Tillandsia Web, Dade Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society

Online Newsletter

Excerpted from our print newsletter. See the printed newsletter for detailed Field Trip reports, for phone and addresses for yard visits and for articles which the authors may not want released to the World Wide Web.

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March 1999


Tuesday, March 23, 7:30 p.m., Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road. (NOT the last Tuesday).

The Everglades Ecosystem and Restudy.

Jean Evoy, Director of the Wetlands Planning Division of Miami-Dade County's Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM), will discuss the Everglades ecosystem and the problems that have emerged over the past 50 years, and give an overview of what the Central and South Florida Comprehensive Plan Restudy hopes to accomplish for Everglades restoration.

Thanks in advance to refreshment donors Lenora Albury (drinks and ice) and Cathy Cammisa, Marion Gilbert, and Norel Ruiz (snacks). If you can, please contribute a plant to the raffle table. Also, check your calendar for Saturday, March 27, since we might need to schedule last-minute volunteers for Native Plant Day.

April 27: Tony Pernas will update us on happenings in Big Cypress National Preserve.



Field trips and yard visits are for the enjoyment of nature and study of plants by DCFNPS members only (and their invited guests). Collecting is prohibited.

March 20: South Dade Wetlands Acquisition Project. We will visit the heart of this 48000-acre acquisition, a complex of sawgrass prairie, tree islands and forested wetlands with red bay, dahoon holly and wax myrtle near Tallahassee Road. In the open water areas we might see concentrations of wading birds such as roseate spoonbills and wood storks.

April 11 : Collier-Seminole State Park (Florida Trail). Instead of the nature trail in the main part of the park, we will take part of the Florida Trail on the north side of Tamiami Trail which traverses several plant communities, from open prairie to hammock and everything in between. Prepare for sun on your face, puddles at your feet, and mosquitoes on your neck - but an interesting walk and great botanizing.

April 10: Visit to a native plant yard in South Dade. The lot was cleared of Brazilian pepper to build a unique South Florida stilt house. Most of the 1-acre hammock was replanted after Hurricane Andrew, but the canopy is as tall as 25 feet and numbers hundreds of trees of a large variety of species. This is a good place to see natives in the landscape before you plant them yourself.



Last Call to Volunteer! This is a day when we try to introduce new people to native plants, and we need those of you who don't need to attend all the programs to help make the event go smoothly. Please call 305-255-6404 or send email to pphares@juno.com.

We need help with book sales, plant sales, general staffing for information/welcome tables, speaker introductions (you get to attend the program), setup and breakdown. Also: butterfly caterpillars and plants for display (we really need some backup sources, especially for sulphurs and giant swallowtails). Please photo copy the program in this newsletter and post it in a good spot or give it to an interested friend. If you would like to have an program schedule sent by email to yourself or to someone else (or even by US mail), let us know (305-255-6404 or 75562.1560@compuserve.com).

Also needed are raffle items (native plants, gift certificates, books, crafts, etc.) and/or plant sale donations (call Diane at 305-247-9913).



Hispanic Outreach event: Earth Day in Little Havana, Saturday, April 24. We will participate with an exhibit and talks about native plants. People are needed to staff the display (no Spanish or special plant knowledge required). At the same time, you can enjoy the other exhibits, entertainment and vegetarian food (undoubtedly with a Hispanic flair!) We also need the loan of a cordless microphone for the talks and a photographer for a little while (your camera or our point-and-shoot). Please contact the Hispanic Outreach Grant coordinator Cammie Donaldson (407-951-2210) or Patty Phares (305-255-6404).

Starting this month, the Tillandsia will be "light" every other month - fewer announcements and articles - to make it more manageable for the staff. What would make life easier and allow the Tillandsia to be more interesting every month? (1) a coeditor.; (2) receipt of announcements and articles by the 15th of the previous month; (3) articles contributed by more of our diverse and knowledgeable membership (so we can have a supply ready to use). Please call the editor (Patty, 305-255-6404) to offer any of the above.



Gifford Arboretum Lecture, Thursday, April 15. "Out on a Limb: Research in Tropical Rain Forest Canopies" by Dr. Margaret Lowman, Director of Research and Conservation, Marie Selby Botanical Garden. 6:00 p.m. - tour of the Arboretum (meet at the wooden sign); 7:30 - lecture in the Cox Science Center; 8:30 - reception and book signing. Books for sale: Life in the Tree Tops: Adventures of a Woman Field Biologist and The Most Beautiful Roof in the World: The Rainforest Canopy. The event is free and open to the public. Location: The Cox Science Center and Gifford Arboretum are on the northwest side of the University of Miami campus (Coral Gables). Take Red Road to Miller, go east to the campus, left on San Amaro and look for Cox/Gifford signs. For more information, call 305-284-5364.

Tropical Audubon Society activities: Monthly program: Tuesday, March 16 - "American Birds and Their Names" (Dick Cunningham, retired from the National Park Service). 5530 Sunset Drive. 7:30 refreshments, 8:00 program. Birding trip to the Dry Tortugas, April 15-18. Call TAS at 666-5111.


PLANT PROFILE by Roger Hammer

Lignum-vitae, Guajacum sanctum

Form: A small to medium-sized tree with a dense canopy of dark-green compound leaves.
Stature: May reach 30 feet tall in the wild but cultivated specimens are typically 12 to 15 feet in height at maturity with a broad canopy equal to the tree's height.
Flowers: Blue, 1/2-inch, 5-petaled flowers are produced periodically throughout the year.
Fruit: Green, changing to dull-yellow before splitting open to reveal bright red, hard seeds.
Natural range: Central America through the West Indies to the Florida Keys.
Wildlife: Skippers, hairstreak butterflies and bees visit the flowers. Mockingbirds and catbirds savor the red seeds.
Propagation: Slow-growing from seed. Seeds difficult to germinate. Seedlings can be transplanted from beneath mature, cultivated specimens.
Availability: Available from nurseries specializing in native plants. Container-grown or field-grown trees available. Commands a higher price that other native trees due to slow growth rate and limited availability, but well worth the expense.
Landscape requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Plant as specimen tree or in a group planting with other native trees. Trouble-free.



Two native plant projects were selected this year to receive awards from DCFNPS at the South Florida Science and Engineering Fair, one each from the Junior and Senior divisions. The awards include a certificate, a $30 gift certificate to a book store and a one-year subscription to the DCFNPS newsletter. Congratulations to both winners! And thanks to the judges who gave their time to review the projects on display and select these outstanding ones.

"Salinity Effects of Salt Water Stress and UVb Radiation on the Flotation Angle of the Red Mangrove Propagule" was the project of Kelley Lee, as 10th grade student at Coral Reef Senior High. She has been interested in studying red mangroves, and her project last year on salinity led to the opportunity to work with a student at UM's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences during the school year. She expanded the project to include the possible effects of UVb radiation on the propagule after reading about UVb-damaged plants. She is interested in the broad range of environmental science and is looking forward to learning more about native plants.

"Stomatal Adaptations in Xeriphytic Plants in the Sand Pine and Scrub Communities" was the project of Lashunda Lynch, a 7th grade student at Miami Edison Middle School. Last summer she attended the University of Miami's National Science Foundation Young Scholars Program, a 7-week ecology class for middle and high school credit. Her project was a study of the density of stoma of xeriphytic plants compared to hardwood hammock plants. She made a fine presentation of her project at the DCFNPS meeting on February 23.



Plant Creations has relocated from Ft. Lauderdale to 28301 SW 172 Avenue in South Dade, phone 305-248-8147. Retail hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. A large variety of native trees and shrubs are available.


NATIVE PLANT DAY - March 27, 1999

The Native Plant Day program is now online.

© 1999 Dade Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, Inc.

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