La Florida: 500 Years in the Place of Flowers

April 19–Aug. 3 | Free admission

The Florida Wildflower Foundation’s Viva Florida 500 exhibit “La Florida: 500 Years in the Place of Flowers” commemorates the natural history and culture of this state, which Juan Ponce de León named in 1513. Roughly translated, La Florida means place or land of flowers.

The display includes 15 glorious large-format photos by Gainesville nature photographer John Moran that capture the intricate, timeless appeal of Florida’s native flowers, while an accompanying panel relates the history and culture of early Florida.

Traveling the Sunshine State with his cameras, Moran seeks his vision of natural Florida as it must have appeared to Ponce de León. His photography has appeared in numerous publications including National Geographic, Life, Time, Newsweek, Smithsonian, The New York Times Magazine and the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida.

The exhibit is funded with proceeds from state wildflower license plate sales.

John’s photography captures the essence and splendor of the unique flora found here in the Sunshine State. The display takes the viewer to swamps, springs, sand hills and deep into the woods in search of the natural beauty that defines 'La Florida,' 'place of flowers.'

—Lisa Roberts, Florida Wildflower Foundation


La Florida: 500 Years in the Place of Flowers - Photo by John Moran

Lunar Lupine | Photo by John Moran

Exhibit Highlights

  • Catch a fascinating look at Florida wildflowers through the eyes of photographer John Moran.
  • See the amazing diversity of Florida's native flowers.
  • Learn how native wildflowers contribute to Florida's identity.


Did you know?

  • Florida’s wildflowers and plants are part of a unique ecosystem. They have been used for food, medicine and shelter for thousands of years.
  • Wildflowers provide essential habitat for the pollinators responsible for every third bite of food we eat.
  • Florida's wildflowers typically require less water, fertilizer and pesticides than non-native plants while supporting native wildlife such as bees and hummingbirds.



More about John Moran:

More about the Florida Wildflower Foundation and Viva Florida 500: