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A shrub to please you and the critters

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pineland strongbark is attractive and fragrant. Small white flowers that occur in clusters of two or three or four and bright orange fruit are the attractions of smooth strongback or pineland strongbark, Bourreria cassinifolia. It is a small-leafed shrub that is pleasing to the eye, good for wildlife and easy to grow. Summer is its time to shine, as it is sprinkled with dots of fragrant white flowers that twinkle like little stars. A native to Miami-Dade and Monroe counties as well as the...

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Research & Education Contributions at the Botany 2012 Meeting

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fairchild researcher Dr. Brett Jestrow (Director of the Herbarium), Fairchild Education Coordinator (Ms. Mary Keppler), FIU-Fairchild faculty (Dr.Eric Von Wettberg and Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega), FIU-Fairchild graduate students (Beyte Barrios and Catherine Bravo), and FIU-Fairchild alumnus (Dr. Nora Oleas) will be delivering presentations at the coming Botany 2012 meeting at Columbus, Ohio (July 7- 11). There will be a total number of 13 presentations. Most of the presentations are the ...

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FIU-Fairchild Faculty Joins 2012 Council Meeting of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists

Friday, July 6, 2012

As one of the six members of the Council of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT) our Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega (FIU-Fairchild Faculty) will join the annual council meeting on July 7th, at Columbus, Ohio. The meeting will include the Council Members, the ASPT President and other relevant members and supporting staff of the ASPT. Priorities and logistics for this coming year's events will be discussed during this meeting....

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Orange you glad it's a native?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

First it was in, then it was out, and then it was in again. The Geiger tree (Cordia sebestena) has been Bold orange flowers of Cordia sebestena. the subject of debate among people devoted to natives: is it or isn't it? All along, however, this orange-flowering small tree has been minding its own business, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds; growing its sand-papery leaves with aplomb, and finding its way onto more street plantings, as well it should. It flourishes throughout the West...

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FIU-Fairchild Student Successfully Defends her Master Thesis

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Congratulations to FIU-Fairchild graduate student Cara Cooper who successfully defended her MS Thesis on July 9, 2012 at the Department of Earth and Environment of Florida International University. Her Thesis was entitled: "Melinis repens Seed Bank Longevity in Miami-Dade County." The project was under the joint supervision of FIU-Fairchild Faculty Dr. Hong Liu and Fairchild Researcher Dr. Joyce Maschinski....

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Graduate Course on Systematics of Tropical Plants

Friday, July 13, 2012

The University of Florida, Department of Biology and The Kampong of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, in collaboration with Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and Montgomery Botanical Center offered an intensive, in-residence course/workshop on the systematics of tropical plants, in Coconut Grove, Florida, from June 25 - July 13, 2012. The course was led by Prof. Walter Judd from the University of Florida. Course participants visited the facillities of the Center for Tropical Plant...

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Celebrating the mango at Fairchild

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Talking about mangos in the Garden House at the 20th annual mango fest. There is only one International Mango Festival in the world. And the 20th annual festival at Fairchild proved once more that this fruit is prized above all others in the tropical world. An hour after the festival opened, the line for the tasting room stretched around the back of the Corbin building to the allee. Inside, Mallika from India and Nam Doc Mai from Thailand were running neck and neck as taste treats. Rating ...

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Canary Island Scientist Visits Fairchild

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dr. Arnoldo Santos-Guerra, Director of the Herbarium of the Botanic Garden of Orotava (Tenerife, Canary Islands) is visiting the Garden between July 12th and 18th. Dr. Santos-Guerra is a leading authority in floristics and phytogeographical research of the Macaronesian Islands. During this visit Dr. Santos-Guerra was hosted by Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega. Dr. Santos-Guerra and Dr. Francisco-Ortega are performing research pertinent to the history of plant exploration in the Macaronesian ...

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Mango favorites from the tasting room

Monday, July 16, 2012

After computing hundreds of votes, our Special Events department reports that the mangos with the most flavor appeal are these: First Place: Kent Second Place: Mallika Third Place: Beverly Close Fourth Place: Duncan So why didn't Nam Doc Mai garner any ribbons? I think we should hold this thing over again....

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Dr. Alejandro Barbieri Awarded with a Fulbright Fellowship

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Congratulations to FIU-Fairchild Researcher Dr. Alejandro Barbieri who has received a J. William Fulbright Fellowship for 2012-2013 to visit the Universidad Mayor de San Simon in Cochabamba, Bolivia. During this visit Dr. Barbieri will teach a graduate mini-course and a workshop in Molecular and Cell Biology; will perform research projects in Cell Biology/Phytochemistry particularly by determining the role of native plant extracts on the in vitro development of fat cells; and will provide ...

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Butterflies and milkweed

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Scarlet milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, is a perennial sub-shrub from South America, yet because the caterpillars of Monarch and Queen butterflies are always chewing on the plants, they are sometimes even less than annual in my butterfly gardens. The leggy plants are about 2 to 3 feet tall with umbels of bright red/orange or yellow flowers. I've grown them in two different areas: on the east side of the house in a butterfly/bird garden without irrigation, and on the southwest side of the...

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Where to take injured, orphaned wildlife

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's baby squirrel season, and at the South Florida Wildlife Center in Fort Lauderdale, babies from one to three weeks old are being hand fed every three hours. Eyes shut, toes splayed and tiny tummies filling, the babies in the nursery are among the 13,000 animals taken to the Center every year. Each baby squirrel has a dot of toxin-free nail polish on his/her head so volunteers can keep track of who has eaten, who has burped or who has diarrhea. After being fed and stroked so...

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The baobab and the moth

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Adansonia za flower, pollinated by a hawkmoth It's hard to understand how the flowers of two baobab trees could be so different, yet the white flowers of Adansonia digitata look (and smell) nothing like the solitary flowers of Adansonia za, which are quite a beautiful yellow with red on the interior of the petals. The A. za is flowering now just across the tram path from the Madagascar spiny forest exhibit, and even those on the ground are sweet smelling. Flowers resemble those of...

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