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 2008

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.


April 2008

  • 5 (Sat.):  Chapter workday, Everglades Nat. Park
  • 12 (Sat):  Gathering to remember Mary Ann Bolla
  • 15 (Tue.):  Meeting in the Keys (Marathon)
  • 19 (Sat.): Dade field trip (Seminole Wayside Park)
  • 20 (Sun.): Keys field trip: Lignumvitae Key. Reservations required, space limited!
  • 22 (Tue.): Meeting in Dade.
  • 26 (Sat): Yard visit in Dade. New announcement!
  • 26 (Sat.): Spring sale at Fairchild.  Chapter volunteers needed, plant donations welcome.

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
  • 31 (Sat):  Dade field trip, County Line Scrub (north Dade)

See our online Calendar for more details and dates.


Tuesday, April 22, 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Corbin Building, 10901 Old Cutler Road.  Free and open to the public.  (Note: the 4th Tuesday, not the last)

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

"Lichens and the Native Flora of Subtropical Florida" - Rick Seavey

Lichens have never been systematically studied in subtropical South Florida.  This became painfully obvious to Rick and Jean Seavey when they purchased Ernie Brodo’s beautiful book, “Lichens of North America” and found very few of our lichens included.  This began their goal of creating an accurate lichen checklist for subtropical Florida.  It seemed reasonable to assume that, as with plants, subtropical Florida is home to many unique and rare lichen species.  Four years into their study, Rick is going to give us a progress report, including photographs of interesting species.  He will emphasize lichens that live on native flora.  To date they have identified 280 species and attracted recognition and continuing interest from New York Botanical Garden and Harvard’s Farlow Herbarium.

Rick and Jean are naturalists who, in collaboration with Everglades National Park, have been studying South Florida’s natural world for over 20 years.  In addition to numerous projects they currently produce nine nature oriented field guides.  Much of this work is described on their website, www.seaveyfieldguides.com .

Refreshments begin at 7:15; merchandise sales are before and after the program (cash/checks only).  Check out our brand new chapter t-shirts and denim shirts.

Tram tour before the April meeting.  Enjoy a quiet, early-evening view of the garden on FTBG's 70-seat tram.  This free 40-minute ride is open to FNPS members and their guests.  Be at plaza next to our usual meeting room 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!

Saturday, April 19: Seminole Wayside Park pineland.  This 28 acre pineland in South Dade managed by Miami-Dade Parks is somewhat different from other pinelands in Dade County, and under restoration.  After the pineland walk, those interested may continue to other nearby natural areas (locations to be decided).

When we visited this park in March 2003 the blooming plant list covered about 150 species! For detailed directions please see the printed newsletter.

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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To receive email reminders, please send your request douville@bellsouth.netThis month is the final for the season!

Meeting:  Tuesday, April 15, Marathon Garden Club, 5270 Overseas Highway, Marathon.

Program:  The History of Lignumvitae Key

Janice Duquesnel will talk about the fascinating history of Lignumvitae Key including early settlers on the island, use of the island and the conservation efforts that lead to the purchase of the island by the state. Learn about one of the most unique islands of the Keys and why it has never been developed.

Janice has lived in the Keys for 22 years, working as a biologist for the Park Service for 13 years in both upland and submerged habitats. Currently she is Park Biologist at Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park, and also provides biological support to the ten state parks in the Florida Keys.

Field Trip: Sunday, April 20.  Reservation required, space limited, make your reservation early!

Boat trip to Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park.  The walk will begin near the Matheson House where we will talk a little about the cultural aspect of the island, and then walk the nature trail through the hammock. We will access areas of the island that most park visitors do not get to see, including the rock wall and the coastal rock barren habitat. Leaves Robbie’s (MM77.5 bayside, Islamorada) at 9:30 a.m. Two hours on the island.  $12 for boat trip (includes State park fee.)  Contact Lisa Gordon by email at ledzepllg@bellsouth.net  or leave a message at 305-743-0978.

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The 37th Annual Native Plant Holiday Party Postponed
Special Edition Event
Saturday, April 12, 11 am - 1 pm

Presented in memory of Mary Ann Bolla

with special assistance by Joyce Gann.

Castellow Hammock in South Dade - 22301 SW 162 Avenue (Farmlife Rd), between SW 216 St. & SW 232 St. (Silver Palm).

Main dishes of pig roast, barbeque chicken, black beans and rice, and plantains will be provided.

Please call Joyce Gann (786-423-1881) or e-mail Mark Bolla at bollam@bellsouth.net for bringing drinks, ice, cups, salads, fruit and dessert items.

A memorial fund with the Dade Chapter FNPS has been established to support student field research.

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Saturday,  April 26, 2008 , 10 am to noon. A member's home in the Kendall area:

This 1/2 acre yard is a good example of how plants look after 8 or 9 years of growth and a few hurricanes. It is a mix of low/no maintenance natives and exotics. Jeff started the project in 1999 by clearing the land, except for one oak. Then he replanted, often from seeds.  There are areas of pine, native palms, hammock plants and good examples of native hedge ideas. There is a champion firebush, every kind of stopper - too many natives to mention! These plants encircle an open area that contains a lovely pond – also low maintenance and in ecological balance. There is a very special viewing room in his house to enjoy this labor of love. Jeff is a horticulture consultant and arborist and will be sharing his extensive knowledge of planting and maintaining natives.  See his Web site at www.SouthFloridaHorticulture.com. For more info call Gwlady Scott, 305-238-8901.

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New board members wanted!  Is it time for you to serve the Dade chapter?  A new chapter board will be approved at our May meeting.  Some board members at large as well as President and Vice President will be on the proposed slate.  If you know someone who might make a good board member (including yourself), please suggest their name to Robert Harris, Nominating Committee chairman (954-651-4176 cell, xkensington6x@yahoo.com).  You can talk to Robert or other board members about what is involved.  The main qualifications are enthusiasm and a desire to see the chapter thrive -- you don’t have to be a botanist.   Please call now!

TWO new chapter shirts! 

t shirt design(1) T-shirt. Once again Wes Jurgens has generously donated one of his beautiful watercolors for our new DCFNPS t-shirt.  His design includes Tillandsia and orchid species, maidenhair fern, peacock and zebra longwing butterflies and other creatures hidden in the foliage.  Our chapter logo is on the left sleeve. The shirts are 100% Organic Cotton.  They will be for sale at Dade Chapter meetings at Fairchild and cost $13 (tax included).  Both men’s and women’s sizes are available in S, M, L, XL and XXL.  The ladies shirt has a relaxed neckline and shorter sleeve.

(2) Blue denim shirt with embroidered chapter logo: lightweight, prewashed cotton, buttondown collar, pocket, XS to 3X large.  Short-sleeve $25, long-sleeve $28, incl. tax / delivery).  Available at chapter meetings in Dade.

Spring Sale, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.  Saturday, April 26, 9:00-4:30.  The chapter will participate, selling plants brought by nurseries and donated by members.  A few volunteers are needed who have experience with natives in landscaping and can help answers shoppers' questions.  Plant donations of wildflowers and less common species in 4" to 3-gallon are especially welcome.  Please contact Jan Kolb (305-378-6104 or jankolb123@yahoo.com) ASAP if you can volunteer for a couple hours or have plants to donate.

Thanks for making Native Plant Day a success!  It was perfect weather under the oaks in the beautiful Enchanted Forest on March 15, and a nice turnout in a new neighborhood.  Plant sales were brisk, and visitors soaked up the activities.  Special thanks to the 26 member volunteers who put in many, many hours in preparation or a few hours at set-up or at the event.  It is wonderful to be able to count on you year after year!  We also have "extras" to thank -- Amy Leonard's parents, her high school students, and some middle school students who just appeared that day and offered to help.  And of course, all the speakers, walk leaders, representatives of other organizations who participated, and park staff.  The community is already looking forward to having us come back.  Congratulations to Door Prize winner Jennifer Marcelin, who will choose a FNPS membership or $25 in Chapter merchandise. 

Florida Native Plant Society Annual Conference: Estuaries to Uplands:  Celebrating Florida's Native Plant Heritage.
May 15-18, Manatee Convention Center - Palmetto
(Near Bradenton). Field trips; plant, book and merchandise vendors; educational exhibits; programs; workshops; social events. See www.fnps.org - What's Happening. You can register on-line and see what field trips are full.   Contact Patty Phares (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com ) if you would like to know who else might be willing to share a room or ride.  Why attend the conference?  Interesting field trips, informative programs, meet like-minded people from all over the state, experience new habitats, support FNPS - it's a mini eco-vacation.

Florida Native Plant Society trip to Belize, Oct. 25 - Nov. 2, 2008.  Jungle lodges, explorations of multiple ecosystems, rainforest/wildlife nature walks, visit Mayan ruins, river adventures. $3300 per person, including the airfare from Miami. For details: call Explorations Inc. 800-446-9660, or visit www.ExplorationsInc.com ). Reserve early!
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Paid Advertising - Your Ad Here!

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Dade Native Plant Workshop.  3rd Tuesdays at 7 p.m., at the Deering Estate, just east of Old Cutler Road on SW 168 St. Bring at least 3 flowering/fruiting plants of any species (even if not the subject matter). Apr. 15: Pineland plants.  See www.regionalconservation.org/ircs/aboutus/Outreach.asp or contact Steve Woodmansee (305-595-5541, Stevewoodmansee@bellsouth.net )

Miami Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Association.  See www.miamiblue.org or contact Elane Nuehring, 305-666-5727 or miamiblue@bellsouth.net).  April 13:  Field trip to Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound &  spring picnic. The Dusted Skippers and other species will be flying.  New participants welcome! May 4, 1 pm: Quarterly meeting at Castellow Hammock.  Dr. Suzanne Koptur, Prof. of Biology, FIU will talk about Senna species, sulphur butterflies and the ants and parasitic wasps that co-occur.

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 Miami ( www.treemendousmiami.org) and the City of Miami: April 12, 9 am - noon, help plant trees along the swales areas in Miami to increase canopy. Please contact Amy, Program Coordinator, at 305 378 1863 or see the web site.

Volunteer Workdays, M-D Parks Natural Areas Management & Environmentally Endangered Lands program. Pre-register: 305-257-0933 x227. Apr.12: Kendall Indian Hammocks (air potato removal), 11345 SW 79 St., 9-noon.  Apr. 19: Baynanza (cleanup at various sites.  Call 305-372-6784.

Arbor Day Planting in East Little Havana, Friday, April 25, 8am to noon.  Meet at Henderson Park, 971 NW 2nd St., Miami 33128.  Join volunteers in planting over 100 trees in East Little Havana as part of an effort by Citizens for a Better South Florida, Hands on Miami, the City of Miami, and other partners to increase our dismal tree canopy coverage.  Food, T shirts and lots of community feel-good will be on hand.  RSVP to participate at 305-648-0000 or alex@abettersouthflorida.org .

EARTHDAY EVENTS (just a few of many):

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Notes from the biannual Pine Rockland Conference, February 27 - March 2, 2008
                               by Eve Gill

Was the deadly pine tortoise scale introduced into the Turks and Caicos Islands by means of Christmas trees?  These trees were imported from the northern U.S. where the scale is native and ever present.  Perhaps the exact mechanism will never be known, but the Christmas tree remains the most logical candidate.  Other possibilities are heavy machinery or even human transport and unless stringent measures are taken the scale could well spread to the Bahamas and even the highly endangered Pine Rocklands of south Florida and the Keys.

With the aide of the Royal Botanic Garden Kew, the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) National Trust is now has a Pine Recovery Project and is assessing the extent and severity of the damage throughout their extensive pine rocklands.  Lacking in access roads, manpower and funds, TCI is now struggling with the fact that the majority of their pines are in decline.  Low seed production and recruitment have been recorded, mold from the scale honeydew interferes with photosynthesis and many pine trees have already died.

What is being done now?  Already in place is a three point program:  establishing a native pine nursery for ex-situ conservation; GIS mapping and remote sensing; and establishing an international working group.  In addition the project will identify specialists to assist with fire management, planning and risk analysis.   Fortunately for every area where these pines grow, a Ph.D. thesis is now in progress to study the population genetics of Pinus caribaea.

What are concerns for the future?  The juvenile form of the scale are minute “crawlers” so small that they can easily spread by means of wind or storms or human clothing.  Extra vigilance and great care and sanitation are needed by all countries with pine rockland.  As is not unusual in poor nations, no phyto-inspection and biosecurity measures are currently in place in TCI.

The problem is daunting but the immediacy and expertise of supportive organizations gives hope.  Kew feels a responsibility toward nations that were once members of their commonwealth and has expert staff in place to respond to problems such as this.   And South Florida’s “Pine Rockland Working Group” is a resource that we all can be proud of.  It is a diverse collection of agencies, private organizations (The Nature Conservancy taking a leading role), scholars and individuals with expertise in managing pine rocklands.  Scientific studies of fire management in the Keys and the Everglades have made expert recommendations possible for other areas.  The recent biannual conference provided a ready-response forum to share the information about the TCI pine infestation and to unite all concerned organizations and governments to save one of the earth’s rarest habitats.

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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)

Dade Chapter Board members:

President: Amy Leonard  Vice-President: Robert Harris
Secretary: Jonathan Taylor  Treasurer: Mark Bolla
At Large: Patty Harris,  Jan Kolb,  Ted Shaffer,  Susan Walcutt
FNPS board:   Lynka Woodbury Past-President:  Steve Woodmansee

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.

© 1999-2008 Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society, Inc.

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Past Online Newsletters