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Laurel wilt disease

Monday, April 4, 2011

Our native red bay tree (Persea borbonia) is a primary host plant for the Palmedes Swallowtail butterfly. The fruit also is eated by deer, songbirds, black bears and wild turkeys. Red bay is related to two other native trees, swamp bay (Persea palustris) and lancewood (Ocotea coriacea). These trees are in the laurel family, along with avocado (Persea americana). All of them are vulnerable to a disease that has spread from South Carolina down the coast and into Miami-Dade County. The ...

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Desert roses are flourishing

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Adenium multiflorum flowers have yellow throats. Plants are spectacular right now. Adeniums, or desert roses, have fat caudices and weird, elongated branches, but they produce beautiful flowers. Adenium multiflorum has been quite the star for the last few weeks, blooming in front of the Gallery building. It is an African species, ranging from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa to Zambia in the west of Africa. This slow-growing relative of the oleander does well in South Florida, Striped throat ...

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Is that thing really a flower?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Aristolochia is a genus of vining plants that produce some of the most peculiar flowers imaginable, if it weren't possible to say that about orchids, too. And like orchids, Aristolochia flowers have male and female parts in the same organ, called a gynostemium (or the column in orchids). Aristolochia littoralis with oneopen flower and buds on right. There are no petals on an Aristolochia flower, but the whole thing that can resemble a Dutchman's pipe or a pelican or a number of other...

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Noble live oaks

Monday, April 18, 2011

Live oaks, such as this one at Maclay Gardens can live hundreds of years. Majestic is a description usually reserved for mountain peaks and California redwoods, but I vote to attribute the adjective to the native live oak as well. Truly grand live oaks are few and far between in South Florida, given our development and storms. There are a couple of wonderful live oaks at Fairchild that have been graced with epiphytes in addition to their natural coating of resurrection fern; there's a...

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Flowers worth finding

Friday, April 22, 2011

Four plants are blooming now at the Garden that you should come and see. Napoleon's hat. One was noticed by Jason Lopez in the horticulture department, who planted it five years ago. This is Napoleonaea imperialis, or Napoleon's hat, and Jason sent an email to the staff saying it's worth a trip to plot 45 to find it. In his email Jason wrote, "This plant comes from west Africa and is found in the rainforest under story, where the twigs are used as chew-sticks, the fruits sugary...

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Food and Garden Festival at Fairchild

Monday, April 25, 2011

Food and Garden Festival at Fairchild Celebrates Fresh, Organic Food and The Joys of Gardening! Coral Gables, FL, April 13, 2011-Come see what's cooking at Fairchild during our celebration of fresh fruits and vegetables and the gorgeous gardens they grow in on Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1, 2011. Guests can gather new tips and recipes from our popular culinary and gardening demos taught by top chefs and gardeners. And don't forget to shop our Farmers' Market! Local...

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April 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Prof. Andrew Vovides, Curator of the Botanic Garden of Xalapa and Researcher of the prestigious Instituto de Ecologia, Mexico visited us between April 7 and 18. During this visit Prof. Vovides taught a FIU graduate workshop in Cytotaxonomy. Prof. Vovides is an authority in cycad biology and botanic garden management. His research focuses primarily on plant cytology, anatomy, histology, and systematics. In 1989-90 he was the first post-doctoral fellow supported by the Montgomery ...

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A feast for the eyes

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

With each passing spring, our Oncidium sphacelatumbecomes more beautiful, perched in a Tabebuia. This dancing lady orchid, Oncidium sphacelatum, is a splendid example of how orchids thrive in trees. The three-foot flower spikes are loaded with hundreds of tiny yellow flowers that dance on the winds of Spring. Fertilized every two weeks with 15-5-15, this lovely specimen has large pseudobulbs to retain water, and it is seldom given extra irrigation (unless I happen to think about it). For ...

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Plants for table, garden at the fest

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Farm fresh herbs and a mascot chicken. Organic herbs and veggies, worm farms, jars of honey, crisp fresh produce, and row after row of expertly grown landscape plants worked their charm on visitors to Fairchild's Food and Garden Shopping for Fairchild's plants. Festival Saturday. Perhaps if was Friday's rain that made everything seem so brilliantly colorful, but something nearly magical made the Food and Garden Fest special. Lectures on urban gardens in South Florida, cooking Buy...

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