Beautifully grown plants on display

Friday, June 3, 2011

Every year, the Tropical Fern and Exotic Plant Society show features exceptionally well grown specimens including ferns, begonias, aroids, orchids and bromeliads. It's a plant lovers feast, really, and a chance to see how lovely tropical plants can look when given expert care.

This year, it's hard to find an imperfect leaf. Many blue ribbons flutter among the fronds and flower spikes. Here are some really lovely examples:

Elegant in its simplicity is this
Anthurium faustomirandae.

Anthurium faustomirandae, an aroid native to Mexico, has heart-shaped leaves that may reach four feet in length. It doesn't have gaudy spots or stripes or anything out of the ordinary except its big, beautiful green leaves. It grows well in South Florida, and if in a pot can thrive in a mix that includes bark, peat moss, potting soil and perhaps some charcoal or soil conditioner. It likes to be moist.

Platycerium wandae, the largest of the staghorn ferns, is a native of New Guinea and simply breath-taking when it begins to achieve its regal size. The specimen in this show is small but quite lovely

Platycerium wandae.

and young. Notice the frills around the growing point, where forward fertile fronds emerge from the shield fronds. This is the characteristic that tells you it's a wandae and not a P. grande.

Calanthe triplicata is a terrestrial orchid that wanders widely from China through Oceania. Its leaves are plicate and the white flowers are held on a talk stalk with many of them crowded at the top.The show entry has multiple flower spikes.

Adiantum macrophyllum.



Large-leaf maidenhair, while not officially in the show, is being sold by an exhibitor, and the lovely feature of this fern is the new red growth. It's Adiantum macrophyllum and hails form the Caribbean, Central and South America. It likes high humidity and moisture and grows well in limestone soils. Or, baby it in a pot.

The show runs Saturday and Sunday, and you should come by and see how beautiful some tropical plants can be.