2006 Members' Day Plant Sale

Saturday, October 7, 2006 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

History of Fairchild's Members' Day Plant Sale

Since 1938, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has distributed plants to members for use in the South Florida landscape. Through the years, Fairchild's horticultural staff has observed, evaluated and introduced beautiful, interesting and diverse trees, palms, shrubs, vines and ground covers to the community.

For over 25 years, a concerted effort has been made by Fairchild's Senior Horticulturist, Mary Collins, to identify plants that are well adapted to our climate and soils, non-invasive and will provide a welcome addition to the yards and gardens of South Florida. There has been an emphasis on uncommonly available or rare native species, in addition to introducing more common native plants to members who want to establish their own backyard natural habitats to attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Plants from other lands have been observed, monitored and carefully chosen to add to the palette of plant choices for home gardens.

There are photos below of many of the plants being offered, or look at the mature plants at Fairchild 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, we will be available to advise you on site selection, planting and growing.

General Information

  • Members' Day Plant Sale is for Fairchild members only.
  • Members' guests may not purchase plants.
  • Location: The Palmetum, south of the Cycad Circle
  • Please park in the Lowlands. Enter through the North Entrance; watch for signs. There will be shuttle service between Lowlands parking, the Visitor Center parking and the sales area.
  • You must show your membership card to purchase plants.
  • You must show your membership card and your distribution list (click here for the pdf file) to purchase distribution plants.
  • Each membership may purchase up to four distribution plants. Limit one per species. The number of sale plants that may be purchased is unlimited, except for those with blue tags, which are limited to one per species.
  • Sale plants are separate from distribution plants.
  • We cannot pre-sell, ship or hold plants for members who are unable to attend.

2006 Distribution Plants

You will need your membership card and the distribution list to purchase plants. Each membership may purchase four distribution plants. Limit one per species.

  1. Heliconia angusta 'Holiday' Herbaceous Plant..............$20
  2. Clerodendrum thomsoniae 'Delectum' Vine..................$18
  3. Cyrtostachys renda Palm.............................................$50 large/$30 small
  4. Ptychosperma lineare Palm..........................................$25
  5. Barringtonia racemosa Shrub......................................$20
  6. Brunfelsia nitida Shrub................................................$18
  7. Buddleja davidii Shrub.................................................$18
  8. Jacquinia keyensis Shrub.............................................$18
  9. Pavonia bahamensis Shrub..........................................$18
  10. Tetrazygia bicolor Shrub..............................................$18
  11. Vallesia antillana Shrub................................................$18
  12. Pimenta racemosa Tree................................................$25
  13. Xylosma bahamensis Tree.............................................$18

2006 Members' Day Distribution Plants

Heliconia angusta 'Holiday' (right) is a dwarf lobster claw seldom growing more than 3' tall. The inflorescences, produced from fall through early spring, have beautiful upright red bracts and white flowers. The fruits are bright blue. This petite species may be grown in a container and needs protection from temperatures below 40°. It should be grown in well-draining soil with plenty of moisture. They tolerate light shade to deep shade and can be grown in a screened enclosure or patio. (Conservatory)

Clerodendrum thomsoniae 'Delectum', red bleeding heart vine, (left) has a red flower with a lavender bract behind it. This is one of the few vines that will bloom well in the shade. Our plant at Fairchild flowers all year with heaviest bloom during spring. Leaves are dark green and heart-shaped. The red bleeding heart vine may be planted on a trellis, next to a tree or could be trimmed as a shrub without any support. It may be grown where the plant will get morning sun, lightly shaded or in total shade. (Vine Pergola area)

Cyrtostachys renda, (right) 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. The plants were grown from seed collected by Drs. Scott Zona and Carl Lewis in Malaysia. (Conservatory)

Ptychosperma lineare (left) is a graceful, clustering species from Papua New Guinea that is known mostly for its slender leaflets and white crownshafts. It makes a wonderful landscape specimen and has a tightly packed cluster of thin stems (1") that come out at a slight curve from a single point and gracefully grows up to 25-35'. The lineare palm is best grown in partial shade in a moist location or may be grown in a large container indoors. (Plot 143)

Barringtonia racemosa, freshwater mangrove, (right) is a much-branched shrub to small tree native to Australia, Asia, Polynesia and Africa. This species often grows along rivers or shorelines and spreads by buoyant woody fruit dispersed along the waterway. Young leaves are pinkish green and become lush, shiny green, 8-18" long with slightly scalloped edges. Lightly fragrant flowers are produced on long, pendant racemes. The flowers, with four white petals and showy pink stamens, open at night and fall off by mid-morning the following day. The freshwater mangrove is salt tolerant and will grow best in a sunny, warm, moist location. (Plot 55a)

Brunfelsia nitida, lady-of-the-night, (left) is a shrub 8-10' tall and native to tropical America. The flowers, 4-5" long and trumpet-shaped, are white at first and turn yellow with age. The flowers are also very fragrant at night. 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. (Plots 8, 41c)

Buddleja davidii, butterfly bush, (right) is a shrub 6-12' tall with lance-shaped leaves on arching stems. Showy, fragrant, purple flowers are produced in cone-shaped clusters 8-12" long, sometimes in such profusion that the branches arch more, and give the plant a weeping habit. Flowers are present from spring through fall. This plant is a must have for anyone who wants to attract butterflies. Grow in full sun; pinch off old flower clusters. (Plot 1, South Gate parking area)


Jacquinia keyensis, commonly called Joewood, is native to South Florida, the Keys, the Bahamas and the West Indies. Joewood is a shrub to small tree with 2" long, leathery leaves and fragrant white flowers. As they ripen, the small, pea-sized fruits turn from white to pale orange. It will often have fruit and flowers at the same time. This slow-growing species is rarely grown in cultivation, but its sturdy growth, dense crown of foliage and delightfully fragrant flowers make it an excellent choice for the home landscape. Usually less than 5' and seldom reaching more than 15' tall, it is an attractive shrub for a sunny or lightly shaded location. Joewood is found in a few locations in the pinelands of Everglades National Park, where it grows on limestone rock and is exposed to fire. This is one tough species. (Plots 166 and 22)

Pavonia bahamensis, (right) from the Bahamas, is a shrub to 15' tall. A member of the hibiscus family, it produces small, nectar-filled, yellow-green flowers that hummingbirds find hard to resist. This shrub is best grown in full sun to very light shade. In the Bahamas, pollinators of Pavonia are Bananaquits and Bahama Woodstars. Several years ago, there was a Bananaquit sighted near our Pavonia in the lowlands. Birders from all over the country came to see the rare bird and add it to their life list. Earlier this year, a rare buff-bellied hummingbird was also sighted at Fairchild, feeding on the nectar of our Pavonia bahamensis for a few weeks. Ruby-throated and rufous hummingbirds are the most commonly seen species that visit Pavonia in South Florida. (Plot 26)

Tetrazygia bicolor, (left) one of our most ornamental native shrubs, may be seen in pinelands or persisting in hammocks as a small tree. Distinctive leaves have three to five longitudinal ribs. Young leaves are pink. Showy white flowers are produced in large terminal racemes during the summer, followed by black fruits in the late fall. The fruits are much sought after by birds. It may be grown in full sun to light shade. It is best grown in an area without supplemental irrigation. (Currently not at Fairchild)

Vallesia antillana, or pearlberry, (right) is a dense shrub reaching 8' tall at maturity. It is native to the Florida Keys, Cuba, Jamaica and Hispaniola. Considered endangered in Florida, this enchanting shrub produces white flowers that appear like small stars among the lush, dark green leaves. Elegant pearl-like fruits are produced throughout the warm months. Pearlberry is best grown in light shade and is salt tolerant. (Plot 47)

Pimenta racemosa, (left) the very popular 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 2006. It is a small to medium-sized tree reaching 25' at maturity. It is native to Jamaica. The evergreen leaves, when crushed, emit a wonderful, lemony, bay rum scent. 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. Fifty percent of the trees are lemon-scented; the remaining trees are the true bay rum. This species may be grown in full sun to light shade. (Plot 45)

Xylosma bahamensis (right) is an attractive shrub or small tree to 20' and is native to the northern Bahamas. The tree has dense foliage with a holly-like appearance. The leaves are small and sharply pointed like holly and have a glossy green color. The fruits are small, red inedible berries that ripen in summer. Xylosma grows well in poor, rocky soils and has proven to be a sturdy, wind and salt resistant plant for South Florida. The small leaves and fruit have made this species an excellent bonsai plant. Xylosma can be grown as a shrub or pruned as a formal specimen in full sun to light shade. (Plot 164)


2006 Sale Plants 

Native Plants
In addition to the distribution plants, we will have plants available in limited quantities for sale. We will have several species of plants native to South Florida. Most of our wildflowers also attract butterflies.

We will sell: Coreopsis leavenworthii (tickseed - pictured at right), Passiflora suberosa (corky-stemmed passionflower) and Aster adnatus (clasping aster).

We will also offer some native grasses, including: Eragrostis spectabilis (purple lovegrass), Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) and Leptochloa dubia (green spangletop).

Native trees and shrubs for sale will include: Lantana involucrata (wild sage - pictured left), Citharexylum fruticosum (fiddlewood), the beautiful Guaiacum sanctum (lignum vitae) and Erithalis fruticosa (black torch). We will sell both the white-fruited form and purple-fruited form of American beautyberry, Callicarpa americana. It is relatively maintenance-free and grows easily in full sun or light, dappled shade. Many kinds of birds eat the showy fruits.


We will offer several species of vines, including one of Fairchild's 2006 Plants of the Year, Tecomanthe dendrophila, New Guinea trumpet creeper. This vigorous vine produces clusters of showy pink, trumpet-shaped flowers directly from the old stems.

Another showy flowering vine is Combretum aubletii, monkey's brush (right). This vine has vivid orange-red inflorescences at the tips of the branches.

Another vine for sale is Saritaea magnifica, or glow vine. This vine has showy purple-lavender flowers throughout our dry season. Glow vine can also be maintained as a shrub with regular pruning.

Flowering Shrubs
Flowering shrubs will also be available at the sale.

Jasminum sambac 'Grand Duke of Tuscany' is a double-flowered, sterile form of Arabian jasmine with incredibly fragrant, white flowers during our dry season. This will add an exotic perfume to your garden.

Nashia inaguensis, Moujean tea, is a Bahamian shrub with tiny, shiny leaves, small fragrant creamy white flowers and tiny orange-hued fruit. We have found that the Atala butterflies and many others find Moujean tea hard to resist when in bloom.

X Ruttyruspolia 'Phyllis Van Heeden' is a natural hybrid from South Africa. This shrub produces sprays of pink flowers during our dry season.

Morus nigra, black mulberry, produces a delicious, sweet, black mulberry. These plants are 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. The berries may be eaten fresh or used in jams and pies. Plant in full sun.

Herbaceous Plants
The herbaceous plants for sale include the very popular Iris domestica, (left) known as blackberry lily, a beautiful, upright, grass-like herbaceous perennial in the Iris family. Blackberry Lily has strap-like leaves to 18" long borne on short, upright stems no more than 3' tall. Throughout the warm months, bright orange-yellow flowers are produced and fill the landscape with warm color.

Another iris for sale is Neomarica caerulea, (above) 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, winter and early spring, adding sparkle to the garden. It prefers morning sun and moist, fertile soil.

We will offer Begonia nelumbiifolia, one of the sturdiest and well-adapted begonias for South Florida. Lilypad begonia has large, nearly round leaves and produces profuse white flowers on tall stems from mid-winter through spring. It is so sturdy that we have seedlings appearing on our rock walls in the Bailey Palm Glade and on the edges of the rainforest stream.

We will have Asclepias curassavica, scarlet milkweed, (right) a favorite food for the monarch butterfly. This milkweed is a 3' herbaceous to slightly woody plant that produces showy red-orange to yellow flowers. Cut back the stem periodically to encourage multiple branching. Grow in full sun to light shade. We will sell an undetermined species of birds-nest Anthurium. Its vase-shape is composed of leaves over 3' long and 1' wide. The inconspicuous inflorescence produces showy, wine-red fruit.

Text by Mary Collins/FTBG

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