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A Peach of an Idea for South Florida

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The peach is among one of life’s most wonderful natural pleasures. Soft and juicy, it calls to you with a tempting floral bouquet and decadent sweetness. Living here in South Florida, our summer memories do not naturally turn to the peach, for most of our contact is through our local grocery store. But perhaps it is time to change our ways...

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"Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund" supports Conservation Biology Research in Haiti

Monday, January 9, 2012

A team of biologists from the Botanic Garden of Cayes, the National Botanic Garden of the Dominican Republic, the Montgomery Botanical Center, USDA, and FIU-Fairchild have received a $15,000 grant to perform Conservation Biology studies of the Critically Endangered palm Pseudophoenix lediniana. This species is restricted to a single area in southern Haiti. The project will involve conservation assessments, outreach, environmental education, ex situ conservation, and the establishment of a ...

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Plant Exploration on the Island of Mona (Puerto Rico) - Pseudophoenix sargentii

Friday, January 13, 2012

Between January 20 and 23 a team of botanists from Montgomery Botanical Center (Patrick Griffith), Universidad de Puerto Rico (Eugenio Santiago), the Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales of Puerto Rico (Jose Sustache), and FIU-Fairchild (Javier Francisco-Ortega) travelled to the Island of Mona to collect seeds of the palm Pseudophoenix sargentii. The Island of Mona is located between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. The species is extremely rare on this island where fewer than 50...

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Team from Bahamas National Trust Visits Fairchild

Saturday, January 14, 2012

As part of the international partnerships of our Education Department and the Center for Tropical Plant Conservation we are enhancing our educaitonal and research projects with the Bahamas National Trust. Two members of this institution (Portia Sweeting, Director of Education and Shelley Cant, Education Officer) are visiting us between January 25 and 29. During this visit Portia and Shelley will exchange ideas and experiences concerning environmental education and ways to link science,...

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Dr. Brett Jestrow Visits the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (Eleuthera Island)

Monday, January 16, 2012

As part of the activities to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the publication of the Flora of the Bahama Archipelago (written by Donovan Correll and Helen Correll in 1982 under the sponsorship of Fairchild), Dr. Brett Jestrow and Dr. Ethan Freid (botanist of the Bahamas National Trust) made a joint trip to the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (Eleuthera Island) (January 20 - 23). During this visit arrangements were made for a joint plant hunting expedition that will take place this Spring. ...

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Beautiful weather for the garden

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Long-John, Triplaris cumingiana,is in its glory right now on the Triplaris cumingiana. west side of the Bailey Palm Glade. The tree's red (female) flowers are on long racemes, and against a brilliant blue winter sky, they are spectacular. Hailing from Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Colombia, this flowering tree shows off every winter. The stems are hollow and inhabited by stinging ants when in their natural setting, so the tree is sometimes referred to as the ant tree. This slender, tall...

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Fairchild’s International Chocolate, Coffee and Tea Festival Starts Today January 20th!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fairchild's International Chocolate, Coffee and Tea Festival Starts Today January 20th! Coral Gables, FL, January 20, 2011-Chocoholics take note! Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's International Chocolate Festival starts today and runs for three days-Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 20-22, 2012. Now it its sixth year, it's a chocolate lover's must attend event and this year it's bigger and better than ever! For three days visitors will be immersed...

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Let the chocolate begin

Friday, January 20, 2012

Samples everywhere. A perfect winter morning got the chocolate festival off to a beautiful start Friday. Chocolatiers in the Garden House had such tempting samples on display that few could resist. Millie with her cake. But the food vendors had some scrumptous offerings, too. Millie, the M of M&L Carib Conchs, made a chocolate cake that seemed to epitomize the event. However, there also were vegan chocolates, teas and spices and kettle corn to sample. Oncidium Sharry Baby smelled as ...

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Workshop on Cycad Biology for High School Teachers

Friday, January 20, 2012

On January 28 a workshop on Cycad Biology was offered to high school teachers from the Miami-metro area. The workshop was funded by the National Science Foundation and jointly organized by the Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC), the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), Fairchild Tropical Botanic and Florida International University (FIU). Instructors included Dennis Stevenson (NYBG), Patrick Griffith (MBC), Michael Calonje (MBC), and Javier Francisco-Ortega (FIU-Fairchild). A total of six ...

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A botanist in Chile

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Auracaria aruacana in its Chilean habitat. Dr. Scott Zona's presentation, A Botanical Tour of Chile, mesmerized the Tropical Fern and Exotic Plant Society Monday night - not only because of the botanical knowledge imparted but also the fabulous photos (four of which he graciously allowed me to use here). Scott, a former palm specialist at FTBG, is curator of the Wertheim Conservatory at Florida International University. He traveled to Chile with fellow botanists Dr. John Tobe of...

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FIU-Fairchild Gradute Students Travel to India

Friday, January 27, 2012

In January 2012, Vanessa Sanchez and Klara Scharnagl, FIU-Fairchild students of Dr. Eric von Wettberg and Dr. Krish Jayachandran, visited the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India. They were joined by three researchers from University of California Davis to assist with a National Science Foundation and Gates Foundation funded project aimed at reducing the need for artificial fertilizer through improving the use of natural nitrogen-fixing ...

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FIU-Fairchild Alumna Performs Field Research in Puerto Rico with the Support of Universidad de Puerto Rico and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Monday, January 30, 2012

With the support of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the Center for Applied Tropical Ecology and Conservation of the Universidad de Puerto Rico (sponsored by the National Science Foundation) , FIU-Fairchild graduate alumna Karen Laubengayer (currently working for Monsanto Company) conducted field work in Puerto Rico between 1/29/2012 and 1/30/2012. The objective of this study was to obtain morphological data for the Caribbean Island endemic Aiphanes minima. This palm species has a ...

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Late winter

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Late winter Begonia petals are peekingout from their buds. Rhizomatous begonias are sending up flower spikes, a late winter phenomenon that always is welcome. These are plants that have stems on the ground or just beneath the mulch that produce leaves and flowers on top and roots beneath. There are many fine cultivars on the market suitable for landscape use, and their care is fairly easy. They like bright shade, even some early morning sun, moist soil and controlled-release fertilizer. As ...

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