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Bahia Bustamente and Malaspina Bay

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Only about 40 people live there now, but at one time some 500 residents -- mostly single men-- worked in Bahia Bustamente harvesting seaweed. The village was founded in 1952 by an Italian, Lorenzo Soriano, who was looking for a source of seaweed for hair gel. With his four sons, Don Lorenzo established the first seaweed village in the world. Four types of seaweed still are harvested, washed, dried and packaged for markets around the world, used in Japan for sushi and in nutritional and ...

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The Strait of Magellan

Friday, November 2, 2012

A day at sea and into the Strait of Magellan. Oil platforms are a surprise; Commerson's dolphins are a delight. Only 4 1/2 to 5 feet, the dolphins are in everyone's view finders, but rarely in focus because they are so fast. Black and white, they swim close to our zodiacs, teasing us with their breakneck speed. A Commerson's dolphin...

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Punta Arenas, Chile

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Punta Arenas, Chile -- A transition zone between grassland steppes and the Andes is a forest reserve just above this frontier town. Predominant trees are lenga, or southern beech, Nothofagus pumilo, and the Magellanic coihue, Nothofagus dombeyi. These slow-growing trees have just put out their new leaves, which are small and deeply veined with serrated edges. Attached to the gray bark are all kinds of lichens, which are excellent indicators of clean air. We hike up several kilometers, ...

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Exciting News

Monday, November 19, 2012

Just a sampling of the amazing Chapungu stone sculptures in the lowlands I must admit that this is my favorite time of year, both here at Fairchild and South Florida in general. Days are cooler, the garden is gorgeous and the days of heat and humidity are in the past. This summer has been a whirlwind of activity in the horticulture department. All the planting inside and outside of the Clinton Family Conservatory (Wings of the Tropics) has been finished and now butterflies from Costa Rica ...

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Learning how to use productive plants to enhance your home, sustain birds, and preserve biodiversity

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On December 8th (1:30 pm) & 9th (1:00 pm) Doug Tallamy, author of "Bringing Nature Home: Using Native Plants to Sustain Wildlife in our Gardens" will be speaking at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's Butterfly Days. His talks will be in the Garden House. I know many people are interested in attracting birds, butterflies and other wildlife into their gardens. I read his book a couple years ago, and am delighted he will be here. Jennifer Davit, former FTBG Conservatory Manager, has heard ...

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Montgomery Botanical Center gives Honorary Appointment to FIU/FTBG Faculty

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

FIU/FTBG faculty Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega has received an honorary appointment as a "Honorary Member" from the Montgomery Botanical Center. With this award this institution recognizes the long trajectory of Dr. Francisco-Ortega as a supporter and collaborator of MBC. In addition, this award represents a recognition to the synergy that develops from inter-institutional partnerships. For us in the Garden it is a honor that one of the FIU/FTBG faculty working at Fairchild has received an...

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Montgomery Botanical Center Supports FIU/FTBG Graduate Student

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Montgomery Botanical Center has a strong commitment for graduate education and palm conservation and research. With a $1,000 grant this institution is helping the field work of our FIU/FTBG graduate student Rosa Rodriguez. With this support Rosa will be collecting germplasm and DNA samples of Pseudophoenix sargentii and P. vinifera in the Dominican Republic this coming month. The material will be propagated for ex situ conservation and also will be used for the population genetics studies ...

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Rare, beautiful palm is fruiting for the first time in Fairchild

Friday, November 30, 2012

Cyphophoenix nucele Cyphophoenix nucele is fruiting for the first time in Fairchild. This palm is native to Lifou Island, one of the Loyalty Islands about 60 miles from New Caledonia. Lifou Island is about 50 miles long and 10 to 15 miles wide. The island is flat with no hills or rivers. It has abundant vegetation, dense interior jungles, fertile soils and beautiful reefs and coral. Water on the island comes from rain that seeps through the calcareous soil and forms freshwater ponds. Our ...

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It's Open!! You will love it!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The ribbon cutting officially took place this morning. A new era at Fairchild began with this historic ribbon cutting. Then, the butterflies and the hummingbirds captivated the guests. A Heliconius butterfly heading to nectar. A hummingbird posing. The orchids and the aroids, the scientists and the graduate students, the donors and the volunteers, the hummers and the nectar-sippers were all on hand to celebrate the dream becoming a reality. "With this opening, we are bringing science and ...

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