12 Days of Christmas, South Florida Style

Day 8: Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

mexican clover

The folks at NOAA put the odds on a white Christmas in South Florida at exactly zero. Of course, it doesn’t take a degree in climatology or meteorology to know that there is a snowball’s chance of seeing white stuff fluttering from the sky here on the 25th or any other day of the year for that matter. The only known trace of snow ever to touch Miami and most of South Florida came in January 1977.

But we will get snow of another kind, however. Florida snow. Guaranteed. Happens every year.

We’re talking about a weed called Mexican clover that’s neither Mexican or clover but can turn a green lawn snow white. It’s about as native to Florida as real snow. In fact, it's an invasive species that creeps along the ground and puts out tons of small whitish flowers. It blooms throughout the year but especially so as the holiday season approaches. Because of that, it’s been called Florida snow.

The advantage is you don’t have to shovel it. It doesn't blanket our roads. On the other hand you can’t build a snow man with it or have a snowball battle. It will take over your lawn if left unchecked.

And Bing Crosby would never sing a song about it.

In a more positive vein, we do have other forms of “snow” here in the subtropics: snowy egrets and snowberry bushes. Snowy egrets are beautiful, snow-white wetland birds; snowberry is a Florida native that puts out cool-looking bell-shaped flowers in spring and summer, which in turn put out bunches of white berries later in the year.

The Twelve days of Christmas

Published by Wild South Florida, PO Box 7241, Delray Beach, FL 33482.

Photographs by David Sedore. Photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without permission.