2014 Members' Day Plant Sale

Welcome to the 76th Annual Members’ Day Plant Sale, Saturday, October 4, 2014.  This plant distribution promises to be one of the most exciting ones in the history of this event.  The plants we are offering this year are ones that people have been waiting for a very long time.  Our distribution list includes Rondeletia odorata, Panama Rose, a shrub that has red and yellow clusters of flowers from June through November!  Our 100-year old Couroupita guianensis, cannonball tree, has produced seeds with the help of our Director Carl Lewis and his daughter pollinating the incredible flowers, to grow plants for our members.  This beautiful flowering tree is available for the first time in many years.  Our stately Copernicia baileyana, Bailey palms, produced seeds during a very dry spring a few years ago.  I am delighted to have this amazing palm available to Fairchild members!  We are offering a native milkweed for distribution!  If you love Monarch butterflies, come to buy an Asclepias perennis, (white swamp milkweed).  This is the first time we have propagated this one and it is beautiful.  I think that FTBG members will agree.  Oh, we are also distributing the much-admired red sealing wax palm, Cyrtostachys renda!  This palm, as it matures, has red stems and is best grown in a container so it can be moved indoors during our winters; a very cold tender, truly tropical delight! 

The Distribution Plants have been grown in larger quantities than the other sale plants and are carefully selected for this program. While you may purchase up to four of the Distribution Plants there will be many other plants for sale. Plan an early start:  lines form quickly, and while we have a good supply, it is not endless.  Along with other staff members and knowledgeable volunteers, I'll be available to advise you on site selection, planting and growing these very special plants.

In the days prior to the sale, you might want to visit Fairchild with the Members' Day brochure in hand, and take a look at examples of the distribution plants. Their locations in the garden are mentioned at the end of each description.  We will also be setting up the sale area in the palmetum during the week before the sale.  You might want to visit this area to see exactly where the plants you want to purchase are located in the plant sale area.  Just remember that the quantities are not endless and for the best chance to get the plants you want, be an early bird to get the plants you desire for your own garden. I hope to see you at the sale, Saturday, October 4, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.    

This is just a sample of the amazing plants for this years’ distribution.  Read on to learn about them all and remember there will be many other incredible plants we have propagated especially for our FTBG members.

General Information

  • The Members' Day Plant Sale is for Fairchild Members only.
  • Unfortunately, members' guests may not purchase plants.
  • Location: the Palmetum, south of the Cycad Circle
  • Please park in the Lowlands. Enter through the North Entrance, drive to the Lowlands parking field, watch for signs. There will be shuttle service between the Lowlands parking, the Visitor Center parking and the plant sales area. The parking lot will open at 7:30 a.m. You may park your car and walk up to the Cycad Vista to wait in line until opening at 9:00 a.m.
  • You must show your membership card to purchase sale plants and distribution plants.
  • Each membership may purchase up to four distribution plants - limit one per species. These plants will be located in Plot 117 in numerical order according to their placement on the distribution list (see below) and handed out to members by knowledgeable staff and volunteers.
  • The sale plants will be located in the Palmetum in Plot 119 and the west end of Plot 117. The number of sale plants that may be purchased is unlimited, except for those plants with blue tags, which are limited to one per species.
  • We strongly suggest that you bring a container, wagon or cart to carry your purchases to your vehicle. There will be plant valets to help you.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot pre-sell, ship or hold plants for members unable to attend.

2014 Members' Day Distribution

You will need your membership card and the distribution list to purchase plants. Each membership may purchase four distribution plants. Limit one per species.

 Distribution List


  1. Portlandia proctorii                18.00
  2. Gustavia augusta                  18.00
  3. Couroupita guianensis         22.00
  4. Zamia vazquezii                      18.00
  5. Eugenia axillaris                     15.00                 
  6. Cyrtostachys renda                25.00
  7. Gynura pseudochina             15.00     
  8. Adiantum tenerum                 15.00
  9. Asclepias perennis                16.00
  10. Copernicia baileyana             35.00 large, 25.00
  11. Rondeletia odorata                 18.00
  12. Pithecellobium keyense        18.00



Click on images to enlarge them 

 Photos by Mary Collins     Text by Mary Collins




Portlandia proctorii


1. Portlandia proctorii, known as crimson Portlandia, is endemic to limestone cliffs of St. Catherine Parrish, Jamaica. It is a small, tidy shrub up to 8’ tall and 5’ wide.  The neat, glossy leaves provide a perfect frame for the numerous, tubular pinkish-red flowers which have white stripes inside their corollas.  In Fairchild, this species flowers all year!  This shrub is super easy to grow in our South Florida soils.  Plant it where it will receive full sun about half a day.  (Plots 44, 8)






Gustavia augusta


2. Gustavia augusta, known as membrillo, is a very attractive shrub to small tree in the Lecythidaceae family, native to Guyana and Amazonian Brazil.  The rich dark green leaves have softly serrated edges.  The attractive leaves form a frame to the amazing, sweetly scented flowers which have large, pale pink to white petals encircling the crown of dark pink and yellow stamens. This species should be grown in moist soil with exposure to morning sun.  (Plot 151)







Couroupita guianensis

 3.  Couroupita guianensis, the cannonball tree, is one of our most amazing showy flowering trees. A member of the Brazil nut family, this species is native to rainforests of northeastern South America.  The cannonball tree has been one of the most admired flowering trees in Fairchild. The flowers, arranged on long stalks projecting from the trunk, are large, beautiful, pleasantly aromatic, and unlike any other flower you have ever seen. Seedlings grown from our 100 year-old tree north of the cycad circle will be available for this sale. Rarely available, due to the need for special cross pollination, this is your chance to acquire a cannonball tree for your own garden. This species is a large tree and requires a sunny location. (Plot 137 – next to the Gallery bldg.)






Zamia vazquezii


 4.  Zamia vazquezii is a unique cycad which comes to us from Mexico. Soft leaflets with serrated margins form leaves 8-24 inches long. The soft, shiny, bronze-colored new leaves provide an eye-catching contrast to the soft, green mature leaves. Female plants produce brown cones filled with red fruit. Fast growing and spineless, this attractive cycad grows best in a lightly shaded, dry location and makes an excellent border or foundation plant. It may be grown indoors as well.  The larvae of the rare Atala butterfly also feed on this species. (Plots 149, 142) 







Eugenia axillaris


 5.  Eugenia axillaris, known as white stopper, is a shrub to small tree growing to 20 feet tall.  It is native to the coastal hammocks of South Florida, the West Indies and the Bahamas.   It has small fragrant white flowers and aromatic leaves.  The black fruits are enjoyed by birds.  White stopper is very easy to grow in full sun to light shade.  This is the native plant which imparts the commonly noted fragrance of our native hardwood hammock habitats.  Go native!  Plant a white stopper! (Plots 3B, 195)







Cyrtostachys renda



6.  Cyrtostachys renda, known as the red sealing wax palm, is native to Malaysia. It is a clustering species to 25' with dark green pinnate leaves, which have brilliant red petioles, and leaf bases that form a beautifully colored crownshaft. There may be some variability in the color of the crownshaft and petioles, from red to orange, to orange streaked with green. The red sealing wax palm is very tropical and should be grown in a container and moved indoors if temperatures below 50° are expected. It is native to swamps and needs plentiful moisture. The red sealing wax palm may be grown in sun to light shade. (Conservatory)











Gynura pseudochina


 7.  Gynura pseudochina, native to China, is a colorful member of the  Aster family.  The herbaceous leaves are dark purple with light green  veins.  The colorful composite flowers are a bright yellow-orange.  This plant may be grown in a container and allowed to cascade over  the edge, or planted in the ground as a sub-shrub, less than two feet  tall.  This species grows best in a shaded, moist location.







Adiantum tenerum


 8.  Adiantum tenerum, brittle maidenhair, grows on or near moist limestone rock. It is found in South Florida and throughout tropical America. Endangered in Florida, it is occasionally found growing in rockland hammocks and sinkholes. Brittle maidenhair has upright, very slender, black stems topped by arching leaves which flutter in a soft breeze. New growth may be pinkish. Plant in any well-drained soil top dressed with crushed coral rock. Keep the soil moist. This species may be grown in shade to bright filtered light. Cut back all foliage at the beginning of the rainy season; new pink foliage emerges quickly. (Conservatory, Plot 137)








Asclepias perennis

 9.  Asclepias perennis, swamp milkweed is native to the Midwest and southeastern portion of the U.S., including Florida.  As its common name implies, swamp milkweed occurs in a variety of wetland habitats, including semi-shaded forests. It can survive lower amounts of direct sunlight than our other native species, but it will become lankier and flower less abundantly. Swamp milkweed requires good soil moisture for best growth. This is a small plant; at mature height in the late spring, its many stems rarely stand taller than 2 feet. Each stem is densely covered by lance-shaped bright green leaves.  Swamp milkweed blooms in the summer with bright, white clusters of flowers. This wildflower is quite happy if planted in locations that stay moist to wet or planted in a container without drainage holes.  This milkweed is a larval host to the monarch butterfly, queen butterfly and soldier butterfly.  It also attracts various pollinators including butterflies and bees.







Copernicia baileyana




10.  Copernicia baileyana, known as Bailey palm, is a spectacular palm endemic to Cuba, where it grows in savanna and dry woodland areas.  One of Fairchild’s most admired palms; it produces a striking, columnar trunk to about 30’ tall and 2’ or more in diameter reminiscent of Greek columns.  The pleated blue-green palmate leaves are 5’ or more across and form a rounded crown atop the trunk.   The Bailey palm should be grown in full sun and placed where it will have the space to attain its potential majesty.  This species is very rarely available so this is your chance to have your own Bailey palm. (Plots 115, 80)














Rondeletia odorata


 11.  Rondeletia odorata, commonly called Panama rose, is native to Cuba and Panama.  It is actually a member of the Rubiaceae family not a true rose.  It is a small shrub with dark green, oval leaves.  The showy clusters of crimson flowers with yellow centers appear throughout our rainy season, from June through November.  Panama rose grows best in a sunny, moist, but well drained location.  It is an excellent choice for a flowering shrub. (Plot 22)







Pithecellobium keyense


12.  Pithecellobium keyense, known as blackbead, is native to coastal hammocks and pine rockland habitats of south Florida and tropical America.  It is a much-branched shrub with fragrant white to pale pink flowers.  The interesting coiled pods split open to reveal black seeds with a red aril.  Blackbead is a larval host plant for the large orange sulphur and also for the cassius blue butterflies. According to the Institute for Regional Conservation nectar visitors include cassius blue, Florida dusky wing, Florida white, giant swallowtail, great southern white, hammock skipper, large orange sulphur, mangrove skipper, Miami blue, three-spotted skipper, twin-spot skipper and other butterflies. According to Roger Hammer, the seeds are consumed by native and exotic doves along with white-crowned pigeons and northern mockingbirds.  This is a wonderful addition to the landscape to attract butterflies and birds. (Plot 64)







In addition to the Distribution Plants for 2014, the following specially selected sale plants will be offered. Most may be purchased in whatever quantities you wish. It is first come, first served, so consider alternates. The sale plants are available in smaller quantities than the distribution plants described above. In addition, there will be many other species at the sale not mentioned here.  My advice is to come early to get the best selection!  We open parking in the lowlands at 7:30 am. Once parked, you may walk or ride a shuttle to the Cycad Vista where the lines form.  The sale opens at 9:00 a.m.  Many people bring their own plant cart or wheelbarrow.  We will have plant valets to assist you.



Click on images to enlarge them 




Suriana maritima

 Suriana maritima, bay-cedar, a fine-textured, spreading shrub, is native to the coastal counties of central and southern Florida. A distinguishing feature of bay-cedar is the arrangement of gray-green or yellow-green, downy leaves at the ends of the branches. The narrow, paddle-shaped individual leaves are only about an inch long but are so soft that they beg to be stroked.  Small, five-petaled yellow flowers nestled among the soft leaves usually appear during spring and early summer months. In Florida, bay-cedar is often found growing on dunes or rocks near the shoreline where they are exposed to high winds, shifting sands, and salt spray, and may be sculpted into interesting shapes. Plant this shrub in a bright, sunny location. (Plot 19b)






Portlandia platantha


Portlandia platantha, once known as Portlandia albiflora or Portlandia latifolia, is endemic to Jamaica where it grows on limestone cliffs and rocky thickets. It is a tidy shrub to 8' tall, with cream colored flower buds opening to pure white, trumpet-shaped flowers among the glossy, dark green leaves. The flowers, which are wonderfully fragrant during the night and early morning, appear from spring into fall. This species grows easily in our limestone soils and should be planted in a lightly shaded location. Occasional irrigation during prolonged dry periods may be necessary. (In FTBG plants are growing in Plots 24, 146).






Alvaradoa amorphoides


 Alvaradoa amorphoides, Mexican alvaradoa, is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.  It is native to just a few hammocks in the southern portion of Miami-Dade County and a few areas of Everglades National Park; the Bahamas, southern Mexico and Central America.  Mexican alvaradoa has small pinnate leaves and slender branches imparting an open airy texture. This is the host plant for the rare Dina Yellow (Eurema dina) butterfly in Florida.  It is usually a shrub but may eventually grow into a slender tree to 20' tall.  It is a dioecious species with female plants producing small pendant clusters of reddish, winged seeds.  Mexican alvaradoa is drought tolerant, shade tolerant and a great choice for butterfly enthusiasts.  (Plots 43, 176)









Brunfelsia maliformis


 We will have several species of one of my favorite Caribbean plant genus, Brunfelsia.  Brunfelsia maliformis, is one of the rarest of the Brunfelsias in cultivation.  It grows in woodlands and on limestone cliffs as a shrub to small tree in Jamaica.  It produces large, fragrant yellow flowers year round, with heaviest bloom from May through September.  (Plot 5)









Brunfelsia plicata



Brunfelsia plicata is a small, erect eight-foot shrub endemic to Jamaica. The sturdy, dark green leaves make a good background for the showy, white flowers. Appearing in profusion several times during the year, they waft forth a spicy, clove-like fragrance at dusk. Stems tend to be upright, but the uppermost ends of the branches cascade down, giving the plant a vase-like shape. Grow it where it will receive morning sun and afternoon shade.  (Plots 52, 27D, 27E)









Brunfelsia nitida

Plant of the year in 2012, Brunfelsia nitida, lady of the night, is a shrub 4-6' tall and native to tropical America. The trumpet-shaped flowers, 4-5" long, are white at first and gradually turn shades of yellow.  Masses of flowers are produced by the 4' tall shrub.  It never shows any insect, disease or nutritional problems.  It does not grow huge and need constant pruning.  This shrub is called lady of the night because of its flowers' incredibly spicy fragrance, usually present only after dark, but I've discovered that as the flowers age over a few days, the fragrance is produced earlier each evening.  I wish that I could bottle this wonderful essence and keep it with me always. Brunfelsia nitida is a great shrub for anyone's garden.  It remains a tidy size, is not demanding in its care, can be in sun all day or half a day and produces masses of flowers intermittently throughout the year.  (Plot 8)





Eugenia confusa



We will have a good selection of South Florida stoppers which provide tasty fruit for birds. This includes Eugenia confusa, redberry stopper, which is native to South Florida, the Keys and the West Indies.  Redberry stopper is an evergreen small tree or large shrub which slowly grows to about 20 feet and can serve many purposes in the landscape. The opposite leaves with interesting, elongated drip tips, emerge reddish turning a medium green several weeks later.  The straight trunk is covered by distinctive finely divided bark.  The canopy remains dense, even in partial shade. White or cream-yellow flowers have numerous, showy stamens that are yellow in color. These flowers occur in axillary clusters in May or June.  Birds love the edible fruits which are small, drupe-like, juicy red berries, globose and very showy.   The small stature and narrow crown make the redberry stopper an excellent choice for a small yard or a confined space.  (Plots 3B, 46, 64)









Eugenia foetida flowers



Spanish stopper, Eugenia foetida, has a neat, upright growth habit, making it a perfect choice for a small area. During the summer, the stems of Spanish stopper are engulfed by fragrant, white flowers. After flowering, small red fruit turn black and are eaten by birds.  All stoppers are easily maintained to the size desired. The lowest branches may be removed to give a more tree-like appearance. Stoppers have small leaves, are evergreen and usually have a columnar shape, all characteristics which can fit into a small space. These plants will be denser if grown in full sun. When planted in a shady location, the stoppers will develop a more open growth habit with slightly larger leaves.  (Plots 41A, 171)









Catesbaea spinosa


 Catesbaea spinosa, known as lily thorn, is a petite shrub native to Cuba and the Bahamas.  The leaves are small, similar to boxwood. Slender spines are at the base of some of the leaves.  The showy   flowers are pale yellow, surprisingly large, bell-shaped and pendant.  Yellow, egg-shaped fruits are produced after flowering.  Lily thorn is an excellent plant for using in bonsai.  The furrowed bark on larger specimens would be good for placing epiphytes such as small orchids.  Lily thorn grows best in full sun to light shade.  Once established, no irrigation is required.   (Plot 24)








Guaiacum officinale


 Guaiacum officinale, native to continental Tropical America and the West Indies, is known as lignum vitae or tree of life. This species, although not native to Florida, is similar to our native Guaiacum sanctum. It will grow faster than our native species, eventually developing into a beautiful flowering tree to 20 feet tall with gorgeous mottled green trunks. Lovely blue to pale blue flowers appear in spring to summer, followed by orange-yellow fruit. Birds love the seeds.  Grow in full sun to light shade.  If you have room for just one tree in your yard, Guaiacum officinale should be your choice.










Baccharis dioica


 Baccharis dioica, known as hammock groundsel, was at one time found in south Florida, but is now believed to be extirpated in the wild in Florida.  It is also native to the West Indies and southern Mexico.  Hammock groundsel produces clusters of fragrant, white flowers with distinctive yellow stamens from August through September.  As a member of the Asteraceae family, it produces flowers which attract several kinds of butterflies, including Cassius blue and hairstreaks.   This shrub has small leaves and typically grows three to 6 feet tall to form a really nice rounded, dense screen.  (Plots 43, 45, 50)










Senna ligustrina by Valerie Inzinna
Photo by Valerie Inzinna


 Senna ligustrina, privet cassia, is a native shrub that produces bright yellow flowers which will attract many kinds of sulfur butterflies.  Privet cassia is a slender, upright grower, topping out at about 6 feet.  Clusters of cheery yellow flowers appear at the tops of the stem.  Bright yellow flowers appear all year.  Grow this native shrub in full sun to light shade.







 Click here for a complete list of sale plants


Click on map to enlarge



Map of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

















Please continue to check this page.  I will add updates as I add to the sale list.  The plants described above represent just a small portion of what species will be available at the Members' Day Plant Sale.  I hope to see you there!  If you have any questions, please contact  me: mcollins@fairchildgarden.org


Page created  6/24/14             Page updated 8/29/14