76th Annual Members' Day Plant Sale and Plant Distribution

Saturday, October 4, 2014

9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Exclusively For Fairchild Members

Welcome to the 76th Annual Members' Day Plant Sale and Plant Distribution. This annual celebration of plants grown exclusively by Fairchild for Members promises to be one of the most exciting in our history. The plants we're offering this year are ones that people have been waiting for a very long time. Some include:

  • Rondeletia odorata, Panama Rose, a shrub that has red and yellow clusters of flowers from June through November! 
  • Our 100-year old Couroupita guianensis, cannonball tree, has produced seeds with the help of our Director Carl Lewis assisted by his daughter who pollinated the incredible flowers, to grow plants for you, our Members. This beautiful flowering tree is available for the first time in many years. 
  • Our stately Copernicia baileyana, Bailey palms, produced seeds during a very dry spring a few years ago. I am delighted to have this amazing palm available to Fairchild Members! 
  • We are offering a native milkweed for distribution! If you love Monarch butterflies, come to buy an Asclepias perennis, (white swamp milkweed). This is the first time we have propagated this one, and it is beautiful. 
  • We are also distributing the much-admired red sealing wax palm, Cyrtostachys renda!  This palm, as it matures, has red stems and is best grown in a container so it can be moved indoors during our winters; a very cold tender, truly tropical delight! 

Not Yet a Member? Need to renew before the Member's Day Plant Sale? 
Join or Renew Today! 

Need to check the status of your Membership? Login here

General Information

  • The Members' Day Plant Sale is for Fairchild Members only.
  • Join today to attend the Members' Day Plant sale.    
  • Parking is available in the Lowlands Parking Field. Please enter through the North Entrance and watch for signs and staff directions. There will be shuttle service from the Lowlands Parking Field and the Visitor Center parking lot to the plant sales area. 
  • Parking in the lowlands opens at 7:30 a.m. You line up at Cycad Vista until the sale opens at 9:00 a.m. 
  • You must show your membership card to purchase Sale and Distribution Plants.
  • Each membership may purchase up to four Distribution Plants (limit one per species). 
  • Distributions Plants will be located in numerical order according to their placement on the Distribution Plant List (see below) and are handed out to Members by knowledgeable staff and volunteers.
  • You may purchase an unlimited number of Sale Plants, except for those plants with blue tags, which are limited to one per species.
  • We strongly suggest that you bring a container, wagon or cart to carry your purchases to your vehicle.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot pre-sell, ship or hold plants for Members unable to attend.

In the days prior to the Members' Day Plant Sale and Plant Distribution, you might want to visit Fairchild to take a look at examples of the Distribution Plants. Their locations in the Garden are mentioned at the end of each description. We will also be setting up the sale area in the Palmetum during the week before the sale to give our Members time to browse the selection. 

Fairchild's Plot Map

Fairchild’s plant collections are planted in plots, and the plots are part of the Garden's overall design. At the end of each plant description, we list the plot location so you may look at mature examples of the plants we are offering at the sale.  For ease, we've also included a nearby landmark location for each plant.

Click to enlarge map

2014 Distribution Plants

The Distribution Plants have been grown in larger quantities than the Sale Plants and are carefully grown for you. While you may purchase up to four of the Distribution Plants (one per species), 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.



1.  Portlandia proctorii, known as crimson Portlandia, is endemic to limestone cliffs of St. Catherine Parrish, Jamaica. It is a small, tidy shrub up to 8’ tall and 5’ wide. The neat, glossy leaves provide a perfect frame for the numerous, tubular pinkish-red flowers which have white stripes inside their corollas. In Fairchild, this species flowers all year! This shrub is super easy to grow in our South Florida soils. Plant crimson Portlandia where it will receive full sun about half a day.

Locations:  Arboretum and near the north end of the Vine Pergola  
Plots: 44, 8

2. Gustavia augusta, known as membrillo,  is a very attractive shrub to small tree in the Lecythidaceae family, native to Guyana and Amazonian Brazil. The rich dark green leaves have softly serrated edges. The attractive leaves form a frame to the amazing, sweetly scented flowers which have large, pale pink to white petals encircling the crown of dark pink and yellow stamens. Membrillo should be grown in moist soil with exposure to morning sun.

Location: Simons Rainforest
Plot: 151 along the tram road

3. Couroupita guianensis, known as the cannonball tree, is one of our most amazing showy flowering trees. A member of the Brazil nut family, this species is native to rainforests of northeastern South America. The cannonball tree has been one of the most admired flowering trees in Fairchild. The flowers, arranged on long stalks projecting from the trunk, are large, beautiful, pleasantly aromatic, and unlike any other flower you have ever seen. Seedlings grown from our 100 year-old tree north of the cycad circle will be available for this sale. Rarely available, due to the need for special cross pollination, this is your chance to acquire a cannonball tree for your own garden. This species is a large tree and requires a sunny location.

Location: Near Cycad Circle, adjacent to the Gallery building
Plot: 137 

4.  Zamia vazquezii is a unique cycad which comes to us from Mexico. Soft leaflets with serrated margins form leaves 8-24 inches long. The soft, shiny, bronze-colored new leaves provide an eye-catching contrast to the soft, green mature leaves. Female plants produce brown cones filled with red fruit. Fast growing and spineless, this attractive cycad grows best in a lightly shaded, dry location and makes an excellent border or foundation plant. It may be grown indoors as well. The larvae of the rare Atala butterfly also feed on this species.

Location: North of  the Bailey Palm Glade
Plots: (Plots 149, 142) 

5. Eugenia axillaris, known as white stopper, is a shrub to small tree growing to 20 feet tall. It is native to the coastal hammocks of South Florida, the West Indies and the Bahamas. It has small fragrant white flowers and aromatic leaves. The black fruits are enjoyed by birds. White stopper is very easy to grow in full sun to light shade. This is the native plant which imparts the commonly noted fragrance of our native hardwood hammock habitats. Go native! Plant a white stopper!

Location: Near the Gatehouse, Keys Coastal Habitat
Plots: 3B, 195

6. Cyrtostachys renda, known as the red sealing wax palm, is native to Malaysia. It is a clustering species to 25' with dark green pinnate leaves, which have brilliant red petioles, and leaf bases that form a beautifully colored crownshaft. There may be some variability in the color of the crownshaft and petioles, from red to orange, to orange streaked with green. The red sealing wax palm is very tropical and should be grown in a container and moved indoors if temperatures below 50° are expected. It is native to swamps and needs plentiful moisture. The red sealing wax palm may be grown in sun to light shade.

Location: Tropical Plant Conservatory and Rare Plant House

7.  Gynura pseudochina, native to China, is a colorful member of the Aster family. The herbaceous leaves are dark purple with light green veins.  The colorful composite flowers are yellow-orange. This plant may be grown in a container and allowed to cascade over the edge, or planted in the ground as a sub-shrub, less than two feet tall. This species grows best in a shaded, moist location


8.  Adiantum tenerum, known as brittle maidenhair,  grows on or near moist limestone rock. It is found in South Florida and throughout tropical America. Endangered in Florida, it is occasionally found growing in rockland hammocks and sinkholes. Brittle maidenhair has upright, very slender, black stems topped by arching leaves which flutter in a soft breeze. New growth may be pinkish. Plant in any well-drained soil top dressed with crushed coral rock. Keep the soil moist. Brittle maidenhair may be grown in shade to bright filtered light. Cut back all foliage at the beginning of the rainy season; new pink foliage emerges quickly.

Location: Tropical Plant Conservatory and Rare Plant House; and near the entrance of the Museum Gallery
Plot: 137

9. Asclepias perennis, known as swamp milkweed, is native to the Midwest and southeastern portion of the U.S., including Florida. As its common name implies, swamp milkweed occurs in a variety of wetland habitats, including semi-shaded forests. It can survive lower amounts of direct sunlight than our other native species, but it will become lankier and flower less abundantly. Swamp milkweed requires good soil moisture for best growth. This is a small plant; at mature height in the late spring, its many stems rarely stand taller than 2 feet. Each stem is densely covered by lance-shaped bright green leaves. Swamp milkweed blooms in the summer with bright, white clusters of flowers. This wildflower is quite happy if planted in locations that stay moist to wet or planted in a container without drainage holes. Swamp milkweed is a larval host to the monarch butterfly, queen butterfly and soldier butterfly. It also attracts various pollinators including butterflies and bees.

Location: South Florida Butterfly Garden
Plot: 19b

10.  Copernicia baileyana, known as Bailey palm,  is a spectacular palm endemic to Cuba, where it grows in savanna and dry woodland areas. One of Fairchild’s most admired palms; it produces a striking, columnar trunk to about 30’ tall and 2’ or more in diameter reminiscent of Greek columns. The pleated blue-green palmate leaves are 5’ or more across and form a rounded crown atop the trunk. The Bailey palm should be grown in full sun and placed where it will have the space to attain its potential majesty. This species is very rarely available so this is your chance to have your own Bailey palm. 

$35 large, $25 small
Location: Montgomery Palmetum (Plot 115) and in the Lowlands (Plot 80)

11. Rondeletia odorata, commonly called Panama rose, is native to Cuba and Panama. It is actually a member of the Rubiaceae family not a true rose. It is a small shrub with dark green, oval leaves. The showy clusters of crimson flowers with yellow centers appear throughout our rainy season, from June through November. Panama rose grows best in a sunny, moist, but well drained location. It is an excellent choice for a flowering shrub.

Location: Near the Overlook (Rock bluff, Lowlands side)
Plot: 22

12. Pithecellobium keyense, known as blackbead, is native to coastal hammocks and pine rockland habitats of south Florida and tropical America. It is a much-branched shrub with fragrant white to pale pink flowers. The interesting coiled pods split open to reveal black seeds with a red aril. Blackbead is a larval host plant for the large orange sulphur and also for the cassius blue butterflies. According to the Institute for Regional Conservation nectar visitors include cassius blue, Florida dusky wing, Florida white, giant swallowtail, great southern white, hammock skipper, large orange sulphur, mangrove skipper, Miami blue, three-spotted skipper, twin-spot skipper and other butterflies. According to Roger Hammer, the seeds are consumed by native and exotic doves along with white-crowned pigeons and northern mockingbirds. Blackbead is a wonderful addition to the landscape to attract butterflies and birds.

Location: Near Hammock Lake
Plot: 64 (at the northeast end of the plot)

2014 Sale Plants

In addition to the Distribution Plants, the following specially selected Sale Plants will be offered. Most may be purchased in whatever quantities you wish; Sale Plants with blue tags are limited to one per species. 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. 

Click images to enlarge.

Suriana maritima

Suriana maritima, known as bay-cedar, is a fine-textured, spreading shrub, is native to the coastal counties of central and southern Florida. A distinguishing feature of bay-cedar is the arrangement of gray-green or yellow-green, downy leaves at the ends of the branches. The narrow, paddle-shaped individual leaves are only about an inch long but are so soft that they beg to be stroked. Small, five-petaled yellow flowers nestled among the soft leaves usually appear during spring and early summer months. In Florida, bay-cedar is often found growing on dunes or rocks near the shoreline where they are exposed to high winds, shifting sands, and salt spray, and may be sculpted into interesting shapes. Plant this shrub in a bright, sunny location. 

Location: South Florida Butterfly Garden
Plot: 19b

Portlandia platantha, once known as Portlandia albiflora or Portlandia latifoliaPortlandia platantha, once known as Portlandia albiflora or Portlandia latifolia, is endemic to Jamaica where it grows on limestone cliffs and rocky thickets. It is a tidy shrub to 8' tall, with cream colored flower buds opening to pure white, trumpet-shaped flowers among the glossy, dark green leaves. The flowers, which are wonderfully fragrant during the night and early morning, appear from spring into fall. This species grows easily in our limestone soils and should be planted in a lightly shaded location. Occasional irrigation during prolonged dry periods may be necessary.

Location:  Along the allée to the Overlook, between the Palm Glade and the South Florida Butterfly Garden
Plots 24, 146

Alvaradoa amorphoides, known as Mexican alvaradoa

Alvaradoa amorphoides, known as Mexican alvaradoa, is listed as endangered by the state of Florida. It is native to just a few hammocks in the southern portion of Miami-Dade County and a few areas of Everglades National Park; the Bahamas, southern Mexico and Central America. Mexican alvaradoa has small pinnate leaves and slender branches imparting an open airy texture. This is the host plant for the rare Dina Yellow (Eurema dina) butterfly in Florida. It is usually a shrub but may eventually grow into a slender tree to 20' tall. It is a dioecious species with female plants producing small pendant clusters of reddish, winged seeds. Mexican alvaradoa is drought tolerant, shade tolerant and a great choice for butterfly enthusiasts. 

Locations: Arboretum, Pine Rockland
Plots: 43, 176

We will have several species of one of my favorite Caribbean plant genus, Brunfelsia
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.

Location: adjacent to the south end of the Vine Pergola
Plot: 5

Brunfelsia plicata

Brunfelsia plicata. It 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 in profusion 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 it where it will receive morning sun and afternoon shade.

Locations:  Arboretum
Plots: 52, 27D, 27E

A Plant of the Year Winner in 2012

Brunfelsia nitida, known as lady of the night, is a shrub 4-6' tall and native to tropical America. The trumpet-shaped flowers, 4-5" long, are white at first and gradually turn shades ofyellow. Masses of flowers are produced by the 4' tall shrub. It never shows any insect, disease or nutritional problems. It does not grow huge and need constant pruning. This shrub is called lady of the night because of its flowers' incredibly spicy fragrance, usually present only after dark, but I've discovered that as the flowers age over a few days, the fragrance is produced earlier each evening. I wish that I could bottle this wonderful essence and keep it with me always. Brunfelsia nitida is a great shrub for anyone's garden. It remains a tidy size, is not demanding in its care, can be in sun all day or half a day and produces masses of flowers intermittently throughout the year. 

Location: adjacent to the northeast end of the Vine Pergola
Plot: 8

We will have a good selection of South Florida stoppers which provide tasty fruit for birds.

Eugenia confusa, known as redberry stopper, is native to South Florida, the Keys and the West Indies.  Redberry stopper is an evergreen small tree or large shrub which slowly grows to about 20 feet and can serve many purposes in the landscape. The opposite leaves with interesting, elongated drip tips, emerge reddish turning a medium green several weeks later. The straight trunk is covered by distinctive finely divided bark. The canopy remains dense, even in partial shade. White or cream-yellow flowers have numerous, showy stamens that are yellow in color. These flowers occur in axillary clusters in May or June. Birds love the edible fruits which are small, drupe-like, juicy red berries, globose and very showy. The small stature and narrow crown make the redberry stopper an excellent choice for a small yard or a confined space.

Locations: Near Gate House,  Arboretum (behind the rainbow Eucalyptus), Near Hammock Lake
Plots: 3B, 46, 64

Eugenia foetida, known as Spanish stopper

Eugenia foetida, known as Spanish stopper, has a neat, upright growth habit, making it a perfect choice for a small area. During the summer, the stems of Spanish stopper are engulfed by fragrant, white flowers. After flowering, small red fruit turn black and are eaten by birds. All stoppers are easily maintained to the size desired. The lowest branches may be removed to give a more tree-like appearance. Stoppers have small leaves, are evergreen and usually have a columnar shape, all characteristics which can fit into a small space. These plants will be denser if grown in full sun. When planted in a shady location, the stoppers will develop a more open growth habit with slightly larger leaves.

Location: Arboretum, Near Pine Rockland exhibit
Plots: 41A, 171

Catesbaea spinosa, known as lily thorn

Catesbaea spinosa, known as lily thorn, is a petite shrub native to Cuba and the Bahamas. The leaves are small, similar to boxwood. Slender spines are at the base of some of the leaves. The showy flowers are pale yellow, surprisingly large, bell-shaped and pendant. Yellow, egg-shaped fruits are produced after flowering. Lily thorn is an excellent plant for using in bonsai. The furrowed bark on larger specimens would be good for placing epiphytes such as small orchids. Lily thorn grows best in full sun to light shade. Once established, no irrigation is required.

Plot: 24

Senna ligustrina, known as privet cassia

Senna ligustrina, known as privet cassia, is a native shrub that produces bright yellow flowers which will attract many kinds of sulfur butterflies. Privet cassia is a slender, upright grower, topping out at about 6 feet. Clusters of cheery yellow flowers appear at the tops of the stem. Bright yellow flowers appear all year. Grow this native shrub in full sun to light shade.

(Photo credit: Valerie Inzinna)

Click here to view the entire sale list