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 additional articles. Join now to obtain the benefits of full membership!

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February 2000

In This Issue

DIGITARIA PAUCIFLORA - A VERY SPECIAL GRASS [ excerpt from printed newsletter ]


Tuesday, February 22, 7:30 p.m., Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road (4th, not last, Tuesday).

"Those Amazing Annoying Grasses (Secrets of an Agrostologist)" - Stinger Guala, Keeper and Curator of the Herbarium, Fairchild Tropical Garden.

The grass family is, without a doubt, the most important family of plants on earth. Its 10000 species include all of our major grain crops, they provide most of our sweetener, most of the forage for livestock, the bamboos, a large percentage of the green biomass on earth that produces the oxygen that we breathe. It is also one of the most amazingly annoying families when it comes to identifying its species. Fortunately, out of necessity has come progress. Agrostologists have been at the forefront in developing new methods of making the identification of grasses easier and more accessible. Interactive keys make it possible for even a botanical novice to get a reliable identification, and large databases and other resources such as the FTG Virtual Herbarium, make it easy to confirm an identification. In this talk, the generation and use of these new resources will be discussed and other secrets of an agrostologist will be revealed.

Thanks in advance to refreshment donors: George Childs and Sharon Dyer (snacks); and Eileen Cretella (drinks and ice). If you would like to donate an extra-special plant, other item or service to auction (instead of raffle), please call Tony Koop at 305-662-2876 or 305-284-5364. You or your business will be acknowledged in the Tillandsia.

March 28 meeting: "Sustainable Landscaping" - Dr. Jack Parker.

April 25 meeting: "Remember the Florida Thirteen (native palms)" - Chris Migliaccio.

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Field trips are for the study of plants and enjoyment of nature by FNPS members and their invited guests. Collecting is not permitted. Become a member so you may enjoy these activities!

Saturday, February 19: Shark Valley Botanize by Bike. We will bicycle in the afternoon as far as we make it toward the observation tower, stopping here and there to botanize. After watching the sun set, we will ride back under the full moon (or you set your own pace).

Sunday, February 27: Hattie Bauer Hammock in South Dade. This dense, high tropical hardwood hammock also contains many exotics because of its past as the site of Orchid Jungle. The natural area is under restoration as a preserve, while open areas are being developed for mixed recreational use.

Saturday, March 18: Sugarloaf Key. This interesting, mature pine forest with palm and hardwood understory, perhaps the southernmost stand of Pinus elliottii var. densa in the US, has not burned for some time. This forest and nearby coastal areas contain a large variety of species, including Vanilla barbellata.

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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.

February meeting: Date and details TBA. (FNPS members in the Keys will receive notification by first class mail.) Plant Identification begins at 7:00, with the program at 7:30, followed by a native plant raffle. Visitors, refreshments and raffle donations are welcome!

Keys members - please reserve February 26 to attend or volunteer at the second Native Plant Fair. Call Jim to volunteer to help at the FNPS table.

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Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park -- The American Littoral Society is seeking volunteers to help restore native plant communities at the park on Key Biscayne. Volunteers will work in the greenhouse or in the field removing non-native plants and planting new natives. Tour guides are also needed for educational programs. Training is provided and scheduling is flexible. Please call the American Littoral Society at 305-361-0611.

Nursery News: Gann's Native Tropical Greenery Nursery continues its closing sale on February 19 and 26. Remaining inventory includes trees and shrubs in liner size, some wildflowers and palms. Address: 22601 SW 152 Ave. Call 305-248-5529.

Miami-Dade County Parks, Natural Areas Management. Call 305-257-0933 for more information about the following:

Volunteer Workdays. Call 305-257-0933. Feb. 12: Kendall Indian Hammock Park (11395 SW 79 St.); Feb 26: Rolling Oaks Park (13701 NW 17 Ave.)

Fairchild Tropical Garden now features native plant tours as part of its regular schedule through April 30. Call 305-667-1651.

Gifford Arboretum, Univ. of Miami: Volunteer workdays: 8:30-noon, Feb. 12, 26 and Mar. 25. Call 305-284-5364.

Broward Native Plant Society meetings: 2nd Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m. Secret Woods Nature Center, _ mile west of I-95 on W. State Road 84 in Ft. Lauderdale. Social time is at 7:00. Call 954-523-0288.

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

Tropical Audubon Society. February 15: "The Miami Circle -- Archeology in the Tequesta Heartland" (Bob Carr). At the Doc Thomas House, 5530 Sunset Drive. Everyone is welcome. Refreshments are at 7:30 and the program is at 8:00. Call 305-666-5111.

Key Largo Hammocks State Botanical Site lecture series: 7:30 - 8:30 p.m., John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, MM 102.5 (gate open 7:00-7:30). Call (305)451-1202. Feb 9: Stargazing and Telescopes (Mike Smith, Southern Cross Astronomical Society). Feb. 16: Unusual Vegetables for the Florida Keys (Chris Rollins, Fruit and Spice Park). Feb. 23: Native Plants of the Keys and Their Uses (Dick Workman). Pre-Columbian dining and entertaining tips! Mar. 1: The Rarest Plants in the Florida Keys (Janice Duquesnel, Biologist, Florida Park Service). Natural history and efforts being made to save these native treasures.

Bonnet House in Ft. Lauderdale hosts Garden Walks led by horticulturist Robert Haehle. Tours include maritime hammock, fruit grove and courtyard. Feb. 13, Mar. 12, Apr. 9. Call 954-563-5393, ext. 135, for reservations. (900 North Birch Road.)

Miami-Dade Parks Naturalist Services activities announced in the Winter Tropical Trails include an Everglades Full Moon Hike (Feb. 19), Rowdy Bend hike (Feb. 27), canoe trip on Biscayne Bay (Mar. 11)); and other tours, workshops and events at local parks and elsewhere. Call 662-4124 for more information or to subscribe to Tropical Trails. For more activities, see the Parks Department online calendar at http://www.co.miami-dade.fl.us/parks/monthcal.htm.

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by Roger Hammer, Metro-Dade Parks Department

[ An excerpt from the full article in the printed newsletter. ]

While most people visit Everglades National Park to view the abundance of wildlife -- alligators and birds in particular -- there is a species of grass that can only be seen by exploring Long Pine Key within the 1.5 million acre preserve. Digitaria pauciflora, meaning "few-flowered fingergrass" and called "twospike crabgrass" by Richard Wunderlin, Ph.D, in his 1998 Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida, is known globally only from the transverse glades that border pine rockland habitat on Long Pine Key. It easily ranks as having one of the most limited natural ranges of any plant in the United States.

[Roger's article continues in the printed newsletter. He goes on to discuss:

Where to view it.
What it looks like.

Join now to obtain the benefits of full membership!]

Roger concludes:

Due to its rarity and limited global range, it is listed as a state endangered species. And, actually, it's quite an attractive plant...for a grass!

[Roger Hammer is a naturalist with Miami-Dade Parks Natural Areas Management and frequent writer and speaker about South Florida plants and nature.]

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General contact number for DCFNPS: 305-255-6404

Contact in the Keys: Jim Duquesnel at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (305-451-1202)

President: Keith Bradley (305-247-6547)

Vice President: Diane Otis (305-247-9913)

Refreshment coordinator: Carrie Cleland (305-661-9023)

DCFNPS e-mail: DadeChFNPS@juno.com

DCFNPS Web page: http://www.fnps.org/dade/ mirrored at: http://www.seflin.org/plants/

FNPS Web Page: http://www.fnps.org/

Tillandsia editor: Patty Phares (305-255-6404 or pphares@juno.com)

© 1999 Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society, Inc.

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