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Spectacular plants at this show

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Tropical Fern and Exotic Plant Society's show, currently in the Garden House, is displaying dramatic and beautiful plants this year. Always a show that offers something for everyone, the array of ferns, bromeliads, orchids, crotons, and begonias is off-the-charts lovely. Here are the top winners: Best of Show. Best of show went to Dr. Jeff Block's Anthurium magnificum, which holds up three unblemished and perfectly grown velvet leaves and one inflorescence. Best flowering plant was ...

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Biggest Palm Myths Debunked

Thursday, June 14, 2012

As Published in the Miami Herald Palm trees are one of the most beloved landscape ornamentals in South Florida and are a relatively simple plant to grow in your yard. Despite the popularity and ease of growing palms, most homeowners know only scant truths about the palms residing in their backyards. Palm myths have run rampant and are becoming more widely accepted than the facts. For an ornamental that is so dear to our hearts and vital to our landscape, it is a shame that they are...

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Paradise Found

Thursday, June 14, 2012

As Published in the Miami Herald What if you walked out of your back door and into paradise? What if you were surrounded by stately palms, delicious colors, extraordinary textures and striking shapes? Imagine your backyard as more than just a space - picture Eden without the apples. Creating your own slice of tropical heaven is an attainable goal in South Florida. Our unique location makes it possible to grow countless varieties of beautiful yet durable flora. It's a matter of...

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The Rules are Different Here

Thursday, June 14, 2012

As Published in the Miami Herald If you are a transplant from the north or simply a new gardener, you will quickly find out that the rules of growing plants in South Florida are different from just about everywhere else. There are four main factors that separate us from the rest of the plant growing world and also make growing things somewhat difficult: our soil, the threat of hurricanes, our climate and a plethora of pests. Soils To help combat our rocky soils, choose well adapted plants ...

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Tale of a tail flower

Friday, June 15, 2012

This Anthurium cultivar has theappropriate name 'Red Hot'. Anthurium, a genus in the Araceae (aroid) family, translates as "tail flower" because the spadix resembles a mouse's tail. Anthurium andraeanum is the species with the brilliantly colored spathe and often-colorful spadix, sometimes called flamingo flower. It is high flowering season for this wonderful species. But then, it's high flowering season for most anthuriums, and even those grown for their foliage often...

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FIU-Fairchild Graduate Student Receives Research Grant

Friday, June 15, 2012

Our FIU-Fairchild graduate student Emily Warschefsky has been awarded with a $1,500 grant from the Florida Native Plant Society to perform research on a project entitled "Determining parentage and ploidy of hybrid Tillandsia: Achieving a better understanding of Florida's native plant diversity". Emily is persuing her Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Dr. Eric Von Wettberg. Emily's proposal target two hybrid species: Tillandsia x smalliana and T. x floridana and it aims to use ...

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FIU-Fairchild Scientists Visit South China Botanic Garden

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hosted by Dr. Faguo Wang, our FIU-Fairchild Researchers Dr. Hong Liu and Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega delivered two research talks at the South China Botanic Garden (the Chinese Academy of Sciences). During this visit Dr. Liu and Dr. Francisco-Ortega developed plans for future research/educational projects focusing on molecular phylogenetics, conservation biology, and orchid biology. Left image: Dr. Faguo Wang, Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega, and Dr. Hong Liu (left to right). Bottom image: left: ...

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Research on Buccaneer Palm Featured on the Cover of "Palms"

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Funded by the International Palm Society, and the Center for Applied Tropical Ecology and Conservation of the Universidad de Puerto Rico, botanists from Montgomery Botanical Center (Patrick Griffith), Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras (Eugenio Santiago-Valentin), Departmento de Recursos Naturales de Puerto Rico (Jose Sustache-Sustache), and FIU-Fairchild (Javier Francisco-Ortega) performed field studies pertinent to the conservation of Pseudophoenix sargentii on Mona Island, Puerto ...

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Dwarf gingers dance in the shade

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Globba winitii,red leaf form. Rain, humidity and heat are just what gingers love, and one genus especially is adding a small but delightful presence in the garden. Globba is a dwarf ginger that comes from Thailand and has an unusual inflorescence. Globba winitii, usually called a dancing lady, develops a long pendant stalk of flowers that emerge from the terminus of the leaves. The stamen arches up over the rest of the small yellow flower structure. I have a maroon leaf form that produces...

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A mighty worm was he

Friday, June 29, 2012

Giant Swallowtail caterpillar. A lime prickly ash, or wild lime, (Zanthoxylum fagara) has been given a home near some native plants in my back yard, joining a large sabal palm, wild coffee, Florida gama grass, beach verbena, locustberry, firebush, Mexican alvaradoa, coonties and milkweeds. The lime still is quite small, yet a Giant Swallowtail somehow found it. Some weeks ago, there were three orange dogs (Giant Swallowtail larvae) on the little tree. One by one, they disappeared, but the ...

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