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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In This Issue



Tuesday, July 23, 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road. (4th TUESDAY, NOT THE LAST)

Combining Fruit Trees and Natives in the Home Landscape. Speaker: Dr. Carl Campbell.

"Fruit trees and other non-natives, planted in combination with native species can provide for a diverse, multiple use home landscape compatible with urban South Florida. Such landscapes can provide the home gardener with a bounty of useful fruit and plant products; as well as, enhance the diversity of insect and animal species supported by the home garden. By selecting appropriate plants and compatible combinations, the use of irrigation, chemical inputs and other monetary and environmental expenses can be minimized. In South Florida, due to our superior genetic resources, we have at our disposal a wide array of superior native and non-native fruit and landscape plants. By incorporating both native and non-native plants into the home landscape and adopting appropriate horticultural techniques for their management, a landscape can be developed that provides the maximum benefit to the home gardener and contributes to a healthy and sustainable environment."

The above summary, taken from an article by Richard Campbell, Senior Curator of Tropical Fruit and Head of the Tropical Fruit Program at Fairchild Tropical Garden, sums up the program to be presented by his collaborator (and father), Dr. Carl Campbell. Carl is a DCFNPS member and was a native plant expert and Native Plant Workshop participant before FNPS was even founded. Before retiring, he researched all aspects of fruit production at the University of Florida's Tropical Research Center in Homestead and was also a private consultant for mango growers in the tropics.

Before the program, we will have a short "bull session" to create a list of possible science project topics for middle and high school students. We would like to provide more visibility for the chapter's George Avery Award and to cultivate more interest in native plant topics. Many science teachers are just learning about native plants and local environmental issues, so our assistance is important. Please come with ideas -- simple or sophisticated.

Also, plants will be for sale. Thanks to landscape designer John Tomczak of Envirodesigns for donating the plants to keep after our Earth Day display and to Sam Dawson for "plant-sitting".

Thanks in advance to refreshment donors: Sharon Dyer and Patty Harris (snacks) and Patty Phares (drinks and ice). Your additions to the refreshment and raffle table are appreciated.

August: There is a field trip, but NO meeting or newsletter.

September 24: Dr. James Cuda from UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, will speak about biological control of invasive weeds and testing threatened and endangered native plant species as part of the risk assessment process.

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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.

These are easy, short, close-to-home trips for summer.

Saturday, July 20: Bear Cut Preserve, Crandon Park. Botanize the dunes and hammock on north Key Biscayne.

Sunday, August 18: Ron Ehman Park pineland and Kendall Indian Hammocks park.

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Note: All Dade Chapter members are welcome at all chapter activities. To receive personal notification of Keys activities or for more information, please contact Lisa Gordon (ledzep@keysconnection.com) (or Jim Duquesnel (305-451-1202 or jandj.Duquesnel@mindspring.com). Leave your name, phone/fax number, or email address.

Monthly meeting: Thursday, July 18th at the State Building in Marathon, MM 48.5 Bayside, 2796 Overseas Hwy, room 104.

7p.m. -- plant identification, bring cuttings of mystery plants to stump the experts. 7:30p.m. -- announcements and program (TBA). 8p.m. -- first annual "Elections and Directions". We will line up volunteers to help take care of the group's needs and lay out a course for the upcoming year. Refreshments and the fun and exciting plant raffle follow. Win a great plant for as little as $1.00!

Field trip and yard visit: Saturday July 27. A tour of the museum and grounds at Crane Point Hammock, and then a yard tour and lunch at the home of a chapter member to see her ongoing native plant garden project. [Field trips and yard visits are for chapter members and their guests. Please join!]

August: NO Keys field trip or meeting, and no newsletter.

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Our next Everglades National Park Coe Visitor Center landscaping project workday will be on Saturday, August 10, 9a.m. - noon. We have 100 baby pines and a few other things to plant, mulch to spread, and of course some weeds to keep in check. With enough of you to help we could be done well before noon, so please come help! Please bring your favorite sun protection, mosquito repellant, gloves and tools, especially a digging bar if you have one — shovels and pruning tools might get used as well. We'll supply drinks and snacks (would someone else like to volunteer to take a turn?); the park has gloves and insect spray for those who need them. Students can earn Community Service hours. Please contact Carrie or Patty if you hope to come (see info box on back page of printed newsletter).

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Dade 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). July 16 topic: repeat of the Convolvulaceae (morning glory family).

Broward Native Plant Workshop. 3rd Wednesdays at 7:30 on the Davie campus main building of Florida Atlantic University (FAU), in the botany lab, room 317. July 17 topic: Euphorbiaceae except the chamaesyces. Address: 2912 College Avenue.

The North American Butterfly Association's Coral Gables butterfly count will be the last weekend of July. Call Bob Kelley at 305-666-9246 or e-mail Rkelley@math.miami.edu if you would more information.

The Miami-Dade Adopt-A-Tree program. Free trees (native, fruit, flowering)! Get more information at www.co.miami-dade.fl.us/adoptatree, phone number 305-372-6555, or e-mail adoptatree@miamidade.gov. July 27, tentatively Miami Springs Recr. Center; Aug. 17, tentatively N. Dade Library; Sept. 14, Central-West Miami-Dade; Oct. 5, Northeastern Miami-Dade; Oct. 26, South Miami-Dade. DCFNPS members urged to assist. Please contact Joy Klein at (305-372-6586) or email kleinj@miamidade.gov or adoptatree@miamidade.gov.

Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department, Natural Areas Management workdays, 9 a.m. - noon. Sept.4, Trinity Pineland (SW 76 St and 73 Ct.); Sept. 28, Rockdale Pineland (SW 92 Ave at 145 St.) and more throughout the fall. Call 305-257-0904.

Does your garden (or garden-to-be) qualify as a National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat? Maybe it does or could with a little adjustment. Native plants are an integral part of the habitat needs. The requirements on the application include descriptions of plants for food and cover, water source, places for wildlife to raise young, resource conservation, and wildlife supported in your habitat. For more information or assistance, contact Margie Pikarsky, NWF Habitat Steward at 305-248-6657 or margie@pikarco.com. You can also visit www.nwf.org/backyardwildlifehabitat or call 716-461-3092.

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by Roger L. Hammer

The genus Pluchea (Fleabanes) in South Florida is represented by three relatively common species but, surprisingly, few of them are ever cultivated. All three produce clusters of tiny, pink, disk flowers that attract butterflies. The genus was named to commemorate the French naturalist, Abbe N. A. Pluche (1688-1761). The largest species is called either "Bushy Fleabane" or "Cure for All" (Pluchea carolinensis), which grows to about 8 feet tall. Like its name implies, it is bushy and it is used medicinally in parts of its range. In the West Indies, a tea is brewed from the leaves to treat colds, or they are heated and placed on sprains to relieve swelling. The leaves are pungently aromatic when crushed The species name, carolinensis, means "of the Carolinas". When it was named in 1789 it was believed, in error, to have come from the Carolinas.

Another species that can take on a somewhat bushy appearance is Salt Marsh Fleabane (Pluchea odorata). This species not only inhabits salt marsh habitat, it is common in freshwater wetlands as well. It typically grows to a height of about four feet but may be smaller. The name odorata means "fragrant", in reference to the aromatic leaves and flowers. Butterflies that visit the flowers include Buckeyes, White Peacocks, Great Southern Whites, Florida Whites, and a host of skippers. In the Caribbean the leaves are used in a tea to relieve colds.

The smallest species is Marsh Fleabane (Pluchea rosea) that typically only reaches about a foot tall. The leaves are covered with hairs and a potted specimen is quite attractive. Again, the flowers attract a host of small butterflies, especially hairstreaks, crescents, blues, and skippers. The highly aromatic leaves of this species were once used to stuff inside pillows and bedding to repel fleas, hence the name "Fleabane". The species name, rosea, refers to the rose-colored flower heads.

All three species can be easily grown from seed so if you are ever in an area where collecting seeds is legal, try your hand at growing this interesting group of native wildflowers.

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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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