where they grow in Miami-Dade County – deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The flowers are the Florida Brickell Bush (Brickellia mosieri), and the Carter’s Small-Flowered Flax (carteri var. carteri). Both are small flowering plants that grow only in Miami-Dade County.
South Florida is no stranger to controversy over endangered species. Protections for the wood stork, for example, were challenged by the Florida Homebuilders Association in 2009.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal would designate critical habitat the plants. According to the FWS, their remaining habitat exists only in open spaces and parks in the Pinecrest or South Miami area, and in North Miami Beach. (They’re obviously rare… it took us 45 minutes just to find a picture of them!)
A news release from the Center for Biological Diversity gave the following details on the plants:
Both flowers are threatened by conversion of native habitat for urban and agricultural development and by inadequate fire management and invasive plant species.
I suppose we’d be more understanding if the flowers were actually pretty, but, umm… ick?