DOT plant “diversity”

Capparis cynophallophora

Jamaica caper plants on the south side of I-595 and north side of State Road 84 in Davie, FL, between Hiatus Road and Nob Hill Road.

Promoting their professional qualifications for the job, Florida DOT design consultants talked about “development of native landscapes” in their projects.

So here is what we got in the $1.8 billion I-595 improvement in Broward County—a solid monoculture of hundreds of plants of the same species, Capparis cynophallophora, Jamaica caper, pruned square as board.

Go down the highway a few hundred feet and you’ll find a different native shrub species, planted in mass, similarly squared off on top and both sides.

Yessiree, they are “native plants.” But that doesn’t make it a “native landscape.”

Specifications for the I-595 Corridor Roadway Improvements Project included,  “low-maintenance, native or naturalized plants well suited to the microclimate where they are installed.”

Diversity of plant species was defined in the final technical requirements as at least 3 unique species of large trees, 2 of small trees, 2 palms, and 5 shrubs. No way is that diversity.

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