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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October 2000

In This Issue

UPCOMING MEETING IN DADE COUNTY
ACTIVITIES-AT-A-GLANCE
UPCOMING FIELD TRIPS AND YARD VISITS (DADE)
ACTIVITIES IN THE KEYS
OTHER EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
CITRUS CANKER AND GIANT SWALLOWTAILS by Roger L. Hammer
KEYS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM AVAILABLE
NURSERY NEWS
KEY CONTACTS FOR DCFNPS

UPCOMING MEETING IN DADE COUNTY

Tuesday, October 24, 7:30 p.m., at Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road.

"Creating a water environment for wildlife." Martin Buel of Martin Gardens.

Besides trees and shrubs, what could be needed more in a South Florida native plant garden than a water feature catering to birds and other wildlife? Our next speaker will tell you how to make one, whether you have room only for a patio tub or would like to have a sizeable in-ground pond. Martin will cover creating a wetland habitat for the home on any level -- from a simple barrel arrangement to larger projects. He will discuss how to and why to create a wetland habitat as well as the materials you will need (including some nice native plants), how to maintain the habitat and what to expect as the project progresses. The emphasis will be on ponds but there will be some discussion of bog habitats too. On the following Saturday you will have the chance to see one of Martin’s creations in person (see details below).

Thanks to all of you who bring refreshments, raffle and auction plants, and anything else to share (pots, seeds, information). Your involvement and generosity add an important dimension to our meetings. October refreshment donors: Kristi Doyne-Bailey and Louise King (drinks and ice), George Childs and Susan Walcutt (snacks), and anyone else with additional contributions. Raffle and auction donors: please make life easier by including a slip of paper in the pot with the name of the plant. And don’t forget to sign your own name on the donor list!

November 28 meeting: Sandra Vardaman of Martin County’s natural areas program will speak about the habitats of Martin County in preparation for our field trip to Jonathan Dickinson State Park in December.

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ACTIVITIES-AT-A-GLANCE (DADE)

Please see details elsewhere in this newsletter.

October

November

December

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UPCOMING FIELD TRIPS AND YARD VISITS (DADE)

Call Patty (305-255-6404) or Gwen (305-372-6569) for more information or carpooling (from Dade). If the weather is very bad, call to confirm before leaving home. Field trips are for the study of plants and enjoyment of nature by FNPS members (Dade and Keys) and their invited guests. Collecting is not permitted.

October 28 (Sat.): Yard visit — "Homestead ponds and pinelands". We will take a quick peek at Keith Bradley’s pond and garden (created by Keith and Alicie), and then spend the rest of the morning enjoying Barbara and Terry Glancy’s pond (created by Martin Buel), 15-acre pineland (created by Mother Nature with a lot of help from Barbara and Terry), and other native landscaping.

November 5 (Sun.): Skillet Strand in Big Cypress National Preserve. We may wander/wade through a variety of habitats, from dry pine flatwoods to cypress slough, with wet prairie in between. Difficulty: moderately difficult — on and off tracks, uneven terrain, possible slogging, hot.

December 1-3 (Fri.-Sun.): Weekend at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Martin County. This is a day trip or weekend trip (1 or 2 nights) — whatever works for you! Full of knowledge gained from Sandra Vardaman’s talk at our November meeting, we will botanize in the variety of habitats at the park and enjoy the Loxahatchee River by canoe or tour boat concession. This is a very interesting and enjoyable park — and the terrain is generally easy to negotiate.

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ACTIVITIES IN THE KEYS

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

MONTHLY MEETINGS (unless noted, meetings begin at 7:30 p.m., with a plant ID workshop at 7 p.m. and plant raffle following the program).

Thursday, October 19, 7 - 9 p.m. at the Marathon High School cafeteriaon Sombrero Road. (NOTE: this location is different from the one originally announced.)

Roland Fisch, Professor at Florida Keys Community College and expert on flora and fauna of the Keys, will speak about "Florida Butterflies and Native Americans". Copper and blue butterflies appear to retain ranges in Florida related to the distribution of plants cultivated by native Americans. Butterfly gardeners can foster populations of these butterflies by planting crops formerly cultivated by Florida's original residents. Gossimerwings, including species such as the atala hairstreak, are often dependent on the cultivation of plants no longer common in some areas.

November 29 (Wed.), Joan Borel will speak on "Cultural Ties: Indigenous Plants of Cuba and Florida" in Islamorada.

FIELD TRIPS. Janice Duquesnel will lead the following walks.

October 21 (Sat.): Windley Key. Browse at the Visitor Center, then walk the trails to learn about the hardwood hammock species and spend time in the quarry. The $1.50 trail fee is payable at the office.

November 18 (Sat.): Bahia Honda. At Sandspur Beach (the day use area) we will see Jacquemontia havanensis and sea lavender. Then we will walk the nature trail and learn about the coastal berm and dune communities, looking at several rare plant species including dune lily thorn, satinwood, and silver palm. Due to Hurricane Georges, trails to the interdunal swale are potentially too fragile to walk, but Janice will discuss this unique habitat.

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OTHER EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Native Plant Workshop. 3rd Tuesdays at Bill Sadowski Park, 1/2 mile west of Old Cutler Road on SW 176 Street. Call Roger Hammer at 305-242-7690 (new number) or Steve Woodmansee at 305-247-6547 for more information. The October workshop will not have a specific topic, but November’s topic will be the Mallow (Hibiscus) family, Malvaceae.

Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Dept Natural Areas Management Volunteer Work Days and Walks. 9 a.m. to noon. Please call 305-257-0933 for details. Oct. 14 -- Boystown Pineland Preserve workday (SW 112 St. & 138 Ct.); Oct. 21 -- County Line Scrub Preserve nature walk (NE 215 St. & 6 Ave.); Oct. 28 — Castellow Hammock workday (22301 SW 162 Ave.); Nov. 18 — Kendall Indian Hammock workday (11345 SW 79 St.)

Tropical Audubon Society meeting: October 17, Daniel Blezio and Lobo, the Wolf -- "Wolf in the Wild". 5530 Sunset Dr. Social at 7:30 p.m. and program at 8 p.m. The public is invited. Call 305-665-5111. October 22: TAS beginning botany walk at Matheson Hammock. Meet at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot inside the main entrance. Leader: Rick Cohen.

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CITRUS CANKER AND GIANT SWALLOWTAILS by Roger L. Hammer

I'm sure that you are abundantly aware that the evil citrus canker people are skulking around Miami-Dade residential areas. Their object of desire is to chainsaw down your homegrown citrus trees so you can, perhaps unwillingly, do your part to protect the state's $8.5 billion a year citrus industry. As a bonus, you will receive a $100 voucher that you can redeem at the Walmart of your choice.

There is going to be another unwilling victim in this canker control project and that is the beautiful giant swallowtail butterfly (Papilio cresphontes). This butterfly has enjoyed an abundance of larval host plants in the form of citrus leaves. The larvae feed on the leaves of citrus and other members of the Rue Family. With the wholesale loss of citrus in Miami-Dade County it is extremely important that we plant native citrus relatives so this cherished and well-known butterfly will not suffer a severe population collapse.

The citrus relative that is most readily available at nurseries specializing in native plants is wild lime (Zanthoxylum fagara), which is a thorny shrub or small tree to 12' or more. The small compound leaves are aromatic when crushed and it produces small, shiny, black seeds. Plant wild lime in an area where you don't mind having a thorny plant. Use it as a barrier hedge or mixed in with other trees and shrubs in a group planting.

A less common tree for our area is hercules-club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis), which is also called "toothache tree" in reference to the leaves and bark that were chewed to alleviate the pain of toothache. Chewing the leaves and bark will numb the lips and gums. This exceptionally thorny tree ranges into northern Miami-Dade County but is almost unheard of in local nurseries. It is probably more readily available in central and northern Florida. A tree in my yard came from a rootsucker that I dug up at the Ojus Landfill off of Ives Dairy Road when an area was being cleared. This is actually a preferred larval host plant of the giant swallowtail so it is well worth making an effort to locate one for your yard.

A rare, endangered member of the same genus in Miami-Dade County is Biscayne prickly-ash (Zanthoxylum coriaceum). This small tree is very thorny when young but is without thorns at maturity. Rob Campbell has been collecting seeds from a female tree in my yard to propagate at Plant Creations Nursery. To date, however, none are available for sale to the public so stay tuned on this one.

A final rare, endangered species is yellowwood (Zanthoxylum flavum) that occurs in only a few locations in the Lower Florida Keys (and the Marquesas). It is virtually unheard of in nurseries on the mainland but you may wish to check native nurseries in the Florida Keys.

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KEYS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM AVAILABLE

Key Largo Hammocks State Botanical Site offers internship opportunities for qualified students. The program provides hands-on natural resource stewardship experience working under the direct supervision of the park biologist and with park staff, volunteers, and other interns.

Interns typically receive training in the selective control of invasive exotic plants in Natural areas, monitoring invasive plants, the use of GPS mapping, native plant identification, and nursery propagation of materials for plant community restoration. Opportunities also available include coral reef grounding assessment and other marine work at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, quarterly shore bird species inventory, in-park interpretive programs, school visits, and assisting with preparations for and presentation of special programs (Earth Day events, Coastal Cleanup, Annual Lecture Series, and Herbicide and Chain Saw Safety Workshops).

The Internship Program is designed to give environmental studies and other natural sciences students a first hand exposure to the actual duties of a resource management specialist. The interns participate in all the related activities including completing and filing reports, equipment maintenance, boundary sign and mooring buoy installation. Work can be in difficult conditions (rain, heat, intense sun) but appropriate safety training and equipment is provided. Interns do need to come equipped with a sturdy pair of work boots and work clothing suitable for the subtropical climate and sometimes inhospitable habitat conditions.

Key Largo Hammocks State Botanical Site is a preserve featuring one of the most species diverse forests in the United States. The internship program offers a unique opportunity to experience and learn about both the Keys environment and the wide variety of skills needed for a career in resource management. Students interested in the Key Largo Hammocks Internship Program should contact the Park Biologist at 305-451-1202 or in writing (KLHSBS, P.O. Box 487, Key Largo, FL 33037).

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NURSERY NEWS

Tropical Greenery has only a few left-overs which they are still selling, but don’t go without just because the Ganns have retired! We still have nurseries which carry natives and will sell retail. These include Veber’s Jungle Garden in the Redland (305-242-9500), Plant Creations, with a wide variety of natives at 28301 SW 172 Ave. (305-248-8147 or visit on the Web at www.plantcreations.com), and Florida Keys Native Nursery (305-852-2636)

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KEY CONTACTS FOR DCFNPS:

General information and memberships: 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 and Dade refreshment coordinator: Carrie Cleland (305-661-9023)

DCFNPS e-mail: DadeChFNPS@juno.com

DCFNPS Web page: http://www.fnps.org/dade/

Webmaster: Greg Ballinger

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

Tillandsia editor: Patty Phares (305-255-6404 or (new email address) pphares@mindspring.com)

© 1999-2001 Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society, Inc.

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