2002 Spring Plant Sale

April 27, 2002
9:00 to 9:30 a.m. - Garden Members Only
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Open to the Public

Spring means flowers and our Spring Sale is a wonderful opportunity to purchase plants for your garden. The plants offered are all well-adapted to local growing conditions. Look for an extensive selection from the Garden¹s nurseries and local plant societies. Fairchild staff and plant society members will advise you on your selections. Highlights are described below. 

  • Location: the Palmetum, south of the Cycad Circle.
  • Parking is available in the lowland meadows. Enter through the first driveway north of the Garden; watch for signs.
  • Your membership card must be presented before you may purchase plants from 9 to 9:30 a.m.
  • There will be "plant valets" to help you move your purchases to convenient plant loading areas. 
  • You must be at the sale in person. We can not ship or hold plants for members or non-members unable to attend. 

The Spring Plant Sale is sponsored in part by Plantadvice.com. 

(Native habitat in parentheses) Garden plot numbers follow.


Calyptranthes zuzygium, myrtle-of-the-river, is a shrub to small tree with fragrant white flowers appearing in the spring, followed by blue fruits. This species may be used as a screen or planted singly and shaped into a small tree. Rare in south Florida, myrtle-of-the-river, may be grown in light shade to full sun. (hammocks)

Coccothrinax argentata, Florida silver palm, is worth growing just for the leaves alone. The deeply divided palmate leaves are silver on their lower surface, which shimmer in the sunlight and moonlight when gently wafting breezes blow. Silver palm is slow growing, with some individuals flowering and fruiting when under 1' in height. This species is native to some of the harshest environments of south Florida, the pine rocklands, where soil is scarce and the hot sun relentless. Silver palm, once established, is an excellent choice for a sunny, dry location in a prominent location where this terrific native palm can be fully appreciated. (pine lands, coastal) 

Coreopsis leavenworthii, common tickseed, is one of south Florida's most delightful wild flowers. The cheery yellow blossoms brighten any sunny location. Plants may be trimmed after flowering to encourage more blooms. Re-seeds easily. (pine lands, marshes)

Forestiera segregata, Florida privet, is a shrub reaching ten feet, with axillary pale yellow flowers. Female plants produce dark blue fruits, a favorite food for birds. (pine lands) Plot 154.

Psychotria sulzneri, velvet-leafed wild coffee, is a shrub with velvety leaves that set off clusters of greenish-white flowers and bright red fruits. Butterflies, such as the zebra longwing, visit the flowers. Birds eat the colorful fruit. (hammocks)

Randia aculeata, white indigoberry, is a shrub related to gardenia, with small fragrant white flowers and marble-sized white fruits with a dark blue-purple pulp. Easily grown in sun or light shade, the indigoberry is a sturdy plant for dry locations. (Pine lands, hammocks)

Reynosia septentrionalis, darling plum, is a durable shrub to small tree. Native to coastal locations, pine rocklands and rockland hammocks, darling plum is an ideal choice for the seafront, a sunny location or in the shade of other trees. Also known as red ironwood, its wood is very hard, strong and dark brown in color. The dark purple to black fruits have thin, edible sweet flesh. (coastal, hammocks)


Brunfelsia densifolia, Serpentine hill rain tree, is a beautiful shrub endemic to Puerto Rico. Eventually forming a dense shrub to small tree, this plant has narrow dark green leaves, forming a perfect background for the yellow, tubular flowers, appearing year round but most prolifically during the spring and summer. The serpentine hill rain tree, has proven to be a most worthy addition to our south Florida gardening palette.

Casearia nitida, smooth casearia, is a small, conical shaped tree native to the Caribbean. This species produces masses of white flowers each spring. The glossy new leaves appear after flowering. Yellow fruits split open to expose orange seeds during the summer. The neat, conical form and glistening leaves create an interesting feature in the landscape. Once established, no additional irrigation is required. Smooth casearia may be grown in full sun to light shade. West side of plot 164. Photo: Copyright Kirsten Llamas.

Couroupita guianensis, the cannon ball tree, is one of our most unique showy flowering trees. Native to South America, this tropical tree has been one of the most admired in Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Seedlings grown from our mature 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 cannon ball tree for your own garden. This species is a large tree and requires a sunny location. Plot 137

Petrea volubilis, known as Queen's wreath, produces masses of blue to purple flowers in spring and during other dry periods as well. Queen's wreath, reminiscent of wisteria, thrives in a hot, sunny location. This vine may be grown on a trellis, fence, or wall or trimmed as a scrambling shrub with no support. Courtyard between Garden Shop and Garden House Auditorium, and plots 2 & 4-along Old Cutler Road at Vine Pergola.


Brassiophoenix drymophloeoides, native to New Guinea, is a small, slow-growing palm with a solitary trunk, rarely reaching more than 15 feet tall. Attractive, dark-green, wedge-shaped leaflets are spaced evenly on six-foot long pinnate leaves. Clusters of bright yellow fruits are produced below the crownshaft. Grow in partial shade; protect from cold. Previously thought to be B. schumannii, this species differs in having five-lobed seeds. It is from southeastern Papua New Guinea. (B. schumannii has nine-lobed seeds and is found in western Papua New Guinea.) Plot 131.

Chamaedorea glaucifolia is native to southern Mexico. Its slender, dark green, solitary trunk measures only one to two inches in diameter, but it can grow to more than 15 feet tall. Delicate pinnate leaves of  four to six feet ascend towards the forest canopy. Very slender, glaucous green leaflets grow in many directions along the rachis, giving a plumose effect. Female plants produce black fruits on an orange infructescence. This species should be grown in a shaded, moist location. Several planted as a group, add a gossamer texture to the garden. Plot 149.

Coccothrinax  proctorii, Proctor's silver palm, a native of the Cayman Islands, has palmate leaves that are silver on their lower surface. Faster growing than our native silver palm, this species is also very drought and salt tolerant. Mature height 20-25 feet. Plot 65 


Averrhoa carambola, carambola or star fruit, is a member of the Oxalidaceae family. It was introduced into Florida more than 100 years ago from Southeast Asia. The carambola should be classed as tropical and sub-tropical because mature trees can tolerate freezing temperatures for short periods, and are adapted to hot, humid areas. The tree needs full sun. In Florida fruits can be found through the year but the main crop usually matures from late summer to early winter depending of the cultivar. We recommend the cultivar 'B10' which is a small tree with sweet fruit and excellent production. The fruits naturally fall to the ground when fully ripe. Fruit color changes from green to yellow, carambolas should be picked when fully yellow to assure good eating quality. Ripe carambolas are eaten out-of-hand, sliced and served in salads, or used as garnish on avocado or seafood. They are also cooked in tarts, curries and rices. The Chinese cook carambolas with fish. A relish may be made of chopped unripe fruits combined with celery, vinegar and spices. Carambola juice is served as a cooling beverage. In Hawaii, the juice of sour fruits is mixed with gelatin, sugar and boiling water to make sherbet. Carambolas are good sources of vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium. Plot 3A.

Litchi chinensis, Lychee, is among the best trees for South Florida landscapes. 'Bengal' reaches 30 feet, bearing crops of delicious fruit occasionally. 

Spondias purpurea 'Nicaragua Red', the Spanish plum or red mombin, is indigenous to tropical America, where it forms an integral part of everyday life. The 'Nicaragua Red' is a superior large-fruited selection with excellent appearance and flavor. The flesh is orange, juicy and mildly acid. The tree stays small, and fits well into xeriscapes. 

Eugenia luschnathiana, pitomba, is from Brazil, forming a small tree with narrow, dark-green leaves, and a spectacular  peach colored trunk with peeling bark. The fruit are bright orange-yellow, about one inch in diameter, with a small seed. The fruit is excellent eaten out of hand or in preserves and juices. Plot 46 


Also available at the sale will be aquatic plants of all kinds, including floating types, emergents (those with leaves held above the water), and water lilies. No pond to grow them in? You'll find that many will thrive in large, waterproof containers. Founder's Court, Plot 72, 122.  






Flaveria linearis (yellowtop), Gaura angustifolia (southern bee blossom), Sisyrinchium (blue-eyed grass) pictured at left, Gaillardia (blanket flower) 







Begonia spp., Clerodendrum thomsoniae (bleeding heart vine), Sabinea carinalis, (Carib wood), Stephanotis floribunda (bridal bouquet) pictured at left, grows next to main entrance, Strongylodon macrobotrys (jade vine) Plot 7-Vine Pergola, 134, 131


Copernicia macroglossa (petticoat palm), Copernicia hospita, Chelyocarpus chuco (pictured at left), and some other very special plants in very limited quantities.

Photos: Richard Campbell, Mary Collins, Suzanne Kores, Kirsten Llamas

Become a Garden member and enjoy one of the exclusive benefits - Early Admission to the Spring Plant Sale