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Native Vegetation

Recommendations from the Natural Resources Department

The trees and shrubs of Sanibel are unique to the barrier islands of Southwest Florida and play an important part in protecting beach and bay property against erosion. Sanibel's native vegetation also provides important wildlife habitat, supplying food, refuge, and nesting sites for our water birds and other animals.

Additionally, native plants:

  • are adapted to Sanibel’s local weather conditions, including drought, occasional saltwater flooding and heavy summer rains.
  • can exist remarkably well without fertilizer or pesticides.
  • once established, require no supplemental irrigation if placed in the proper location.
  • have distinctive leaves, flowers, and fruit that lend character to the landscape.

To assure the preservation of native vegetation, the Sanibel Land Development Code:

  • protects valuable native species from destruction.
  • limits removal of native species and encourages transplanting where removal is unavoidable.
  • requires the use of native species in landscaping.
  • prohibits the introduction of exotic species which compete with and displace native vegetation.
  • encourages and, at times, requires removal of undesirable exotics.

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City Native Plant Lists

Plant List for Landscaper's Exam (pdf 27.12 kB) (Sanibel's most common native plants)


"Native Plants of Sanibel" Slideshow


City of Sanibel's Horticulturally Available Native Plant List

List with Links to Images (vnd.ms-excel 118.50 kB)
xlviewer (octet-stream 9.94 MB)



Florida's Native Plants