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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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.



February 2008

  • 9 (Sat.):    Chapter workday, Everglades National Park, and ENP Volunteer Appreciation Lunch (please rsvp).
  • 19 (Tue.):  Meeting in the Keys (Marathon). “Ecological Effects of Hurricane Wilma on Native Vegetation around Big Pine” - Bob Ehrig.
  • 23 (Sat.):   Dade field trip (Elliott Key) – reserve. required
  • 23 (Sat.):   Keys group field trip: National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key.
  • 26 (Tue.): Meeting in Dade. “Rare Natives of Everglades National Park” - Jimi Sadle, ENP.

March 2008

  • 15 (Sat.): NATIVE PLANT DAY in North Miami
  • 18 (Tue.):  Meeting in the Keys (Islamorada). “Landscaping with Native Plants” - panel discussion with Joyce and Don Gann, Patricia Mull, Tom Strobel and others.
  • 22 (Sat.): Keys group field trip: TBA
  • 25 (Tue.): Meeting in Dade: “Give Peas a Chance: Fabaceae (Pea Family) in South Florida” - Steven W. Woodmansee.
  • 30 (Sun.): Dade field trip (Big Cypress)

April 2008

  • 15 (Tue.):  Meeting in the Keys (Marathon).  “History of Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park” –  Janice Duquesnel
  • 20 (Sun.): Keys group field trip: Lignumvitae Key. Reservations required, space limited.
  • 22 (Tue.): Meeting in Dade. “Lichens and the Native Flora of  Subtropical Florida” – Rick Seavey.  Preceded by free tram tour of Fairchild.
  • Dade field trip, yard visit, ENP workday: TBA

May 2008

  • 15-18 (Thu.-Sun.):  FNPS Annual Conference, Bradenton.
  • 27 (Tue.): Meeting in Dade. “Man-o-War, Manatee & Mormon Key: Places Names in South Florida’s National Parks” - Larry Perez
  • Dade field trip TBA

See our online Calendar for more details and dates.


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

"Rare Plants of Everglades National Park" - Jimi Sadle, National Park Service, Everglades National Park

Jimi Sadle will present current information on rare native plant populations in Everglades National Park.  He will discuss factors that contribute to rarity in ENP using examples of temperate, tropical and endemic plant species of South Florida.

Jimi is a Florida native who moved to South Florida at the turn of the century. He has conducted field work in many of South Florida’s natural areas while working with the Institute for Regional Conservation and the National Park Service. He is currently park botanist at Everglades National Park and lives in Homestead.

Refreshments begin at 7:15; merchandise sales are before and after the program (cash/checks only).

Mar. 25: "Give Peas a Chance…Fabaceae (Pea Family) in South Florida" - Steven W. Woodmansee, The Inst. for Reg. Consv.

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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, February 23.  Boat trip to Elliott Key / botanize in the hammock and coastal area.  Reservations and boat fee required! As of press time there were only a couple seats open. Please contact Patty immediately at pphares@mindspring.com or 305-255-6404 if you are interested.  If you already have a reservation, we will provide details later for the meeting location and what to bring.

Sunday, March 30.  Big Cypress.  North or south on the Florida Trail from the Oasis Ranger Station.  Details next month.

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, please send your request douville@bellsouth.net.

Schedule for all meetings:

Meeting:  Tuesday, Feb. 19, Marathon Garden Club, 5270 Overseas Highway.
“Ecological Effects of Hurricane Wilma on Native Vegetation around Big Pine” - Bob Ehrig.

Bob has been a resident conservationist on Pine Key for 29 years and has been doing vegetation surveys in Monroe County for 25 years.  He started the first invasive exotic vegetation program in the National Key Deer Refuge in 1989 with some very dedicated volunteers and later founded the FC Invasive Task Force with Curtis Kruer in 1994. In addition, he has done numerous plantings and restorations in the Keys.  He also started the Red Creek Biological Reserve in Stann Creek Belize in 1995, which protects 754 acres of 60’ canopy tropical forest, pinelands, jaguars, tapir and puma.

Field trip: Saturday, February 23.
National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key.  Walk through several areas of Key Deer Refugee surveying the condition of various native communities affected by Wilma storm surge.

Mar. 18 (Islamorada): TBA
Mar. 22 or 23 field trip: TBA
Apr. 15 (Marathon): Janice Duquesnel - "History of Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park"
Apr. 20 field trip: TBA

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On Sunday, January 20, 2008, Dr. Mary Ann Bolla passed away at Baptist Hospital in Kendall, Florida.  Over the past several weeks, Mary Ann had been suffering from many ailments including pneumonia, allergies to medical treatment, inability to eat, and other complications.  Before I ever had the honor and benefit of knowing Mary Ann, I knew of Mary Ann from many of her accomplishments.  Mary Ann was a 5th generation Floridian, whose family made their mark as cattle ranchers and farmers in Arcadia, FL.  She was an exceptional naturalist with both the Dade County and National Parks Service and good friends with all in the botanical community.  It should be noted that Mary Ann was extremely active in the Native Plant Workshop for many years, where she met many of her friends including her very close friend the renowned native plant mentor George Avery.  Her children recall many weekends exploring the hammocks of South Dade with their mother and the close-knit native plant community.

While raising her two children Laura and Nick, Mary Ann commuted between Miami and Gainesville while she continued her education at the University of Florida and received her PhD in horticulture, specializing in the use of natives as root stock for cultivated fruit trees under the guidance of the late Dr. Carl Campbell.  After graduating, Mary Ann worked for Abbott Laboratories conducting research on biological pesticides and plant growth regulators. Her job first took her to North Carolina, and then to the company’s headquarters in the Chicago area.  There she met her husband Mark Bolla.  Four years ago, she retired and returned to South Florida with Mark, an area she truly identified with, to live out the rest of their years.  Living in Key Largo, a stones throw from some of the most beautiful places in South Florida as well as the stunning waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Mary Ann surely lived in a piece of paradise where she could be with her husband, family, friends, and grandchildren, of who she most adored. 

Not one to sit and gather dust, Mary Ann immediately again got involved in the native plant community.  She and Mark began participating in the Native Plant Workshop.  They both joined the Native Plant Society, and she started collecting out of print botanical books and articles to sell and distribute at a more than reasonable price, because she so greatly enjoyed old books, in addition to sharing them with others.  Her library of rare botanical books is extensive.  I remember meeting Mary Ann for the first time outside our office in Redland, she struck me as clever and overwhelmingly friendly, possessing a confidence that was admirable.  Her Florida cracker accent was quite memorable, and she offered to assist us with our work.  Not long after, I asked Mary Ann to join the board of the Dade Chapter, she accepted, and dedicated her time to our chapter. Mary Ann was co-committee chair for Merchandise, and we worked together selecting, handling and purchasing of our many sale items.  In addition to being a valued speaker for our chapter, as Keys Rep. Mary Ann was also instrumental in helping bond together the Keys Group with the rest of our chapter, which couldn’t have been achieved without her.  Despite the long commute between Tavernier and Miami, she continued her duties on the board, and eventually became a board member for the state organization being co-chair of the membership committee. 

It should also not go unnoticed that Mary Ann was an adept chef.  I shared several meals in the comfort of her and Mark’s home, and we shared good stories and conversation, reminiscent of a better vanished time.  It was her wish that we all do the same, and in lieu of a funeral, her friends get together and have the native plant party that was missed in January.  Mary Ann was a good friend.  She left us too soon.  She will be deeply missed. 

January 22, 2008

Steven W. Woodmansee

A memorial fund with the Dade Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society has been established to support field research for college and graduate students.

A gathering for friends to remember Mary Ann Bolla -- and to fulfill her wish to have the party which she was not able to host this year -- will be held on Saturday, April 12, 11 am - 1 pm, at Castellow Hammock in South Dade.  She would want to call it “The 37th Annual Mary Ann and Joyce Native Plant Holiday Party Postponed Special Edition Event.” 

More details will be provided later.

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Our annual public celebration of native plants will be at Elaine Gordon Enchanted Forest Park in North Miami, 1725 NE 135 Street, North Miami.  It’s free!  A detailed schedule will be in the March Tillandsia and on the chapter Web site in later this month.  We have new topics (and old favorites) and a multitude of hands-on activities and mini-programs for all ages.


  1. Help spread the word – please share the enclosed flier with friends, post on bulletin boards and put notices in other group’s bulletins.  Contact Patty (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com) for more copies or an email version or find at http://dade.fnpschapters.org later this month.

  2. Volunteer to help at the event or Friday setup.  We need help at the chapter information and sale tables, food sales, raffle, plant holding area, plant sale (help answer shoppers’ questions), setup and breakdown and general “whatever.” You can pick time slots that allow you to attend activities of your choice.  Please contact Jan Kolb (305-378-6104 or jankolb123@yahoo.com ) as soon as possible to volunteer.

  3. Raffle and chapter plant sale donations.  Most desired are wildflowers, passionvines (lots of them!) or other herbaceous plants (4” to 1 gallon) and less-common trees and shrubs (1-3 gallon), but all species native to Dade, Broward and Monroe Counties are appreciated.  If the plants aren’t in good shape or not quite ready for a sale, please give them some TLC and save for a later occasion.  Non-plant items are also appreciated (books, gardening items, art work, entrance passes, services, etc.)  Please contact Robert Harris in advance, if possible, (305-274-6404, xkensington6x@yahoo.com) so we can prepare signs and make arrangements for transportation.

Native Plant Day Committee: Amy Leonard (Chair - aleonar74@yahoo.com or 305-458-0969), Jan Kolb, Patty Phares, Ted Shaffer.

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Welcome new members.  Dade:  Jeanne Bunten, Hillary Cooley, Desiree Fernandez, Lee Garces,  Naomi Kibe, Sophia Larraz, Eduardo Varona, Victoria Wiltsie,  In the Keys:  Mary Ann Clark, Ellen Scully.  Elsewhere: Keith Clancy (Baldwin, NY), Debra Hollingsworth (Arcadia, FL)

The Dade Chapter FNPS has received a generous bequest from the estate of Bob Kelley, one of the most respected, active and beloved champions of the South Florida environment, who passed away in July, 2006.  We will remember him fondly as we put his gift to good use in efforts to preserve and educate about native plants and natural South Florida.

New merchandise:  Renewed supply of the popular Atlas 370 Gloves. Women’s Garden Gloves S-M-L are highly recommended by volunteers at our ENP workdays (Google to see the gloves for yourself).  And now X-large in black - great for men!  $8 includes tax. Bring your checkbook or cash for the vast array of books and other items at meetings and Native Plant Day.

Florida Native Plant Society Annual Conference: Estuaries to Uplands:  Celebrating Florida’s Native Plant Heritage.

May 15-18, 2008, Manatee Convention Center - Palmetto, FL (Near Bradenton).  Hosted by the Mangrove, Pinellas, Serenoa & Suncoast Chapters.  Field trips to over 20 sites;  native plant sale; educational exhibits; many vendors; programs on the latest in conservation, preservation and restoration of Florida native plant communities;  workshops for landscape design, making plant specimens, photography, scientific information regarding the “Real Florida” and much more; social events. See www.fnps.org  - What’s Happening for more information. Brochure and registration info will be distributed soon -- register and reserve your hotel early! On-line registration will be available.

FNPS  Endowment Fund Research Awards and Landscape Awards.   March 7, 2008 is the deadline for applications!  Check online: www.fnps.org Click on Programs, Awards ...  Is your yard or restored natural area or school garden a native plant delight?  Dig out the recent photos and check out the awards requirements.  Sharing your experiences inspires others.

FNPS Mega Membership Explosion!  Three months remain for gift and new memberships in the FNPS Holiday Mega Membership Challenge.  The goal is for every FNPS member to present a gift membership. Grand prizes will be given to all chapters that increase their membership by 100%. Some upcoming holidays for gift-giving in the next month are: Vasant Panchami (2/11), Valentines Day (2/14), Presidents Day (2/18), Mahashivratri (3/6), World Women’s Day (3/7), Pi (3/14), Palm Sunday (3/16), St. Patrick’s Day (3/17).  So spread the word about natives by giving someone a membership -- it’s only $25.

   - Lynka Woodbury, FNPS Membership Committee Chair (lwoodbury@fairchildgarden.org).

“It’s a gift you don’t have to find a place to store or put awayor learn how to use.” -- Mary Ann Bolla, December 2007.
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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.  Plant ID and taxonomy. Bring at least three flowering/fruiting plants of any species (even if not the subject matter).  Feb. 19: TBA.  Location: Deering Estate.   Steve Woodmansee (305-595-5541 or Stevewoodmansee@bellsouth.net or see  www.regionalconservation.org /ircs/aboutus/Outreach.asp

The Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC). www.regionalconservation.org , 305-247-6547.

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

TREEmendous Miamiwww.treemendousmiami.org

Everglades National Park, Dade Heritage Days/Florida Archaeology Month.

Volunteer workdays, M-D Parks Natural Areas Management & the Environmentally Endangered Lands program. Help protect and restore native habitats, learn about invasive non-native plants and our ecosystems. Pre-register: 305-257-0933 x227. Mar. 8: Kendall Indian Hammocks (air potato removal), 11345 SW 79 St., 9-noon.

Miami Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Assoc.  See www.miamiblue.org or contact Elane Nuehring (305-666-5727, miamiblue@bellsouth.net) for walks and events.  Feb. 23- 24:  Lower Keys trip.  New “butterfly-ers” welcome! Attend one or both days.

20th Gifford Arboretum Lecture, Thursday, March 20, 2008, 7-9:30 pm, 145 Cox Science Building, University of Miami.  Julie S. Denslow of the Institute of Pacific Island Forestry will speak on “Weeds in Paradise: Invasive Plants in the Pacific Islands”.   Welcoming remarks at the lecture by President Donna E. Shalala.  Reception follows.  Re-opening tour of the newly renovated arboretum at 6:15 pm.  Meet across from the corner of Robbia and San Amaro Streets at the wooden sign.  Free. 305-284-5364 or www.bio.miami.edu/arboretum  for information.

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Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park’s 17th Annual Lecture Series, January- March 2008. Programs are Wednesdays through March 26, 7:30pm - 8:30pm at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Visitor Center, MM 102.5 Overseas Highway.  Gate opens at 7 p.m. Free.  Bring a cushion for comfort.  For more information call 305-451-1202. 

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by Martin Roessler

On Saturday January 19, 2008, Keys and Dade members of the Dade Chapter FNPS botanized in the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Florida Botanical Garden Site on North Key Largo. We were guided by Jim and Janette Duquesnel.  We met at the old Port Bougainville Entrance and later moved north to the Carysfort mangrove reclamation site. In addition to the hammock and coastal plants we were able to observe a number of shore birds and a mangrove skipper caterpillar. See the printed newsletter for a detailed field trip report.

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by Martin Roessler

On Sunday 16 December 2007 we were guided by Craig Grossenbacher from the DERM Environmental Planning Section, Jennifer Possley from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and Dallas Hazelton of Miami-Dade Parks Natural Areas Management. Members gathered at the Visitor Center, proceeded through the historic Estate area and then followed the trail to the site of the proposed old creek bed which is proposed to be rehydrated as a special project in the CERP plan. The trip was shortened due to rain. We observed the many plants to be flowering or fruiting.  Fruiting or seed bearing plants are included to help those interested in collecting seeds for propagation of native plants.

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The following is a list of activities that board members and a few others have done recently in response to requests to our chapter for speakers and participants at events.   We encourage other members to become involved, too!  If you are willing to give occasional programs or do other outreach activities at meetings and events sponsored by other organizations, please contact Amy Leonard (aleonar74@yahoo.com or 305-458-0969).  You don’t have to be the foremost expert, and we can help you with ideas and materials. 

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Newly-planted plants (and plants in pots) need to be watered until their roots are established.   This means native plants, too - even drought-tolerant species.

GROUP plants with similar moisture needs into beds at appropriate spacing.

MULCH 3-4 inches deep around entire beds (or individual plants if not grouped).

WATER EVERY 1-2 DAYS for a couple weeks after planting if there is not enough rain. 

CHECK DAILY.  Water as needed during dry weather.

OBEY watering regulations.  See the South Florida Water Management District website www.sfwmd.gov for current regulations and water conservation suggestions.

SKIP the lawn-watering.  Hand-water or use a soaker hose on new plants only.

SOAK the plants deeply with 1-2 inches of water when plants are being established.

CATCH RAINWATER runoff from your roof.

SAVE water that would be wasted (shower warm-up, veggie washing, etc)


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

General information and memberships: Patty Phares (305-255-6404)

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 Chapter representative: Lynka Woodbury (305-667 1651x3427,  lwoodbury@fairchildgarden.org)

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

2008 FNPS membership rates: Donor $250, Business $125, Supporting $100, Contributing $75 ($25 to endowment), Non-Profit $50, Family $50, Individual $35, Student $15, Library $15, New Member $25, Gift $25, Lifetime $1000.

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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