Flo Hannah will be honored by the Native Plant Society of Texas with the Lynn Lowrey Memorial Award, given for horticultural achievement in the field of Texas native plants. Flo was nominated for this award by Houston Audubon and other dedicated friends and colleagues.
The award will be given at NPSOT’s annual symposium, held October 18-21, in San Antonio at the Embassy Suites Brooks Hotel. The banquet and award dinner will be held the evening of Saturday, October 20. Details about the event and dinner can be found here: https://npsot.org/wp/symposium2018/.
Flo started two native plant nurseries in Houston, her own Hannah Native Grasses and the Houston Audubon Natives Nursery. Both specialized in “real deal” native grasses and forbs found in our prairies. All plants were propagated from seeds collected locally from wild plants found along roadsides and other prairie remnants. Flo’s approach valued genetic diversity, and she attempted to maintain a high degree of genetic diversity in the nurseries. Flo had an unmatched knowledge of where wild native grasses and rare forbs can still be found in the Upper Texas Coast — she loved all prairie plants, and particularly loved collecting seeds of Asclepias viridis and Dalea candida. Her efforts in the Houston Audubon Natives Nursery emphasized how rare our native prairie flora is and how important it is to conserve what little remains.
The Houston Audubon Natives Nursery stands as a long-lasting community resource for restoring the natural heritage of the Upper Texas Coast. The reach of the Natives Nursery extends beyond the nursery gates: additional native plant nurseries have been established in the region, inspired by Flo’s work and supported by her technical expertise. Her biggest legacy of all may be the many volunteers, colleagues, and friends who worked with Flo in the Natives Nursery and now carry on her passion, knowledge, and commitment.
In addition to her work on native plant propagation and availability, Flo was a driving force behind many conservation projects. Many thousands of acres of our coastal prairies have been destroyed by development since the early 1990’s, and little was done to conserve remnant prairies or their plants until Flo came along with the commitment and creativity to keep these properties intact. Flo received accolades throughout her conservation career, and she provided leadership beyond measure for many collaborative efforts. She was known for her get-it-done attitude, gentle humor, and clear focus on objectives.