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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September, 2006

In This Issue




  • 16 (Sat.): Field trip – R. Hardy Matheson Preserve.
  • 26 (Tue.): Dade monthly meeting


  • 21 (Sat.) Field trip – Crane Point Hammock (Marathon)
  • 24 (Tue.): Dade monthly meeting
  • 28 (Sat.): Everglades Nat. Park chapter workday
  • TBA: Yard visit (Dade Co.)


  • 11-12 (Sat.-Sun.): FTBG Ramble, chapter display & sale
  • 16 (Thur.): Cordis Employee Env. Fair, vols needed.
  • 18 (Sat.): Field trip – Picayune Strand (Collier Co.)
  • 28 (Tue.): Dade monthly meeting
  • TBA: Keys monthly meeting / walk


  • 3 (Sun.): 2nd Annual Holiday Picnic (Dade Co.)
  • 9 (Sat.): Field trip – Trinity Pineland & Kendalwood Hammock (Dade Co.)
  • 16 (Sat.) Everglades Nat. Park chapter workday
  • TBA: Keys monthly meeting / walk


Tuesday, September 26., 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Corbin Building, 10901 Old Cutler Road.  The meeting is free and open to the public.

'What does northern Australian eucalypt biology suggest about Dade County pine?'  Dr. David P. Janos, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Miami

Many of us have participated in replanting Dade county pine seedlings in natural areas or even in our own yards, and we know that the success of our efforts is varied.  Why might this happen?  Strictly speaking, most plants in nature don't have only roots -- they have 'mycorrhizas' which are absorptive organs formed by the combination of beneficial fungi and plant fine rootlets.  Mycorrhizas are the front line between plants and soils, and they usually assist plants to acquire mineral nutrients.  In this talk, Dr. Janos will introduce the two most common types of mycorrhizas of trees, and will draw a parallel between soil constraints on a species of eucalypt in Australia's Northern Territory and difficulties in establishing seedlings of Miami's Dade County pine.

Refreshments are available for early arrivals 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.

Upcoming programs (the 'David Trilogy'):

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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!

Saturday, September 16: R. Hardy Matheson Preserve. This preserve is along the banks of Snapper Creek and its opening into Biscayne Bay.  It is comprised of Rockland Hammock, pine rockland and coastal wetlands and is an excellent site to see limestone caves and many rare species.  We will also see an area under restoration where Brazilian-pepper has been cleared.  For meeting place and time see the printed newsletter.

Bring: water, insect and sun protection, lunch (if you want to picnic after the trip) and your sense of curiosity. 
Difficulty: easy to moderate. 
Note: No restrooms. 
Leaders: Steve Woodmansee (FNPS) and Dallas Hazelton (Miami-Dade Parks NAM).

Saturday, October 21: Crane Point Hammock. This preserve in Marathon in the Florida Keys is chock full of trails through pristine rockland hammock along Florida Bay.  Many hardwood hammock species tropical in nature and only found in the Keys may be observed. For meeting place and time see the printed newsletter.

Bring: $5 per person entrance, drinks, sun and bug protection, lunch. 
Difficulty: easy to moderate.
Note: Restrooms, Nature Center available.  After the field trip, you might want to snorkel or kayak nearby in Florida Bay or find a beach on the ocean side.
For more info:  http://www.cranepoint.org

Saturday, November 18: Picayune Strand State Forest, site of the failed Golden Glades Estates development in Collier County. Although it was severely drained, it is being restored and still contains strand swamp, prairie and lovely flatwoods on its 80,000 acres.  Save the date!

Saturday, December 9: Trinity Pineland (nice pineland) and Kendalwood Hammock (a total surprise – we have never been there) in central Dade County.

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. Print a plant list in advance (most South Florida natural areas) from The Institute for Regional Conservation’s website, www.regionalconservation.org.  Register to get a password.

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The Keys FNPS season is over for the season.  If you have suggestions for next year's activities (Nov-April) or could help with planning or making arrangements, please contact the FNPS general contact number or  chapter president (see contact info below).  Your message will be relayed to the appropriate person.  New helpers on the Keys Committee are greatly needed!

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Tax preparation help needed.   Even though it is a non-profit organization, the chapter still needs to file forms with the IRS.  And just as with your own tax return, filling out the forms is daunting and not straightforward.  If you know of someone who can provide reduced-cost or free assistance (CPA or someone with tax preparation experience), please contact chapter treasurer Jennifer Possley (305-445-6108, jennpo@aol.com).

Help with merchandise sales at meeting – an easy way to volunteer.  Not into digging in the dirt or trekking to public events to help the chapter?  How about helping staff the book and shirt sale table for at least some meetings?  Please contact Amy Leonard (305-458-0969, aleonar74@yahoo.com).

Fairchild Tropical Garden Ramble, Sat.-Sun. Nov. 11-12.  The chapter will have an educational display and participate in the plant sale.  Please save the date to volunteer or come and enjoy (preferably both!)  If you would like to participate with us as a plant vendor, have plants to donate to the sale, can volunteer to help at the display or sale, have suggestions for an interesting display or need more info, please contact Amy Leonard (305-458-0969, aleonar74@yahoo.com).

Do you have Pagemaker software?  Bilingual handouts created for Dade County as part of the FNPS Hispanic Outreach program several years ago need to be converted to Word to be more useful to us.  Cammie Donaldson, who administered the grant, can no longer access her Pagemaker software.  Please contact Patty Phares (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com) if you can help.

2nd Annual Holiday Potluck Picnic, Sunday, December 3, at A.D. Barnes Park. DCFNPS will again join forces with the Tropical Audubon Society, Miami Blue Chapter North Am. Butterfly Assoc. and TREEmendous Miami.  Hold the date!

Correction to numbering error in Palmetto.  The latest Palmetto should have been numbered Volume  23, Issue 3 (as in 23:3). Unfortunately, it was mislabeled throughout as Volume 25, Issue 2. PLEASE NOTE THIS CORRECTION.

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At our May meeting, board members were elected for 1 or 2-year terms, and most were introduced to you in the July Tillandsia.  Now, please meet and welcome one more. Ted Shaffer has been a resident of South Florida since 1969.  He began his career in the 1970s as a natural health food store and restaurant owner.  His interest in nature led to a career in nutrition, homeopathic, herbal medicine and as an acupuncture physician.  As an educator, Ted has conducted over 1,000 lectures and presentations to various universities, health practitioners and the general public.  He serves on the board of the Wildlife Care Center (the area’s largest wildlife rehabilitative hospital) and is president of the WWC garden club. Ted is an avid gardener and maintains a diverse fruit and native garden at his residence in North Miami Beach. 

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ROBERT LEE KELLEY, 1937 - 2006

Bob Kelley was best known to us for his knowledge of birds, butterflies and spiders and his involvement in Tropical Audubon Society and Miami Blue Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association, but he was a tree-hugger, too.  As a founding member of the Dade Chapter FNPS, occasional board member, program presenter, leader of the popular 'early bird' walk at Native Plant Day, and the 'go to' person when we had a question about birds, insects, the history of anything nature-related in Dade County, and organizational or procedural matters. Bob was a supportive and active member.  Joyce Gann, Founding President of DCFNPS, recalls how Bob, who was President of Tropical Audubon in the 1980s, stepped forward to offer the Doc Thomas House as a place where the board could meet as the chapter struggled to get organized.  He was a friend to many far and wide.

At an event celebrating Bob’s life and spirit on August 20 at TAS’s Doc Thomas House, many accounts of his contributions, humor (not immediately revealed to everyone) and friendship were shared by his friends and colleagues from many organizations (conservation, natural history, literature, music, visual arts, history and archeology), the UM Department of Mathematics and UU Congregation.  The following contribution was sent by Rob Line, formerly with Dade County Dept. of Parks and Recreation (now with Delaware Division of Parks & Recreation):

'Bob was a personal, good friend of 26 years to me and my family.  But, many people do not know the important role that he quietly played in helping to establish the Natural Areas Management (NAM) Program in Metro-Dade Parks, now Miami-Dade Parks.  In the late 1980s Bob was dissatisfied with the environmental track record of Metro-Dade Parks, and applied enough pressure on then Director, Bill Bird, to leverage a new era of environmental responsibility.  His very effective outside political pressure, combined with several parks' staff working inside the department, ultimately created a professional environmental stewardship program which evolved into the Natural Areas Management Division.  For over 15 years now, NAM played, and continues to play, an integral role in protecting the County's incredible natural resources.  Over 6,000 acres of natural areas in parks were directly and severely affected by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but because of Bob's timely efforts a few years earlier while President of Tropical Audubon, along with the efforts of many other key people including Howard Gregg, the late Chuck Pezodlt, the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami-Dade's natural areas were successfully put on a trajectory to recovery and sustainability.  I am proud to have played a role in this stewardship effort; but I am very sad that we have lost one of our environmental champions.  I will miss him.'

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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).   September 19: Goldenrods (Solidago) and Thoroughworts (Eupatorium) which will be flowering.  Please bring in at least three flowering or fruiting plants of any species. www.regionalconservation.org/ircs/aboutus/Outreach.asp gives the topic each month.

The Broward Chapter FNPS meets 2nd Tuesdays at UF’s Agriculture Research and Education Center, 3205 College Ave., Davie.  Call Jack Lange, 954-583-0283 for info.  The Broward Native Plant Workshop meets 3rd Tuesdays, same location.

Miami-Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Assoc.  See www.miamiblue.org or contact Elane Nuehring (305-666-5727, miamiblue@bellsouth.net) for 'butterflying walks.' Quarterly meeting, Nov 5: Endangered butterflies.

Citizens for a Better South Florida’s 'Last Sunday' native plant sales, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Sept. 24, Oct. 29, Nov. 26. See www.abettersouthflorida.org for events and volunteer opportunities. 3191 SW 21 St., 305-648-0000, citizens@abettersouthflorida.org,

Tropical Audubon Society.  5530 Sunset Drive. 305-667-7337, www.tropicalaudubon.org for details and more events.  Nonmembers are welcome at all the activities.

TREEmendous Miami plants native and non-native trees from DERM's Adopt-a-Tree program at the homes of senior/disabled residents.  Contact Amy, 305-378-1863 or see  www.treemendousmiami.org. Volunteer! Sept 30: El Portal area.

Adopt-a-Tree. Miami-Dade DERM’s final tree distribution of 2006 is Sept. 23, 9 – noon, Florida Memorial Univ. Athletic Center, 15800 NW 42 Ave. The native dahoon holly as well as fruit and flowering trees will be available. All Miami-Dade residential single-family and duplex homeowners may pick up 2 FREE trees per property per year. For recorded event information, call 305-372-6555. For updates see www.miamidade.gov/derm

New publication: Assessing Damage and Restoring Trees After a Hurricane. The tree experts from UF share a wealth of comprehensive information about Safety, Assessing Damage, Restoration Pruning, Palms and Pines, Prevention and Wind Resistant Species - the whole nine yards. Download the PDF file from the web at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP29100.pdf or call to have a hard copy mailed to you. The Spanish version will be available soon. Call the UF Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension Service at 305-248-3311.

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The 8th Annual Florida Keys Birding and Wildlife Festival will be held Sept. 29 – Oct. 1 and is based at Curry Hammock State Park, MM 56.2 in Marathon.  For additional information call the Key Deer Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (305-872-0774) or Curry Hammock State Park (305-289-2690).  Opening event: 6 p.m. at the Marathon Garden Club ($15) features keynote speaker Dr. Kenneth D. Meyer, Executive Director of the nonprofit Avian Research and Conservation Institute in Gainesville speaking on 'Ecology of Short-tailed Hawks and White-crowned Pigeons in southern Florida: Challenges for protecting two species of critical conservation concern.'  Environmental Fair: Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Curry Hammock.  Field trips: see the event schedule.  The schedule of field trips and other events is still growing, so check back frequently for updates.  Saturday evening: astronomical viewing by the Southern Cross Astronomical Society, songs by Grant Livingston, marshmallow roast for the kids.  Children’s Environmental Fair: Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Curry Hammock, with vendors and booths by many local environmental groups and agencies.

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Drawing of Cakile lanceolataONE MAN’S WEED - Cakile lanceolata

by John Pancoast
Illustration by Wes Jurgens

Cakile lanceolata or coastal sea rocket is a succulent annual herb that grows on coastal beaches and dunes from North Carolina to the Florida Keys.  Its one-quarter inch flowers of white to pale lavender may be found from spring to fall.  The flowers are followed by inch-long seed pods.   The bright green succulent leaves may be smooth edged or deeply lobed as shown on the drawing.  They range in size from three to five inches, and are said to have a peppery or mustard taste.

Cakile is a genus of four species found in the Brassicaceae or mustard family.  They are widely distributed in coastal regions.  Coastal sea rocket can also be found in the Bahamas and northern South America. 

If your garden is a sandy, sunny area near the beach, you can grow and enjoy these bright green plants with their white or lavender flowers.

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 by Martin Roessler

On Saturday July 15, 2006, members of the Broward  and Dade FNPS chapters  visited the Chapel Trail Nature Preserve. Chuck McCartney led the trip as a follow up to his talk on wetland plants at the June meeting of the DCFNPS.  The Preserve is a 450 acre restored wetland mitigation bank administered by the City of Pembroke Pines in Broward County. For a detailed plant list of species found please see the printed newsletter.

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by Martin Roessler

On Saturday August 5, 2006, we visited Camp Owaissa Bauer in South Dade County. Christine Rodriguez of Miami-Dade County Park’s Natural Areas Management, and the person in charge of exotic control and management of 'Camp OB' led us through the rocky pinewoods and Timm’s Hammock, Also sharing their knowledge of the plants were Jennifer Possley, from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and our own Steve Woodmansee, from the Institute for Regional Conservation. The Park is about 110 acres in size, about 64 in rocky pine and 30 in rocky hammock. For a detailed plant list of species found please see the printed newsletter.

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Creating Wildlife Habitat with Native Florida Freshwater Wetland Plants

Martin B. Main, Ginger M. Allen, and Ken A. Langeland

The aesthetic and wildlife habitat value of ponds, water retention areas, and other created wetlands can be greatly enhanced by establishing and managing desirable native plants. Native wetland plants play important ecological roles and provide important ecological services. They provide the best overall food sources for wildlife and support many more species than non-native plants because native wildlife evolved with native plant communities.  In addition to providing habitat for wildlife above and below the water, wetland plants produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas associated with global warming. Wetland plants improve water quality by removing fertilizers such as nitrogen and phosphorus and, by doing so, help control algal blooms that can cause fish kills. Wetland plants also filter stormwater runoff, help control erosion, and contribute to the aesthetic beauty of ponds and reservoirs.  To read more go to EDIS at:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FA007.

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(News from FNPS) Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies is allowing free downloads of their new book, Americans and Climate Change: Closing the Gap Between Science and Action, a Synthesis of Insights and Recommendations  from the 2005 Yale F&ES Conference on Climate Change.  TIME FOR ACTION: Why has the strong and troubling scientific consensus on climate change not produced action in the U.S. that is commensurate with the threat? The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies convened a remarkable group of leaders and thinkers from across our society to answer this timely question. Now you can read a synthesis of their insights and findings, including 39 recommendations for action, in this newly released book. To download a free copy or order a hard copy, please visit: www.environment.yale.edu/climate  The Yale’s F&ES Project on Climate Change is now promoting implementation of the recommendations. Please visit the website above to learn more and to register to participate.

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The Lisa D. Anness Butterfly Garden is being planted at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.  Lisa was a volunteer at FTBG, supporter of the Miami Blue Chapter of NABA and member of many environmental organizations, including FNPS.  Some native plants not currently available in the FTBG nursery are being sought. Many are already at Fairchild, but locating planting-sized material is preferable to propagating or transplanting. This is only a preliminary list. Please contact Michael Davenport (305.667.1651, ext. 3343, mdavenport@fairchildgarden.org ) or Mary Collins (mcollins@fairchildgarden.org ).

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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: Amy Leonard, 305-458-0969, aleonar74@yahoo.com

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, info@fnps.org

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.

© 1999-2007 Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society, Inc.

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