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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MARCH, 2003

In This Issue

WILD DILLY by Roger Hammer

The Legislature is right at your fingertips www.leg.state.fl.us


Tuesday, March 25, 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road.

"Florida's Wetlands" -- Dr. Martin Roessler, environmental consultant.

Dr. Roessler will explain the classification and the function of wetlands, and show examples of the plants used in defining wetland as well as examples of some of the most interesting and beautiful flora of swamps and marshes.

Marty received a Doctorate in Marine Sciences from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School. After teaching Population Dynamics and Biometry and conducting research on the pink shrimp fishery and ecology of Biscayne Bay, he and several associates from RSMAS formed Tropical BioIndustries, a consulting business in South Florida and the tropics. He has been involved in defining, evaluating and protecting wetlands for many years. Most of us know him best as our field trip leader and the one who knows the plants, as well as the author of the field trip reports in Tillandsia.

Carli Koshal and Lucia Goyen, winners of this year's George Avery Award at the South Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair, will give a short presentation of their project

We will also have our Annual Meeting with election of the chapter board and vote on a proposed amendment to the bylaws to move the annual meeting to May.

Thanks in advance to refreshment donors: Barbara McAdam, Donna Rich, Patty Harris, George Childs (snacks), Manny Pomares (drinks and ice). New volunteers to bring refreshments, additions to the refreshments and raffle table are also appreciated.

Upcoming meetings. April 22: Dr. Ron Cave, Biological Control of the Mexican Bromeliad Weevil. May 27: Steve Woodmansee, Common South Florida native lawn weeds

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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.

Saturday, March 29: Seminole Wayside Park pineland. This 28 acre pineland managed by Miami-Dade Parks is somewhat different from other pinelands in Dade County, and the walk should be easy.

Sunday, April 27: Corbett Wildlife Refuge (wetland, including wetland boardwalk, Palm Beach County).

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All chapter members are invited to all chapter activities. To receive personal notification of Keys Group 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.

Next meeting: March 25, 7 pm. Dr. Deborah Shaw, Director of Environmental Affairs for the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative, will present a program on native Keys tree snails at the Marathon Garden Club.

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NATIVE PLANT DAY at The Deering Estate


You can see from the enclosed flier and schedule that another great Native Plant Day has been planned by DCFNPS. As you know, this is our chapter's annual public event and most important public outreach. Please encourage your neighbors and coworkers to come (and bring the kids), and post a copy of the flier anywhere you can.

You will certainly want to enjoy some programs and walks, but we also need you to contribute some time as a volunteer. Many of the jobs do not require knowledge of native plants or any special skill.

Please sign up at the February meeting or call Patty Phares (305-255-6404) or Carrie Cleland (305-661-9023) ASAP to tell us how you will help.

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Chapter workday at Bear Cut Preserve, Biscayne Nature Center, April 5, 9 a.m. - noon. We will join other volunteers to plant natives and remove exotics on our 4th annual workday. Directions: Enter the North Entrance of Crandon Park, Key Biscayne; tell the attendant that you are going to the workday, head to the north end of the parking lot. Friends and family welcome. Please try to call Carrie if you plan to come (305-661-9023).

Everglades National Park Chapter workday: April 12, 9 a.m. - noon. We will remove some plants to prepare for a big planting day (May 31) — plus the usual weeding and mulching. New volunteers are encouraged — there is a job for every level of strength. Bring tools if you can (for digging, cutting). Some hand tools available. Refreshments provided. Please try to call Carrie (305-361-9023) or Patty (305-255-6404) so we know how many to expect.

FNPS 23rd Annual State conference, Ft. Myers, May 8 - 11. You should have already received your conference brochure and registration form. Applications for the Landscape Awards are due March 10. Please see your latest Palmetto or Sabal Minor or www.fnps.org for more information.

Casey's Corner Nursery and Landscaping in the Redland is a new addition to our list of native nurseries. Susan Casey says that they are open on Saturdays and sell retail. Call 305-248-7284.

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Gifford Arboretum Annual Lecture and Art Opening, Thursday, April 10, 7 - 9:30 p.m. Dr. Robin Chazdon will speak on "Tropical Forest Recovery: Legacies of Human Intervention and Natural Disturbances". Followed by wine and cheese reception, book-signing and art opening. Art exhibit: Regrowth, Renewal and Regeneration" (sculptures and drawings by UM students and local artists). Tour of the Gifford Arboretum at 6 p.m. Location: 126 Cox Science Building, Univ. of Miami. Call 305-284-5364. FREE.

Miami-Dade Parks & Recreatioh Natural Areas Management workdays, 9:00-noon. Wear closed toe shoes and long pants. Call 305-257-0904 for more information. March 8, March 22,& April 12: Kendall Indian Hammocks Park (11345 SW 79 St.) -- join the "Spud-busters" and get rid of air potatoes.

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). March 18: Gymnosperms (cone-bearing plants) and Polygalaceae (Milkwort family).

Broward Native Plant Workshop. 3rd Wednesdays at 7:30 Address: Room 204B, UF's Agriculture Research and Education Center, 3205 College Ave., Davie. Contact: Chuck McCartney, 954-922-9747. March 19 topic: Rubiaceae, the madder family.

Tropical Audubon Society ( 5530 Sunset Drive, 305-666-5111):

Greensweep Volunteer Workdays in the Keys. First Saturdays, 9 - noon. Call The Nature Conservancy at 305-745-8402. April 5: Tropical Crane Point Hammock, Marathon. Help remove exotics and then enjoy the grounds and museum.

In Marathon: The Nature Conservancy's 4th Annual Native Plant Fair. Saturday, March 22, 9 a.m. - noon, at Stanley Switlik Elementary School, MM 48.4. This event promotes preservation of native biological diversity in the Keys and provides a fun way to acquaint residents with the beauty and ecological importance of native plants and threats posed by invasive exotic plants species. There will be free plants for all, free presentations and displays, answers for your gardening and plant questions, prizes and raffles. For more information call TNC at 305-745-8402.

Activities and classes at the Miami Dade Community College Environmental Center Kendall Campus. Call 305-237-2538 or visit www.mdcc.edu/kendall/env/home.htm. Teacher Planning Day/ Nature Camp (Mar. 28); Science/Nature Camp for Kids(Mar. 31- Apr. 4); Pine Rockland Restoration (Apr. 26).

DCFNPS member Diane Otis will teach Easy Gardening with Florida Natives (April 26, 10am - 1:00pm). Cut down on watering and fertilizers while increasing the beauty of your yard. Learn to create mini_ecosystems that will attract butterflies and other wildlife. By creating natural habitats in your backyard you are fostering a beneficial relationship between you and the environment. Native plants will be available (for purchase) as well as advice on plants best suited to your yard. $25. Advanced registration is required.

Landscape Technology Program at Miami Dade Community College Kendall Campus. Courses for a new credit certificate focusing on native plants., Ecological Restoration Technician, begin in May. Courses range from South Florida field biology to exotic plant management in native areas, many with visiting lecturers and field guides prominent in this field. Classes are evenings and Saturdays, and the certificate can be completed in one year. Contact Ron Mossman, Director of the Landscape Program, 305-237-2583 or rmossman@mdcc.edu. Native Plant Identification and Usage begins May 13; Special Topics in Landscaping: Exotic Plant I.D. and Management begins May 17.

Fairchild Tropical Garden tours: Saturday, March 22, everglades Wildflower Walk with Roger Hammer. Saturday, April 5, Spring Birds and Butterflies with Robert Kelley. Registration required. Call 305-667-1651 x 3322 with credit card.

Input for the Everglades National Park General Management Plan is being accepted. Is there something that you would like to see happen -- or not happen? If so, speak up! Send a message to the park. Check out www.nps.gov/ever/gmp. Send comments to ENP, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034, attn: Fred Herling or EVER_GMP@nps.gov.

Abandoned native butterfly plants available. Wild lime and hackberry. Need TLC. Call Joyce or Don Gann, 786-423-1881. The plants will be discarded very soon. Call immediately.

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Congratulations to Carli Koshal and Lucia Goyen, recipients of this year's George N. Avery Award, presented by the Dade Chapter for outstanding science fair projects at the South Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Their project was titled "Discriminant Analysis of Mitigated vs. Unmitigated Red Mangroves: The Effect of Turbidity on Growth Rates." Carli and Lucia are12th grade students at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School, and their science teacher is Ms. Green. Judges Allyn Golub, Lynka Woodbury and Rita Woodbury selected this project at the science fair on February 11 at Cutler Ridge Mall. The students will present their project to us and receive their awards (certificate and book store gift certificate) at the March meeting.

As you can see from the following project summary, the students demonstrate not only an interest in science and its application in environmental research, but a high degree of scientific expertise.

"Unmitigated areas of Red Mangrove forests present a thriving community. At present these areas have been described as 'healthier' than the mitigated areas. Mangroves planted in mitigated areas grow at a different rate than those that grow naturally. We felt that since unmitigated areas are presumed to be healthier, the red mangroves would grow much faster in this natural environment than in the mitigated areas. Through our research, we found out that wasn't the case. In order to determine what factors contribute to this difference, we tested pH, turbidity and temperature of both mitigated and unmitigated areas of red mangrove populations at Oleta River State Park. Ten red mangroves were selected, each similar in size, from both areas and marked off with string. However, in the mitigated area, mangroves were selected at stratified distances from shore, to determine if distance was a variable. In our analysis, we used a TI graphing calculator in conjunction with a CBL and various probes (pH, turbidity, temperature). To measure the heights of the plants we used a basic tape measure. Readings of pH, turbidity and temperature of the red mangroves in both these areas were taken over the course of a year and the values were plotted. Monthly measurements were taken at comparable times of the day (late afternoon). The measurements show that there was no significant difference between pH and temperature of the areas. However, there was a significant difference between turbidity, as there was higher turbidity in the mitigated areas than the unmitigated areas. This is what we feel contributed to the difference in the high rate of growth in the mitigated area as opposed to the unmitigated area."

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WILD DILLY by Roger Hammer

Manilkara jaimiqui subsp. emarginata

by Roger Hammer

One of my favorite native trees of southern Florida is Wild Dilly. Wild trees always exude grand character , with their gnarled trunk, compact canopy, and dull-green oblong leaves. There are usually fruit present and these resemble round, scurfy, brown ornaments tucked among the leaves. When a tree is in flower, the clusters of greenish brown blossoms exude an odd, sweet odor that attracts honeybees.

It is rather unfortunate that Wild Dilly isn't cultivated. Nurserymen claim that it grows too slowly but slow growth can be an attribute in some cases and, as the old saying goes, "good things are worth waiting for." Wild Dilly is a native relative of the more widely known Sapodilla (Manilkara zapota). Like the Sapodilla, the fruit of Wild Dilly are edible when fully ripe and somewhat resemble the flavor of a pear mixed with brown sugar. The white latex extracted from the bark of trees in this genus is harvested for the production of chicle, a principal ingredient in chewing gum. Pick an unripe fruit of either Sapodilla or Wild Dilly, let the milky latex form a small puddle in the palm of your hand, stir it with a finger and, voila, you have chicle. Now try to figure out how to get the gooey stuff off your palm!

The genus name, Manilkara, is taken from manyl-kara, a vernacular name from the Malabar region of southern India for another member of the genus. The species name is from jai-mi-ki, the Taino Indian word for the tree, meaning "Water Crab Spirit," and the subspecies name, emarginata, refers to the notched leaf tip (emarginate).

Getting back to the Taino Indians, it is interesting that many books refer to them as an extinct, aboriginal people from the Greater Antilles. While working on the manuscript for an upcoming book, Florida Keys Wildflowers, I was having difficulty with the name derivation for jaimiqui, and a friend, Dick Wunderlin, suggested that it might possibly be of Indian origin. While surfing the net, I ran across a website for the Taino Indian Tribal Affairs, which started with the headline, "We Are Not Extinct!" I emailed Principal Chief Cacique Pedro Guanikeyu Torres of the Jatibonicu Taino People in Puerto Rico and it was he who enlightened me about the origin of the word jaimiqui. And he even began his reply in the Taino language by wishing me, Tau Ah Taiguey Guaitiao, "Hello and Good Day Friend."

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As you turn in from Old Cutler Road to enter Fairchild Tropical Garden through our new Jean duPont Shehan Visitor Center, you pass a buffer zone with Matheson Hammock Park. In that zone, we are recreating a hardwood hammock as a transition from Matheson into the Garden, and as a way of presenting the native landscape of South Florida.

The plot we are using lies on the ridge that extends from Miami south to the Deering Estate and eventually to Homestead. The ground was solid rock so deep we had to rent a jackhammer to dig planting holes. We had the chance to start with young plants, so we chose plants of different heights in 1- to 25-gallon containers and also a couple of field-grown trees.

We created a path lined with logs and installed laminated signs so visitors can easily identify and learn the plants. You may recognize the live oak, the gumbo limbo (Bursera simaruba), with its red, peeling bark, and the satin leaf (Chrysophyllum oliviforme) with leaves that are dark green on top and satiny brown underneath. A short-leaf fig (Ficus citrifolia) and three wild tamarinds (Lysiloma latisilaquum) are fast-growing trees that will help shade the area in the near future. Other trees that will grow tall are the paradise tree (Simarouba glauca), the Jamaican dogwood (Piscidia piscipula), two pigeon plums (Coccoloba diversifolia), and the mastic (Sideroxylum foetidissum). You can see a mature specimen of this tree in plot 50 in the Fairchild Garden Arboretum.

As for the understory, the stoppers predominate. Simpsons, Spanish, Red, and White stoppers are mixed in a small group for the wild birds to hide in and feed on. The spicewood (Calyptranthes pallens) can be found nearby with its unfolding pink or pale red young leaves. Wild coffees (Psychotria) are represented with our three native species. You would not mistake the highly glossy leaves with their deeply impressed side veins of the common Psychotria nervosa for the P. ligustrifolia and its glossy dark leaves. P. sulzneri has intensely dark leaves with a distinctive bluish green tinge.

On the female bitterbush (Picramnia pentandra) when it is in season, you can see large clusters of sizable one-seeded berries maturing from reddish to wine red or black. Five Krug's holly (Ilex krugiana) were placed on the east side of the hammock because they are more resistant to cold. A wild lime (Zanthoxylum fagara) stands a short distance from the path, and among its leaves you can observe the larvae of the giant swallowtail.

The marlberry (Ardisia escallonioides) bloomed in early December and was surrounded by its insect pollinators. We also added a couple of crabwood (Gymnanthes lucida), black ironwood (Krugiodendron ferreum),West Indian cherry (Prunus myrtifolia) and the Jamaica Caper (Capparis cynophallophora) for diversity.

Come and see during the years the habit of growth of our native plants at young age, and the wildlife slowly discovering this small but diversify food supply.

Benoit Jonckheere, Curator of the McLamore Arboretum

Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156

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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/chapters/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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