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Blue Morphos: From Farm to Fairchild

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Butterfly Walk The Morpho breeding cage With a lot of inhabitants Laying eggs on their host-plant Which are collected daily, approx. 2000 eggs per day Michael has this task every day Eggs are hatched in a secure cage in the laboratory Small caterpillars are then returned to livinghost-plants and protected by fine mesh bags Once fully grown the mature caterpillars arereturned to a cage in the lab to pupate Blue Morpho pupae home at Fairchild And an adult Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides)...

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Aflame in the conservatory

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Warszewiczia coccinea. Blooming beautifully in the Conservatory is Warszewiczia coccinea, a small tree in the coffee family with fire engine red sepals that offset small yellow flowers. The name, a tongue twister, remembers Josef Warszewicz, a 19th Century botanist who found an enormous number of orchids and sent them to England to be described. Warszewicz was of Polish descent, born in 1812, but as a young man had to leave his homeland because of a revolution. He worked at the Botanical ...

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A Hike Along Volcán Tenorio

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Volc n Tenorio - a beautiful and mildly strenuous5km hike along well-defined trails skirting theRio Celeste on the slopes of Volc n Tenorio Lush vegetation.Featured: Heliconia A species of Psychotria (great butterfly nectar plants) Another species of Psychotria Breathing the strong odor of hydrogen sulphide I followed the Rio Celeste past aspectacular waterfall along a trail dotted with . . . . . . tree ferns and palms. Across semi-secure bridges Until the reason for the...

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Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and Montgomery Botanical Center Team Perform Plant Collection in Oahu (The Hawaiian Islands)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Between May 28th and June 6th, a team of botanists and horticulturists from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and Montgomery Botanical Center travelled to Oahu to collect plants from cultivation. Over 200 accession of seeds and cuttings were collected at the following gardens: Honolulu Botanical Gardens (from Foster Botanical Garden, Ho`omaluhia Botanical Garden, and Koko Crater Botanical Garden), University of Hawaii (from the Manoa Campus and Lyon Arboretum), and Waimea Arboretum and ...

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Field Work Leading to Plant Genetic Conservation in the Dominican Republic

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Between May 10 and June 5 FIU-FTBG Graduate Student and Coordinator of Conservation of The National Botanic Garden of the Dominican Republic Mrs. Rosa Rodr guez, performed field work in the Dominican Republic to collect samples for conservation genetic studies of Pseudophoenix species found in this country. The project focused on the Hispaniolan endemic P. vinifera, the Caribbean endemic P. sargentii, and what appears to be a distinct morphological form from northern Dominican Republic....

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Rincon de la Veija Hike

Monday, June 10, 2013

After a night at Rincon de la ViejaLodge a short drive took me to thepark entrance and the beginning ofa 5km walking trail. Through the forest and acrossstreams. Leading up towards the open, mudpool and fumarole-dotted volcanoslope. Spectacular trees Tabebuia chrysantha floweringabove the forest canopy. Emerging from the forest the trail leads past boiling mud pots, belching fumaroles and bubbling pools, the whole area reeking of hydrogen sulphide. A spectacular and dramatic landscape. After ...

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Celebrate Pollinators!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A happy bee on white milkweed vine, Sarcostemma clausum Pollinator Week begins June 17. As we witness the significant decline in honeybees, bumble bees, wild bees, butterflies and birds, let's take this week to plant wildflowers to help out the pollinators remaining. On Saturday, Steve Woodmansee is having a native plant sale at Silent Native Nursery, 16265 SW 210 Terrace, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Go to PlantRealFlorida.org and find specific plants and what nurseries carry them. Look for...

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FAIRCHILD GARDEN CELEBRATES THE MANGOS OF MEXICO

Thursday, June 13, 2013

FAIRCHILD GARDEN CELEBRATES THE MANGOS OF MEXICO AT 2013 INTERNATIONAL MANGO FESTIVAL Coral Gables, FL, June 13, 2013 - Did you know Mexico has both rainy and dry seasons that make for a great mango growing climate? Or that Mexico is the dominant supplier of mangos to the U.S. and a main supplier to markets worldwide? Come learn this and more at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 21st Annual International Mango Festival on Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14 from 9:30 a.m. -...

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A hardy shrub for hot South Florida

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Native Tetrazygia bicolor. Enjoying the heat of summer is Tetrazygia bicolor or West Indian lilac. Its white flowers with bold yellow stamens appear crisp and undeterred by the wilting heat. This native shrub loves our limestone soils and yet it appreciates some organic content. The shrub is in the Melastomaceae, a wide-ranging tropical family, and it has characteristic melastome leaves with distinctive veins. In southern Florida, it grows on the edges of hammocks to garner sun and ...

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Choose an ornamental for more than just good looks

Sunday, June 23, 2013

As published in The Miami Herald Beauty alone isn't always enough. If you're looking to plant an ornamental, find one that offers plenty of benefits besides a striking appearance. Years back I received a gift of a wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa) dug right out of the ground and placed in a small pot. It's one of my favorite native plants, but there also happened to be an incidental and very small hitchhiker in that pot coming along for the ride: Hamelia patens, aka firebush....

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Palms and their extreme ways of adapting

Sunday, June 30, 2013

As published in The Miami Herald Summer in Miami is not for the faint of heart. If the humidity does not make you weary, the mosquitoes definitely will. South Florida natives are tough but through air conditioning, bug spray and sunscreen, we have adapted to living in a sometimes harsh sub-tropical climate. While we have changed our environment, palms adapt to stressful conditions by reacting to the environment and changing their growth habits. Palms live on every continent, except ...

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