2015 Spring Plant Sale

On April 11 and 12, Fairchild will be overflowing with treasured plants specially grown in the Garden's own nursery, and plants propagated from the Garden's own collections. Below are the detailed descriptions of just a few of the plants that will be offered. Please remember: there are many plants, but quantities of each species are limited. In addition to the Fairchild plants, there will be extensive offerings from local plant vendors who will offer both dependable favorites and fascinating new discoveries. This is the perfect place to find a special plant for your garden. With such a variety from which to choose, you'll be happy to know that Fairchild's knowledgeable staff along with enthusiasts from local plant societies will be on hand to help you make your selections. They will also provide culture and care information to ensure that your choices thrive in our sometimes challenging South Florida environment.

There will be plant valets, but you are encouraged to bring a wagon or cart. Those who bring their own plant cart will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win a plant; three winners will be chosen. If you are hoping to take home a rare, unusual or one-of-a-kind plant, you will want to plan an early start. For membership information, call 305-667-1651, ext. 3331 or join online.

  • Location: the Palmetum, south of the Cycad Circle.
  • Parking is available in the lowland meadows. Enter through the first driveway north of the Garden; watch for signs.
  • There will be "plant valets" to help you move your purchases to convenient plant loading areas but you may want to bring a wagon or cart as well.
  • If you bring your own cart, you may enter a raffle, where three lucky winners will take home a gorgeous South Florida landscape plant grown by Fairchild horticulturalists! 
  • You must be at the sale in person. We cannot ship or hold plants for members or non-members unable to attend.
  • View Fairchild's Plot map here.


Aloysia virgata
, sweet almond bush, is remarkable for its long racemes of intensely fragrant white flowers. It can reach 15 feet tall but is best kept as a fuller, medium-sized shrub by regular pruning. It is native to Brazil, Argentina and Peru. Sweet almond is fast growing with slightly cascading branches and year-round spikes of white flowers. Bees and butterflies, including the rare atala hairstreak, gather nectar from its flowers. Grow in full sun to light shade.

Aristolochia passiflorifolia
 is a tropical twining vine in the pipevine family, grown from specimens wild collected in the Bahamas by Fairchild staff. Small, shiny heart-shaped leaves extend from leaf stalks along twisting tendrils. Two- to three-inch long pale green tubular flowers lined with tiny purple-brown hairs open to a pale green to rust-colored lobe with a crown of wild tenticles that is probably nothing like you’ve ever seen. In the Bahamas it was found growing in pineland and limestone. A newcomer to cultivation, try growing this in sun or filtered light.

Bixa orellana, annatto, is a shrub to small tree reaching 15 to 20 feet tall, native to Mexico and South America. Annatto has large leaves, with red new growth, and pale pink flowers full of stamens. The bee-attracting flowers are followed by bright red, ovoid seed pods with soft spines. The seeds are used to create orange-red dye for food and cosmetics. Plant this in full sun to partial shade.

Brunfelsia nitida
lady of the night, is a small attractive shrub that grows 8 to 10 feet tall. Masses of five-inch-long flowers emerge white and age to cream. They produce a fragrance of cloves at night. It is native to Central America and the West Indies. These flowers attract the hummingbird-like hawk moth that visits evening-scented flowers. The small, round, inedible fruits are orange. Lady of the night will bloom several times each year. This species prefers to be grown in partial shade.

The 2010 Fairchild Plant of the Year, Byrsonima lucida, known as locust berry, is a Florida native shrub or small tree reaching 15 feet tall. It has an attractive multi-stemmed habit with narrow leaves opening red and changing to shiny green as they mature. Most floriferous in the spring, it produces erect clusters of flowers with bright yellow stamens and petals that change from white to pink to crimson as they age. The berry-like fruits are rosy brown when ripe. Locust berry is the larval host plant of the Florida duskywing skipper. Flowers attract native bees and butterflies, and the fruits provide food for birds. It requires full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It makes a great screening plant or native hedge and is drought tolerant once established.

Copernicia baileyana, known as Bailey palm, is a statuesque palm endemic to Cuba, where it grows in savanna and dry woodland areas. This slow-growing palm is one of Fairchild’s most admired palms, having first been offered as a distribution plant in 1967. The smooth columnar trunk can grow more than 30 feet tall and two feet or more in diameter. The large, pleated palmate leaves span five feet or more across and form a rounded crown atop the trunk. The Bailey palm should be grown in full sun and appreciates moist, well-drained soil and responds well to palm fertilizer. Plant it where it will have the space to attain its potential majesty for future generations to enjoy.

Croton linearis
, a native of South Florida pine rocklands and coastal areas, is commonly known as pineland croton. This 2- to 6-foot-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.

Cubanola domingensis is native to the Dominican Republic where it is found both in forests under shade and in exposed sunny sites near beaches. Sometimes called Dominican bells or tree lily, this 5- to 7-foot tall shrub produces clusters of seven-inch long greenish-white, pendant flowers periodically during the warm months. The large showy flowers are fragrant at night. Though still new to cultivation, it is well adapted for the rainy and dry seasons found in South Florida. This beauty grows well in our local soils and should be planted in a well-drained location with morning sun and some shade in the afternoon.

Gynura pseudochina
 is a member of the Aster family. Dark purple and green leaves with brilliant green veins make this plant a decorative addition to your garden. Long flower stems tower above the vibrant foliage opening into rich yellow brush-like flowers. Monarchs are attracted to the flowers, which appear as one flower but are actually a grouping of many tubular flowers. Grow in full sun to light shade.

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 visit 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.

Koanophyllon villosum, known as Florida Keys shrub eupatorium, is endangered in South Florida. A member of the Asteraceae family, shrub eupatorium is a great addition to any butterfly garden. The linear clusters of cream to pale lavender flowers attract many native butterflies and skippers. This is a medium-sized shrub growing 5 to 6 feet tall. Plant it in full sun and in moist, well-drained soil.

Lantana involucrata, wild sage, is native to South Florida and tropical America. This 5-foot-tall shrub has soft, light green leaves which give off a spicy aroma when crushed. Lightly fragrant clusters of white to pink flowers are followed by purple fruit year-round. Plant it in full sun to light shade. Little irrigation is needed once established. Wild sage is an excellent source of nectar for many kinds of butterflies.

Monocostus uniflorus
 is a low-growing shrub related to gingers. It is native to northern Peru. Thick, succulent leaves grow along linear branches. Large yellow disc-like flowers appear during the hot months. Plant this in partial shade with regular irrigation and fertilization.

Pimenta racemosa
, lemon-scented bay rum tree, is closely related to allspice. The bay rum tree was selected as one of the Fairchild Plants of the Year in 2006. It is a small- to medium-sized tree reaching 25 feet at maturity. It is native to Jamaica and tropical America. The leathery dark green leaves emit a wonderful, lemony, bay rum scent when crushed. The trunk and main branches have exfoliating bark, which exposes lighter-hued inner bark. White flowers are followed by black, oblong, inedible berries. The plants grown for this sale were propagated from seeds collected from our lemon-scented bay rum tree. About fifty percent of the trees will be lemon-scented; the remaining trees are the true bay rum. This species may be grown in full sun to light shade.

Portlandia platantha
 is native to the limestone cliffs and rocky thickets of Jamaica, making it a natural for our landscape. The cream-colored buds are often tinged with crimson and open to bright white, tubular flowers. Plant this 10-foot-tall shrub in a location with morning sun, irrigating only until established.

Pseudophoenix vinifera, wine palm, is endemic to Hispaniola, where the species was much exploited for the sweet sap that was fermented into wine. The grey trunk, which shows leaf scars while young, swells mid-trunk in maturity giving it a distinct bottle-like shape. The slow-growing Pseudophoenix vinifera, which under ideal conditions can eventually reach 40 feet, makes a striking ornamental palm with pinnate fronds that arch up and out. Enormous branched inflorescences are pollinated by native bees, producing red, cherry-like fruit. Plant it in well-drained soil in full sun.

Psychotria nervosa
, wild coffee, is an excellent native small shrub that can be grown as a screen, a short hedge, or just to fill in a shady location. The glossy green, textured leaves surround clusters of tiny white flowers that are followed by vivid red fruits. The flowers are visited by butterflies and the fruits are eaten by birds. Wild coffee may be grown in shade to full sun. 

Ptychosperma salomonense is native to the rainforest on the Solomon Islands. A solitary palm with a slender trunk, this palm will emerge through the understory to reach about 40 feet tall, with a dense crown of broad pinnate leaves. A fast grower, plant it in a moist, sheltered location.

Talinum paniculatum ‘Variegata’
, fameflower, is a small succulent shrub with variegated leaves. Yellow buds and tiny bright pink flowers line a thin flower stalk followed by red fruit. Plant fameflower in full sun to light shade.

Thelypteris grandis
 is a Florida endangered fern with tall fronds growing several centimeters apart along a fast-growing rhizome. At Fairchild, we’re experimenting with Thelypteris grandis as a possible substitute for the invasive exotic fern, Phymatodes scolopendria, wart fern. Plant this fern in a bed in partial shade or filtered light.

Theophrasta americana is new to the Garden and to cultivation. Collected from mature plants under 5 feet tall in the Dominican Republic, the growth habit of this unique plant is still largely unknown. Sturdy, gently curving, glossy green leaves grow around a solitary stem. The leaves have a thick mid-rib and spinose teeth, with soft reddish flushes of new growth emerging as a new layer upon the stem. Known as Guayaba de Indio, it produces an edible, though not delectable, baseball-sized yellow fruit with large pearl-like seeds. Plant it in moist soil in shade or full sun.

Zephyranthes citrina, yellow rain lily, is a small herbaceous plant that produces yellow flowers in abundance during the rainy season from late Spring through early Fall. Rain lilies are best planted in clusters and grow in lightly shaded areas. It is native from southeast Mexico to Haiti.