October 2, 1999, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Once again the time has arrived for Garden members to enjoy an exclusive benefit of membership and to select specially grown species from the 1999 Distribution Plants. While you may purchase only a limited number of Distribution Plants, there will be many other plants for sale. Along with other staff members and knowledgeable volunteers, I'll be available to advise you on site selection, planting and growing.
This years Distribution Plants are especially exciting for me to bring to the members of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. They were carefully selected, in some cases hand-pollinated, and grown for the purpose of making them available to you.
The palms include two rainforest species Drymophloeus pachycladus and Drymophloeus subdistichus; a native species nearly extinct in Florida, Pseudophoenix sargentii ssp. sargentii; a stunning beautiful palm that has been tough to find the key to germinating the seeds, Satakentia liukiuensis; and a small palm excellent for limited spaces, Schippia concolor.
Also included in this years distribution, a cycad never before available at our sales, Zamia variegata, a lovely species with small splashes of yellow on the leaflets. This zamia is native to rainforests of Central America.
The list of trees and shrubs includes many natives. Once established, native plants do not need regular fertilization, pruning, and many attract birds and butterflies. Native species are great for the extremely busy, hard-to-find time for the garden lifestyle, and yet they provide interesting sites for quiet contemplation and enjoying wildlife. Among the species offered are white ironwood, Hypelate trifoliata, black ironwood, Krugiodendron ferreum, darling plum, Reynosia septentrionalis, inkwood, Exothea paniculata, spicewood, Calyptranthes pallens, and red-berry stopper, Eugenia confusa. We will also have Brunfelsia plicata, a delightfully fragrant flowering shrub from Jamaica and seedlings of our unusual ashoka tree, Polyalthia longifolia.
Our vine selection is Bauhinia galpinii, which produces 3-4" orange-red flowers several months each year. This species may be grown as a vine or shrub.
This year we are very pleased to be offering one of our native, terrestrial orchids, Bletia purpurea. This beautiful species blooms several weeks during spring on flower stalks up to 6' tall.
Mary Collins, Senior Horticulturist
|Drymophloeus pachycladus is a slender, single trunk palm native to the rainforests of the Solomon Islands. The 30-year old plants in Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden have grown to 25 feet tall with trunks six to eight inches in diameter. Seven-foot long pinnate, dark green leaves with broad leaflets top the pale green crownshaft. Ripening fruits turn yellow, then dark red. Grow in a shady, moist location. (Plots 132A, 132B)|
|Drymophloeus subdistichus a slender trunked species, is also from the Solomon Islands. Twenty-five year old plants at the Garden are about 20 feet tall with trunks twelve inches in diameter. The crown of leaves is heavier and fuller than D. pachycladus. Fruits are red when ripe. This species is best suited for a moist location, protected from intense afternoon sun. (Plot 76)|
|Pseudophoenix sargentii ssp. sargentii is a slow growing large palm (30 feet). The dark green pinnate leaves cast a filigree shade over the distinctive gray banded trunk. Native to the Florida Keys and extremely endangered, the plants in the sale were the result of seed germination experiments as part of a program to replenish the palm in its native habitat. P. sargentii ssp. sargentii is a coastal hammock species that holds up well under extreme winds, and can grow in full sun to partial shade. (Plot 166)|
|Satakentia liukiuensis is a beautiful palm endemic to the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. A lush crown of ten-foot long, dark green, pinnate leaves top an exquisite crownshaft, smooth, lustrous, and dark red to mahogany green. A 30-year old Garden plant is 20 feet tall with a twelve inch diameter. The straight, gray-brown trunk provides a foil to the colorful crownshaft and leaves. Pink inflorescences bear lightly fragrant cream-colored flowers which give way to small yellow fruits that mature to black. Grow it in full sun to partial shade. (Plot 75)|
|Schippia concolor is an elegant, small species native to the open, dry pinelands and moist forests of Belize. The slender trunk has an open crown of deeply divided two-foot palmate leaves with leafstems two to six feet long. Showy, white inflorescences are followed by clusters of white fruit one-inch in diameter. This dainty palm may be grown in full sun to light shade. (Plots 106, 107, 111)|
|Zamia variegata Never before available! Zamia variegata is native to rainforests of Central America. Small, random "splashes" of yellow highlight the eight-foot long, blue-green leaves. The erect crown of leaves emerges from a stubby trunk. This species should be grown in a shady, moist location. Chris Mayhew hand pollinated this species in the Conservatory to provide plants for you. (Conservatory)|
|TREES & SHRUBS|
|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 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 its where it will receive morning sun and afternoon shade. (Plots 27, 52)|
|Calyptranthes pallens, spicewood, is a shrub to small tree native to the coastal hammocks of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, and the Caribbean. The leaves, aromatic when crushed, are light green or pink when young. Small white fragrant flowers are followed by fruits which turn from red to black. When fully ripe, they are very attractive to birds. Specimens are often multi-trunked, with an open, graceful habit. Spicewood is a splendid choice for a lightly shaded location. (Plots 19, 45, 3B)|
|Eugenia confusa, red-berry stopper, is a small tree native to hammocks of South Florida, and the Caribbean. Its shiny, dark green leaves set off the attractive pink-red new growth. In the fall, clusters of small, white flowers appear in the axils of leaves, followed by brilliant red fruits which ripen the following spring, attracting birds. When grown in the shade, red-berry stopper forms a narrow, upright crown; in the sun, the crown is compact and attractively rounded. The red-berry stopper, rarely available for sale, is exceptionally beautiful and enduring in the landscape. (Plots 46, 3B, 199)|
|Exothea paniculata, inkwood, is a small to medium sized tree with a spreading, dense crown of pinnately compound, lustrous leaves. Fragrant white flowers are produced from January to April. Female trees produce fruits which from mature red to black. Birds love the fruit. Inkwood is native to hammocks of South Florida, the West Indies, and Central America. Grow it in light shade to full sun. (Plots 164, 199)|
|Hypelate trifoliata, white ironwood, is an evergreen shrub to small tree with unusual trifoliate leaves. Small, lightly fragrant white flowers open in spring to summer, and are followed by small black fruits much loved by birds. The white ironwood has a neat, upright, rather dense growth habit. It is quite rare in Florida where it grows in hammocks in the Everglades and the Florida Keys. It is also native to the Caribbean. (Plots 164, 199)|
|Krugiodendron ferreum, black ironwood, is an evergreen shrub to small tree with distinctive, dark green leaves with wavy margins. The glossy leaves glisten brightly in the sunlight. Small flowers are followed by black fruits in the fall. Native to hammocks of South Florida, black ironwood has dense heartwood and an attractive compact, upright growth habit. It is also native to the Caribbean. Grow it in sun to partial shade. (Plots 3A, 3B. 128d)|
|Polyalthia longifolia, ashoka, is native to India. The weeping, branching habit of this 25-foot tall tree gives it a narrow columnar shape. Glossy green, long, narrow leaves have attractive wavy edges. The star-shaped, light green flowers in the spring are followed by clusters of inch-round black fruits. Grow in full sun. Distribution plants were grown from seeds collected from the three much-admired specimens growing in Plot 16.|
|Reynosia septentrionalis, darling plum, is an evergreen shrub to small tree, usually under ten feet tall, with a low, spreading growth habit. Native to the coastal hammocks of South Florida, the Keys, the Bahamas, and Cuba, this species is extremely salt tolerant. It has reddish bark, and tough, strong wood. Small yellow flowers appear in the spring followed by half inch black fruits. Grow it in full sun to light shade. (Plot 164)|
|Bauhinia galpinii, nasturtium bauhinia, is a half-climbing shrub which can be grown as a vine. Showy, orange-red flowers three inches across are produced year round. The fruits are small, brown pods. The nasturtium bauhinia should be planted where it receives six hours of sun daily. It is native to tropical Africa. (Plots 4, 101B)|
|Bletia purpurea a terrestrial orchid native to subtropical America, is also found in the rocky pinelands of South Florida. It occasionally grows in swamps as a semi-epiphyte, clinging to stumps and logs in shaded locations. The strap-like leaves resemble palm seedlings. Each spring, branched flower stalks, some reaching six feet, are adorned with numerous brilliantly purple blossoms with yellow crested lips. Each flower lasts up to ten days. Blossoms open gradually as the inflorescence expands, offering many weeks of bloom. Grow in a sunny location. (Plots 3B, 4, 128D)|
|Artocarpus linganensis, kwai muk, is a jackfruit relative native to southern China. The beautiful, dark green tree is well suited to the home landscape, maturing at 15 to 20 feet tall. The golf ball-sized fruit ripen in the late summer. Their sweet/tart flavor is reminiscent of citrus. Our grafted cultivar was selected from plants evaluated in seedling trials at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.|
|Spondias purpurea, jocote, is native to Central America where it has been grown as a traditional crop for centuries. After losing its leaves in the late winter, this small tree flowers and then produces a crop of sweet, juicy, red fruit. Ours is a large-fruited selection from Nicaragua. Jocote is easy to grow and will thrive in dry locations that are not irrigated.|
|Tamarindus indica, tamarind, is well suited to home garden production in South Florida. It makes an attractive accent tree. Tamarind needs full sun and will grow to a height of 30 feet. It will begin to fruit in three to four years. These seedlings are from sweet Thai tamarinds and should yield extremely sweet, acidless fruit.|
|1999 Distribution Plants|
|3||Pseudophoenix sargentii ssp. sargentii
|Trees & Shrubs|
Besides the 1999 distribution plants, Garden members will be offered other specially selected plants. Examples follow, but there will be many more from which to choose.
Garnish your garden with the striking red cones studded with yellow flowers of the ginger-like Costus barbatus, or one of the other species of Costus offered. Then add the beautiful sky blue iris, Neomarica caerulea or the native Salvia coccinea, loved by birds such as painted buntings. You'll also find the butterfly ginger, Hedychium coronarium along with other flowering gingers. Finally, Spathoglottis plicata, a ground orchid, is certain to be in great demand.
|Hedychium coronarium||Neomarica caerulea|
|Costus barbatus||Spathoglottis plicata|
Palms & Cycads
Seek out the rarely found Polyandrococos caudescens, a beautiful Brazilian palm whose pinate leaves flash their silver lining or stock up on Rhapis excelsa, the beloved lady palm which is so perfect for tall, informal hedges. Find a place in your garden to spotlight the delicately graceful Areca triandra with its clusters of slender trunks. Arenga hookeriana, a tiny clustering palm, is a perfect patio palm. If you're impatient, try the monocarpic Caryota rumphiana, a sumptuously beautiful, fast-growing fishtail palm planted with a slower growing palm.
Who can resist these intriguing, easy to grow plants? Whether you decide on the dramatic Encephalartos gratus with its full, dense crown and wild & wooly pinkish brown to orange red cones or the fern-like Zamia fischeri, you're bound to be delighted. Zamia fischeri is a cycad which comes to us from Mexico. Leaflets with serrated margins form leaves 8-24 inches long. The soft, shiny, bronze-colored new leaves provide an eye-catching contrast to the green mature leaves. Female plants produce brown cones filled with red fruit. Fast growing and spineless, this popular cycad grows best in a shady, moist location and makes an excellent border or foundation plant. The larvae of the rare Atala butterfly feed on this species. (Plot 149)
|Rhapis excelsa, Lady palm|
Ornamental Trees & Shrubs
Many of our 1999 ornamentals are natives, easy to grow and attractive to birds and butterflies. The sweet-scented Ardisia escallonioides (marlberry) attracts native insects and honeybees, as does Byrsonima lucida, locustberry, which is very salt tolerant. The Keys native, Guaiacum sanctum (lignum vitae) has legendary healing power and beautiful sky-blue flowers followed by flashy yellow-orange seeds pods. Myrcianthes fragrans (Simpson's stopper) offers a heavy crop of glossy, dark red red berries, much appreciated by birds. Pimenta racemosa, a plant of the Caribbean basin, has lemon scented leaves from which the true bay rum is made. (Plot 45) We are selling both the lemon scented and the true bay rum.
Non-natives which can add a spark of excitement to your garden are also being offered: Pavonia bahamensis, a treat for hummingbirds; Morus rubra, the everbearing mulberry; Mussaenda incana, featuring white bracts with yellow flowers; Rondeletia odorata, the 'Panama Rose' with its clusters of red and yellow flowers; Ruttyrus polia 'Phyllis Van Heeden', a spreading shrub with pink flowers year around; and Dombeya x 'Seminole', with deep pink blossoms. Finally, for those of us treasure the gift of the Aztecs, there's Theobroma cacao, 'Red Pod' cocoa, the source of chocolate.
|Dombeya x 'Seminole', shrub and flowers|
It's worth the effort of building a pergola to enjoy the eight-inch vivid red flowers of Passiflora vitifolia. Find a perfect contrast in the delicate Stephanotis floribunda, whose handsome leaves set off the fragrant white flowers.
Fruit trees for sale include three cultivars of the luscious lychee. 'Kwai Mai Pink', a small tree, with consistent production in South Florida, produces small but delicious pink fruit. 'Bengal' is a large tree best suited to a larger garden. The fruiting is not consistent, but the large, dark red fruit are so flavorful they're worth waiting for. 'Emperor', is a small tree that grows best in acid soils. The extremely large fruit are superb. Our trees are grafted on Bengal rootstock to improve their performance under most South Florida soil conditions.
Longan, Dimocarpus longana is a lychee relative perfectly adapted to growth in South Florida. It is an impressive landscape tree with a dark green canopy and rounded shape. Grow it in full sun and with plenty of room, although pruning can be used to hold its size. 'Big Boy', our large fruited and flavorful longan selection, was discovered in Miami. Although it is not likely to fruit every year in our climate, its fruiting consistency to date has been encouraging.
Become a Garden member and enjoy one of the exclusive benefits - Members' Day Plant Sale.