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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April 2002

In This Issue



Tuesday, April 23, 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road.

Invasive Plant Management in Everglades National Park - Jonathan Taylor , Supervisory Botanist, ENP

Jonathan Taylor will be speaking about the current programs of invasive exotic plant management in Everglades National Park and restoration of native plant communities, especially in the Flamingo area, which has been severely impacted by Brazilian pepper.

Jon manages the exotic plant removal programs and other vegetation projects in ENP and Dry Tortugas. He formerly worked with the Southeast Environmental Research Center at FIU organizing lab and field work.

Thanks in advance to refreshment donors: Gwlady Scott and Barbara McAdam (drinks and ice); and George Childs, Lynka Woodbury, Jerry Russo and Lisa Weier (snacks). Additions to the refreshment or plant raffle table are always appreciated.

Upcoming meetings: May 28. Rare Plants of South Florida — Keith Bradley, Institute for Regional Conservation.

June 25: Is your yard just waiting to be shown off, or do you just need to know that company's coming to make yourself get the weeding done? How about hosting the Annual Summer Solstice Evening Yard Visit and Social (in place of our usual indoors meeting)? 100% native NOT required! Call Carrie (305-661-9023) or Patty (305-255-6404).

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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. Please join today so that you can enjoy all the benefits of membership! Call Patty for more information or carpooling (from Dade). If the weather is very bad, call to confirm before leaving home.

Sunday, April 28: Loop Road, Big Cypress National Preserve. We will explore the sloughs and cypress strands at the western end of the road. Difficulty: possibly difficult (wading, mud, local wildlife small and large).

Saturday, May 18: Hugh Taylor Birch State Park (Broward Co.). We'll explore a coastal hardwood hammock and look for rare beach plants including beach jacquemontia, which we helped survey in 1990.

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Note: All Dade Chapter members are welcome at all chapter activities. For more information, please contact Lisa Gordon (email ledzep@keysconnection.com or Jim Duquesnel (305-451-1202 at John Pennekamp State Park or email jandj.Duquesnel@mindspring.com). Leave your name, phone/fax number, or email address.

Next meeting: Wednesday, April 17 at the Marathon Branch of the Monroe County Public Library (immediately south of Fisherman's Hospital). The meeting begins at 7 PM with the usual Plant Identification session. Bring a cutting of your "mystery" plants, preferably with several leaves and with fruits and or flowers, and the experts will attempt to identify it for you. After brief announcements at 7:30 main program will begin. Several members will share their favorite books on native plants, landscaping in the Keys, and attracting wildlife. Refreshments, awarding of a door prize, and native plant raffle follow the program.

Next field trip: Saturday, April 20. Curry Hammock State Park (Overseas Hwy, ocean side, MM 56.2). Curry features most of the plants common to and appropriate for landscape use in the Middle Keys (from the Seven-Mile Bridge north to Conch Key). Many of the best bird attracting plants should be in fruit by that time.

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Saturday, April 20, 9 am-noon: Workday at Everglades National Park Visitors Center landscaping project. Please contact Carrie (305-661-9023) or Patty (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com) if you can come.

Sunday, April 21, 10 am - 4 pm: Earth Day at MetroZoo. The Chapter will participate with a booth where we will have a native tree ID game, plants on display and literature.

Saturday, April 27: 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.: Spring Plant Sale at Fairchild Tropical Garden. (9-9:30 is for FTG members only). DCFNPS will have vendors and volunteers to help shoppers find the plants they need

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A new chapter board was elected at the March 26 meeting. The members are: President: Carrie Cleland; Vice-president: Jerry Russo; Secretary: Gail Romero (new to the board); Treasurer: Sam Dawson; Directors at large: new— Bob Kelley , Jonathan Taylor and Steve Woodmansee; returning -- Karsten Rist, Lynka Woodbury; Past-president: Keith Bradley.

We extend our thanks to the retiring board members for their valued service. Tony Koop joined the board in 1998 and served as VP, led beginning botany walks, taught an excellent plant ID class for chapter members, and manages plant raffles at meetings. Carol Farber also joined the board in 1998. She has served as secretary and coordinates plant sales. Manny Pomares joined the board last year and has been an enthusiastic volunteer for many activities.

FNPS Natural History Workshop at Archbold Biological Station, April 19-21. Scrub, scrubby flatwoods, sandhills habitats.

Three days/two nights of nature immersion with some of Florida's best naturalists; emphasis on botany, plant-animal interactions. Meals provided, cabins/bunks available. Contact Maria Minno, FNPS Education Chair, minno@gator.net or call 352-375-3028.

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Native Plant Workshop. 3rd Tuesdays at Bill Sadowski Park, 1/2 mile west of Old Cutler Road on SW 176 Street, 7 PM. Study of plant ID and taxonomy. Call Steve Woodmansee (305-247-6547) or Roger Hammer (305-242-7688). April 16 topic: Cypress strand and dome swamps to coordinate with the Dade field trip.

Tropical Audubon Society activities. Doc Thomas House, 5530 Sunset Dr. 305-666-5111. Sunday, April 21, 9 a.m. to noon - Free tour of the Botanical Garden at the Tropical Audubon Society. Call 305 666-8074 for more information. Sun., April 21, - Charles Deering Estate Plant Walk with Rick Cohen. Call 305-666-5111 for reservations, time and place. Sat., April 27. TAS First Annual Birdathon. Support conservation and environmental education in south Florida. Count birds, collect pledges, and win prizes for highest species counts and most money raised. For details, visit tropicalaudubon.org, email birdathon@tropicalaudubon.org, or phone 305-666-5111.

Optics Events at Books & Books (Coral Gables), Sat., April 20 and Tropical Audubon's Doc Thomas House on Sun., April 21. Ron Windingstad of Eagle Optics discusses and demonstrate optics equipment. Touch and feel binoculars and spotting scopes and learn about their applications in birding, butterfly watching and nature viewing. Products will be available from many manufacturers for beginners and advanced enthusiasts. Call Books & Books or TAS for more information, or check the TAS web site (see previous announcement).

The Nature Conservancy of the Florida Keys Cleansweep workday: Sat., May 4. Plant natives at the scout camps on West Summerland Key (season finale). Contact Alison Higgins (305-745-8402 ext.111 or ahiggins@tnc.org).

Citizens for a Better South Florida invites volunteers to help plant native trees and shrubs in a new Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Demonstration Landscape at the MDCC Environmental Center, as part of a Family Day and Open House. The purpose of this project is to inspire community involvement, to promote "Florida-Friendly" landscaping practices, and to encourage tree canopy enhancement in urban neighborhoods. Saturday, April 27, 8:30a.m.-1:30p.m. at Miami-Dade Community College Environmental Center, 11011 SW 104th Street.

For questions, directions and to RSVP, please call the Environmental Center at 305-237-0975 or Citizens for a Better South Florida at 305-648-0000. You may also e-mail Citizens at citizens@cfabsf.org.

Key West Botanical Garden is seeking help with a comprehensive identification of their entire collection during the week of April 22-26. Staff, volunteers and Americorps workers will be working each day from 9 to 5 to support the "experts" -- you! Complimentary donated lunch and refreshments will be served. This inventory is in preparation for a major renovation and rejuvenation of the garden and will allow the Garden to be insured by the AABGA. (American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboretums.) Please call 305-296-1504 or email Carolann Sharkey at sharkeyfun@aol.com. Please pass this message along to anyone else who can help.

BAYNANZA: ongoing now through May 11. There is no shortage of things to do this ENTIRE month in Dade County, from bay canoeing to bay cleanup, Earth Day activities to Earthman concerts, lectures to EcoAdventures, weed pulling to weed tossing, and youth fishing to family volunteering -- waaaay too many to list here. The events are sponsored by many different agencies and organizations. Call 305-372-6419 or check out www.miamidade.gov.

Home Chemical Collection is April 27 8:30-4:00 at FIU North, MDCC Kendall and the permanent center at 8831 NW 58 St. Call 305-594-1500.

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Both the annual FNPS conference in Tallahassee on March 21-24 and the first few days of spring in a temperate climate were enjoyed by the contingent of members attending from Dade, Monroe and Broward Counties. The "spring ephemerals" were in bloom and just as advertised — lovely to behold. You really should make a point of going to the state conference, especially in a different part of the state.

Several chapter members and local area projects received awards. Because there were so many, they will be listed here and described in more detail in several issues of Tillandsia. Congratulations to all!

Landscape Awards:

• Miami-Dade Co. Parks Natural Areas Management for natural areas restoration at the Deering Estate at Cutler; • the Botanical Garden at the Tropical Audubon Society; • David Goodin and the City of South Miami for Fuchs Park; • Marjory Stoneman Douglas Nature Center; • Geomantic Designs, Inc. for the Florida Keys Arboretum at the University of Miami, Coral Gables; and • the City of Hollywood for the Maple Ridge restoration.

Green Palmetto Award: Chuck McCartney.

Mentor Award: Dr. Taylor Alexander.

Endowment grant: John Geiger, graduate student at FIU, for research on pollination biology of Ipomoea microdactyla, the bright red "Man-in-the-ground" morning glory found in Dade County pinelands. [Of 12 applicants for 3 $500 awards, John's was clearly the top pick of the committee. Congratulations, John!]

Green Palmetto Award Presented to Chuck McCartney

The following is from the text of the nomination and presentation made by Gwen Burzycki of the Dade Chapter:

The Dade and Broward Chapters of the Florida Native Plant Society would like to jointly nominate Chuck McCartney for a Palmetto Award. Chuck has been an active supporter of both chapters for many years and deserves to be recognized, both for his service and his educational zeal.

A third-generation South Floridian, Chuck McCartney was raised in Homestead, where, even as a child, he was drawn to the pretty native wildflowers he saw in empty lots and pineland remnants. Although his regular job has generally been in journalism (presently as a copy editor for the Miami Herald), he has always found time to include plants in his life, and worked for the American Orchid Society, first as assistant editor then editor of the society's publications during the 1980s. His efforts resulted in improvements in both the look and the contents of the AOS Bulletin and the Awards Quarterly.

Chuck's special interest has been the native orchids of southern

Florida, although other south Florida wildflowers come a close second. He has explored the pinelands, hammocks, swamps and mangrove forests of South Florida in search of our native orchids, and has found and photographed most of the 60 species reported to be native to this end of the state. He presents 5 to 6 programs a year on native wildflowers or orchids to FNPS chapters, garden clubs, orchid clubs and other groups. Each talk is tailored to the particular group, so he spends weeks in thoughtful preparation. He has given programs in every Florida east coast county except Nassau and Monroe as well as in Cherokee County, NC. We have estimated at least 60 presentations -- so far -- and he wears a necktie at every one. Chuck's photography is outstanding, and in his talks he pays careful attention to providing information about the plants and plant families. He always arranges to lead a field trip in connection with his talks to FNPS chapters, where the learning continues.

Chuck joined the original Native Plant Workshop in Dade County in 1974, and has been a member of FNPS for many years. It doesn't take long to realize that he is serious about gathering knowledge on native orchids and wildflowers, and just as serious about sharing that knowledge. He sets up an informational bulletin board before every meeting for the Broward Chapter FNPS. He is always one of the people to follow closely on field trips if one wishes to learn more than just the plant name. He also provides information on orchids to both writers and researchers or guides them to remote locations to see them in the wild. About 2 years ago, Chuck began actively mentoring a youngster with an interest in orchids who lives in St. Lucie County. Chuck does not let the 100-mile distance deter him from helping someone interested in plants, especially a young person.

Chuck is a well known and appreciated contributor to The Palmetto. He has authored seven articles and has provided outstanding photos for his own and other author's articles. Chuck also contributed many unique images for use in the FNPS "La Flora de la Florida" Hispanic Outreach project. He is an invaluable reviewer of articles; his meticulous attention to detail and modest manner make him a favorite with the Palmetto editor. He has written extensively about orchids for numerous other publications and has also written book reviews on plant-related books for The Miami Herald.

Chuck is fondly called a curmudgeon by those who know him, but he is also honest, hard working, modest, and loyal to a fault, and values those qualities in others. As gifts to his friends, he painstakingly designs holiday cards each year that include a superb and unique photograph of a Florida native or North Carolina native wildflower along with identification information for both the plant and the location of the photo. He graciously brings "cheap cookies" to field trips and awful puns to everything to keep us fed and entertained.

Chuck is a very special individual and a local treasure. He deserves to be honored by this Society.

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[Feb. 24, 2002, press release from Biscayne National Park]

Botanists conducting a plant inventory in Biscayne National Park have discovered a population of one of the world's rarest plants. The semaphore pricklypear cactus (Opuntia corallicola) is only found in South Florida, and the species was formerly thought to exist only on one small island in the lower Keys. That population numbered only 9 plants, and was threatened by poaching and by the larvae of an introduced species of moth. The Biscayne National Park population totals 570 plants, more than 63 times the previous number, and appears to be free of moth larvae. The cactus is currently under review for listing as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is already listed as endangered by the State of Florida.

Keith Bradley and Steven Woodmansee, botanists from The Institute for Regional Conservation, made the discovery on one of the park's islands as part of the National Park Service's Inventory and Monitoring program. "This national program provides the funding needed to finally identify the resources that the parks were established to protect," said Matt Patterson, the Service's South Florida and Caribbean Inventory and Monitoring Network Coordinator. The program is being implemented in 270 national park areas across the country.

"Protecting the northernmost islands of the Florida Keys from development was the primary impetus behind creating Biscayne National Monument (the park's predecessor) back in 1968," said Monika Mayr, Biscayne's Assistant Superintendent. "Anyone who has visited the islands already knows how special they are, and this new discovery confirms their role in preserving a remnant of Old Florida." Photographs of the plant are available on the park's website at: www.nps.gov/bisc/resource/semaphorepricklypear.htm.

[Editor's note: Keith Bradley is past president of the Dade Chapter FNPS, and Steve Woodmansee is a new chapter board member. Visit the Institute for Regional Conservation's web site at www.regionalconservation.org for more information about South Florida plants and natural areas.]

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The Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC) is pleased to announce the release of the new book: Rare Plants of South Florida. The culmination of 7 years of research by George D. Gann, Keith A. Bradley, and Steven W. Woodmansee, the 1000+ page manual treats 355 of the extinct, historical, and critically imperiled plants of South Florida. Detailed historical accounts of each species is provided, as well as recommendations for their conservation and restoration.

"A book with profound significance for plant conservation, not only for South Florida, but for the entire state of Florida, the nation, and the world." - Richard P. Wunderlin, Ph.D. University of South Florida, Tampa.

"This volume provides clear, well-considered, and well-researched guidance about the status and management needs of rare plants in a region critical for biodiversity. It is an invaluable reference for conservation, management, and research efforts in South Florida." - Doria Gordon, Ph.D. State Ecologist. The Nature Conservancy of Florida.

Copies can be obtained directly from IRC by calling (305) 247-6547, or emailing, info@regionalconservation.org. Copies will also be sold by the Dade Chapter FNPS chapter meetings. The cost of the book is $49.95.

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Sabatia bartramii, Gentian Family (Gentianaceae)

Undoubtedly, one of South Florida's real botanical gems is Bartram's Rosegentian. It is easily one of our showiest species and if you've never laid eyes on one then you're in for a real treat. The leaves are arranged at right angles to the pair immediately above and below. The leaves are spatulate or narrowly oblong, 1 1/2 -3 1/2" long, 3/8-5/8" wide, and spreading away from the stem. The flowers are about 2 3/4" wide with radiating petals that typically number from 10" to 14" wide and are held atop tall stems. Flower color ranges from rich, rosy-magenta to light pink and (rarely) white. The center of the flower is yellow, bordered by a jagged, red line.

Bartram's Rosegentian is common in the Big Cypress National Preserve but is entirely absent from Everglades National Park to the south. An easy place to see them is in the open, cypress-studded prairies of the Big Cypress. Try walking the Florida Trail that extends to the south across from the Oasis Ranger Station along Tamiami Trail. The southern extension of this trail will lead you right through prime habitat for this species. Another good place to look is along the road that was built for the ill-conceived Jetport. To find this road, take Tamiami Trail west until you enter the Big Cypress National Preserve (the road will have turned from west to northwest just before entering the preserve. Continue until the road again makes a turn to the west and get ready to turn onto the paved road a short distance down on your right. Take this road north until it turns back to the east. Stop about midway down along this part of the road and walk out into the cypress prairies. Bartram's Rosegentian begins to flower in May and is at its height in June and July.

The genus Sabatia honors the 18th century Italian botanist, Liberato Sabbati, who was curator of a botanical garden in Rome. The species name, bartramii, commemorates William Bartram (1739-1823), who traveled through Florida and was the first native-born American to spend his life as a naturalist. Bartram's writings helped inspire the poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge, and also influenced the nature-based philosophy of Emerson and Thoreau.

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The Fairchild Tropical Garden Herbarium (known to botanists as FTG) has changed a great deal in the last three years, and given the importance of this resource to the Dade Chapter of FNPS, I thought that I would just give you a little update (while tactlessly begging for volunteers and donations). I was the first full time Keeper hired since Donovan Correll, and many years of having only collection managers and part time overseers in various capacities meant that I had to take an essentially static collection and try to build a real program out. Lynka Woodbury has greatly facilitated that by managing the collection AND our large army of volunteers and allowing me to concentrate on the program issues and be a science/computer geek. Despite the usual lack of labor and money I am really proud of what we have been able to accomplish - much of it with the help of some dedicated FNPS volunteers.

We have been enormously lucky with our collections which have doubled in size from 80,000 to 165,000 specimens since 1998. In 1999 we received the Buswell Herbarium from the University of Miami and in 2001 we received the majority of the Florida Atlantic University Herbarium, so we are now the only major herbarium in South Florida. Even though we are busting at the seams in our current quarters at the Fairchild Tropical Garden Research Center, we hope to continue to inherit collections of South Florida plants and to receive even more collections from individuals - meaning you - the members of FNPS (see www.virtualherbarium.org/collecting.htm).

I know that a lot more of you have used the herbarium lately, too, even if you didn't realize it. We have gone from having fewer than 500 to about 50,000 people a year use the collection (mostly through the Internet). Our Fairchild Tropical Garden Botanical Resource Center (www.virtualherbarium.org) got 2.4 million hits in 2001, almost as many as our general Garden web site www.fairchildgarden.org. We have the first and largest truly virtual herbarium on the Internet and it is always getting better. As soon as we can raise $7000 in donations for equipment, we will begin a new and very exciting chapter in our history by again going well beyond the cutting edge of herbarium technology. We will begin to make all of our specimen images the highest resolution ones on the Internet. You can zoom in to about 7X, it is like having a hand lens on the entire specimen and it is fast enough to work over a modem connection. Have a look at http://www.virtualherbarium.org/vh/types/default.html and www.virtualherbarium.org/bamboo/scans.html. We just need volunteer hours and a little bit of money.

In short, the herbarium is thriving and we need you to keep us moving ahead, so contact us if you can help. There are volunteer projects that can be done at home over the internet, ones that involve photography and a lot that involve pleasant, easy work in a collegial, air conditioned environment here at the research center. Please contact Lynka Woodbury (lwoodbury@fairchildgarden.org) for more information on volunteering and me (stinger@fairchildgarden.org) if you can help with our little equipment fund.

Gerald "Stinger" Guala, Ph.D., Keeper of the Herbarium
Fairchild Tropical Garden Research Center
11935 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables, FL 33156-4299

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General information and memberships: 305-255-6404

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

President: Carrie Cleland (305-661-9023)

Vice President: Jerry Russo

DCFNPS e-mail: DadeChFNPS@juno.com

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

Webmaster: Greg Ballinger

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

FNPS Eco Action Alert List: send email request to info@fnps.org

FNPS (state) phone: 561-462-0000

Tillandsia editors:

Patty Phares (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com

Co-editor: VACANT — please apply

The Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the understanding and preservation of Florida's native flora and natural areas, and promoting native plants in landscapes.

The chapter includes residents of Miami-Dade County and the Keys. Meetings in Miami-Dade County are on the 4th Tuesday of each month except June, August and December at Fairchild Tropical Garden and are free and open to the public. In June, members and their guests are invited to an evening garden tour on the 4th Tuesday. Meetings in the Keys are held on a varying schedule of dates and locations from Key Largo to Key West. The basic FNPS membership (state and chapter) is $25 per year. Please contact DCFNPS for a membership application.

Please send articles, announcements of local activities and news of interest to the Dade Chapter PO Box or email to the editor (above) by the 15th of each month to be considered for publication the following month. Advertising rates from $10/month.

© 1999-2002 Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society, Inc.

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