Tillandsia Web, Dade Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society
for Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys

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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April, 2007

In This Issue


If you didn't receive this Tillandsia in your mail box,
… then you aren't a member of DCFNPS.

Please consider joining (if you have never joined) or rejoining (if your membership has lapsed).  We'd like to have you counted as a conservator of Florida's native plants and a supporter of FNPS!

drawing of a mail boxGive a gift FNPS membership! 
It comes with a FREE native plant.
Two gifts that will keep on giving.

Contact 305-255-6404 or pphares@mindspring.com.




  • 1 (Sun.): Dade field trip (MetroZoo pineland)
  • 17 (Tue.): Keys monthly meeting (Key Largo)
  • 21 (Sat): Keys field trip (Islamorada)
  • 19-22: 27th Annual FNPS Conference, Gainesville
  • 24 (Tue.): Dade monthly meeting
  • 28 (Sat.): Spring plant sale, Fairchild Trop. Bot. Garden


  • 6 (Sun): Yard Visit
  • 12 (Sat): Field trip (Snake Bight, Everglades Nat. Park)
  • 22 (Tue.): Dade monthly meeting.


  • 2 (Sat.):  Chapter workday, Everglades National Park


Tuesday, April 24, 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Corbin Building, 10901 Old Cutler Road.  Free and open to the public.

Propagating Native Plants from Seed – Rob Campbell, Grower, Signature Trees and Palms.

Isn’t it a shame that some those seeds dropping off your native plants aren’t becoming new plants in your own or friends’ yards or on our raffle table?  Learn how to propagate your own plants from seed and successfully grow them up to planting size — from wildflowers to trees.  Rob Campbell is the grower for Signature Trees and Palms in the Redland.  He has been growing plants professionally for over 30 years and has been a member of the Dade Chapter FNPS since its beginnings.  Don’t miss Rob’s entertaining tales and informative insights into how nature works!  Bring your questions and seeds to share.

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.  Merchandise is available for sale before and after the program (cash and checks only).

May 22 meeting: Program TBA

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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, May 12: Snake Bight Trail, Everglades National Park. We will walk through tropical hardwood hammock to the edge of Florida Bay, where there is a boardwalk and good birding.  Those who wish to might visit other nearby trails after lunch.

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. A plant list may be obtained for this site by visiting The Institute for Regional Conservation website at www.regionalconservation.org, and registering and then logging onto the Floristic Inventory of South Florida online database.

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For more information, contact Sue Miller at 305-664-9440 or sueorjay@terranova.net.  To receive email reminders of activities (in addition to the newsletter) please send your request douville@bellsouth.net.

Meeting: Tuesday, April 17, John Pennekamp St. Park

Program: Native Plants of the Fakahatchee Strand  -  Mike Owen, biologist.

Location:  John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Visitors Center Key Largo, US1  Mile Marker 102.5 on Ocean Side.
Time:  7 p.m. – plant identification workshop (bring cuttings of mystery plants).
7:30 p.m. – Meeting and program.  Native plant raffle and refreshments follow the program.

Mike Owen is a biologist at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and an expert on its flora and fauna. He promises an exuberant, enthusiastic, humorous presentation as he provides an informative and picturesque vision of the Fakahatchee Strand.  Mike has a long history working to protect the park’s treasures. About 480 different plant species reside in the preserve's 126 square miles - about a quarter of those species are endangered! Plants vary from royal palm trees to narrow strap ferns, bromeliads and a host of wild orchids. The Preserve is home to more orchids than anywhere else in the United States including Hawaii.

April 21 field trip.  Green Turtle Hammock, Mile Marker 81 bayside, Islamorada.  Park at the TIB Bank and walk a couple hundred feet north to the first driveway. This new park is a bay-front 10 acre site, with high quality hardwood hammock and mangrove wetlands recently acquired by the Village of Islamorada for conservation and passive recreation.  Karen Strobel will lead the trip. (See the article in this newsletter.)

The Keys FNPS group will be on vacation until November. In the meantime, please join the Dade activities and think about what you would like the Keys group to do (and be) next season. Consider joining the committee, helping make the meeting arrangements, leading a walk or showing off your native plant yard.  Please contact Sue (see above) or the chapter president (see Key Contacts below).

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Notice of Annual Meeting and nominations for chapter board.  The Dade Chapter FNPS Annual Meeting will be held at the May 22 monthly meeting.  The item of business at this brief but important meeting is to elect board members for positions which are to be filled for 2007-2009 terms.  These are treasurer, secretary and members at large.   If you might be interested in serving on the board, please call Robert Harris (954-651-4176), the nominating committee chairman. 

Chapter members who are not officially on the board are encouraged to become involved with planning activities and expanding the chapter’s educational and conservation outreach.  Please contact chapter president Amy Leonard (305-458-0969, aleonar74@yahoo.com) to discuss how the chapter can benefit from your expertise and/or enthusiasm!

Volunteers and native plants needed for the Spring Sale at Fairchild.  The chapter will participate in the FTBG spring sale on Saturday, April 28.  As usual, commercial native plant nurseries will participate with us and provide the bulk of the plants.  But we also need:

Please call Robert Harris (954-651-4176) as soon as possible if you might be able to help or donate plants.  If you aren’t sure that you know enough to answer questions about natives, this is a good way to start learning from others working at the sale, and you can also promote the chapter and keep track of the handouts table.

Have you changed your email address?  If  you have signed up to be on the FNPS Eco Action Alert list or would like FNPS to be able to easily contact you when necessary (e.g., when snail mail gets returned), please send your new email address to info@fnps.org

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Date & Time:   Saturday,  May 6, 2007, 10 am –noon. Details are contained in the printed newsletter

As with all our yard visits, you will know you have reached your destination when you see the natives – in this case dahoon hollies (Ilex cassine) and firebushes (Hamelia patens) in the front yard.  Patty’s primary priority is that “this is a butterfly garden.”  The second priority is color and the third priority is smell.  The property is a small city lot of less than ¼ acre, and in 4 short years Patty has transformed a 1949 vintage homestead into an amazingly creative landscape.   A lot of hard work and planning has gone into the creation of a garden home.  There are 5 “rooms” and 5 arching doorways surrounded and covered by approximately 127 species of plants, more than 60 native.  There are a multitude of vines, ground covers, potted and hanging plants, an herb garden and a nursery. This garden has a wonderful feeling of surprise and an illusion of space.

This visit is part of an ongoing opportunity for those who wish to know the natives in a hands-on manner and to see them in various settings, formal and informal, and to learn the property owner’s successes and failures at growing them. These visits are being offered approximately once every three months. For more information please call Gwlady Scott at 305-238-8901.

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Native Plant Day on March 17 was a great success, with more than 500 attending and perfect weather.  Thanks to the hard-working volunteers who kept things going smoothly; the speakers and walk leaders who made the event informative; the organizations who set up informative displays; the nurseries who provided a huge variety of plants (which were quickly snatched up); and the members who donated a beautiful array of raffle and chapter sale plants and other items.  Special thanks to our youth volunteers: the overnight campers who protected the displays from marauding peacocks, and students of Coral Park High School who expertly staffed the entrance tent.  Many thanks to Bill Sadowski Park director Barbara Gouldener and her staff for assisting in all aspects of the arrangements, and Lynn Hudgins for the children’s programs.  The winning door prize ticket belonged to Chris Moyer, who will select $20 worth of DCFNPS merchandise!  If you have any suggestions for next year or comments on this year’s event, please contact Amy Leonard (see contact info at bottom).  And make a mental note to plan to help next year – a few more volunteers always makes it more enjoyable for everyone!

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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). Bring at least three flowering/fruiting plants of any species. April 17 topic: rose family and plants with drupes www.regionalconservation.org/ircs/aboutus/Outreach.asp

The Broward Chapter FNPS meets 2nd Tuesdays, 7:30Address: Fraternal Order of Eagles, 560 NE 36 St., Oakland Park. For information: 954-922-9747.  April 10: Steve Woodmansee of the Institute for Regional Conservation will speak on common lawn weeds of South Florida. The Broward Native Plant Workshop meets 3rd Tuesdays at the IFAS Research and Education Center, 3205 College Ave. Ft Lauderdale. Contact Jack Lange (954-583-0283, jl_phoenix@comcast.net) for info.

Friends of Gifford Arboretum, University of Miami. Activities are free and open to the public.  Free parking.  For info: www.bio.miami.edu/arboretum, Eric Manzane (bioerman@bio.miami.edu) or 305-284-5364.

Tropical Audubon Society. Doc Thomas House, 5530 Sunset Drive, 305-667-7337, www.tropicalaudubon.org for more details and events.  Nonmembers are welcome at all activities.  Meetings are free.  Doors open 7:30 pm, program at 8 pm.

Miami-Dade Parks Natural Areas Management Workdays.  See www.miamidade.gov/parks/preservation.asp or call 305-257-0933.  8:45 am – noon. Apr. 14: Kendall Indian Hammocks - Spud Busters (11345 SW 79 St.) Apr. 21: Baynanza- Bay Cleanup, various locations – call 305-372-6628. Apr. 28: Camp Matecumbe Pineland & Volunteer Appreciation Awards Lunch (11400 SW 137 Ave, entrance on 120 St.)

Miami-Dade College Environmental Center Kendall Campus.  Call 305-237-2600 or see www.mdc.edu/kendall/ce - click on Environmental Center.  Wildlife Gardens: Attract, Rescue, and Care for Wildlife in Your Neighborhood. April 29, 10am – 4pm ($45).  The introduction of invasive species is the biggest threat to our biodiversity, second only to sprawl. By recreating natural habitats, you can support wildlife. Steve Woodmansee, from the Institute of Regional Conservation, shows how to “rescue” your yard for that purpose, and a guest speaker will tell how to “rescue” injured urban animals.

The Nature Conservancy Greensweep workdays in the Keys.  Get involved in restoration and management of Keys natural areas. Contact 305/745-8402 or knorris@tnc.org. May 5: Sea Oats Planting, Islamorada.

Miami-Dade Extension. See http://miami-dade.ifas.ufl.edu or call 305-248-3311.

Miami-Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Assoc.  www.miamiblue.org or Elane Nuehring (305-666-5727, miamiblue@bellsouth.net) for upcoming meetings and walks.

Exotic apple snail removal – Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, April 14, 9:30.  Assist volunteers from Hands on Miami and others groups in locating and collecting eggs of this invasive species.  Leaders are especially needed to go with small groups into the prairie to help them identify the snail eggs (everyone will receive training that day).  For more information or to volunteer, please contact Jackie_Dostourian@nps.gov or 305-242-7752 .  Note! Shark Valley is the entrance on Tamiami Trail, not Florida City.

Celebrate Earthday. Some of us will celebrate Earthday at the annual FNPS conference in Gainesville.  But there is no shortage of local events.  These are just a few in Dade County:

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by Sue Miller

Many people contend that over the years, growth, though considered very restricted, has changed the landscape and quality of life throughout the Florida Keys.  When Islamorada incorporated in 1997, the first citizen committee formed by the new municipal government was the Land Acquisition Advisory Committee, established to help the government acquire land for conservation purposes.  The committee has been instrumental in protecting many of the high quality natural areas within Islamorada.

Over the last 5 years, more than a dozen significant environmentally sensitive parcels of land have been purchased through funding from the village of Islamorada, the county and the state.  In addition, several parcels have been donated to the village through the charity and caring of local residents. Most of the acquired land has been specifically acquired for use as passive parks or for conservation.  One of the most interesting acquisitions in recent years is the Green Turtle Hammock that was purchased in January of 2006, with the help of the Trust for Public Land, using Florida Communities Trust funding. 

The Green Turtle Hammock is a 10.7 acre bayfront site located at Mile Marker 81 on Upper Matecumbe Key.  The state-approved management plan calls for the site to be used as a park, to protect the natural resources there from future redevelopment and to provide a local site for environmental interpretation and education.   Green Turtle Hammock is a true Florida Keys treasure containing mangrove wetlands, tropical hardwood hammock, two residences, a swimming pool, and a boat basin.  Facilities planned for the site include a nature trail, a wildlife observation area and interpretive signage.  The two residences will be adapted for use in a multi-faceted natural and cultural history education program.  The boat basin will provide access to Florida Bay for water-based recreational uses as well as marine research and education. 

According to the management plan, future programs will include components for the identification of native and invasive exotic species, education on the need to remove exotic plants and animals, restoration of natural communities and interpretation of the natural history and cultural resources of the site and the surrounding area.  It is hoped that this new Islamorada park will provide a link for residents and visitors using the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail and the Florida Circumnavigation Saltwater Paddling Trail.

On Saturday April 21, Native Plant Society members will meet at the property for their monthly field trip.  Karen Strobel, a local biologist and member of the Islamorada Land Acquisition Advisory Committee will lead the field trip.  Later in the day, the Trust for Public Land and the village of Islamorada will have an open house at the property, giving local residents their first glimpse of their new prized possession.

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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 Tuesdays in November through April at varying locations from Key Largo to Key West.
The basic FNPS membership (state and chapter) for new members is $25 for the first year and $30 after that. 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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