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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July/August, 2005

In This Issue




  • 9 (Sat.): Everglades National Park chapter workday
  • 26 (Tue.): Annual evening yard visit and social meeting (Dade)
  • 30 (Sat.): Field trip (Dade)


  • 20 (Sat.): Everglades National Park chapter workday



Tuesday, July 26.  Annual evening yard visit and social (not at Fairchild).

A member's home near The Falls.  Attractive front-yard landscaping leads to a lake-side back yard, all with a mixture of native and exotic plants.  A screened patio will offer shelter from mosquitoes and rain while we enjoy our potluck dinner.  The owners will give tours at 6:45 and 7:15, and we'll enjoy dinner after that.  Dress appropriately for the heat and possible mosquitoes (bring repellant just in case).  We will have the plant raffle as usual, so bring your donations and dollars.  Please check your plants for lobate lac scale.

  • Address & Directions: Please see the printed newsletter
  • Time: 6:30-9 p.m.  Come as early as you can to fully enjoy the yard, evening and appetizers.
  • Bring: pot luck dinner items (drinks provided), raffle plants.
  • Who is invited: FNPS members and their guests (children welcome).

Upcoming meetings:

  • August: No meeting, field trip or newsletter. Read a book!
  • September 27: Identifying major plant families -- Gwen Burzycki. Miami-Dade DERM.   Botany made easy!
  • October 25: Forensic Botany – Dr. David Hall, Univ. of Florida
  • November 22: Becoming an Environmental Advocate – Cynthia Guerra, Executive Dir., Tropical Audubon Society

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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. Children are welcome. Details are contained in the printed newsletter mailed each month to members. Collecting is not permitted. Please join today so that you can enjoy all the benefits of membership! Call Gwen (305-372-6569) or Patty (305-255-6404) for more information or carpooling (from Dade).  If the weather is very bad, call to confirm before leaving home. 

Saturday, July 30: Ron Ehman Park and Pine Shore Preserve pinelands.  We last visited Ron Ehman in August, 2002, and found its 7 acres of pineland full of flowers and interesting plants.  Pine Shore is a remnant pineland next to Gloria Floyd Elementary School.  Though tiny, this site contains rare plants and is unusually high and sandy.  Leader: Steve Woodmansee.

After the field trip: Write to school board members to urge them to save Ron Ehman Park.  (See the article in this newsletter.)

Print plant lists by conservation area before field trips from The Institute for Regional Conservation's Web site, www.regionalconservation.org.  Register to get a password.

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Monthly FNPS activities in the Keys will resume in November.  To keep in touch throughout the year and to receive email reminders of activities, send your request to douville@bellsouth.net.  A meeting will be held in the next few months to start planning next year's activities (November-April).  If you might be willing to help and would like to find out what is involved or have suggestions for programs, please call Beth at 305-872-5787.

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Saturday, July 9 and August 20,  9 a.m. - noon.  We will plant just a few things, keep up with the weeding and do some summer pruning.  Drinks, hand tools, gloves are provided, but you might want to bring your own as well as extra water (in case the park's potable water is again disrupted) and snacks to share.  We also need some shovels and picks.  We have head nets and bug spray if mosquitoes are bad.  New volunteers, family, friends and kids are welcome and encouraged!  Enjoy good company and free admission to the park.  Contact Patty, (305-255-6404 or pphares@mindspring.com) for more information.

Last month's workday was a great success.  Thanks to a dedicated crew, dozens of plants were planted, including shrubs propagated by Mary Collins from park-collected seed (thanks to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden for their cooperation), grasses and wildflowers rescued from a building site in the park, and donations from Don Keller and Ellen Barrett.  Everything looks lush.  The current goal in the pineland areas is to establish low cover with grasses and shrubs to suppress weeds.  Eventually we may reduce the shrubs to a density more typical of pine rocklands.

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Chapter activities in the Keys will resume in November, but until then, why not take a trip to Dade?

The next "Yard Visits for New Learners" will be on September 24, 4-6 p.m., at a member's home in Southwest Miami-Dade.  Their landscape was featured recently in The Miami Herald.  Even old hands will want to mark their calendars now to see this large property with a pond.  Details TBA.

Starting in September, advertising rates in Tillandsia will increase to $12 (from $10) for 1/8 page, approximately business card size.

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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 St.  Study of plant ID and taxonomy.  Call Steve Woodmansee (305-247-6547) or Roger Hammer (305-242-7688).  July 19 and August 16 topics: TBA.   Note!  Steve needs to reconstruct his email notification list – please email him at stevewoodmansee@bellsouth.net to provide him your address.

Miami-Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Assoc.  See www.miamiblue.org for schedule or contact Elane Nuehring (305-666-5727, miamiblue@bellsouth.net). 


Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Sunday, July 31.
Co-sponsored by Miami Blue NABA and FTBG.

Activities all day! Pancake brunch; butterfly observation walks; presentations on butterflies of South Florida, identification skills, and butterfly host plants; plant sale; children's activities by FTBG.

Marc Minno will speak on caterpillars and sign his new book, Florida Butterfly Caterpillars and Their Host Plants, co-authored with Jerry Butler and Donald Hall (2005).

Free after admission to FTBG.

The preceding evening, July 30, 7-9 p.m., at Tropical Audubon Society's Doc Thomas House in South Miami: "An Evening of Reflections" with a panel of some of the historians of South Florida butterflying: Roger Hammer, Bob Kelley, David Lysinger, Marc Minno, David Spencer Smith.

Info: 305-666-5727, miamiblue@bellsouth.net.

TREEmendous Miami has monthly projects planting native and non-native trees.  To volunteer or learn more: 305-378-1863 or www.treemendousmiami.org.  Upcoming plantings need you!

Planting trees from DERM's Adopt-A-Tree program for senior/disabled: Saturday,

Miami-Dade College Environmental Center's Science & Nature Camp.  Children ages 5-11 experience South Florida's nature through educational and fun activities led by experienced naturalists.  Call 305-237-2600.  The Center would also gratefully receive donations of native plants for its ongoing educational and restorative planting projects which give children hands-on experience with natives and local habitats.  Please call DCFNPS member Melissa Abdo at 305-237-2538.

Tropical Audubon Society. 5530 Sunset Drive. 305-667-7337, www.tropicalaudubon.orgJuly 16 & August 20 workdays, 8:30 - noon.  Help restore and learn about the native pineland at the Doc Thomas House. We need you!  Students can earn community service hours.

Roger Hammer's recently-released book, A FalconGuide to Everglades National Park and the Surrounding Area, will tell you the best places for seeing everything there is to see -- wildlife, plants and spectacular scenery -- and where to find canoeing, biking and camping adventures.  Maps, descriptions, facts and lots of other useful info by "Father Nature" himself.

Paid Advertising

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The Miami-Dade County School Board has begun a process to consider converting Ron Ehman Park to a middle school.  This park was dedicated in 1979 and was named after a teacher and coach, who had been killed in an accident.  The park is located at SW 112 St (Killian Drive) and SW 97 Avenue and is owned by the School Board.  The park itself is about 15 acres, of which approximately 7 acres is pine rockland plant community (the remainder is active recreation facilities).

The pine rockland on the site is considered very high quality, and includes some large pines that survived Hurricane Andrew, deltoid spurge (Chamaesyce deltoidea var. deltoidea, federally listed as endangered), and several other state listed endangered plants.  The Parks and Recreation Department has spent approximately $47,000 managing the pineland, and there are few exotic species present.  Unfortunately, the park was never designated as a Natural Forest Community, so there is no legal protection against clearing. 

Conversion to a school site could mean complete destruction of the pineland.  If interested citizens lobby the school board effectively, some portion of the pineland might be preserved as part of a site plan.  However, management of the pineland to maintain its quality would be challenging or impossible if the site is shared with a school because prescribed fires needed to rejuvenate the pineland would likely not be possible. The current use of the property as a park provides for a good buffer to development and allows the flexibility necessary to properly maintain this site.

Long term preservation of this pineland would be most likely if citizens were to urge the School Board to maintain this area as a park, continuing to serve the community as it has for over 25 years.  With citizen urging, perhaps the School Board would consider negotiating with the Parks Department and/or the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program to transfer this site so that it can be maintained in perpetuity.

No formal action has yet been taken, but the best way to stop the process is to not let it get started.  The July field trip will be to Ron Ehman Park so members can tour the pineland and see its value as a natural area.  Schools and parks should not be in competition – there is both a need and room for both to co-exist.  Please help preserve this park.

For more information contact chapter President Steve Woodmansee, 305-595-5541, stevewoodmansee@bellsouth.net.

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   by Martin Roessler

On May 28, 2005, we visited the Old Cutler Hammock portion of Bill Sadowski Park and Whispering Pines Hammock, both owned by Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation.  They have recently been treated by the Rare Plant SWAT team for invasive exotic plants that threaten rare natives.  However, the following list of blooming plants and ferns indicates a large number of exotics are still present in these small isolated parcels.  Jennifer Possley (Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden), Cristina Rodriguez (Miami-Dade Parks) and Steve Woodmansee led us on the trip. At Old Cutler Hammock we visited disturbed sites, hammock and prior transverse glade habitat.  At Whispering Pines we visited disturbed roadside and hammock habitat. The hammocks favored ferns and few flowering plants. The open sunny disturbed areas were frequented by flowering species many of which are weedy. Both sites clearly demonstrated the effects of prior higher water levels on the karst topography and limestone geology. When the hydroperiod was longer and water levels higher, the fern populations as well as epiphytic species must have been spectacular. The remnants that survive today are seriously in danger from habitat change, competition by exotics and exploitation of the unprotected areas.  An additional highlight at Whispering Pines was a great horned owl which perched for several minutes as we observed each other. 

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Paid Advertising

Miami-Dade College Kendall Campus
FALL 2005 COURSES (Wed. 8/24/05 – Fri. 12/16/05)

BOT 1010 - BOTANY - #305847 - 3 cr. - MW 7:05 to 8:20 pm – Noblick A general survey of the Plant Kingdom and detailed study of structure and function of higher plants. Coreq. BOT 1010L. $15 fee.

BOT 1010L - BOTANY LAB – Moynihan There are two sections: 1) #305849 1 cr. M 8:35 to 10:15 pm; 2) #305848 – 1 cr. - 8:35 to 10:15 pm A corequisite with BOT 1010.

HOS 1010 - HORTICULTURE I - #306881 - 3 cr. - TR 7:05 - 8:20 pm + one Sat. morning per month –R. Mossman Fundamentals of plant science including plant structure and function, propagation, soils, fertilizers, plant nutrients, potting media, pruning, pests and a survey of various fields in ornamental horticulture. Hands-on activities are conducted at our nursery and display facility. $15 fee.

IPM 2635 – PLANT PATHOLOGY - #306940 – 3 cr. – MW 7:05 to 8:20 pm – McMillan Diseases in plants and how they affect the plant. These will be looked at in conjunction with environmental factors contributing to a plant's susceptibility to a particular disease. Methods of prevention and control will be given for each specific disease.


ORH 2277 – FOLIAGE PLANT PRODUCTION - #321875 - 3 cr. - TR 7:40 – 8:40 pm + one Sat. morning per month – McAlpin Plant propagation techniques, potting, and maintenance considerations as well as the identification of 100 of the most common interior foliage species. $15 fee.

ORH 1510 - LANDSCAPE PLANT IDENTIFICATION I - #321758 - 3 cr. - TR 6:30 to 7:30 pm + one Sat. Morning per month – R. Mossman Identification and usage of plants used in the horticultural trade in South Florida. Emphasis on basic plant terminology, naming, and identifying hardy landscape groundcovers, shrubs, vines, and trees for our area. Includes occasional weekend field trips.

ORH 2230 - EXTERIOR PLANT USAGE & MAINT. - #321760 - 3 cr. - TR 6:30 to 7:30 pm + one Sat. morning per month – Wasielewski Maintenance procedures for South Florida landscapes and the operation of a maintenance business. This includes materials required for a job, equipment usage, pruning, fertilization, pest management, and the management requirements of a landscape

ORH 1251 – NURSERY PRACTICES - #321757 – 3 cr. – TR 8:50pm to 9:50pm + two Sat. mornings per month – Wasielewski Techniques and practices used in commercial propagation and production of ornamental plants. The emphasis is on all aspects of plant production in our functioning nursery by hands on activities. $15 fee


Students may register at any college campus. A $50 late fee will be imposed on Wed. Aug. 24. The cost per credit is $59.15. New students have a $20 application fee. If questions contact Ronald Mossman, Program Director, 305-237-2583, or the Nursery Manager, 305-237-0950.


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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 ( 305-595-5541, 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 (305-441-0458, kgriffin@cyberonic.com).

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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