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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July-August 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.



  • 12 (Sat.): Chapter workday, Everglades Nat Park
  • 19 (Sat.): Evening yard visit and social meeting (in place of meeting at Fairchild) for members and their guests.


  • 2 (Sat.): Dade field trip - The Barnacle and other sites.
  • 9 (Sat.): Chapter workday, Everglades Nat Park
  • (No Aug. newsletter and no meeting in Dade or the Keys)

Keys Branch activities will resume in November!

See our online Calendar for more details and dates.


What: Annual Evening Yard Visit & Social Meeting

Date: Saturday, July 19 - in place of the meeting at Fairchild.
Time: 6 - 8 p.m.  Approximate schedule: 6:30 - guided yard tour, 7:15 (or earlier) - eat dinner, followed by the plant raffle.

Who's invited: FNPS members and their families and invited guests.
Where: Members’ home in the Redland. For details please see the printed newsletter.
Bring: Potluck  dish (main, side/salad, dessert), lawn chairs or blanket to sit on, bug repellant if you are bothered by mosquitoes.  Drinks, plates, etc. will be furnished.  Bring an umbrella if it looks like rain (the covered chickee is not huge, but the event is rain or shine).

Description: Eight years ago the members’ property was bare of plantings.  Now a 1/4-acre native planting complements a "Cracker style" house on 5 acres in the Redland (next to a 7 1/2 acre pineland to the west).  There are over 150 native species around a 40,000 gallon water feature  (waterfall, 2 ponds and a 16' grotto) and a chickee hut built by the Miccosukee.  The pond and grotto are home to hundreds of tropical fish and some Rainbow bass.  The plantings have matured and filled in since the yard visit two years ago and a new planting has been added along  the west fence.  They have also added bromeliads around the pond to add color and a tropical feel.  Lori collects statuary of frogs and turtles which adorn the edges of the pond.  As former nursery owners, their landscape also includes hundreds of palms, both rare and common, with emphasis on Thrinax/ Coccothrinax and Copernecia.  Flowering trees are also mixed in.

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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, August 2: The Barnacle Historical State Park (Coconut Grove) and Pinewood Cemetery (South Gables). 

Time: Please see printed newsletter for detailed information.
Leader: Steve Woodmansee (786-488-3101)
Difficulty: Easy
Bring: Water, sun protection, lunch money or lunch (optional).
Park Admission: $1.00/person, under 6 years free (parking in city lot across the street - carpool to save the parking fee)

At The Barnacle we will explore the small natural rockland hammock and coastal area.  The residence of early pioneer Commodore Ralph Monroe, it is a time capsule from the late 1800's surrounded by modern city.  Many rare plants, and historical buildings can be found here.  A historical tour of the home and grounds is optional. 

Lunch: At Scotty's landing nearby (or you can bring your own to eat elsewhere and join us for Part 2 after lunch). 

After lunch we go to the oldest registered cemetery in Miami-Dade County.  Although altered over the years, it is cool and shady and possesses some remnant pine rockland habitat, very rare in the area.  We will pass a few homes along Erwin road which are some of the oldest in the 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. 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.net

Keys Branch activities will resume in November!

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Chapter Workday at Everglades National Park: July 12 and August 9, 9 a.m.-noon. Help with our native plant habitat landscaping maintenance around the Coe Visitors Center.  Gloves and hand tools are provided, but please bring your own drinks and sun protection. You're welcome to bring snacks to share!  Enjoy the afternoon in the park - your car gets in free after the workday. For more info, contact Gwen Burzycki (305-372-6569) in July and Patty Phares (305-255-6404) in August..

Can you be an assistant/ co/ alternate Web Master for the chapter web site?  Give Greg Ballinger -- who does a bang-up job 10 issues a year plus a Native Plant Day spread (thank you, Greg!) -- help or a break.  Please contact him via the web site (gregb@netrox.net).

Meet another new board member!  (Others were introduced last month.)  Jose Luciani is currently a student at Florida International University in his fourth year, majoring in Environmental Studies (BS) and Chemistry (BA).  This summer he will be working in Barrow, Alaska, with a graduate student. They will be conducting research on the Alaskan tundra during the growing season. Jose has been interested in plants since Spring 2007 when he started attending chapter meetings.  He has 39 species of native plants on his property and a healthy butterfly community.  He says, "When I return from Alaska, I will love to help this lovely organization through any means and as a board member attend the meetings to help keep the DCFNPS on course."  (And we're looking forward to it!)

Do you have ideas for future chapter programs, field trips, projects, newsletter articles/authors, handouts, web site … or any other suggestions to help the chapter educate and inform, preserve and promote natives, enjoy nature and each other?  Please contact Jan Kolb (305-378-6104 or jankolb123@yahoo.com) or see contact box on the back of this newsletter, or send a note to the chapter box. 

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Most people aren't aware that Everglades National Park exists on Key Largo!  But it does, with an office and bay access (for official business) at MM 98.6, in an old motel (half of which is being removed).  There is also a beautiful 12-acre hammock.  Currently the site is not open for public use, but Florida Bay District naturalist Bob Showler would like it to eventually be available for educational use by groups.  Landscaping on the grounds around the buildings could offer an interpretive site as well as shade and habitat for wildlife.

Bob has planted natives in the tiny islands adjacent to the parking along the building (think 1950s motel!).  He also has planted hammock species in a large field separating the two rows of rooms.  This could be augmented with appropriate species from local seed sources.  Most of the plants are thriving.

Bob needs help in weeding and implementing more planting.  Because the planting areas are small, this would currently not be a large project.  A couple people every month or two could make a big difference in maintenance.  Once plans for more planting are made and suitable plants located, then help with planting and tending then while they are getting established would be needed.

If you are potentially interested, please contact Bob at 305-852-0324 ext 0316 or bob_showler@nps.gov.  Once we see who can help in the beginning, we can try to organize a schedule for FNPS members (and friends!).

And we'll also have a field trip there soon to see the hammock and champion trees Bob has discovered.

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Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, July 25-27.
Presented by the Miami Blue Chapter of the
North American Butterfly Association

Free after entrance to Fairchild.  Plant, books and gifts for sale, programs, butterfly hikes, kids' activities and all the usual splendor of Fairchild. See www.miamiblue.org for complete details.  Don't miss this fun and informative event!

Programs include: Butterflies 101 (and 102!), South Florida's Wild Butterfly Habitats and Food Plants (Roger Hammer), Atala butterfly program (Sandy Koi), The Saga of the Miami Blue (Jaret Daniels), Butterfly Gardens, Large & Small – Q & A (Cindy David), The World of Butterfly Gardening: an Introduction (Pedro Lastra), South Florida's Lawn and Garden Weeds as Butterfly Habitat (Steve Woodmansee), You Probably Don't Have Miami Blues in Your Yard, but You Could Have Some of these Blue Butterflies (Jaret Daniels), How Many Butterflies Live at FTBG and How Do We Know? (Elane Nuehring), and discussion of conservation issues and other topics.

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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). July 15: Rubiaceae (coffee family) and Simarubiaceae (Paradise tree family). August 19: Poaceae (grass family)  See www.regionalconservation.org/ircs/aboutus/Outreach.asp or contact Steve Woodmansee (305-595-5541, Stevewoodmansee@bellsouth.net)

KENWOODS Learning Center native planting area needs your help to rescue it from exotic invasives.  Please contact DCFNPS member Henry Block, Response Team Coordinator, for the workday schedule (miamiblocks@bellsouth.net or 786 877-4509). KENWOODS is a 22 year old award-winning schoolyard planting project at Kenwood K-8 school, SW 79th St, about 1/4 mile south of Kendall Drive.

Adopt-a-Tree.  Miami-Dade homeowners may receive 2 free trees per year.  For more information and list of trees, see http://www.miamidade.gov/derm/adoptatree.asp or call 305-372-6555 or 3-1-1. July 26: 9am-noon, Miami-Dade Co. Auditorium, 2901 West Flagler St.: paradise tree (native) and other trees. August 16: 9am-noon, Miami-Dade Co. Fairgrounds, 11200 SW 24 Street: Dahoon holly (native) and other trees.

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.  

July is Recreation and Parks Month!  Florida DEP's Division of Recreation & Parks is encouraging family-friendly, outdoor recreation with the launch of its "Family, Friends, Fun Campaign" to reconnect children and families with nature. Since 1985, the National Recreation and Park Association has designated July as Recreation and Parks Month. Florida is waiving admission to all state parks on July 13.

The City of Miami Parks has a booming business at its Environmental Education Summer Program at Simpson Park and Virginia Key. Already over 500 students have been enjoying and learning about plants, animals and the environment. Camps continue until the first week of August and include Power Point presentations and trail tours at both parks in both the morning and afternoon.  If you would like to participate and see the positive effects of nature on the children’s behavior, please contact Juan G. Fernandez, Parks Naturalist, 305-865-6801, jgfernandez@ci.miami.fl.us

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by Martin Roessler

On Saturday May 31, 2008 we visited County Line Scrub, a 15 acre scrub habitat managed by Dade County Parks Department Natural Areas Management. Please see the printed newsletter for a detailed report.

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     by Jimi Sadle

Some of you requested a recap of Jimi Sadle's program in February.  Now at long last, here it is!  (With apologies for the delay from the editor.)  The following was provided by Jimi. You can look up plant details on The Institute for Regional Conservation's web site, www.regionalconservation.org/ (go to the Floristic Inventory and enter the name in the Quick Search).

Factors that contribute to rarity in Everglades National Park are split into 3 categories: natural causes, human causes and other causes. Natural causes include climate, particularly low temperatures, hurricanes, fire, pollinators and rarity of appropriate habitat.  In the case of orchids, absence of the fungal partner due to any of the reasons above may also cause plants to be rare.  Human causes include fire suppression, hydrological modification, collecting/poaching, fire in inappropriate habitats and habitat destruction.  Other causes are related to plants that may not actually be rare, but are difficult to detect or are in locations difficult to access.  Those plants may actually be more abundant than we believe. We will find out sooner or later.

Plants native (or formerly native) to ENP listed by the Institute for Regional Conservation as Critically Imperiled (SF1), Historical (SFH) or Extirpated (SFX) in South Florida:

Acacia tortuosa

Adiantum melanoleucum

Anemia wrightii

Asplenium platyneuron

Basiphyllaea corallicola

Bourreria cassinifolia

Brassia caudate

Cenchrus myosuroides

Ceratopteris thalictroides

Cheilanthes microphylla

Chromolaena frustrate

Croton lobatus

Cyperus floridanus

Dalea carthagenensis

Desmodium lineatum

Digitaria pauciflora

Eltroplectris calcarata

Eriochloa michauxii var. simpsonii

Exostema caribaeum

Galeandra beyrichii

Govenia utriculata

Helenium flexuosum

Hypelate trifoliate

Ionopsis utriculariodes

Kosteletzkya depressa

Leptochloa uninervia

Leptochloa virgata

Lomariopsis kunzeana

Macradenia lutescens

Malachra urens

Oncidium carthagenensis

Oncidium ensatum

Passiflora sexflora

Pavonia paludicola

Pecluma plumula

Peperomia humilis

Pleurothallis gellida

Polygonum setaceum

Ponthieva brittoniae

Rhipsalis baccifera

Salvia riparia

Schizaea pennula

Scirpus robustus

Spiranthes costaricensis

Spiranthes trta

Sporobolus compositus var. clandestinus

Thelypteris reticulate

Thelypteris serrata

Tillandsia fasciculate

Trichocentrum undulatum

Trichomanes punctatum

Vallesia antillana

Vanilla dilloniana

Vanilla phaeantha

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by Steven W.  Woodmansee

Violets represented by the genus Viola, although often thought of as northern species, do grow in Florida.  Ten native species occur in our fine state, four of which occur in our ten southern counties.  Violets are herbs which often form a basal rosette, and have a fat creeping stem (often several inches in length), and usually below ground.  All southern Florida species typically grow 4-5 inches in height.  Plants typically flower in springtime and are quite noticeable, usually measuring about an inch or more across.  Flowers are bilaterally symmetrical, with five petals forming a shape much like a harlequin mask, the center petal often has lines that act as nectar guides.  Fruits are a capsule which dehisces (opens up when dry), readily spreading by seed and can be quite abundant where found.  Interestingly, violets are also known for their edibility, as flowers may be used in salads.

One species, Viola lanceolata, the Bog White Violet, has the broadest range, in South Florida, having only never been documented from Hendry, Broward, and the Keys.  It may be absent from Miami-Dade County, as the habitat for it there may no longer exist.  It is found in acidic soils of wet to mesic pine flatwoods, an abundant habitat most elsewhere in Florida.  Bog White Violet is easily identified by its white flowers and lance-shaped leaves. 

Photo of Viola sorroriaThe Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) is still extant in Miami-Dade where I have seen it in moist sandy hammocks and homeowner’s yards nearby.  It also occurs along the tramways in the Fakahatchee Swamp, and the pinelands in the Big Cypress.  Although typically blue flowered, albeit often a pale blue, those found in Miami-Dade County usually possess white flowers.  The leaves of this species are cordate (heartshaped). This one readily grows as a lawnweed where it can be quite prolific.

The Early Blue Violet (Viola palmata) is found in mesic flatwoods, and not terribly common in South Florida being found in Collier, Palm Beach, Lee and Charlotte counties.  As the scientific name suggests the leaves are strongly lobed, or lyre shaped and the flowers are indeed a deep blue. 

The rarest of the four is the Primroseleaf violet (Viola primulifolia).  It has been documented at Collier, Lee, Palm Beach, and Martin counties.  I have only observed it in Martin, where it is found in moist flatwoods often trailside.  This species has cordate leaves that aren’t quite as lobed as the common blue violet, and has smaller white flowers. 

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President: Robert Harris, 954-651-4176, xkensington6x@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 (gregb@netrox.net)

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) office : 321-271-6702, info@fnps.org

Tillandsia editor: Patty Phares (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com)

Dade Chapter Board members:

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

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