2013 Spring Plant Sale

Welcome to the 34th Annual Spring Plant Sale. This is the perfect time of the year to plan and plant your garden and home landscape. I work with dedicated propagating volunteers year round to make sure that the plants we offer at the Fairchild sales are interesting, useful, beautiful or rare. Many of the plants we grow for the sale attract butterflies, birds and hummingbirds. All the Fairchild plants in the plant sale area will have signs which give important information regarding the size, needs and uses of each plant. Take a photo of the sign and you will have your own information source! In addition to Fairchild plants, there will be extensive offerings from local plant societies. Our knowledgeable staff and enthusiasts from local plant societies will be available to answer your gardening questions.

Mary Collins, Senior Horticulturist

If you are hoping to take home a rare, unusual or one-of-a-kind plant, you will want to plan an early start as quantities are limited. Location: the Palmetum, south of the Cycad Circle.

  • The sale will take place April 20 & 21, 2013, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm both days
  • Parking is available in the lowland meadows. Enter through the first driveway north of the Garden; watch for signs.
  • There will be "plant valets" to help you move your purchases to convenient plant loading areas but you may want to bring a wagon or cart as well. 
  • You must be at the sale in person. We cannot ship or hold plants for members or non-members unable to attend.

Among the Fairchild plants for sale will be:

 To view the entire list

The 2013 Spring Sale features plants that are both attractive to birds and butterflies and don't need regular irrigation once they are well established. Soon, summer rains will arrive and these plants will add carefree color and charm to your landscape. Among the plants for sale are: 

The 2012 Plant of the Year, Oxera pulchella, native to the dry forests of New Caledonia, is known as royal creeper. Our stunning specimen was planted on the vine pergola in 1996 and has grown to become one of our most spectacular vines. The dark green, shiny leaves provide a perfect background for clusters of luminous white, tubular flowers. A late winter bloomer, royal creeper begins flowering in February and continues through April. It doesn't seem to mind chilly weather, in fact, during our very cold winter of 2010, it was covered with flowers and showed no cold damage. Plant this beauty in full sun to partial shade with a sturdy support.

Glandularia maritima, beach verbena, is a fabulous purple-flowered groundcover. Endemic to peninsular south Florida, it is an endangered species. Beach verbena  typically grows 4 to 12 inches tall and prefers a sunny, dry location. Butterflies visit the nectar-filled flowers.



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. 

Nothing says 'Spring' quite like the sweetly fragrant Brunfelsia uniflora in full bloom! This small shrub, native to Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela, produces flowers which are dark purple and gradually fade to white in a few days. This species has been growing in the arboretum at Fairchild for more than 60 years. It remains small, seldom exceeding 5 feet tall. The heaviest bloom occurs in April and May with sporadic flowering during the summer. This Brunfelsia grows and flowers best in light shade such as under an oak. 

Cananga odorata, the famous ylang-ylang tree, is from India, Southeast Asia and Australia. The oil from the incredibly fragrant, greenish-yellow flowers is widely used in perfumes for oriental or floral themed scents such as Chanel No. 5. Ylang-ylang is a fast-growing tree to 40 feet tall and will flower at a young age. It is known to be brittle and branches break easily so protection from strong winds is necessary. It may be grown in full sun to light shade. 

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. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree to 15 feet tall. The small leaves are on slender branches. Bright yellow-orange flowers cover the stems in masses and appear throughout the year, usually after a rain. The open growth habit of  Jamaica rain tree and its fissured bark make this tree an excellent host for epiphytes. It should be planted in full sun.  

Zamia integrifolia, coontie, is our only native cycad. Once locally abundant in Florida, it is now uncommon and threatened by urban development. Coontie is a small cycad, with much-branched, underground stems and pinnate leaves which may grow to 18 inches tall. 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. Removal of all the old leaves will encourage a flush of new leaves. Coontie is a great choice for a border plant, planted under trees or in full sun.

The 2008 Plant of the Year, 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.

Russelia sp. 'San Carlos' 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.

My favorite hedge is the 2008 Plants of the Year, Myrcianthes fragrans, Simpson's stopper, which 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. 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, creating a wonderful, carefree hedge. To create a hedge or screen, it should be planted about 3-4 feet apart.

Croton linearis, a native of South Florida pine rocklands and coastal areas, is commonly known as pineland croton. This 2' to 6' tall semi-woody shrub has dark green linear leaves with white or golden hairs on their lower surface. Small white flowers and small dry fruits which pop open when ripe are present all year. Pineland croton is the larval food plant for the Bartram's Hairstreak and the Florida Leafwing butterflies. This shrub grows best in a sunny, dry location. Once established it requires no supplemental irrigation.

Nashia inaguensis descriptionThe 2010 Plant of the Year, Nashia inaguensis, commonly called Moujean tea, is a shrub to 8 feet tall, endemic to the island of Inagua in 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. The small leaves and fragrant, small flowers make Moujean tea an excellent candidate for bonsai. Grow it in full sun. It is very drought tolerant once established.

We will have a large selection of birds-nest type Anthuriums, including Anthurium dombeyanum, A. crenatum, A. plowmanii. All of these species grow well in our soils. They have proven to be easy to grow in light shade or morning sun and are wonderful anthuriums for South Florida.


We will have a lovely selection of flowering vines available. These include  Passiflora suberosa and Passiflora pallens, both Florida native species which attract butterflies; a floriferous Hoya with pale yellow, fragrant blooms and Stephanotis floribunda, bridal wreath, with fragrant, luminescent white flowers.

Rhapis excelsa, lady palm, forms dense clusters of bamboo-like stalks topped with very dark green, broad, palmate leaves. A shade-loving palm, lady palm grows well in northside foundation plantings or other shady locations. It may also be grown in a container. This palm adds a rich tropical look to the landscape. Lady palms can be effective accents in a shrub border or near an entryway. This lovely palm grows best in a moist location, therefore regular irrigation may be needed during dry periods.

Please continue to check this page. I will add updates as I add to the sale list. The plants described above just represent just a small portion of what species will be available at the 2013 Spring Plant Sale. I hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please contact me: mcollins@fairchildgarden.org


Page created 3/8/13
Page updated 4/17/13