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, 2003

In This Issue



Tuesday, October 28, 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road.

Rufino Orsorio, author of the popular book, A Gardener's Guide to Florida's Native Plants, will show slides of South Florida wildflowers and discuss their cultivation.  Rufino is an avid gardener and amateur botanist who specializes in the cultivation of Florida native plants, especially the small shrubs and wildflowers.  Originally from Chicago, where he grew woodland and prairie plants, he has lived in Palm Beach County for 15 years and is a member of the Florida Native Plant Society.

Thanks in advance to refreshment donors: Gwladys Scott, Sandra Cleland (drinks and ice); Chris Migliaccio, Patty Harris, George Childs (snacks).  Additional to the refreshments and raffle plants are always appreciated.

November 25 meeting: Dr. Laura Ogden, FIU Dept of Sociology and Anthropology – the role of local residents in transforming the Everglades from an "unknown" landscape to one known to science. See her book (co-authored with Glen Simmons) Gladesman: Gator Hunters, Moonshiners and Skiffers for a sneak preview.

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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. Details are contained in the regular mailed each month to members. Collecting is not permitted. Please join today so that you can enjoy all the benefits of membership!

Sunday, October 19: Okaloacoochee Slough in Hendry County.  This area is a major headwater for the Fakahatchee Strand and Big Cypress National Preserve.  It contains largely undisturbed wetlands surrounded by oak and cabbage palm-dominated hydric hammocks.  Many grasses and composites should be in bloom.

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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: Tuesday, October 21.  Monroe County Extension agent Kim Gabel will talk about insects commonly found in our Key's yards and gardens – the good, the bad and the ugly – and what to do about those that become pests.  Location: Government Center in Marathon at the State Building at MM 48.5, bayside.  Schedule: Plant ID session at 7 p.m. Bring cuttings of your mystery plants or anything interesting, including flowers and fruit if available. Program at 7:30 p.m., followed by refreshments and native plant raffle  (donations welcome!)  Call Lisa at (305) 743-0978 if you have questions.  The public is invited to the meeting.

Field trip: Saturday, Oct. 25: Back by popular demand: Long Key Bight canoe trip.  Botanically different from the upper Keys, Long Key provides an interesting contrast in native Keys flora.   Field trips are for FNPS members. 

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Dade Native Plant Workshop.  3rd Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Bill Sadowski Park, 1/2 mile west of Old Cutler Road on SW 176 Street.  Study of plant ID and taxonomy. Call Steve Woodmansee (305-247-6547) or Roger Hammer (305-242-7688).  October 21 topic: submerged and floating plants.

Broward Native Plant Workshop.  3rd Wednesdays at 7:30  Address: Room 204B, UF's Agriculture Research and Education Center, 3205 College Ave., Davie.  Call Chuck McCartney, 954-922-9747. October 22 topic: Florida's native palms.

Miami-Dade DERM's Adopt-A-Tree program is nearing the end of the season.  Information: 305-468-5900, www.co.miami-dade.fl.us/derm/adoptatree.  After 5 pm and for elderly/disabled planting: 305-372-6555.  October 18 distribution at Harris Field (US 1 and SW 312 Street) includes native trees, as well as non-invasive fruit and flowering trees.  Joy Klein would greatly appreciate FNPS volunteers to review the basics of tree-planting to each person (or other duties).  Contact her at 305-372-6586.

TREEmendous Miami invites new volunteers for tree planting projects.  Call Amy Creekmur, 305-378-1863, or Gary Hunt, 305-674-9403, for more details or visit www.treemendousmiami.orgDo a good deed -- assist in planting trees for elderly and disabled Adopt-A-Tree recipients as well as other projects.

Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Dept. Natural Areas Management (NAM) workdays, 9a.m. - noon.   Oct 18: Florida City Pineland, SW 345 Street at 184 Ave. (behind the Charter School on Palm Drive, SW 344 Street).  Oct. 25: Goulds Pineland, SW 224 Street and 120 Ave.  Nov. 1: Hattie Bauer Hammock (former Orchid Jungle), SW 152 Ave at 257 Street, Nov. 15: Deering Estate (please call NAM).  Wear close-toes shoes and long pants.  Call 305-257-0904 for more information.

Also remember  that  the NAM pine rockland t-shirts are  in! Mail a $15 check (payable to Miami-Dade County) to NAM, attn: Magaly, 22200 SW 137 Ave, Goulds, FL 33170.     Include your address and size (M, L, XL). Your shirt and a receipt will be mailed to you.

Tropical Audubon Society activities (5530 Sunset Drive).  Call 305-666-5111or see http://tropicalaudubon.org/ for more info and activities.  Meetings are free and fees apply for walks. 

Meetings: Oct. 8 – Butterflies of South Florida, Bob Kelley. Nov. 12 – Restoring the Everglades: Great Expectations and huge uncertainties!, John Ogden. 

Activities: Oct. 12: Beginning botany walk at Matheson Hammock.  Nov. 2: Deering Estate nature walk, reservations required.  Nov. 15: Workday, 8:30 - noon.  Help restore pineland at TAS.

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Lobate lac scale is a new scourge and extremely potent threat to South Florida plants.  This exotic insect pest was first seen here in 1999 and last year spread into many private and public gardens and natural areas in Dade and Broward Counties.  You will instantly recognize this small, dark scale with four lobes.  Heavy infestations form a solid crust of insects.

Native and non-native plants have been affected and some, especially the native wax myrtles, are dead or in decline.  Some species, however, apparently can tolerate the scale, which is good news.  The search has begun for potential biological control agents, but it is at least 2 years away from release if one is found.

Most "native plant people" want to avoid using dangerous chemicals. Many are reporting success with oil sprays to kill adults and to stop the spread of the scale by its "crawlers.  Ultrafine, Superfine and Sunspray horticultural oils, available in the pesticide section of garden centers, are appropriate for our hot weather.  (Do not use volck oil, which burns plants here.) Organocide has also been used successfully.  The best time to spray is when plants are dry, wind is calm and the temperature has dropped.  Spraying in late afternoon may increase effectiveness and lessen the likelihood of plant damage. Be careful with an oil spray during hot weather to avoid plant damage.  Read the label to see what maximum temperature is listed.  With any oil spray, first test on a few leaves and wait a couple days to check for phototoxicity.  Thoroughly cover twigs (the favorite spot of the scale) and repeat the treatment weekly for a month.  After that, reapply when new scales are found.  The old dead scales may persist for a long time and be confused with live scales.

If you prefer to use a homemade spray, Adrian Hunsburger, Urban Horticulture Agent/Entomologist at the University of Florida Miami-Dade Extension, recommends:  1-2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil per gallon of distilled (or reverse osmosis) water -- 50 cents/gal at the grocery store.  (Or use 1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil to 1 gal water, 1 Tbsp. white vinegar to lower the water's pH.)  Use a few drops of liquid detergent if you aren't getting good coverage

If the plant is too large to spray completely and is in decline, you may resort to a root drench containing imidacloprid.  Check in the pesticide section of garden centers and at agricultural supply stores.  This should not be used on fruit trees.  Strictly follow all directions and safety precautions.

Some people have removed light infestations on small plants by picking off scales.  Avoid hard scraping as this can open the bark to infection.  Severe pruning of fast-growing shrubs such as firebush and wax myrtle has also been used to help get ahead of an infestation, either before or after treating with oil spray.  Try to seal up infected cuttings in a bag to avoid spreading.  Kill them in the bag in the freezer or by baking in the sun.

Don't forget that many homemade remedies for plant problems are ineffective and more dangerous than "chemicals" on the market.  Check out these concoctions with an expert before using them.  The Miami-Dade Extension phone number is 305-248-3311 and their web site is miami-dade.ifas.ufl.edu.

Information  from Adrian Hunsburger. (Miami-Dade Extension) and numerous  DCFNPS members, compiled by Patty Phares.

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TALKING NATIVE: Joewood – A Classy Native Tree

by Roger Hammer

One of my favorite native trees is Joewood (Jacquinia keyensis), which can be found growing wild in the Florida Keys (Miami-Dade and Monroe counties) as well as on Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park (Miami-Dade County).   The tree is notoriously slow growing but this can be a benefit in the landscape by not out-growing its space in a short period of time. And what it lacks in speed of growth, it makes up for with character and a floral perfume that rivals the gardenia. It will let you know from afar when it's in flower. The small, 3/8-7/16" white flowers are produced mostly in late spring or early summer and will cover the tidy canopy. The stiff leaves are small, mostly about 5/8-1 1/2" long and 3/8-1/2" wide, with margins that curl under.

The common name is a modification of Cudjoe Wood, its West Indian name, and is the name source of Cudjoe Key in the Lower Florida Keys. Unless, of course, you believe the old Keys yarn about the man who got tired of city life in 1880s Key West and moved to an unnamed Key to seek solitude. His relatives would then go visit him on "Cousin Joe's Key." The crushed fruits of Joewood have been used to repel ants and as a fish poison.

Give this tree a prominent place in your home landscape so you and your friends can admire it. It lends itself well to small spaces and could be grown for many years in a pot on the patio, by the pool, or on either side of an entranceway. You can, of course, use it informally in a group planting with other small trees and shrubs but be sure that it will receive full sun and not get overtopped by faster growing trees. You will need to patronize nurseries that specialize in South Florida native trees to find this tree in cultivation. Try Plant Creations in southern Miami-Dade County or Florida Keys Native Nursery at Mile Marker 89 in the Upper Florida Keys. If you don't mind spending some money, have a landscaper purchase a field-grown specimen from Native Tree Nursery (wholesale only).

A good place to see wild trees is in Long Key State Park at Mile Marker 67. Just walk the nature trail until you get out into coastal berm habitat and there you will see some very old gnarled specimens with short stocky gray trunks. Some look as if they may have been around when Juan Ponce de Leon sailed by the Keys in 1521.

A DCFNPS member, Roger Hammer is a well known professional naturalist and photographer in South Florida whose most recent publication, "Everglades Wildflowers", is an essential field guide for all native plant enthusiasts, both professionals and amateurs alike.  All his accomplishments in the field of native plant education and conservation could not be listed here.  We are grateful for his contributions and look forward to more!

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General information and memberships: Patty Phares (305-255-6404)

Contact in the Keys: Jim Duquesnel at John Pennekamp

Coral Reef State Park (305-451-1202)

President: Steve Woodmansee ( 305-666-8727, smwood@bellsouth.net)

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: 772-462-0000

Tillandsia editors: Patty Phares (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com) and Karen Griffin.

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.

© 1999-2005 Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society, Inc.

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