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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June, 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.




  • 26 (Tue.): Dade monthly meeting, preceded by a tram tour at FTBG (please RSVP for the tram).


  • 14 (tentative): Chapter workday, Everglades National Park
  • 21 or 22 (tentative):  Dade field trip
  • 24 (Tue.): Evening yard visit and social meeting (not at Fairchild)


  • 18 (tentative): Chapter workday, Everglades National Park
  • TBA: Dade yard visit and field trip
  • (No monthly meeting in August)

Note: The Keys group is on vacation until November.



Tuesday, June 26 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Garden House, 10901 Old Cutler Road.  Free and open to the public.  

Preceded by a tram tour at FTBG (details below).

“Poisonous and Edible Wild Natives” - Roger Hammer, Senior Interpretive Naturalist, Miami-Dade Parks Dept.

Many native plants are edible, and some are edible, but not “eatable.”  Still others can make a person ill, while a few can have deadly consequences if eaten.  Roger’s presentation will focus on those native plants in southern Florida that can be safely eaten, and those that should be avoided.

Roger is Senior Interpretive Naturalist for Miami-Dade Parks Department, and Manager of Castellow Hammock Nature Center since 1977.  He is a native Floridian from Cocoa Beach and has lived in Homestead since 1969.  He is the author of many articles and three books on South Florida: Everglades Wildflowers (2002), Florida Keys Wildflowers (2004), and Exploring Everglades National Park And The Surrounding Area (2004).  Roger is a member of FNPS and was recipient of the Dade Chapter’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award in 1982 for “outstanding, consistent, and constant service in the areas of education, research, promotion, and preservation of native plants.”  He also received the FNPS Green Palmetto Award for education in 2003.

This meeting will be held in the Garden House, the large building next to our usual meeting place (go in the usual gate).  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).

Tram tour before the June meeting.  Come early to the June meeting and enjoy a quiet, early-evening view of the garden on FTBG’s 70-seat tram.  This free 40-minute ride is open to Florida Native Plant Society members and their guests.  Be at the Garden House (where the meeting will be held) by 6 pmPlease RSVP to Lynka Woodbury at 305-667-1651x3427 (leave a short message with your name and the number of people). If you don’t RSVP, it is “as available,” but there should be plenty of room.  The tram cannot go in bad weather.

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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!

Sunday, June3:  The Anne Kolb Nature Center in West Lake Park in Hollywood.  This park is a 1500-acre mangrove wetland with boardwalks, trails, 68-foot observation tower.  (An exhibition hall also has nature exhibits, aquarium, and nature-themed art.)  We will also visit Hollywood North Beach Park on the other side of the Intracoastal, where we will botanize in the native dune vegetation. 

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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The Keys FNPS group will be on vacation until November. Please contact chapter president Amy Leonard (305-458-0969, aleonar74@yahoo.com) if you could help with arrangements for the upcoming season.  The committee will meet in the fall, and new members would be warmly welcomed.

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The new chapter board was elected at the annual meeting in May.   Please welcome new board members Mark Bolla (Treasurer) and Susan Walcutt (Director at Large). Starting additional 2-year terms are Jonathan Taylor (Secretary), and Jan Kolb and Lynka Woodbury (Directors at Large).   Continuing for the remainder of their 2-year terms are Amy Leonard (President), Robert Harris (Vice-President), and Patty Harris, Mary Ann Bolla and Ted Shaffer (Directors at Large).  Steve Woodmansee serves on the board as Past President.

Many thanks from everyone to Jennifer Possley for serving 3 years as Treasurer and Suzanne Koptur for 2 years as Director at Large.  Jennifer’s thoughtful re-organization of the chapter’s financial books was totally impressive, and she also contributed her many skills as a graphic designer and scientist to the board’s efforts.  Suzanne brought her helpful suggestions and perspective from academia, but also from the point if view of a mother of a budding naturalist.

Tillandsia co-editor needed.  Our co-editor, Karen Griffin, is moving out of Dade County.  While she can continue for a while to assist in doing the Tillandsia layout by email (as usual), it is also an opportunity for a local member to step into the position.  If you would like to know more about what help is needed in producing the Tillandsia, please contact Patty Phares (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com) after July 2.

Keys Group history.  Jim Duquesnel, would like to credit others involved in organizing the “Keys Group” (see “Thanks to Jim Duquesnel” in the May Tillandsia).  The first organizational meeting to consider forming a Keys Chapter of FNPS was held in May of 1999, shortly after a successful, post-hurricane Native Plant Fair held by The Nature Conservancy at Sugarloaf Key.  Everyone was impressed by the huge turnout for the Native Plant Fair and wanted to continue the momentum.  The first Keys FNPS organizational meeting was attended by Chris and Beth Bergh, Joan Borel, Margaret Braisted, Jim and Jan Duquesnel, Tina Henize, Mary-Alice and Richard Herbert (hosts), Alison Higgins, Steve Ng, Barbara Smith and Cynthia Snell.   Several of these people continued to help organize the “Keys Group” within the Dade Chapter.  Hallett and Linda Douville, Lisa Gordon, Joy Tatgenhorst and Michael Welber also were active in coordinating the early activities of the group.  Jim also is appreciative of the support of Florida Park Service District Biologist Renate Skinner.  He adds that he will miss working closely with the Keys Group and will be available by telephone if he can help.

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Shop Online And Raise Funds For FNPS.  The next time you would like to shop online for books, movies, music, electronics, housewares, gifts or any other item, check out Giveline.com.  This is an online store created for the community-minded shopper.  When you purchase an item, a portion of the price (an average of 16%) will be donated to FNPS.   Review the store at: http://www.giveline.com/default.asp?v=V022626901

(This is a special link that notifies Giveline to record your purchase for FNPS.)   FNPS is putting this fund-raiser system on trial for six months in order to get feedback from members.  If you use the service, please report good or bad experiences to Karina Veaudry at executivedirector@fnps.org or 407-895-8446. Karina will give a status report in six months.  Shop now to get free shipping! (Use discount code NCD07 during checkout.)

Sign Up Now To Receive Sabal Minor Electronically.  FNPS encourages members to receive the bi-monthly Sabal Minor newsletter in electronic form to cut down on expenses and save some trees in the process.  If you would like to receive email notification that the Sabal Minor is available on the FNPS web site and be taken off the hardcopy snail mail list, please send email to info@fnps.org and provide the following:

Peruvian Amazon Jungle Safari sponsored by FNPS, October 19-28, 2007, with optional extension.  Stay in several jungle lodges deep in forest reserves where great flora and fauna viewing is most abundant.   These areas contain the highest diversity of tree and bird species in the world.  For more details, see www.fnps.org or call 800-466-9660, or email Jo Anne Trebatoski, (FNPS trip host) at plantnative@earthlink.net.

Botany in a Day.  The Patterns Method of Plant Identification.  Thomas J. Elpel’s Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families of North America.  This book is now used as a text and recommended by herbal and wilderness schools across North America. Instead of presenting individual plants, Botany in a Day unveils the patterns of identification and uses among related plants, giving readers simple tools to rapidly unlock the mysteries of the new species they encounter throughout the continent. Learn how related plants have similar features for identification. Discover how they often have similar properties and similar uses. This book takes you beyond the details towards a greater understanding of the patterns among plants.  It includes more than 100 plant families and over 700 genera applicable to many thousands of species.  (Editor’s note: This is not a book review but is a description forwarded by FNPS.)

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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. June 19 topic: Moraceae, the mulberry family.  See www.regionalconservation.org/ircs/aboutus/Outreach.asp

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.  Pineland restoration workdays: June 16, July 21, 8:30-noon. Learn about natives, restore the Doc Thomas pineland.

Tree planting, June 16, 8:30-noon.  Help the Miami Beautification Committee,  Tropical Flowering Tree Society and TREEmendous Miami plant 110 flowering and native trees in the MetroRail right-of-way along US 1, between the Vizcaya MetroRail Station and Bird Road.  Meet at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot behind the Coconut Grove MetroRail Station (US 1 and 27 Avenue).  Wear appropriate shoes and sun protection and try to bring a shovel.  Volunteers are invited to meet for lunch afterwards.  Service hours are available for students and others.  For more information, contact Steve Pearson at 305-259-8006 or wadadasaw@aol.com.

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

Pine Rockland Working Group, July 18, 9:30-4 pm at the Miami Dade College Kendall Campus.  The PRWG is a group of environmental professionals (land managers, botanists and the like), owners of pine rocklands, and anyone interested in the welfare of pine rocklands.  Among the potential topics are: the Pine Rockland Management Plan for Miami-Dade EEL program properties; Metrozoo Pineland prescribed fire activities; Lower Keys Pineland Workshop; Everglades pineland vegetation mapping; National Key Deer Refuge Fire interpretation materials; Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s “Corridors to Alleviate Problems of Fragmentation on Rare Plants” study.  Contact Chris Bergh (cbergh@tnc.org) for more information.

Everglades National Park’s General Management Plan public workshops.  There will be opportunities to learn about the preliminary alternatives and provide your comments directly to Park staff on June 12 in Islamorada, June 13 in Dania Beach, and June 14 at the Coe Visitor Center in ENP.  The public comment period closes July 2, 2007.  To find the details of the meetings or if you cannot attend one of the workshops, visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov.  Select “Everglades National Park” from the drop down box and follow the link for the General Management Plan/East Everglades Wilderness Study.  For more information, contact Fred Herling, ENP Planner, at 305-242-7704 or fred_herling@nps.gov.

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News brief you may have missed in Dade:  A Burmese python was found in April at Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park.  It was discovered by researchers only because it had eaten an endangered Key Largo wood rat with a radio transmitter collar.  Another wood rat was also found in the snake. This exotic snake species, which can grow to 15’, has become infamous (think “tabloid news”) in Everglades National Park. The apparent size of the population in ENP is of considerable concern, and now the concern also includes the Keys.  The 7.5 foot long snake is believed to be the first wild Burmese python known on Key Largo. Anyone spotting a python can call the Everglades National Park Python Hotline at 305-242-7827.

Note about atala butterfly larvae and coontie (from the May meeting of the Miami Blue Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association, speaker Sandy Koi):

Atala butterfly larvae may crawl between their host plants (coontie, Zamia pumila) and in the process pick up entomopathogenic fungi in the leaf litter in our gardens.  These fungi do not harm the larvae but can harm the pupa, which may then get eaten by ants.  A sandy surface free of leaf litter is a better substrate.  (Learn more from Sandy Koi at Miami Blue’s Butterfly Days at Fairchild - see Other Events in this newsletter.

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     by Martin Roessler

On Saturday May 2007, members of the Florida Native Plant Society visited the Snake Bight Trail near Flamingo in Everglades National Park.  Rick and Jean Seavey shared their extensive knowledge of the area with the group. We walked the trail through coastal hammock and into the mangrove swamp of Florida Bay. For a detailed plant list please see the printed newsletter.

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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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