Tillandsia Web, Dade Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society

Online Newsletter

Excerpted from our print newsletter. See the printed newsletter for detailed Field Trip directions and reports, for phone and addresses for yard visits and for articles which the authors may not want released to the World Wide Web. Join now to obtain the benefits of full membership!

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September 1999

In This Issue

UPCOMING MEETING IN DADE COUNTY
UPCOMING FIELD TRIPS
KEYS CONNECTION - FNPS ACTIVITIES IN THE KEYS
HISPANIC OUTREACH NEWS
CHAPTER NEWS AND NEEDS
OTHER EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
PLANT NATIVE - BUT BE B-R-A-S-H
LOOK OUT FOR NEW NOXIOUS WEED
MARINERS HOSPITAL DESIGN WINS FNPS AWARD
REAL PROGRESS ON CONTROLLING INVASIVE PLANTS by Jim Duquesnel
NURSERY NEWS

UPCOMING MEETING IN DADE COUNTY

Tuesday, September 28, 7:30 p.m., Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road.

Colonel Terrence "Rock" Salt, Executive Director of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force.

As Executive Director for the past 5 years, Col. Salt reports directly to the Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and Parks. His primary duties include coordinating Everglades restoration policy, plans and projects among the federal, state, tribal and local government agencies in South Florida. Col. Salt was involved in getting the Restudy started off in the right direction when he was district engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers in Jacksonville, displaying a broad view of the Corps' responsibilities. He also has a technical background and understands what can and can't be done. The Restudy, if implemented, will be the most comprehensive effort to restore an ecosystem ever undertaken anywhere.

Thanks in advance to refreshment donors: Mike Judge (drinks and ice); Vivian Waddell, Scott and Lee Massey, and Diane Otis (Snacks). As usual, additional refreshments and donations to the plant raffle table are appreciated.

Starting this month we would like to auction one or two special plants each month (in addition to the raffle). If you or your business would like to donate the featured plant, please call Tony Koop at 305-662-2876 or 305-284-5364. We will announce your donation (and business name, if desired) in the Tillandsia in advance, if we know, or afterwards.

At the October 26 meeting, Dr. Eric Menges, Senior Research Biologist at Archbold Biological Station will discuss the research activities at the station and the ecology of scrub plants on the Lake Wales Ridge, especially rare plants.

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UPCOMING FIELD TRIPS

Field trips are for the study of plants and enjoyment of nature by FNPS members and their invited guests.

September 26: Fern Forest Nature Center (Broward Co.). This 254-acre wilderness was once part of the Snapper Creek Watershed. It now has 10 plant communities including wet hardwood hammock with rare ferns and open prairie, as well as eroded limestone formations.

October 16: Curry Hammock (in the Keys). This area straddles US1 and is owned by the state park system but does not have trails and facilities. It contains high hammock, thatch palms and mangrove edge and all the interesting flora of these habitats. Those who wish to may go to other nearby sites later.

November: overnight field trip to Archbold Biological Station. Reservations required.

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KEYS CONNECTION - FNPS ACTIVITIES IN THE KEYS

Note: All Dade Chapter members are welcome at all chapter activities. The following are planned by the Keys Activities Committee. For more information, call Jim Duquesnel at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, 305-451-1202.

Next meeting in the Keys: Tuesday, September 21, at the Islamorada Branch of the Monroe County Public Library. Plant ID workshop at 7:00, program at 7:30, plant raffle following the program. The public is welcome. Roland Fisch of Florida Keys Community College will present a program on "Attracting Butterflies with Florida Keys Native Plants."

Field trip in the Keys: Saturday, September 25: The trip will consist of several parts - join the group for any part of the day's activities. Windley Key Fossil Reef State Geological Site, mm. 84 ($1 charge for trails). Explore the coral walls (sun), nature trails (shade) and interpretive center (air conditioned). Botanical highlights include a tiny native hibiscus, thatch palms, Spanish moss and butterfly orchids. Easy walk on trails, though there are roots to step over. Bring a lunch or eat nearby on Plantation Key. Florida Keys Native Nursery tour, mm. 89, and, afterwards, moving on to plant trees at or near the Wild Bird Center to provide food for convalescing birds. Note: if a hurricane threatens on September 25, the trip may be postponed until October 2. Otherwise, rain or shine.

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HISPANIC OUTREACH NEWS

Palm Springs Elementary School butterfly garden: Pine needle mulch is needed for the garden. It has benefited greatly from pine straw raked up by A.D. Barnes Park last spring to reduce the fuel load. The garden also needs donations of any size of Bahama cassia, corky stem passionflower, and firebush. If you have pine needles or know of a place to rake them or have plants to donate, please call Cammie or Patty. We can arrange to pick them up.

Thanks to Gwen Burzycki, Carrie Cleland, Patty Phares, and Linda Van Leer for giving the butterfly garden a before-school spruce-up on August 21. Another workday will be scheduled with parents and other community members this fall, and we will need FNPS volunteers to help TRAIN these volunteers who we hope will take over maintenance of the gardens.

Tropical Ag Fiesta: Thanks to Carrie Cleland, Carol Farber, Lee and Scott Massey, Mike Mooney, Greg Philips, Wendy Teas and Mike Judge (and others!) who set up and staffed our extra-large exhibit in July at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. Great location, attendance, and interest (we ran out of membership brochures and handed out hundreds of fact sheets!).

Summer camp programs: Cammie Donaldson provided native plant educational programs to more than 300 children at Tamiami Park, Coral Estates Park, Rockaway Park, Ruben Dario Park, and A.D. Barnes Park. Children and adults alike enjoyed seeing the plants and caterpillars, and eating cocoplums.

Saturday, September 11: Plant Creations and Veber's Jungle Garden are opening their doors for a tour for the trade - landscape architects, contractors, designers, and retail garden centers. Tour is being sponsored by the Florida Native Plant Society and the Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension Service. Reservations are required, and tour is not open to general public. If you know someone who should go, call Patty Phares or Diane Otis.

Saturday, September 25: (<--new post-Floyd date) Our demonstration native landscape will be going in at the Silver Bluff Animal Clinic on SW 27th Ave, owned and operated by Dr. Ted Sanchez, a young Cuban-American who has already demonstrated his interest in Florida's flora by planting dozens of natives at his home and in back of his office. Our landscape will be in front of the office and is being designed by John Tomczak, ENVIRODESIGN. A fun work day with refreshments for everyone. PLEASE CALL PATTY ASAP TO VOLUNTEER FOR THE PLANTING.

The state board of FNPS has indicated interest in continuing our Hispanic outreach effort. If you have ideas to contribute, please let us know.
Cammie Donaldson, Project Coordinator: 407-951-2210, mondocmd@aol.com
Patty Phares: 305-255-6404, pphares@juno.com
Diane Otis: 305-247-9913.

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CHAPTER NEWS AND NEEDS

DCFNPS will be at the Fairchild Tropical Garden Ramble, November 13-14, with an educational display and plant sale. Members with native plants to sell are invited to participate as vendors in the chapter's sale area. We would also like to have donated plants for the chapter to sell (save a few instead of donating to the raffle!). We will need lots of members to help set up (on Friday afternoon) and staff the display and the plant sale. Please save the date and call Patty at 305-255-6404 for more information – we will have a sign-up sheet at the next two meetings.

Laminated field guides available in bulk from DCFNPS. The popular field guides "Plants of South Florida" and "Native Trees of South Florida", created by Jean and Rick Seavey, may be ordered wholesale (40% discount). Call Patty at 305-255-6404 for more information. Individual copies are available at DCFNPS meetings, some bookstores, and Tropical Audubon Society sales.

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OTHER EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

Native Plant Workshop: 3rd Tuesdays at Bill Sadowski Park, 1/2 mile west of Old Cutler Road on SW 176 Street. Plant ID - "serious" but not intense! Call Roger Hammer at 305-257-0933.

Gifford Arboretum "Workshops in Horticulture" include Planting trees (Sept. 25), Pruning large trees (Nov. 7), Pruning small trees and shrubs (Jan. 29), and more. Workshops are free but space is limited. Call 305-284-5364.

Florida Keys Birding and Wildlife Festival, October 16-17, Crane Point Hammock, Marathon, mm.50, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m-3 p.m. on Sunday. The festival's mission is to create an awareness of the unique birds and wildlife on the Keys. Programs, field trips, displays, artists, and a Saturday night dessert social at the Marathon Garden Club with Dr. George Wallace speaking on "Following Migrant Birds to Cuba." Volunteers from FNPS would be greatly appreciated - call Jim Bell (305/872-2239) or Joy Tatgenhorst (305/743-2435 x21). Call the Wild Bird Center for a schedule and to register for special activities. Entrance fee to Crane Point Hammock is $4, children under 12 free.

Tropical Audubon Society programs: September 21: "The Hole in the Donut – Restoring the Everglades", Mike Norland, National Park Service. October 19: "Audubon's Campaign for Old-Growth Forests", Alix Davidson, Heritage Forests Coordinator, National Audubon Society. Meetings are at the Doc Thomas House, 5530 Sunset Drive, South Miami. Everyone welcome. Refreshments are served at 7:30 P.M. and programs begin at 8:00. Call 305-666-5111.

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PLANT NATIVE - BUT BE "B-R-A-S-H"

"Avoid Running Afoul of Local Weed Laws!" was the title of attorney Brett Rappaport's keynote address at the FNPS annual conference in May. Mr. Rappaport, National President of Wild Ones – Natural Landscapes, Ltd., spoke on dealing with legal issues faced by many who plant a "natural" garden. He also gave his tips for living with a native plant yard and the neighbors, too:

B - have a border.

R - Recognize the rights of others.

A - Advertise.

S - Start small.

H - Humanize.

A border provides a sense of order. This can be an area of mowed lawn or shrubs. The rights of others are very important, and being arrogant won't win over the opposition. Advertise by putting up a small sign. Tell people why you are planting as you are. Start small – there is a lot to learn about your site. "Sneak up" on your neighbors and gradually increase the size of your "natural" beds around trees, turning them into a native landscape with paths of lawn. Humanize by having paths, artifacts, walls things that give a "tended and intended" look.

For more information on weed laws and a variety of natural landscaping topics and items to order, consult the WildOnes Handbook. It is available on the Web at www.for-wild.org. You can also write to Wild Ones - Natural Landscapes, Ltd., PO Box 1274, Appleton, WI 54913-1274. It includes a section on weed laws by Rappaport. Available from the EPA Website is Natural Landscaping for Public Officials - a Source Book.

You'll want to throw away your gas-powered lawn mower and push the weed laws to the limit after you hear this: 1 hour of lawn mowing produces as much pollution as driving a car for 350 miles.

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LOOK OUT FOR NEW NOXIOUS WEED

Mike Bodle at the SFWMD (and member of the Palm Beach Chapter FNPS) noticed an article in the Miami Herald on 8/18/99 entitled "Noxious weed introduced in U.S., sold as pond plant." The Herald states:

"A noxious weed banned by the government has found its way into as many as 35 states after Home Depot received it in a shipment of exotic reeds from Holland and sold it as a pond plant. State and federal agriculture inspectors have scrambled to recover most of the plants from gardeners over the summer but fear the plant may be impossible to trace because of cash sales."

"Known as the bur reed, or Sparganium erectum, the weed can choke waterways and interfere with recreation in shallow waters without its natural predators. The 6-foot-long, green reed has a small yellow flower that contains a bur-like fruit."

The article indicates that it is feared some plants will escape cultivation and survive in the wild. This species previously has not been recorded in the United States. If you think you have seen bur reed in a store or newly acquired by your neighbor, please call the U.S. Department of Agriculture noxious weed program.

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MARINERS HOSPITAL DESIGN WINS FNPS AWARD

The landscape design of the new Mariners Hospital in Tavernier, mm. 91 Bayside, was awarded the Best Overall, Professionally Designed project in the 1999 FNPS Design with Natives Landscape Awards Program. The award was presented to Brown and Crebbin Design Studio of Tavernier at the FNPS conference in May at Palm Coast. DCFNPS members Richard Brown and the late Steve Crebbin also received an award last year from FNPS for a residential landscape and restoration on Lower Matecumbe Key.

The overall philosophy as well as the design impressed the FNPS judges. The 8-acre grounds have the feel of a campus with Florida Keys hardwood hammock insulating it from the highway and adjacent properties. The property is frequently used by joggers and walkers and has educational signs about landscape use of natives. The original building plans were altered to preserve areas of native trees, including a large shortleaf fig (Ficus citrifolia) at the entrance. 110 mature native trees, mostly mahogany (Sweitenia mahagoni) and gumbo limbo (Bursera simaruba), were relocated for one and a half years and replanted on the site after construction. Seedlings were rescued by a local nursery.

The sustainable and visually appealing design concentrated the most intense water and maintenance dependent material (native and non-native) in small areas near the building, progressing to low-maintenance native trees, shrubs, palms and wildflowers in the parking area, and finally the perimeter of the property with only preserved and revegetated tropical hardwood hammock.

Stop by the hospital even if you have no need for a doctor to see and enjoy this impressive landscape!

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REAL PROGRESS ON CONTROLLING INVASIVE PLANTS by Jim Duquesnel

At first glance, few environmental organizations appear to have less in common than the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) and the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FL-EPPC). FNPS members usually focus on plant propagation, while FL-EPPC members are known best as plant eradication specialists. Yet these two groups have the same ultimate goal: preserving Florida's natural plant communities and the wildlife they support. Both groups had reason to rejoice over a recent announcement by the Florida Nurserymen and Growers Association (FNGA). In a May 19 press release, FNGA announced it was urging its members to phase out 11 species of commercially grown plants.

Many invasive plants have been introduced by government agencies (kudzu to reduce erosion, melaleuca to dry up the Everglades), agriculture (forage grasses and fruit trees), and the ornamental plant industry (both house plants and landscape species). In an attempt to identify problem species that could be eliminated from commercial production, joint meetings have been held between FNGA and FL-EPPC. The meetings focused on economically important ornamental species known to invade natural areas. FL-EPPC's Category I lists 64 of Florida's most invasive species as capable of this type of behavior. Among these are melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia), Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) and Australian pine (Casuarina equisetifolia and C. glauca). These species already banned from commercial trade in Florida by state and (for melaleuca) federal laws. However, twenty-four Category I species were identified as still commercially available in Florida.

Of the Category I species still sold in Florida, the 11 species listed below were identified by FNGA as being of the least economic value to commercial nurseries. FNGA recommended to its 1900 members that the following species no longer be propagated, grown or marketed in Florida: bischofia (Bischofia javanica), carrotwood (Cupaniopsis anacardioides), cat's-claw vine (Macfadyena unguis-cati), Chinaberry (Melia azedarach), guava (Psidium guajava), Java plum (Syzgium cumini), orchid tree (Bauhinia variegata), the large cultivar of oyster plant (Rhoeo spathacea), seaside mahoe (Thespesia populnea), sword fern (Nephrolepsis cordifolia), and woman's tongue (Albizia lebbeck).

FNGA and FL-EPPC are still discussing the other 13 commercially available species on the Category I list. Some, like coral ardisia (Ardisia crenata) in north Florida, and schefflera (Schefflera actinophylla) and false banyan (Ficus microcarpa) in south Florida, are serious problems at one end of the state but not the other. Nurserymen in areas where a plant does not cause problems are understandably resistant to losing a popular plant that is a source of revenue because the species is a pest a few hundred miles away.

Discussion between FL-EPPC and FNGA included recommendations of alternative species, including natives, that might be substituted for those plants being removed from production. This announcement shows the potential for cooperation between the horticulture industry and those attempting to preserve natural areas. Solving the problem of invasive ornamental plants will still require educating homeowners, landscape designers, politicians and agency bureaucrats about the true costs associated with the use of invasive plants. Anyone seeking more information or wishing to express support for this and future initiatives is urged to contact FNGA at 1533 Park Central Drive, Orlando, FL 328835 (e-mail at FNGA@aol.com) or FL-EPPC care of Tony Pernas, HCR-61, Box 11, Ochopee, FL 34141. Or check out FL-EPPC's Web page (http://www.fleppc.org).

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NURSERY NEWS

Gann's Native Tropical Greenery Nursery is technically closed but will be open on some Saturdays (including Sept. 18 and 25) until the remaining stock is sold. Plants are now half price. Call 305-248-5529 for more details and dates they are open.

Florida Keys Native Nursery owner and operator Donna Sprunt has retired and sold the nursery to Michael and Kim Pravata. Donna has been a mentor and teacher to many native plant lovers (as well as source for plants) for many years, and she will be missed. The Pravatas are already getting active in the Native Plant Society and are keeping everything the same at the nursery. Stop in and give them a welcome ... and take home a few natives!

Copyright 1999 Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society, Inc.

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