2007 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 horticulture staff have observed, evaluated, and introduced beautiful, interesting, and diverse trees, shrubs, vines and groundcovers to the community. A concerted effort has been made 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 is an emphasis on uncommonly available or rare native species as well as introducing more common native plants to members who want to establish their own backyard natural habitats to attract butterflies, birds and other wildlife. Plants from other lands have been observed, monitored and carefully chosen to add to the assortment of plant choices for home gardens.

While you may purchase up to four of the Distribution 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'll be available to advise you on site selection, planting and growing. All FTBG members should receive a trifold mailer within the next few weeks.

General Information

  • The Members' Day Plant Sale is for Fairchild members only.
  • Unfortunately, members' guests may not purchase plants.
  • Location: the Palmetum, south of the Cycad Circle.
  • Please park in the Lowlands. Enter through the North Entrance, drive to the Lowlands parking field, watch for signs. There will be shuttle service between the Lowlands parking, the Visitor Center parking and the plant sales area. The parking lot will open at 8:00 a.m. You may park your car and walk up to the Cycad Vista to wait in line until opening at 9:00 a.m.
  • You must show your membership card to purchase plants.
  • You must show your membership card and your distribution list to purchase distribution plants.
  • Each membership may purchase up to four distribution plants - limit one per species. These plants will be located in Plot 117 in numerical order according to their placement on the distribution list (see below) and handed out to members by staff and volunteers. The number of sale plants that may be purchased is unlimited, except for those plants with blue tags, which are limited to one per species.
  • The sale plants will be located in the Palmetum (Plot 119) and the west end of Plot 117.
  • We suggest that you bring a container, wagon or cart to carry your purchases to your vehicle. There will be plant valets to help you.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot pre-sell, ship or hold plants for members unable to attend.


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

Distribution List

  1. Zamia picta.................................................................................$30.00
  2. Coffea arabica bronze leaf.............................................................20.00
  3. Portlandia latifolia..........................................................................25.00
  4. Clusia lanceolata...........................................................................20.00
  5. Canella winterana..........................................................................20.00
  6. Brunfelsia plicata...........................................................................20.00
  7. Portlandia coccinea X grandiflora 'Mary's Blush'............................35.00
  8. Cryosophila stauracantha..............................................................30.00
  9. Copernicia alba............................................................................30.00
  10. Forestiera segregata......................................................................18.00
  11. Cnidoscolus chayamansa...............................................................18.00
  12. Adenium obesum..........................................................................18.00

Click on photos to enlarge

Zamia picta is a rare cycad native to rainforests of Central America. Small, random "splashes" of yellow highlight the amazing eight-foot long, blue green leaves. The erect crown of leaves emerge from a short trunk. This species should be grown in a shady, moist location. (It is growing in the Conservatory).

Coffea arabica bronze leaf form is a relative of one of the true coffee species used in the coffee we consume. 70% of the word's production of coffee is C. arabica. Seeds of this bronze leaf form were donated to FTBG by Dr. Bruce McAlpin who originally got his plant years ago from Bob Wilson, owner of Las Cruces Botanical Garden in Costa Rica. This is a 7-8' tall shrub with deep bronze tinted leaves. The showy clusters of white flowers have a jasmine-like fragrance and are produced usually 7-10 days after rain during our spring or early summer. This coffee prefers protection from intense sun and requires acid soil. Due to our very alkaline soils in South Florida, we recommend that you grow this plant in a container with acid soil. You can have your very own "real live, pot of coffee". (not in FTBG) 

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. (In FTBG plants are growing in Plots 24, 49, 130, 146).

Chosen as one of the 2007 Fairchild Plants of the Year, Clusia lanceolata is a delightful shrub or small tree 8-10' tall from the sandy coastal regions of Brazil known as "restingas". It was introduced to South Florida by noted USDA researcher and Fairchild Research Associate Alan Meerow. The white, waxy 6-petaled flowers have a distinctive ring of wine-red markings around the center. These 2-inch wide flowers appear all year. The distinctive fruits are round and crowned with a circle of black glands. When ripe, the fruit opens to disclose seeds covered with orange-red arils. Well adapted to our growing conditions, it thrives in sun or partial shade with minimal irrigation requirements. It can be maintained as a smaller specimen with judicious pruning or allowed to fill a larger space. As a container plant, it will provide a unique highlight to a patio collection. (In FTBG four plants are growing in Plot 49).

Canella winterana, wild cinnamon bark, is native to South Florida, the Bahamas and the West Indies. This small to medium sized evergreen tree reaches 25' tall, with a dense crown of glossy, dark green leaves. Clusters of small, dark red, fragrant flowers appear in spring through summer, followed by small, velvety red fruits, which ripen during winter and early spring. The dark red flowers and fruit nestled among the glossy green leaves are lovely. Birds eat the colorful fruit. Wild cinnamon bark grows well in full sun to shade and is moderately salt and drought tolerant. (Plants in FTBG are growing in Plots 51 and 153).

Brunfelsia plicata is a small, erect 8' shrub endemic to Jamaica. The sturdy, dark green leaves make a fine background for the showy white flowers. Appearing in profusion several times during the year, the flowers produce a fantastic, spicy, clove-like fragrance during the evening and early morning hours. Stems of this shrub tend to be upright, but the uppermost ends of the branches may cascade down, giving the plant a vase-like shape. It is best grown in a location exposed to morning sun and afternoon shade. Once established, no additional irrigation is required. (Plants in FTBG are located in Plots 27 and 52). 

Portlandia coccinea X grandiflora 'Mary's Blush' is a hybrid cross between the red flowering P. coccinea and the white flowering P. grandiflora. The flowers on this hybrid are a beautiful shade of pink. 'Mary's Blush' is a shrub that will grow to about 5-8' tall and may be planted in light shade to full sun. We will have only 35 plants of this available at Members' Day. (None are growing in FTBG).




Chosen as one of the 2007 Fairchild Plants of the Year, Cryosophila stauracantha is certainly the most cold-hardy member of the genus and has proven very easy to grow in South Florida. The palmate leaves are exceptionally silver on the undersides and a deep green above. The curious spines that grow along the stem are actually modified roots; however, their function is not fully understood. This species grows naturally in lowland rainforest in Guatemala and dry forest in Mexico which makes it a versatile landscaping subject. It can tolerate full sun but looks best in light shade. Like most palms, the root spine palm requires good drainage. It is a moderate to fast grower, eventually reaching 30' in height. The beautiful inflorescences are pendulous with loads of creamy-white flowers. Mature fruit are white. (Plants in FTBG are growing in Plots 112, 133, and 143).

Copernicia alba, sometimes called caranday wax palm, is native to South America. It is a single trunk species with blue to silver green leaves. The leaves have a thin, waxy coating. The old leaf bases create an attractive pattern on the trunk as it grows older. It is a fast growing species, sometimes to 60' tall and is happiest in a sunny location. It is believed to be one of the most cold hardy Copernicias. Once established, no additional irrigation is needed. (Plants in FTBG are growing in plots 82, 101C, 107 and 113).

Forestiera segregata, Florida privet, is native to hammocks, pine rocklands, and coastal areas of South Florida, the West Indies, and Central America. It is a shrub to small tree up to 20' tall with fine leaves and many branches forming a dense crown. Small white flowers are produced in the winter and early spring. We have seen the rare Atala butterflies visiting the flowers. The small dark blue to purple fruits are relished by birds. Florida privet is a great choice to encourage wildlIfe to visit your garden. (Plants in FTBG are growing in Plots 3B, 29, 164, 176A, 176B).

Cnidoscolus chayamansa, chaya, is a little known leafy green vegetable of dry regions of the tropics. Chaya is a large leafy shrub reaching a height of about 6-8'. For many years, chaya has been recommended as a source of protein, calcium, iron, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and ascorbic acid for use in the tropics. The dark green leaves are alternate, simple, slick surfaced with some hairs and palmately lobed. The use of gloves during harvesting is suggested to protect the hands from the hairs. Leaves and young stems are cooked. Large leaves can be cut into manageable pieces before cooking. Leaves may be immersed in water and simmered for 20 minutes and then served with oil or butter. Chaya is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, calcium, and iron. However, raw chaya leaves are highly poisonous. They contain a high content of hydrocyanic acid. In this respect, chaya is similar to cassava. With chaya, five minutes of boiling destroys most of the acid. Cooked leaves may be used as a wrap with meat or rice inside. Chaya prefers a sunny or lightly shaded location. Once established, no irrigation is necessary. As an added bonus, butterflies visit the flowers! (None are growing in FTBG).

Adenium obesum, desert-rose, is native to dry areas of Africa, including Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Our plants are seedlings, showing some variation in flower colors from dark red and white to rose-pink. A member of the Apocynaceae family, desert-rose is a succulent shrub with an interesting swollen base. It is easily grown in a sunny, well drained location. Desert-rose is also an excellent container plant, thriving in a sunny hot location and is extremely drought tolerant. (Plants in FTBG are growing in Plots 31 and 135).

2007 Members' Day Sale Plants

In addition to the Distribution Plants for 2007, the following specially selected sale plants will be offered. Most may be purchased in whatever quantities you wish; those with blue tags are limited to one per membership. 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. If this is your first Members' Day Plant Sale, my advice is to come early. We open parking in the lowlands at 8:00 am. Once parked, you may walk or ride a shuttle to the Cycad Vista where the lines form. Many people bring their own plant cart or wheelbarrow. We will have plant valets to assist you.

Pinus elliottii  var. densa is our South Florida slash pine. It grows on thin limestone soils in pine rocklands in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. South Florida slash pine is a tall (to 50') fast growing tree with open branching. Cones are usually produced beginning at the age of ten years. This pine must have full sun all day, excellent drainage and no disturbance to their root systems. Ahhhh, the smell of pine on a warm summer day!

Chromolaena odorata, Jack-in-the-bush, is a shrub native to South Florida. Clusters of fragrant white flowers appear in the late summer to fall. In Fairchild, our Jack-in-the-bush has attracted Long Tailed Skipper, Horace's Duskywing and Atala butterflies. It may be grown in full sun to light shade.

Nashia inaguensis, known as Moujean tea, is a Bahamian shrub to 8' tall. Small fragrant white flowers are nestled among the tiny, shiny leaves. After flowering, small orange colored fruit are produced. It is an excellent shrub for a sunny, dry location. We have noticed the rare Atala and Malachite butterflies feeding on the nectar of the flowers. This plant can also be pruned and trained as a Bonsai.


Guaiacum officinale, native to continental Tropical America and the West Indies, is known as lignum vitae or tree of life. This species, although not native to Florida, is similar to our native Guaiacum sanctum. It will grow faster than our native species, eventually developing into a tree to 30' tall with beautiful mottled green trunks. Blue to pale blue flowers appear in spring, followed by orange-yellow fruit. Grow in full sun to light shade.

Anthurium crenatum hybrid has 3-4' long, leathery leaves with slightly scalloped or wavy margins. It is a large, lovely birds'-nest anthurium perfect for a container or tucked into the landscape in a location protected from intense afternoon sun.

Stephanotis floribunda, known as bridal wreath, has dark green leathery leaves which contrast with the fragrant white flowers. This species is a well behaved vine, not growing too fast or heavy and easy to keep trimmed and shaped. It should receive occasional irrigation and be kept a little drier in the winter. Stephanotis blooms nearly year round with heaviest flowering in the spring. This vine may be grown in full sun to light shade.

Morus nigra 'Kampong Sweet' is a clone of black mulberry that becomes a large tree. The large black fruit are sweet and delicious. These sale plants were grown from cuttings from a tree on the Kampong property (formerly Dr. David Fairchild's home) which were donated to Fairchild by Larry Schokman, former Director of the Kampong. This clone is very vigorous and will produce the delicious fruit several times during our rainy season. The tree is briefly deciduous in late winter.

Xylosma bahamensis is an attractive shrub or small tree to 20', native to the northern Bahamas. It has dense foliage with a holly-like appearance. The leaves are small and sharply pointed like holly with a glossy green color. The fruits are small, red, inedible berries that ripen during our 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.

Sophora tomentosa, known as necklace pod, is a shrub 6-10' tall. It is native to South Florida, the Keys and the West Indies. The dark green pinnate leaves are pubescent and nearly white on their lower surface. Yellow flowers are produced on spikes 6-10" long. The seed pod is brown with constrictions between each seed. Necklace pod seeds are poisonous. The necklace pod is salt tolerant and best suited to a sunny location.

Chambeyronia macrocarpa, native to moist areas throughout New Caledonia, is one of our most admired palms. It is a slow growing species with a single sturdy trunk, a prominent crownshaft and large pinnate leaves. When a new leaf expands, it is bright red, slowly turning green. The fruit are bright red. This palm grows best in a lightly shaded, moist location. These plants will be blue tagged at the sale; just one per membership due to the rarity and small number of plants available. 

Mimosa martin-delcampoi, native to Mexico, is a shrub to 8' tall with upright stems and leaves which emerge red, gradually becoming green. The individual flowers are made up of many bright pink stamens which gradually fade to white on 12" long panicles. This mimosa may be grown in full sun to light shade.

Iris domestica, known as blackberry lily, is a beautiful, upright herbaceous perennial in the Iris family. Blackberry lily has strap-like leaves to 18" long borne on short, upright stems no more than about 2' tall. Throughout the warm months, bright orange-yellow flowers are produced and fill the landscape with their warm color. Individual flowers last a day or two but new ones come out the next day during the bloom period. Blackberry lily grows well in light shade with occasional irrigation.


Microsorum scolopendrium, known as wart fern, is a great goundcover for areas that are not exposed to full sun all day. Once established, no irrigation is required. This fern spreads easily by above ground rhizomes. The lobed leaves are held upright and up to 1' long. Although not always available in nurseries, just a few plants will eventually fill a large area. The result is a compact, very dense mass of bright green, erect leaves, creating interesting textures and color in the landscape. This is an excellent choice for planting under groups of palms.

X Ruttyruspolia 'Phyllis Van Heeden', a shrub to 6' tall, is a natural bigeneric hybrid from South Africa. It produces lovely pink flowers from fall through spring.


Asclepias curassavica, milkweed, is a magnet for the beautiful Monarch and Queen butterflies. The orange and yellow flowers provide nectar for the adults and the leaves provide food for the larvae.


Plot map of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden  (Click on to enlarge)

Updated 2/15/08