2008 Members' Day Plant Sale

Annually during the past 70 years, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has distributed plants to Fairchild members for use in the South Florida gardens and landscapes. Once again the time has arrived for Garden members to enjoy an exclusive benefit of membership. 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, are 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. The Distribution Plants have been grown in larger quantities than the other sale plants and are carefully selected for this program. 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 these very special plants.

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 sale plants and 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 sale plants will be located in the Palmetum in Plot 119 and the west end of Plot 117. 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.
  • 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. Anthurium plowmanii................................$20.00
  2. Anthurium watermaliense............................20.00
  3. Strongylodon macrobotrys.........................30.00
  4. Solandra grandiflora...................................20.00
  5. Kentiopsis oliviformis.................................35.00
  6. Pinanga coronata.......................................30.00
  7. Coccothrinax argentata..............................30.00
  8. Stemmadenia litoralis.................................20.00
  9. Alvaradoa amorphoides.............................16.00
  10. Puya mirabilis............................................16.00
  11. Calliandra surinamensis..............................22.00
  12. Exostema caribaeum..................................22.00
  13. Jacaranda caerulea....................................22.00


Anthurium plowmanii is a very distinctive and beautiful bird's nest anthurium. It ranges from western and northern Brazil into Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay where it is commonly found in dry forest zones. It is an epiphytic or epilithic species. For those unfamiliar with botanical terms, an epiphyte is a plant that normally grows attached to another plant, in this case on the branches of a tree. An epilithic species is one capable of growing attached to stone. The leaves of Anthurium plowmanii can grow as long as 3 feet. The leaves spread laterally in a rosette fashion. The blades of Anthurium plowmanii are distinctive in that they possess wavy leaf margins. The upper surface of the leaf is matte to semi-glossy in appearance. Although a variable species with a variety of forms, the blade should be dark green in color with the underside appearing matte to only slightly glossy. (not in FTBG) 104 plants available

Anthurium watermaliense is an easy to grow birds-nest anthurium native to Central and South America where it may be found growing from sea level to over 5000'. The large, sturdy heart-shaped leaves to 2 feet long, dark purple inflorescence and bright orange fruit create a beautiful plant for container culture or planting in a well drained shady, moist location. (Conservatory) 120 plants available


Strongylodon macrobotrys, commonly known as jade vine, is native to the Philippines. The jade vine produces spectacular hanging clusters 2 to 3 feet or more long of jade green to blue green flowers February to May. This fast growing vine needs a pergola, a tree to grow upon, or some means of support.  Jade vine is the star of Fairchild's vine pergola when it is in bloom. (Vine Pergola) 50 plants available

Solandra grandiflora, commonly called chalice vine, is a vine with huge, very showy, bell shaped flowers 8 to 10 inches long which open a pale yellow and become golden yellow with narrow purplish stripes on the inside of each petal. At night the flowers have a coconut fragrance. Native to the West Indies, chalice vine needs support to grow on a strong fence, wall, or may be allowed to scramble on the ground. Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institution, Richard A. Howard Photograph collection. (Plot 8) 65 plants available


Kentiopsis oliviformis is a rare and beautiful palm endemic to New Caledonia. It has upright, pinnate leaves 10 to 12 feet long with lush, broad dark green leathery leaflets. The prominent crownshaft is covered with a pale tomentum which eventually wears off to expose a rich dark green hue. The grey-green ringed trunk may grow to 50 feet tall. The creamy colored flowers are followed by bright red fruits. This species has proven to be a wonderful palm for south Florida gardens. Plant it in full sun and provide space for this fast growing spectacular palm. (Plots 102, 49, 50) 40 plants available 

Pinanga coronata, ivory cane palm, is native to Java and Sumatra. It is a handsome, clustering species with ivory-hued crownshafts and leaf stems. Showy bright pink inflorescences with black fruit are produced among the broad pinnate mottled leaves. New leaves emerge with reddish mottling. A wonderful palm for south Florida, it should be grown in a shady, moist location. The ivory cane palm will also grow beautifully in a container on a shady patio. (Plot 132 - rainforest) 130 plants available

Coccothrinax argentata, known as silver palm, was selected as a 2008 Fairchild Plant of the Year. Watch Coccothrinax argentata as the undersides of its deep green leaves flash metallic silver and you will know why it is one of Florida's native gems. It is small but perfectly proportioned, with a five foot wide canopy of fan leaves sitting atop a trunk that is six inches thick. In late summer, two-foot long spikes laden with hundreds of small creamy-white flowers hang down from within the canopy. Small pearl-sized fruits follow the flowers, changing color from green to dark purplish black. Silver palm is a small, slow growing palm perfect as a specimen plant in a patio garden. It will thrive in a hot, sunny location. Salt spray is no problem either, as C. argentata grows naturally along the coastline. The only thing that can kill it is too much shade and water. (Plots 176, 107) 100 plants available

Stemmadenia litoralis, native to Mexico to northwestern Colombia, is a wonderful choice for south Florida landscapes. Known as the milky-way tree, it is a small tree to 20 feet tall with a multi-layered canopy and paired oval leaves, dark green, about 6 inches long. It produces tubular white wonderfully fragrant flowers, throughout the year. When in full bloom, perfume fills the air with a soft fragrance. Flowers will cover the branches, pure white against the dark green glossy leaves, and carpet the ground with fallen, fragrant blossoms. A member of the Apocynaceae family, milky-way tree has small orange colored fruits, often appearing in pairs and about 3 inches long. The milky-way tree will bloom in a shady or sunny location. It is salt tolerant and grows well in our alkaline soils. Once established, no supplementary irrigation is needed. (Plot 47) 115 plants available

Alvaradoa amorphoides, Mexican alvaradoa, is listed as endangered by the state of Florida. It is native to 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. (Plot 43) 125 plants available

Puya mirabilis, is a lovely, petite Puya from Bolivia. The silver-green foliage is slender and grass-like. It does have spines, but they don't hurt if you brush against them, only if you were to run a bare hand down along a blade. It tops out at about 2' tall and offsets freely. The blooms are on graceful, 3' tall stalks with many flowers per stalk. The flowers are a really neat chartreuse color that contrasts nicely with the dark grey calyx. Puyas have some of the most unusual flowers in the bromeliad family and Puya mirabilis is no exception, with greenish, scented flowers. (Plot 32B) 64 plants available

Calliandra surinamensis, pink powderpuff, is native to northern South America. It is a shrub or small, tree with a vase-shaped habit to 10 feet tall and 10 feet wide. The fragrant flowers with showy pink and white stamens appear most heavily during winter and spring with additional flowering throughout the year. Pink powderpuff may be planted in full sun to light shade. (Plot 44)  80 plants available

Exostema caribaeum, known as princewood, is native to the Florida Keys, Bahamas, Central America, and the West Indies. Endangered in Florida, it is a small tree, seldom reaching 20 feet tall. Princewood has bright green recurved leaves and produces showy white flowers during our spring and summer months. Small woody capsules contain tiny winged seeds. This "prince" of a small tree is drought tolerant and grows best in full sun to light shade. This is the first time Fairchild has offered this rare tree. If you are a native plant officianado, this is a tree you must have in your own garden. Princewood is small enough to fit in either a tiny yard or large estate. Photo by Roger Hammer. 75 plants available

Jacaranda caerulea is native to the Bahamas. It is a smaller tree than the more commonly grown Jacaranda mimosaefolia and with more bold, shiny foliage. It is one of the most attractive ornamental trees native to the Bahamas with its panicles of blue-violet flowers appearing throughout late spring and summer. The crown is more narrow and upright than the more common Jacaranda, making it a great choice for small yards. This species prefers a sunny location and thrives in the soils of south Florida. Its furrowed bark makes this tree an excellent place to put epiphytic orchids and bromeliads among the branches. (Plot 164) 100 plants available


In addition to the Distribution Plants for 2008, 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. My advice is to come early to get the best selection. 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. The sale opens at 9:00 a.m. Many people bring their own plant cart or wheelbarrow. We will have plant valets to assist you.


Caesalpinia pulcherrima, commonly called dwarf poinciana or pride of Barbados, is a shrub, 6 to 12 feet tall with showy clusters of yellow, orange or red flowers at the ends of the upright branches. Our selection produces 8 to 12" long clusters of orange flowers. Native to tropical America, this species is extremely drought tolerant. Grow in full sun for best flowering. (Plot 50)

Hamelia cuprea, known as Bahama firebush, is a shrub to small tree native to the Cayman Islands, Cuba and Jamaica. It has interesting glossy curled leaves and bright yellow to yellow-orange flowers with orange streaks nearly all year. As the flowers age, their exterior portion becomes red. Grow in full sun to light shade. Bahama firebush is very drought tolerant once established. (Plot 14)

Russelia sp. was originally collected near the town of San Carlos in the Sierra Chiquita in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico in the 1990's. Several years ago, Craig Allen, our Conservatory Manager at the time, purchased three plants from Yucca Do Nursery. This species has proven to be a wonderful, everblooming border plant. Bright red flowers are produced on slender, arching stems. Hummingbirds visit the showy flowers. This plant will spread by rooting and forming new plants at the tips of the arching canes. It may be grown in full sun to light shade. (Plot 44)

Heterospathe elmeri is native to rainforest areas of the Philippines. It has a beautiful crown of pinnate leaves 6 to 8 feet long. This species grows to about 25 feet tall with a lush, full crown of delicately arching leaves. (In front of the Conservatory)


Passiflora suberosa, corkystemmed passion flower, is one of our best native plants for attracting butterflies to your garden. This vine may be grown as a ground cover or allowed to climb upon a low structure or shrubs. It is the larval host plant for gulf fritillary, julia and zebra longwing butterflies who linger around this vine, searching for new growth to lay their eggs. Birds will visit this vine to eat the tiny dark purple fruits. The corkystemmed passion flower may be grown in full sun to light shade. Pictured is a Zebra longwing laying eggos on a passion flower. (Butterfly garden) 

 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. (Plot 176 - pineland)

Pavonia bahamensis, 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. Two years ago, 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)

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. (Plots 113, 82)


Michelia champaca, native to Southeast Asia, is an evergreen tree reaching 25 feet tall. It is an attractive plant, with a smooth gray trunk, wavy, glossy leaves up to ten inches long and pale orange to yellow flowers which perfume the air, especially at night. The showy fruits have red seeds. In champaca's native area, it is often planted near temples and its wood is carved by Hindus into statues of Buddha and into beads. In Malaya and other parts of Asia, the flowers of champaca are strung into necklaces, worn in the hair and made into perfume. (Plot 19)

Nashia inaguensis, commonly called Moujean tea, is a shrub to 8 feet tall native to the Bahamas. It is much branched, with tiny leaves that are aromatic when crushed. The young stems are red, becoming gray-brown. The tiny, fragrant white flowers are followed by small orange fruits nestled among the glossy leaves. We have found that the Atala butterflies and many others find Moujean tea hard to resist when in bloom. Grow in full sun. It is very drought tolerant once established. (Butterfly garden, Plot 49)



Neomarica caerulea, 2004 Fairchild Plant of the Year, is a tropical iris from Brazil with long, strap-shaped leaves forming a fan shape similar to temperate irises. Large, fragrant blue flowers appear every few days during 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. Neomarica caerulea tolerates a wide range of soil and light conditions. (Plot 130)


One of our 2008 Fairchild Plants of the Year, Myrcianthes fragrans, Simpson's stopper, is a native of hammocks of south Florida and tropical America. This shrub or small tree grows to 20 feet tall. It makes a great hedge and is a low maintenance alternative to the commonly used ficus hedge. Simpson's stopper's silvery gray to warm brown bark naturally peels to reveal a smooth burnished copper colored inner layer. Crush the small, slightly leathery leaves and you will discover a pleasant aroma. Fragrant little white flowers are produced intermittently through the spring and summer. Showy red-orange fruit provide food for several bird species. Simpson's stopper will have a dense branching habit if grown in full sun. When grown in shade, the foliage is less dense and the trunk displays its attractive, smooth, exfoliating bark. Plant one near a feeder or bird bath for shy birds such as painted buntings and cardinals to use as a safe haven. (Plot 3 near Gatehouse)

Byrsonima lucida, locust berry, is native to pinelands and hammocks of south Florida. The new leaves on this shrub to small tree reaching 15 feet emerge a beautiful shade of mahogany red. Locust berry has clusters of flowers in the spring. These flowers turn from white to pink and from pink to crimson with bright yellow stamens. The beautiful colors of the flowers attract butterflies. Green fruits ripen to pinkish brown. Locust berry makes a beautiful, full shrub for a sunny to lightly shaded location. It is both drought tolerant and salt tolerant. Photo by Roger Hammer. (Plot 193, Keys Coastal Habitat)



Tetrazygia bicolor, 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. Butterflies visit the showy white flowers which are produced in large terminal racemes during the summer, followed by black fruits in the late fall. Butterflies visit the flowers. 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. It does not tolerate pruning. (Not in FTBG)

Bourreria cassinifolia, smooth strongbark, is a Florida endangered species native to a few pinelands of south Florida and the Florida Keys. Strongbark is a shrub to 8 feet tall and about 6 feet wide. Small leaves, small white flowers and bright orange fruit attract butterflies to the flowers and birds to the fruit. The fragrance of the flowers is a wonderful, fresh, light but oh so nice perfume. If there was such a thing as smooth strongbark eau de cologne, I would be in line to buy a bottle! This shrub prefers a sunny location and does not require irrigation once established. (Butterfly garden)

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me   mcollins@fairchildgarden.org

Plot map of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

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Page updated 10/06/08