This year I am delighted to present a selection of plants from around the world as the Distribution Plants 2000. You will find palms, trees and shrubs that I believe are well-suited to growing conditions in South Florida. None are wild-collected; they have been propagated from plants growing at Fairchild, plants that our Center for Tropical Plant Conservation scientists and horticulturists have searched out over the years to strengthen our collections.
While you may purchase only a limited number of Distribution Plants, there will be many other plants for sale. We have an excellent selection of native plants, which besides being handsome landscape plants, have the bonus of attracting birds and other wildlife. There is also a very limited supply of superb new jackfruit cultivars.
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.
Mary Collins, Senior Horticulturist
|Archontophoenix myolensis, a recently named species, is native to rainforest streams in Queensland, Australia, where it is considered endangered. Its blue green crownshaft holds pinnate leaves with pendulous leaflets. Showy inflorescences produce white flowers followed by bright red fruits. The myola palm should be planted in light shade or where protected from intense afternoon sun while young. Seeds were donated to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden by Chris Migliaccio, who collected them from a mature plant growing in his garden.|
|Brassiophoenix drymophloeoides, native to New Guinea, is a small, slow-growing palm with a solitary trunk, rarely reaching more than 15 feet tall. Attractive, dark-green, wedge-shaped leaflets are spaced evenly on six-foot long pinnate leaves. Clusters of bright yellow fruits are produced below the crownshaft. Grow in partial shade; protect from cold. Previously thought to be B. schumannii, this species differs in having five-lobed seeds. It is from southeastern Papua New Guinea. (B. schumannii has nine-lobed seeds and is found in western Papua New Guinea.) (Plots 132, 131)|
|Coccothrinax spissa, native to the Dominican Republic, has a distinctively swollen trunk. This species grows slowly, eventually reaching 15-20 feet tall. The two- to three-foot wide, palmate, deeply-divided leaves, are green above and slightly silvery underneath. They are borne on long, slender, arching petioles which produce an open crown. Ripe fruits are dark purple. Grow it in full sun to light shade. Once established, no regular irrigation is necessary. (Plot 107)|
|Drymophloeus pachycladus is a slender 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 this lovely species in a shady, moist location. ( Plot 132)|
|Dypsis madagascariensis, formerly known as Chrysalidocarpus madagascariensis, is a handsome solitary or clustering palm reaching 30 feet tall. Clustering forms usually have two to four stems. The seven to twelve pinnate leaves in the crown hold leaflets arranged one above another in three rows. Yellow-green flowers are followed by purple fruit. In its native Madagascar, it grows in moist rainforests, semi-deciduous dry forests or in coastal areas. Due to habitat destruction and the harvesting of palm heart for food and outer wood for floorboards of houses, it is classified as rare by the IUCN. This elegant palm is adaptable to both moist and dry environments and even to forest regions near the sea. (Plots 19, 147)|
|Licuala spinosa is a clustering species with leaves divided into as many as 20 pleated segments. Inflorescences produce small white flowers followed by showy red-orange fruits. It is native to coastal areas of Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Commonly called mangrove fan palm, this species is often seen on the inland edge of mangrove communities. Plants will grow in a variety of soils and will tolerate sun, but in South Florida, they grow best in a moist, partially shaded location. They are excellent container plants.|
|Rhapis subtilis, native to shady forests in Thailand, is a smaller relative of the lady palm. It has clustering, slender stems three to seven feet tall. The deeply divided leaves are dark green, with three to six leaf segments. If planted in a slightly acid soil mix, it grows well in containers, either indoors or in partial shade outside. (Plots 71A, 112, 131)|
|SHRUBS & TREES|
|Capparis cynophallophora, Jamaica caper, is a native shrub or small tree. In the spring or early summer, it produces large quantities of flowers. The flowers have four white petals and many purple stamens, which extend beyond the petals. They look like miniature fireworks. Fruit are slender, rust-colored pods which split open to expose seeds enclosed in an orange-red aril. The dense, strong Jamaica caper is very wind resistant and extremely salt tolerant. It is one of our most beautiful native plants. Jamaica caper can be grown in full sun to light shade. (Keys Coastal Habitat, Plot 41)|
|Clusia lanceolata, a delightful shrub or small tree eight to ten feet tall, is native to Brazil where it grows in sandy areas adjacent to mangrove areas. Leathery, lanceolate leaves are about three inches long. Showy, waxy flowers, one to two inches across, are white with a dark red center. Small, round fruits open to expose seeds with an orange-red aril. It can be grown in a large container, or planted in full sun to light shade. ( Plot 49)|
|Jacaranda cuspidifolia is native to dry savannahs from Brazil to northern Argentina. The flowers, leaflets, and seed pods are slightly larger than those of the commonly grown J. mimosifolia. First introduced in 1988, this species blooms beautifully in our subtropical, seasonally wet climate of South Florida. Although it grows to the same size, J. cuspidifolia blooms at an earlier age than J. mimosifolia, sometimes within two years of planting. This species will grow best in a sunny, well-drained location. Once established, it does not need irrigation.|
|Jacquinia keyensis, commonly called Joewood, is native to South Florida, the Keys, the Bahamas, and the West Indies. Joewood is a shrub to small tree with two-inch long, leathery leaves and fragrant white flowers. As they ripen, the small, pea-sized fruits turn from white to pale orange. It will often have fruit and flowers at the same time. This slow growing species is rarely grown in cultivation, but its sturdy growth, dense crown of foliage and delightfully fragrant flowers make it an excellent choice for the home landscape. Usually less than five feet and seldom reaching more than 15ft. tall, it is an attractive shrub for a sunny or lightly shaded location. Joewood is found in a few locations in the pinelands of Everglades National Park, where it grows on limestone rock and is exposed to fire. This is one tough species. (Plots 166 and 22)|
|Michelia champaca, native to Southeast Asia, is an evergreen tree reaching 25 feet tall. It is an attractive plant, with a smooth gray trunk, wavy, glossy leaves up to ten inches long and pale orange to yellow flowers which perfume the air, especially at night. The showy fruits have red seeds. In champaca's native area, it is often planted near temples and its wood is carved by Hindus into statues of Buddha and into beads. In Malaya and other parts of Asia, the flowers of champaca are strung into necklaces, worn in the hair and made into perfume. This species grows best in light shade or where it has an eastern exposure, protected from the hot afternoon sun (Plot 49)|
|Portlandia grandiflora is an evergreen shrub reaching six feet tall. It is native to limestone areas of Jamaica. Commonly called bell flower, it produces showy, six-inch long, bell-shaped white flowers which are fragrant at night. Like other members of the gardenia family, it produces dark green, lush foliage which contrasts nicely with the pure white flowers. It is best grown in light shade in an area that receives irrigation. (Plots 8 and 24)|
|Plumeria obtusa is a frangipani native to the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and Central America. The leathery, dark green, leaves are nearly evergreen. White, very fragrant flowers are produced almost year around. This species loves a hot, sunny location, and needs no irrigation once established. (Plot 65)|
|Distribution Plants 2000|
|Shrubs & Trees|
Besides the 2000 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.