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


CORRECTION: In the September Tillandsia, the number for Veber's Jungle Garden nursery was in error.  The correct number is 305-242-9500.  Please support the nurseries that sell native plants and visit them at the Ramble on November 19-20.  We all need them and appreciate their contributions to our community and our chapter – even after they suffered beatings from multiple hurricanes



  • 13 (Sun.): Field trip, Rabenau Camp, Big Cypress
  • 19-20 (Sat-Sun): Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Ramble
    (DCFNPS educational display and plant sale).
  • 22 (Tue.): Dade meeting (Becoming an environ. advocate)


  • 3 (Sat.): Yard visit (Miami Shores) – rescheduled from Oct.
  • 4 (Sun.  4 (Sun): PICNIC! (FNPS, NABA, TAS and Treemendous  Miami). Please RSVP by Nov. 27.
  • 10 (Sat.): Field trip (Deering Estate at Cutler)
  • 17 (Sat.): Chapter workday Everglades National Park
  • 21 (Wed.): Keys meeting (Marathon)   [field trip TBA]



Tuesday, November 22, 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Corbin Building, 10901 Old Cutler Road (4th Tuesday, not the last!) The meeting is free and open to the public.

"Becoming an Environmental Advocate" – Cynthia Guerra, Executive Director, Tropical Audubon Society

Miami-Dade County is a dynamic place – with complex regulatory structures, an ever-changing political scene and an array of exceptional natural resources that need protection, it can be a challenge for citizens to know how to be involved in the decisions that affect our environment.  Prior to her current position with the Tropical Audubon Society, Ms. Guerra gained experience as a regulator with Miami-Dade DERM.  That background, coupled with an understanding of county, regional, state and federal authorities, aids in her current conservation work.  Ms. Guerra will review some of the basic techniques that help residents find their voice and become advocates for habitat and wildlife.

Early arrivals can snack before the meeting at 7:15.  Additions to the refreshment table and raffle plant donations are always welcome.  (Please check your plants for lobate lac scale.)  If you signed up to bring refreshments and have questions, please call Patty Harris at 305-262-3763.

December: No meeting in Dade County.

January 24: Dan Castillo and Ricardo Zambrano from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will speak about the impact of cat colonies and predation by feral cats in natural areas.

We hope that all of you are recovering quickly and ready for some diversion from the worries Wilma brought. The program on forensic botany and the field trip to Rookery Bay will be rescheduled, hopefully in 2006, but we have no dates set yet.  If you had tree damage and can't find your September Tillandsia, look on the chapter website to review "Tips for Tippy Trees."  Remember that trees might be successfully reset weeks or months after falling if you keep the exposed roots covered and damp.

But the yard work will wait and the trees will regrow in their own good time next spring.  So please join your FNPS friends at one of the upcoming activities, especially the four-organization picnic on December 4!

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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!

Carpooling: Save gas money and enjoy the company.  Call at least 3 days before the field trip!

Learn to ID plants: If you would like help, please let it be known – we'll introduce you to good people to stick close to.

Sunday, November 13: Rabenau Camp,  northeastern Big Cypress.  Ecosystems include glades, open cypress forests, and deep pond apple sloughs, as well as oak/cabbage palm hammocks and pinelands on higher ground.  NOTE: an alternate site nearby may be substituted in the unlikely event that hurricane damage to bridges makes Rabenau Camp inaccessible (we will know in advance).

Time and direction details are in the printed newsletter.
Bring: water, lunch (to carry), insect repellant, sun protection. A stout walking stick (broom handle is fine!) is helpful if you wade into ponds.
Difficulty: may be strenuous.
Leader: Chuck McCartney.
Notes: You might get wet (water depth unknown) and muddy.  The return trail to the cars will be marked with flags if you want to leave early.  No restrooms.

Saturday, December 10: Deering Estate at Cutler.  The little-visited pineland at the north end of the Deering Estate is the largest tract of coastal pine rockland left in Miami-Dade County (about 100 acres).  We will walk along the historic firebreaks and see flora typical of the area.  If time allows we may walk into some of the hammock.  Time and direction details are in the printed newsletter. Bring: $5 for park admission, drinks, sun protection, lunch if you want to enjoy the rest of the park in the afternoon.  Difficulty: Moderately easy – about 1 mile on a path. Leader: Steve Woodmansee.

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To receive email reminders, send your request to douville@bellsouth.net.  Keys members – please send announcements of other activities or Keys news to Tillandsia!  Details on the following events will be in the next Tillandsia.

Due to hurricane damage the November meeting and field trip in Key West have been canceledGeorge Gann's program on Natives for Your Neighborhood will be on February 15.

December 21: Meeting in Marathon.

"Native Plants and Other Wilds of the Big Cypress National Preserve" – Steve Woodmansee,  President of the Dade Chapter FNPS and Biologist with The Institute for Regional Conservation.

Steve will present a photographic portrayal of his adventures while conducting a floristic inventory of the 800,000 acre preserve for the National Park Service.  There will be many striking photos of rare wildflowers and daunting wildlife encountered by the speaker.  Come join him in this old style story telling program.

Time:  A plant ID session will be held at 7:00 p.m.  Bring cuttings of mystery or interesting plants with entire leaves (not just one leaflet) and fruit or flower if possible. The meeting begins at 7:30.  Refreshments and native plant raffle will follow the program – donations of plants and refreshments are welcome!
Location:  Please check the news media or your email (sign up for the email notification!) or contact Lisa Gordon at 305-743-0978 or ledzepllg@bellsouth.net.

Field trip:  may be announced later.

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Saturday/Sunday, November 19-20: The Ramble at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.  DCFNPS educational display and plant sale. 

Saturday, December 17, 9 a.m. - noon.  Everglades National Park Workday.  The rainy weather that kept many away from the October workday totally bypassed the Visitor's Center but made for a very pleasant, cool and productive morning.  Sorry you missed it!  Ranger Alan Scott reports that our project is only lightly ruffled by Wilma (unlike Flamingo with its 8-10' storm surge). We'll do light maintenance and whatever is needed to repair hurricane damage.  Drinks, hand tools and gloves are provided, but you might want to bring your own as well as a water bottle and snacks to share.  New volunteers, family, friends and kids are welcome and encouraged!  You will have free admission to the park for your car, so bring your lunch and head to Long Pine Key or the Anhinga Trail to enjoy the winter birds and other wildlife.  For more information or carpooling, contact Patty (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com ).

Native Plant Day – Saturday, March 4, 2006, at the Deering Estate at Cutler.  Please save the date to help or just attend and enjoy.  If you have suggestions for programs, activities, a caterer, groups or individuals who might be included with a display or as a vendor; or if you could help with arrangements, publicity, etc., or have any other way of helping in the planning stage, please contact: Steve Woodmansee, 305-595-5541 or stevewoodmansee@bellsouth.net.  Most of the plans need to be made by early January, so it's not too soon to start lending a hand..

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The Dade Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society,
Miami Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Assoc.,
Tropical Audubon Society, and
TREEmendous Miami

invite members, their families and guests
to celebrate all our December holidays at a


Sunday, December 4, 2005, 2 – 5 p.m.
Rain or Shine
A.D. Barnes Park - Shelter #2
3401 SW 72 Avenue (Bird Road and SW 72 Ave.)
Miami, FL 33155

Nature Walks, Great Food, Good Times!
Playgrounds and swimming pool will be open.
Bring lawn chairs for extra seating.
No glass beverage containers or pets, please.

You must R.S.V.P. by November 27

to one of the following with
the number in your party and your potluck contribution
(be sure to leave your phone number!)

Entrees or Main Dishes:      Patty Harris, 305-262-3763

Side Dishes or Salads:  Elane Nuehring, 305-666-5727
Desserts:                             Patty Phares, 305-255-6404

Non-Chef Items:             Laura Reynolds, 305-348-6136

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Date: Saturday, December 3, 2005.
Time: 10 a.m. – noon.
Location: A private home in Miami Shores (North Dade!). Location details in the printed newsletter.

This yard visit is a follow-up to Gwen's September program "Introduction to Plant Families" as well as a visit to her special yard.  Gwen will tell us about the basic landscaping principles that she (and Wilma) used to place the plants and also how to identify some of the plant families represented in her yard.  Bring your handout from the meeting and a hand lens if you have one.

The yard was close to the eye of Hurricane Wilma, so we'll also get a lesson in how some plants fare in and recover from hurricanes.

Call Gwlady Scott at 305-238-8901 for more information and/or read the write-up in the October newsletter.

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Volunteer to plant endangered plants on December 2 or 3.  An "outplanting" of 260 Lantana canescens ("hammock shrub verbena") will take place at Castellow Hammock in South Dade at 9 a.m. on both days.  The plants have been propagated from wild material by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in an effort to restore this species to natural areas.  The work should not be too heavy since most holes will be augured in advance.  Please contact Jennifer Possley at 305-667-1651 ext. 3433 or jpossley@fairchildgarden.org to sign up.

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).  Nov. 15 topic: Scrophulariaceae (figwort family).  For more details, see www.regionalconservation.org/ircs/aboutus/Outreach.asp.

Broward Native Plant Workshop now meets on 3rd Tuesdays at UF's Agriculture Research and Education Center, 3205 College Ave., Davie.  Call Jack Lange, 954-583-0283 for info.

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

Tropical Audubon Society.   5530 Sunset Drive.  305-667-7337, www.tropicalaudubon.org for details and more events.

Friends of the Gifford Arboretum.   Dec. 7 meeting: program TBA.   Dec. 3, Annual picnic and plant sale, 11:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.. Enjoy "A Celebration of Tropical Fruit Trees" and buy plants (including natives) propagated at the Arboretum.  See www.bio.miami.edu/arboretum or call 305-284-5364.

Lecture at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Dec 13:  "Tales of Woe, Deception and Wonder: The Myriad Defenses of Florida's Caterpillars."  Dr. David Wagner of the University of Connecticut speaks at 7:30 p.m.  Arrive early (between 7 and 7:25 p.m.) to ensure that you will be admitted before the gate closes and the auditorium reaches capacity.  Dr. Wagner's talk will feature a menagerie of bizarre and beautiful creatures.  Come ... bring the kids.

What did the hurricanes do to your plants?  The Institute for Regional Conservation would like observations from residents in the Keys on the effects of the recent hurricanes on native plants in their neighborhoods.  Contact them through their website at www.regionalconservation.org .

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Spring Term courses
January 4th – April 29th, 2006

BOT 2153C – NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITY INSTALLATION & MANAGEMENT - #341586 – 3 cr. TR 7:40-8:40 pm & TBA– rm. LTN1 – R. Mossman  The fundamental structure of south Florida plant communities, their installation, and maintenance will be presented.  A special focus is on selection of species and their proper placement by hydroperiod and substrate. This is a required course for our Ecological Restoration Certificate Program.  Weekend field trips and activities.  $25 lab fee.

  • HOS 1011 - HORTICULTURE II - # 341495- 3 cr. - TR 7:40 - 8:40 pm & TBA– rm. LTN2 – TBA.   Plant propagation, plant nutrients, potting media, advanced pruning, pests and survey of maintenance and nursery businesses. Hands-on activities are conducted at our nursery and display facility. Prereq. HOS 1010.
  • IPM 2112 – PRIN. OF ENTOMOLOGY - #328239 – 3 cr. - MW 7:05-8:20 pm – rm LTN2 –  McMillan.  The scope is the identification of insects and other animal pests of ornamental plants and their control. $15 fee.
  • ORH 1511 – LANDSCAPE PLANT IDENTIFICATION II - #341494 – TR 6:30- 7:30 pm & TBA– rm. LTN1 – R. Mossman   SUGGESTED STARTER CLASS. The identification and correct use of palms, shade  trees, shrubs, groundcovers, herbaceous perennials, and vines in the South Florida landscape. Includes three weekend field trips. Prereq. 1510 or  permission.
  • BOT 1010 - BOTANY - #327161  - 3 cr. - MW 7:05-8:20 pm–rm. 6104 – 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 – 1 cr. - rm. 3161 - Taylor - Corequisite BOT 1010.  2 sections:   1- #327162 - M 8:30 -10:10 pm; 2- #327163  - W 8:30 -10:10 pm.

Visit our website containing links to portals with information on SE Florida plants, ecology, parks, etc.

For further information contact: Ron Mossman, 305-237-2583 or rmossman@mdc.edu.

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by Sam Wright

Originally, the Endangered Species Act was written with the recognition that America's plants and wildlife are too diverse and valuable to squander. The Endangered Species Act is one of our nation's most popular environmental laws -- over 84 percent of the public supports it, according to a national poll.

Locally in Florida, staghorn and elkhorn corals are "half-way to extinction" and are being considered for listing under the Act.  A decision is due in 2006.

The Miami blue butterfly was recently denied protection, but the reasoning raises questions. A prominent, internationally respected University of Florida entomologist studying the Miami blue announced publicly that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service misrepresented and distorted his data to support their denial.

Rare South Florida plants such as the federally endangered beach Jacquemontia and the crenulate lead-plant are pushed further to extinction by habitat loss from development.

These species share a common link -- the need for protection under the ESA.  Unfortunately, the Act itself is now under attack by some in Congress who are proposing legislation to weaken it.  As Floridians, we have a large stake in the fight to uphold the Endangered Species Act.  One hundred and eleven endangered and threatened plant and animal species call Florida home -- the third largest amount by state in the nation.  This translates into Florida being a national leader in receiving federal funding for endangered species conservation.

But our state's natural heritage is severely at risk.  A bill seeking to dismantle the Act has been proposed by Rep. Richard Pombo, a California lawmaker with a long history of anti-environmental actions.  In fact, Pombo earned a 0-percent environmental voting record in 2004, according to the League of Conservation Voters.

Protecting our elkhorn and staghorn corals, the threatened Miami blue butterfly and our rare plants within the shelter of the Endangered Species Act will prove difficult in the near future if this bill doesn't get voted down by the House or the Senate.

Draft versions of the bill – leaked by a Republican lawmaker unhappy with its direction – circulated amongst conservationists and scientists this past summer. They dubbed it the "Wildlife Extinction Bill."

The current version in Congress is being studied by conservation groups, who say that Pombo's bill:

  • Eliminates the federal mandate to "recover" endangered species;
  • Politicizes scientific decision-making by making an appointee determine what science to use;
  • Encourages resource-extractive industry and encourages litigation;
  • Eliminates critical habitat provisions that species require for recovery;
  • Severely hamstrings scientists with allowable methods for collecting and analyzing data by disfavoring statistical modeling.

Protection of critical habitat is crucial to the survival of rare species.  Plants and animals require specific habitat characteristics that are rapidly disappearing. In fact, the largest remaining population of the federally endangered crenulate lead-plant (one of five left) was bulldozed a few months ago to make room for condos.

Federally listed plants are only protected on federally owned land – but you're more likely to find beach Jacquemontia squished between beachfront condos than growing on a military base.  So essentially – although they are federally listed – they go unprotected. This is why the Act needs strengthening and protection of critical habitat is so important.

If we allow our politicians to erode the Endangered Species Act, the diversity of our wildlife will be severely reduced in the future.  The Endangered Species Act successfully recovers species: 99 percent of species listed under the Act remain on the planet today, says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Let's tell our congressmen we want to keep it that way.

Sam Wright is a local rare plant biologist and a Florida Native Plant Society member.

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Illustration by Wes Jurgens

Sea oxyeye daisy, Borrichia arborescens

One reason I like to go for a walk is because of the interesting plants I find.  Not far from my house there is a saltwater canal.  Years ago the bulkheading collapsed in one area forming a small salt-water wetland.  I loved to walk by this wetland because in it was growing Borrichia arborescens or sea oxeye daisy (or tansy, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture calls it).

Black and white drawing of Sea oxyeye daisy, Borrichia arborescens.

B. arborescens is a dense shrub that grows to a height of four feet.  Borrichia frutescens is a similar looking species, but it is lower growing and more of a ground cover.  Both are members of the Aster family.  The two to four-inch long aromatic leaves of Borrichia arborescens are grey-green.  The yellow flowers are one inch across and can be found year round, but are most abundant in the spring.  They are attractive to butterflies. 

Borrichia arborescens is also found in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  According to the web site for the University of the Virgin Islands, "A tea prepared from the leaves and branch tips is used elsewhere for relief of colds, coughs, and fish poisoning.  The leaves have been eaten to prevent scurvy."

If you live near the sea, this plant will make an attractive addition to a sunny spot in your garden where it will grow without having to be fertilized and watered.  You can grow them from cuttings or from the inconspicuous small hard seeds.  You can also sometimes purchase plants from native plant nurseries.  The butterflies in your garden will enjoy them as much as you will.

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Current Assets


June 30, 2005 Ending Account Balance


Merchandise Inventory Value

Not available 

Assets (computer)


Petty Cash


Total DCFNPS Value


Jan-Jun05 Income


General donations






      Spring Plant Sale (GROSS)


      Merchandise Sold (GROSS)


      Native Plant Day (GROSS)


      Raffles, Auctions






Keys (GROSS sales)


Total Income


Jan-Jun05 Expenses




Cost of Goods Sold (Books)




      Spring Plant Sale - Vendor share


      Native Plant Day - Vendor share


      Fairchild rental & membership


      Ramble  - Vendor share (paid late)


      Newsletter (printing, mailing)




Membership (printing)


Keys (Extra Newsletter Postage)


Total Expenses


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Detection of citrus greening disease (Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus) in Miami-Dade and other South Florida counties has prompted a quarantine of many citrus relatives, including the native plant, wild lime, Zanthoxylum fagara, as of September, 2005.  This extremely destructive citrus disease is a bacterium transmitted mainly by an insect, the citrus psyllid. The citrus psyllid was detected in Florida in 1998 and has since been detected throughout the state.

Documented host plants for the disease and the insect vector are listed in the first website reference below (these are quarantined).  Some species in the citrus family found locally in landscape or the wild are not on the list, but still may be potential carriers or insect hosts..

Under the quarantine, all ornamental citrus psyllid host plant material in addition to all citrus is prohibited from movement out of Miami-Dade County by nurseries.  Wild lime (Z. fagara) is a citrus psyllid host and thus is quarantined.  All members of the citrus family (including our natives) are potential hosts of the disease, so keep posted on updates to the host plant list.  It is in everyone's best interest to try to control the spread of the disease.

For more information on the disease, the citrus psyllid and the quarantine, see:


(Note that the host plant list attached to this memo was updated after the date of the original memo)


Information provided by Adrian Hunsberger, Urban Horticulture Agent University of Florida/IFAS Miami-Dade County Extension (305 248-3311, AGHU@mail.ifas.ufl.edu ).

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The next FNPS adventure will go to Cuzco, Peru, and to the Tambopata Amazon rainforest in southern Peru on March 31 to April 9, 2006.  This custom tour for the FNPS highlights much of the best Peru has to offer in culture and natural history, including a diverse range of geography and ecosystems, from the snow-capped Andes to the Amazon jungle.  The estimated cost from Lima (not including airfare from the US) is $2495 pp/dbl. Call Explorations at 800-446-9660 for a detailed trip brochure and also check the FNPS website (www.fnps.org) for information. 

There is also a cruise to Panama on March 20-31, 2006, from Ft. Lauderdale.  A detailed itinerary is located on the FNPS website.  The cost is from $1350.   E-mail Jo Anne Trebatoski at plantnative@msn.com or call 727-898-0555 ext. 216 to make reservations or get more information.

These tours are not only fun for you, they are fund-raisers for FNPS.  Check them out

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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, stevewoodmansee@bellsouth.net)

Refreshment coordinator, Dade meetings: Patty Harris, 305-262-3763 eve., 305-373-1000 day

DCFNPS Web page: http://dade.fnpschapters.org

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: 321-271-6702

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 most months at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and are free and open to the public. Once a year, instead of the usual meeting, members and their guests are invited to an evening garden tour and social at a member's home. Meetings in the Keys are held on 3rd Wednesdays in November through April at varying locations from Key Largo to Key West. The basic FNPS membership (state and chapter) is $25 per year. Please contact DCFNPS or click on the membership link at this site 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 $12/month.

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

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CHAPTER BOARD, 2005-2006

Steve Woodmansee – President

  Amy Leonard – Vice President
  Jennifer Possley -- Treasurer

  Jonathan Taylor -- Secretary
  Lynka Woodbury -- Director at Large and FNPS Board  Director

  Mary Ann Bolla – Director at Large

  Patty Harris – Director at Large

  John Lawson – Director at Large

  Jan Kolb -- Director at Large
  Suzanne Koptur -- Director at Large

  Carrie Cleland – Past President

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