Members' Day Plant Sale 2003

October 4, 2003, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Once again I am delighted to offer a selection of plants from around the world: the 2003 Distribution Plants. The palms, trees and shrubs I have chosen 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. Through purchasing these plants you are supporting the work of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden to conserve tropical plant diversity.

Below are pictures of many of some of the plants being offered, or look at the mature plants at the Garden, and decide which would fit your home landscape. While you may purchase only a limited number of Distribution Plants or "blue tag" sale 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.
Mary Collins, Senior Horticulturist

General Information

  • The Members' Day Sale is for members only; member's guests may not purchase plants.
  • Location: the Palmetum, south of the Cycad Circle.
  • Please park in the Lowlands. Enter through the new north entrance to the Garden; watch for signs. There will be a shuttle service between lowland parking, Visitor Center parking and the sale area
  • You must have your membership card to purchase plants.
  • You must have your membership card AND your distribution list (mailed to Garden members) to purchase distribution plants.
  • Each membership may purchase up to four Distribution Plants, limit one per species.
  • Sale plants will be separate from the Distribution Plants. The number of sale plants that may be purchased is unlimited, except for those with blue tags, which are limited to one per species.
  • Bring a container, wagon or cart to carry your purchases to your vehicle. There will be "plant valets" to help you.
  • We can not presell, ship or hold plants for members unable to attend.
  • The information in parentheses following the plant descriptions indicates where species are located at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Plot maps are available at the admission booth. Or click here for a printable plot map. To view and print map simply download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in.
  • Although we have good supplies of these plants at the time of printing, there may be changes in this list due to conditions beyond our control.

Distribution Plants 2003


Calyptronoma occidentalis, long thatch, is found in damp woodlands and lowland swamps. A beautiful crown of 10 foot long pinnate leaves emerges from a brown, corky-textured trunk up to a foot in diameter. Red-bronze new leaves slowly become green. Clusters of black fruit emerge among pale green leaf bases. The overall appearance is elegant, not dainty or fragile. (Plot 72, 146) Origin: Jamaica (endemic) 



Gaussia attenuata grows in forests near the summits of limestone hills. It is an endangered species, with only 500 plants in the wild. The single trunk, six to ten inches in diameter, has a slight bottle-like bulge, especially when young. Upright pinnate leaves, bright red fruit, and interesting thick roots often seen emerging slightly above the soil give this species a distinctive appearance. Grow it in partial shade. (Plot 149) Origin: north coast of Puerto Rico


Pseudophoenix sargentii, buccaneer palm, is a slow growing palm that eventually reaches 20 feet. Dark green pinnate leaves cast a filigree shade over the distinctive gray-banded trunk. It is native to the Florida Keys and extremely endangered. The distribution plants came from seed germination experiments to replenish the palm in its native habitat. A coastal hammock species, it holds up well under extreme winds, and grows in full sun to partial shade. Once established, it needs no irrigation. (Plots 113, 158) (hammocks)


Schippia concolor, silver pimento palm, is an elegant, small species native to open, dry pinelands and moist forests. 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) Origin: Belize



Zamia integrifolia, coontie, is our only native cycad. Once locally abundant in Florida, it is now uncommon and threatened by urban development. The stems, after suitable treatment, were used as a source of starch by the Seminole Indians; a small starch extraction industry was established in South Florida in the 1850s. Coontie is a small cycad, with much-branched, underground stems. The leaves are a favorite larval food for the rare Atala butterfly. It grows in full sun to light shade. New growth appears each spring, although if cut back, new leaves may be generated at any time. (Plots 124,136) (Hammocks, pinelands)



Acalypha 'Inferno' is a shrub reaching 12 feet tall. 'Inferno' refers to the incredibly bright colors of its small leaves, which include pink, red, orange and yellow. In full sun, the colors become even more vivid. This shrub provides year-round color in the landscape. Lightly tip prune branches to create a compact shrub. (Plot 151) Origin: South Pacific Islands



Brunfelsia maliformis grows in woodlands and on limestone cliffs as a shrub to small tree. 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. This is the first time this brunfelsia will be distributed in South Florida. (Plot 5) Origin: Jamaica (endemic)


Crossopetalum rhacoma, maidenberry, is from South Florida, the Florida Keys, and the West Indies. It is a shrub to small tree, growing to three to ten feet tall. Its leaves and white flowers are small, but the showy red fruit is much enjoyed by birds. In its native areas, it is found in rocky, dry spots and very well drained locations such as pinelands or hammock edges. It should be grown in full sun to light shade. Generally problem-free, it is highly drought tolerant once established. It grows well in coastal areas. (Plot 199) (hammocks, pinelands) 


Gardeners who like crown of thorns will love Euphorbia geroldii. This species adorns itself year-round with soft red-orange flowers with a yellow eye borne on upright branches of glossy, dark green foliage. An advantage is its lack of spines. Prune it lightly to maintain a compact form, plant in a lightly shaded to shaded location and water before it dries out completely. This is an excellent container plant. (just south of the Visitor's Center) Origin: Madagascar 


Guaiacum sanctum, lignum-vitae, is a shrub or small tree native to the Florida Keys, the West Indies, Central America and northern South America. Dark green, pinnate evergreen leaves are an excellent background for the dark blue flowers with their bright yellow stamens. As they mature, the flowers fade to a light silvery-blue, creating a gleaming haze over the rounded canopy. Flowers cover the plant several times a year, followed by orange fruit which open to expose black seeds covered by red arils. Slow-growing but long-lived, it is adaptable to dry rocky areas in full sun to light shade. It grows from eight to 12 feet tall. (Plot 34, Corbin Courtyard, near Founders' Court) (hammocks)

Psidium longipes
, long-stalked stopper, is a relative of guava. Native to South Florida pinelands and hammocks, this charming shrub grows up to three feet tall and wider than its height. Small white flowers with many white stamens are followed by small purple to black fruit. The low spreading form make this plant an excellent ground cover in a sunny, formal garden or in a woodsy, naturalistic landscape. (Plot 199) (hammocks, pinelands) (no photo available) 


Anthurium salviniae is one of the largest, most dramatic bird's nest anthuriums. Its vase-shape is composed of leaves more than six feet long and two feet wide. The inconspicuous inflorescence produces showy, wine-red fruit. In their native habitat, which includes Mayan ruins, plants grow on exposed limestone, on the sides of temples and pyramids, and on rotted logs, always in the shade. (Plot 130) Origin: Mexico to Colombia


Monocostus uniflorus is a charming, petite relative of the gingers. It seldom grows taller than 18 inches. Slightly spiraling, slender stems are topped with soft, ovate leaves. Large, bright yellow flowers have a white center and a crepe texture. It may be container grown or planted in a shady, moist location. (Plots 27, 130) Origin: Peru 



Neomarica caerulea is a tropical iris from Brazil whose long, strap-shaped leaves form a fan shape. Large, fragrant blue flowers appear every few days in the fall and winter, adding sparkle to the garden. It prefers morning sun and moist, fertile soil. It may be planted among other plants, and is a good edging plant. (Plots 130, 4) Origin: Brazil 



Salvia mexicana 'Compton's Pride' is a semi-woody shrub reaching six feet. Its beautiful glossy leaves have a silvery sheen in full sun. Although this species is new to the Garden, the sensational indigo blue flowers produced from fall to early summer during this past year have piqued visitors' interest. Originally collected by Englishman James Compton, this selection is a darker, richer color than the standard S. mexicana. Plant in a sunny to lightly shaded location for best blooming. Annual pruning after flowering will encourage compact growth and additional blooms. (Plot 3A) Origin: Mexico

Distribution Plants 2003


  1. Calyptronoma occidentalis - $22
  2. Gaussia attenuata - $22
  3. Pseudophoenix sargentii - $22
  4. Schippia concolor - $22
  5. Zamia integrifolia - $16


  1. Acalypha 'Inferno' - $16
  2. Brunfelsia maliformis - $16
  3. Crossopetalum rhacoma - $16
  4. Euphorbia geroldii - $18
  5. Guaiacum sanctum - $20
  6. Psidium longipes - $16


  1. Anthurium salviniae - $18
  2. Monocostus uniflorus - $16
  3. Neomarica caerulea - $18
  4. Salvia 'Compton's Pride' - $18

Licuala sp. (60627)

Sale Plants 2003

In addition to the Distribution Plants, we will offer many other species. Most may be purchased in whatever quantity you wish, except for those with blue tags, which are limited to one of each species per membership. It's first come, first served, so consider alternates. Following are examples; besides those listed, many other species will be available in very limited quantities.


Brassiophoenix drymophloeoides (New Guinea) is a single trunk species with attractive wedge-shaped leaflets and clusters of bright yellow fruits. Chamaedorea glaucifolia (southern Mexico) has a very slender trunk and delicate, plumose blue-green leaflets. Gulubia costata (Australia and New Guinea) is a tall, fast growing single trunk species with a large crown of elegant pinnate leaves with drooping leaflets. Licuala sp. (60627) is a slender petite palm to six feet tall which will bear small, bright red fruit. It is an excellent choice for a shady location. Ptychosperma ledermannianum (Caroline Islands) is a single trunk species with a white crownshaft and broad wedge-shaped leaflets. Also offered: Dictyosperma album, princess palm; Sabal palmetto, cabbage palm; Syagrus amara, overtop palm; Dypsis madagascariensis; Pinanga spp.; and Siphokentia beguinii.


Erythrochiton brasiliensis

Brya ebenus, Jamaica rain tree, is a small tree which produces masses of yellow flowers a few days after rainfall throughout the year. It is an excellent choice for a sunny location without supplemental irrigation. Catalpa longissima,  yokewood, is native to the West Indies. This upright tree, to 35 feet, produces pale lavender to pink, fragrant flowers all year. Our 64-year-old yokewood (plot 29) has proven to be a strong, durable tree. Dombeya x 'Seminole,' is a flowering shrub with large clusters of pink flowers for several months each year. Erythrochiton brasiliensis, a small treelet from South America, grows to eight feet tall, producing white flowers with a showy red calyx all year. Our sale plants flowered when they were less than a year old. Euphorbia leucocephala, little Christmas flower, a 12-foot shrub when mature, produces masses of fragrant little flowers with glistening white bracts during December.

Catalpa longissimaEach autumn Lonchocarpus violaceus var. violaceus, a small tree from Trinidad, bears fragrant upright spikes of purple flowers; the color and fragrance is reminiscent of lilacs. Michelia champaca (Southeast Asia), a tropical tree belonging to the magnolia family, produces fragrant, apricot flowers. Rondeletia leucophylla, an eight-foot shrub, produces showy clusters of rosy pink flowers, fragrant at night, for about six months during the dry season. X Ruttyruspolia 'Phyllis Van Heeden' (Zimbabwe) is a natural hybrid of Ruttya and Ruspolia. This sprawling shrub has clusters of pink flowers during our dry season. Also offered: various colors of Brugmansia (angel's trumpet), hybrids developed in Germany, some of our showiest tropical shrubs; Jacaranda caerulea (the Bahamas); Gardenia taitensis, Tahitian gardenia; and Nashia inaguensis, a Bahamian shrub with flowers which are nectar food for the rare Atala butterfly. Pictured: Erythrochiton brasiliensis (top), Catalpa longissima (below)


Suriana maritimaChiococca parvifolia, pineland snowberry, is a low ground cover with small white flowers and showy white fruits which requires a sunny, dry location. Eragrostis elliottii, Elliott's lovegrass, is a low, clump-forming grass, often two feet tall or less. In the summer and fall, its masses of tiny flower stems produce an airy, cloud-like haze above the fine leaves. Ipomoea alba, moonflower, is a native vine with heart-shaped leaves and large, bright white evening opening flowers, whose fragrance attracts pollinating moths. Picramnia pentandra, bitterbush, is a shrub or small tree, which once grew in the coastal hammocks of Miami but is now considered endangered in Florida due to loss of habitat. The female plants produce showy, pendent clusters of small red to black fruit. With its upright, dense growth habit, it can fit nicely into a sunny or shaded garden. Rayjacksonia phyllocephala, camphor daisy, is a perennial with masses of showy yellow flowers, native to the Florida Keys, where it is found in pine rocklands and near the coast. Suriana maritima, bay cedar, is a fine textured, spreading shrub native to the coastal counties of central and southern Florida. Small yellow flowers are nestled among the yellow-green, downy leaves. When exposed to constant wind, such as that of the rocky shoreline of the Florida Keys, it may become sculpted into interesting shapes. We will be offering many of the native stoppers: Eugenia axillaris, white stopper; Eugenia confusa, red berry stopper; Eugenia foetida, Spanish stopper; and Eugenia rhombea, red stopper. They provide food for wildlife and can be grown in full sun to shade; none require irrigation or fertilizers once established.Also being offered: Prunus myrtifolia, West Indian cherry, an excellent bird-attracting tree; Reynosia septentrionalis, darling plum, a shrub to small tree with a full rounded growth habit; and Jacquemontia pentanthos, sky-blue clustervine.


We will be selling several select cultivars of begonias, beautiful but durable anthuriums and vines such as Stephanotis floribunda and Congea tomentosa (shower of orchids vine). Pictured: Stephanotis floribunda (top), Begonia cultivars (below)


Photos: Mary Collins, Suzanne Kores

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