Annually during the past 73 years, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has distributed plants to Fairchild members for use in the South Florida gardens and landscapes. Once again the time has arrived for Garden members to enjoy an exclusive benefit of membership . Through the years, Fairchild's horticulture staff have observed, evaluated, and introduced beautiful, interesting, and diverse trees, shrubs, vines and ground covers to the community. The Members’ Day Plant Sale is certainly the place to buy great plants for your yard, patio or balcony. The sale and information about the plants we will make available is also an educational tool we use. Fairchild wants to promote great plants; non-invasive exotics, native species which will provide food and shelter for our native fauna and add beauty and life to your garden. Even modest increases in the native plant cover on suburban properties raise the number and species of breeding birds and butterflies.
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.
2011 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.
Click on image to enlarge
1. Licuala sp. is a slender, petite palm with an elegant single trunk. It reaches six feet tall at maturity. This palm prefers a shady, moist location. A showy spray of red fruit appears during the summer. This versatile Licuala would be a lovely addition to any established shady landscape or in a container in a screened patio or indoors near a window. (Plot 131)
2. Oxera pulchella, royal climber, is a beautiful vine native to New Caledonia. Large clusters of pure white, tubular flowers hang downward at the tips of branches. From January through March masses of white flower clusters among rich green leaves makes a beautiful statement on any fence, wall or trellis. The royal climber on Fairchild’s vine pergola showed absolutely no cold damage during the past two winters. Plant the royal climber where it is lightly shaded or exposed to morning sun on a trellis or fence. (Plot 4)
3. Portlandia grandiflora is a beautiful evergreen shrub reaching six to eight feet tall. It is native to limestone areas of Jamaica. Commonly called bell flower, it produces large, 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. The flora of Jamaica is known for having beautiful plants and this portlandia is truly a jewel. Our plant near the pergola flowers nearly all year. (Plots 8 and 24)
|Photo by Craig Morell|
4. Sabinea carinalis, Carib wood, is a shrub or small tree, 10 to 15 feet tall, endemic to the island of Dominica, West Indies. In early spring, it produces masses of scarlet flowers along slender, leafless stems. As the flowers are shed, new leaves emerge from the stems. Carib wood can be grown in partial shade to full sun. Established plants are well suited to dry locations. (Plot 192)
5. Portlandia albiflora is a beautiful, dwarf species which produces showy, fragrant white flowers. The trumpet-shaped flowers are striking against the dark green, glossy leaves. Endemic to Jamaica, this shrub grows 5 to 8 feet tall. This attractive shrub blooms nearly all year with peak flowering in the spring months.
6. Holmskioldia sanguinea, Chinese hat plant, is a magnet for hummingbirds. The orange-red flowers appear during our dry months and so do the hummingbirds that sip from the nectar filled flowers. This shrub grows 6 to 8 feet tall and can be easily trimmed to a smaller size. It loves the sun and is very drought tolerant.
7. Hibiscus sabdariffa is one of the most useful flowering shrubs in the Caribbean. Commonly known as sorrel or roselle, the fibers found in the stems are used to make jute, while the fleshy, red calyx are utilized in the West Indies and elsewhere in the tropics fresh for making roselle wine, jelly, syrup, gelatin, refreshing beverages, pudding, and cakes, and dried roselle is used for tea, jelly, marmalade, ices, ice-cream, sherbets, butter, pies, sauces, tarts, and other desserts. Calyces are also used in the West Indies to color and flavor rum. Tender leaves and stalks are eaten as salad and as a pot-herb and are used for seasoning curries. The roselle produces a lovely flower which is yellow to pale pink to red. Once the flower falls, the calyces become swollen and vivid red. Plant roselle in full sun to light shade.
8. 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. Our specimen has been growing in the Garden since 1986, obviously well adapted to the limestone soils of Miami-Dade. (Plot 5) Be one of the fortunate gardeners to have one of these in your landscape.
9. Coccothrinax proctorii is native to the Cayman Islands. A very pretty palm with a slender trunk and an open crown of deeply divided leaves with thin segments, dark green above and silvery white below. It is a slow but reliable grower and, with its small overall size, it will find room in any garden. It will thrive in a sunny, well-drained location.
10. Pityrogramma chrysophylla, island goldback fern, is native to tropical America. It is one of the few ferns which can be grown in full sun without suffering leaf burn. Island goldback fern has fiddleheads and the lower frond surfaces with a powdery, yellow or gold hue. Easy to grow, this fern grows rapidly and may reach a height of 3-4 feet. Goldback fern is happy in full sun or partial shade. Avoid overwatering and allow plants to dry slightly between watering. Island goldback fern requires good drainage.
11. Coccothrinax borhidiana is endemic to northern Cuba. This gorgeous species is a petite palm with a slender trunk thickly clothed in a coat of undulated fibers, topped by a dense crown of closely spaced, circular, rigid, thick and leathery, dark green leaves that are held on short petioles. As this palm grows the spiral arrangement of the beautiful leaves add to its interest. It is considered one of the most beautiful Coccothrinax. Grow this palm in a sunny location.
|stems of lemon grass are sliced or minced|
12. Cymbopogon citratus, lemon grass, is native to tropical Asia. Stems and leaves of this plant are commonly used in cooking to add a wonderful, lemony flavor to soups, drinks, a key ingredient in many Thai dishes, poached salmon and tasty recipes such as grilled lemon grass ginger chicken. A member of the grass family, this species will grow 3 to 4 feet tall. Plant it in full sun in a well-drained location. Grow your own lemon grass and open your world of cooking to a new level of flavors.
13. Euphorbia punicea, known as the flame of Jamaica, is an evergreen succulent shrub to small tree found only on the sunny island of Jamaica. Fairchild’s Plant of the Year 2008, it thrives on limestone, needs no irrigation and is a very light feeder. Its slow growth, upright habit, and branching structure make pruning irrelevant. Flame of Jamaica has the potential to bloom almost year-round. What we see as a flower is actually an unusual inflorescence surrounded by showy bracts, or modified leaves. These bracts can range in color from orangish-pink to scarlet to crimson red. Warblers and honey bees visit throughout the day, taking advantage of the abundant sweet nectar. Plant Euphorbia punicea in well-drained soil, or even a rocky hole with full exposure to the sun.
2011 MEMBERS' DAY SALE PLANTS
In addition to the Distribution Plants for 2011, the following specially selected sale plants will be offered. Most may be purchased in whatever quantities you wish; those with blue tags are limited to one per membership. 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 8:00 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. For a complete list of the sale plants, click here
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Congea tomentosa, shower-of-orchids, is a vine from Thailand and Myanmar which produces masses of showy lavender-pink bracts during the winter and spring months. It requires sun for best bloom.
Kentiopsis oliviformis is a rare and beautiful palm endemic to New Caledonia. It has upright, leaves 10 to 12 feet long with broad, dark green leathery leaflets. The crownshaft is a rich dark green hue. The grey-green ringed trunk may grow to 50 feet tall. White flowers are followed by bright red fruits. This species has proven to be a wonderful palm for south Florida gardens. Plant it in full sun and provide space for this fast growing spectacular palm.
Cordia lutea, known as yellow cordia or yellow geiger, is one of our most beautiful flowering shrubs to small tree. The bright, crepe-textured yellow flowers appear all year on this large shrub to small tree from Peru, Ecuador, and the Galapagos Islands. Yellow cordia loves the sun and dry conditions.
Bauhinia grandidieri, is a dwarf orchid tree or large shrub under 10 feet tall, spreading with branches in layers. The tiny leaves and the interesting horizontal branching habit make this an excellent candidate for bonsai. Flowers are an unusual hue of blue-pink-mauve. It is native to dry southwestern Madagascar, growing in coastal sands over limestone. Drought adapted, this species occurs in many variable forms on Madagascar. Grow this in full sun in a dry location. It would also look great in a decorative container.
Ocimum campechianum is a species of basil native to South Florida and the West Indies, although it is endangered here. It may be found growing in habitats such as pine rocklands or on the sunny edge of a hammock. Your nose may detect this wild basil before it is seen, as it yields an incredible warm, spicy aroma. This basil may grow from one to two and a half feet tall. Once established, it prefers a sunny, dry location: the warmer the location, the more intense the fragrance. Although living only ten to twelve months, it re-seeds readily and will provide a steady supply of sun-tolerant, cold tolerant, and drought tolerant basil.
Passiflora suberosa, corkystemmed passion flower, is one of our best native plants for attracting butterflies to your garden. This vine may be grown as a ground cover or allowed to climb upon a low structure or shrubs. It is the larval host plant for Gulf Fritillary, Julia and Zebra Longwing butterflies who linger around this vine, searching for new growth to lay their eggs. Birds will visit this vine to eat the tiny dark purple fruits. The corkystemmed passion flower may be grown in full sun to light shade.
X Ruttyruspolia ‘Phyllis van Heerden’ a shrub to 6' tall, is a natural, sterile bigeneric hybrid between Ruttya ovata and Ruspolia hypocrateriformis var. australis from South Africa. It produces showy clusters of lovely pink flowers from spring through fall. This plant has been in Fairchild’s plant collection since 1982. It has proven to be pest free, an easy grower and attracts butterflies too! Plant this lovely shrub in full sun to light shade. You can call her Phyllis! (Plots 4, 17)
Nashia inaguensis, commonly called Moujean tea, is a shrub to 8 feet tall native to the Bahamas. It is much branched, with tiny leaves that are aromatic when crushed. The young stems are red, becoming gray-brown. The tiny, fragrant white flowers are followed by small orange fruits nestled among the glossy leaves. We have found that the Atala butterflies and many others find Moujean tea hard to resist when in bloom. Grow in full sun. It is very drought tolerant once established. (May be seen in plots 102, 164 and butterfly garden.)
Croton linearis, a native of South Florida pine rocklands and coastal areas, is commonly known as pineland croton. This 2’ to 6’ tall semi-woody shrub has dark green linear leaves with white or golden hairs on their lower surface. Small white flowers and small dry fruits which pop open when ripe are present all year. Pineland croton is the larval food plant for the Bartram’s Hairstreak and the Florida Leafwing butterflies. This shrub grows best in a sunny, dry location. Once established it requires no supplemental irrigation. (May be seen in FTBG pineland.)
Jacaranda caerulea is native to the Bahamas. It is a smaller tree than the more commonly grown Jacaranda mimosaefolia and with more bold, shiny foliage. It is one of the most attractive ornamental trees native to the Bahamas with its panicles of blue-violet flowers appearing throughout late spring and summer. The crown is more narrow and upright than the more common Jacaranda, making it a great choice for small yards. This species prefers a sunny location and thrives in the soils of south Florida. Its furrowed bark makes this tree an excellent place to put epiphytic orchids and bromeliads among the branches.
Bourreria cassinifolia, smooth strongbark, is a Florida endangered species native to a few pinelands of south Florida and the Florida Keys. Strongbark is a shrub to 8 feet tall and about 6 feet wide. Small leaves, small white flowers and bright orange fruit attract butterflies to the flowers and birds to the fruit. The fragrance of the flowers is a wonderful, fresh, light but oh so nice perfume. If there was such a thing as smooth strongbark eau de cologne, I would be in line to buy a bottle! This shrub prefers a sunny location and does not require irrigation once established. (May be seen in FTBG butterfly garden and pineland.)
Morus nigra, black mulberry, produces a delicious, sweet, black mulberry. The ones we are offering to members is an ever-bearing, many-branched shrub. Cutting back the plants will encourage flowering and fruit soon develop. The colorful fruits are first green, turn red and then ripen to shiny black. Birds will also be attracted to the fruit. The heaviest crop of fruit appears in the spring, but if you desire fruit at other times of the year, just prune it back and flowers, then fruit will be produced. The berries may be eaten fresh or used in jams and pies. Plant in full sun.
Schippia concolor, silver pimento palm, is an elegant, small species native to open, dry pinelands and moist forests of Belize. The slender trunk has an open crown of deeply divided, two-foot palmate leaves with leaf stems two to six feet long. Showy, white inflorescences are followed by clusters of white fruit an inch in diameter. This dainty palm may be grown in full sun to light shade. (Plots 106, 107).
|Photo by Scott Zona|
Salvia caymanensis, Cayman sage, is endemic to the island of Grand Cayman. Believed to be extinct for nearly 40 years, it was rediscovered in 2007. This is very fortunate because Cayman sage is a real charmer. Small sky-blue flowers are borne on spikes above aromatic grey-green leaves, covered on the undersurface with a soft felt covering of tiny white hairs.
Pimenta racemosa, the lemon-scented bay rum tree, is closely related to allspice. It is a small to medium sized tree native to Jamaica. The evergreen leaves, when crushed, emit a wonderful, lemon-bay rum scent. An oil is distilled from the leaves to make perfumes and colognes. The trunk and main branches have exfoliating bark which exposes lighter-hued inner bark. White flowers are followed by black oblong berries. This species may be grown in full sun to light shade. (May be seen in plot 45.)
Stephanotis floribunda, known as bridal wreath, has dark green leathery leaves which contrast with the fragrant white flowers. This species is a well behaved vine, not growing too fast or heavy and easy to keep trimmed and shaped. It should receive occasional irrigation and be kept a little drier in the winter. Stephanotis blooms nearly year round with heaviest flowering in the spring. This vine may be grown in full sun to light shade.
|Photo by Roger Hammer|
I am so excited that we will be offering a plant which has proven to be a wonderful source of food for migrating songbirds. Colubrina elliptica, soldierwood, is native to the Florida Keys, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and Venezuela. It is a shrub to small tree, from 10 feet up to 30 feet tall with an open branching habit. The trunks have flaking orange to brown bark which adds to its character. We are offering this plant because it has proven to be a bird magnet! During the fall of 2009 expert birders surveyed Fairchild for migrating songbirds. Soldierwood in plot 164 attracted more species by far, than any other plant. Among the birds seen visiting soldierwood were: Tennessee Warblers, Red-eyed Vireos, Blue-winged Warblers, Blackburnian Warblers, Summer Tanager, Scarlet Tanager and Baltimore Orioles. Most of the birds were feeding on tiny insects that were attracted to the small flowers of soldierwood. We are delighted to offer this plant to FTBG members. Let's try to keep in mind providing food for wildlife when we plant our home landscapes. Bring nature to your own yard – plant a soldierwood and keep your binoculars handy!
Satakentia liukiuensis is a beautiful palm endemic to the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. A lush crown of ten-foot long, dark green, pinnate leaves tops an exquisite crownshaft: smooth, lustrous, and dark red to mahogany green. In Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, a 30-year old plant is 20 feet tall, with a trunk twelve inches in diameter. The straight, gray-brown trunk provides a foil to the colorful crownshaft and leaves. Pink inflorescences produce slightly fragrant, cream-colored flowers which give way to small, orange fruits. Grow it in full sun to partial shade.
|Zamia inermis||Zamia obliqua|
For cycad enthusiasts, we will be selling some Zamia tuerckheimii, Zamia obliqua, and Zamia inermis.
|Guaiacum officinale||Guaiacum sanctum|
We will be offering one of the most beautiful, popular, rare plant Guaiacum sanctum, lignum-vitae, which is a shrub or small tree native to the Florida Keys, the West Indies, and Central America to northern South America. The pinnate, evergreen leaves are a rich, dark green, making a great background for its dark blue flowers with their bright yellow stamens. Flowers cover the plant several times a year. This slow-growing but long-lived species is adaptable to dry rocky areas in full sun to light shade. It is one of our finest native plants. We will also be selling Guaiacum officinale, native to continental Tropical America and the West Indies. 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. (Plot 34)
|Muhlenbergia capillaris||Sorghastrum secundum - Photo by Roger Hammer|
We will have a great selection of native grasses including the stunning Sorghastrum secundum, lop-sided Indiangrass; Schizachyrium sanguineum, crimson bluestem, Tripsacum floridanum, Florida gama grass, and the colorful Muhlenbergia capillaris, muhly grass.
|Plan of the garden. Click on image to enlarge.|
Page created 8/17/11 Page updated 9/22/11