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Celebrate Fall at Fairchild’s Edible Garden Festival and Scarecrow Contest!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Celebrate Fall at Fairchild's Edible Garden Festival and Scarecrow Contest! Coral Gables, FL, October 2, 2009-It's officially fall in Miami and while the impending cooler weather means less humidity it's also high time to plant your garden in South Florida. On Saturday and Sunday, October 24 and 25, Fairchild's Edible Garden Festival and Scarecrow Contest will teach you all you need to know about growing your own backyard garden including herbs and vegetables that...

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Seeing Anew

Monday, October 5, 2009

This unknown species of Acalyphais transformed by mid-morning sun. Sometimes it takes just the right bit of light to draw your eye to a plant you've walked by a hundred times without paying it much attention. That happened the other day when I was outside the Corbin Building. Sun shone on an Acalypha with crested leaves, and in that certain slant of light, they were as lovely as stained glass. Acalypha, which is in the Euphorbiaceae or spurge family, displays a remarkable variety of leaf...

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A real American beauty

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Birds are attracted to this native, American beautyberry. American beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, is a native shrub that postions itself at the edges of hammocks and pinelands. It attracts butterflies in the spring and summer with delicate pink flowers, and then supplies grape-colored clusters of fruit for mockingbirds and catbirds in the fall and winter. Its leaves are fairly large with serrated edges, and the twigs sometimes stick straight out before elongating to droop and create a...

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Blooming right on time

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall is the time of year for delicate clusters of lavender flowers to appear on Guarianthe bowringiana, an orchid in the Cattleya alliance. Because of its seasonal blooming, it once was called Cattleya autumnalis. It is festooning the Conservatory's epiphyte tree and display room. A beautiful fall-blooming orchid, Guarianthe bowringiana is aneasy orchid for beginners. Gua or guadia is from the Aztec language and it means tree. Anthe is from Greek meaning flower. So understanding that, ...

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Urban Oases bird project is proving fruitful

Monday, October 19, 2009

As we near the end of fall migration, birders who have been scouting Fairchild and Matheson Hammock since late August for important food plants for songbirds have come upon some surprises. Wild lime, soldierwood and the caimito, as well as its cousin satin leaf, are among the plants playing a large role in fueling birds heading south. A tropical catalpa and native and non-native figs in the Arboretum are also providing nourishment to such birds as black-throated blue warblers, parula ...

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Flame thrower

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Coming into flower in the rainforest: Ruellia chartacea. Called a "scandent shrub," Ruellia chartacea is setting little fires on the edge of the rainforest with its scarlet bracts and orange-gold flowers. It is sometimes called the red shrimp plant, and is in the same family as Brazilian red cloak, shrimp plant and wild petunia. After the gingers and heliconias have put away their flowers and while the begonias are saving up to form theirs, this shrub is one that will put some spark...

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Sneak peek beneath a leaf

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One leaf of Anthurium clavigerum. I was prowling the rainforest the other day and saw an awesome leaf on Anthurium clavigerum. An epiphyte, this aroid possesses the largest leaf of any anthurium in Central America. With lobes so fanciful they appear to be separate leaflets, this single leaf can theoretically reach about seven feet across! As a big leaf fanatic, I have just found another desirable garden specimen. The swollen areas supporting the leaf blade allow the leaf to move. . The ...

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Fairchild’s Ramble Festival Celebrates Tropical Living in South Florida for Three Days This Year!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fairchild's Ramble Festival Celebrates Tropical Living in South Florida for Three Days This Year! Coral Gables, FL, October 28, 2009--Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden will host the always anticipated Ramble-A Garden Festival, now a three day event, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 20, 21 and 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This year Fairchild celebrates Ramble's 69th anniversary. A blend of old traditions and new introductions, the Ramble offers visitors over twelve acres of...

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Plants for the birds

Friday, October 30, 2009

The necklace pod is attractive tohummingbirds. Insect-eating birds, such as warblers, gnatcatchers, flycatchers and vireos, love wild tamarinds. And so that tree will be among the bird-attracting plants Leslie Veber's Jungle Garden is providing for Bird Day's plant sale. These little birds also are attracted to shortleaf fig, green buttonwood, satin leaf, firebush, wild sage and Florida privet, so these are going to be on sale, too. Leslie worked with Roger Hammer's list of...

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