Artist Xavier Cortada, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, and Jeff Caster from the DOT plant the first FLOR500 garden dedicated to the indigenous people of Florida outside the R. A. Gray building at Capitol Hill, Tallahassee, FL.

FLOR500 is a participatory art, nature, and history project created by Miami artist Xavier Cortada to commemorate Florida’s quincentennial in 2013. The project marks the importance of the moment when the history of our state changed forever and gives us a glimpse of what its landscape was like 500 years ago.

500 flowers 
A team of scientists selected the 500 native flowers- the same ones that grew in our state when Juan Ponce de Leon landed in 1513 and named it “La Florida”–from “flor,” the Spanish word for flower.

500 artists 
Five hundred Floridians were then invited to depict 500 native wildflowers. The artwork, along with information about each flower, was posted on the project website (

500 gardens
A team of historians selected individuals who helped shape Florida history. Florida schools and libraries (across the 67 counties and 8 regions) were encouraged to plant 500 wildflower gardens, dedicating them to one of 500 important Floridians selected by a team of historians. These 500 new native habitats will help support Florida’s biodiversity.