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! 

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



  • 7 (Fri.): Setup for FTBG Ramble
  • 8-9 (Sat.-Sun): The Ramble - DCFNPS display & plant sale
  • 23 (Sun): Dade field trip (Burn’s Lake, Big Cypress)
  • 25 (Tue.): Dade meeting (Adrian Hunsberger, Miami-Dade Extension)


In 2009

  • March 14 (Sat.): Native Plant Day, A.D. Barnes Park in South Dade.
  • May 21-24 (Thur.-Sun.): FNPS Annual Conference, Palm Beach County
  • Keys Branch activities: Stay tuned while planning proceeds!

See our online Calendar for more details and dates.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Corbin Building, 10901 Old Cutler Road.  Free and open to the public.

"New pests: What You Need to Know" -- Adrian Hunsberger UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension.

Adrian Hunsberger will discuss the new pests that are invading south Florida.  Many of these insects are new to the U.S. and are causing damage to native plants as well as non-native landscape plants. The natural enemies of some of these pests are already here so you'll learn how to manage these pests responsibly.  Some of the beneficial insects are mistaken for pests and are mistakenly destroyed.  Learn the difference!  Adrian is the Urban Horticulture Agent and Entomologist at the University of Florida Miami-Dade County Extension office in Homestead.

Refreshments begin at 7:15; merchandise sales are before and after the program (cash/checks only).  Check out our chapter t-shirts and denim shirts as well as a wide selection of books, ID cards, tote bags, gloves, loupes and other items -- all at permanently reduced prices in time for holiday shopping!

No meeting in December (but there are other activities).

Jan. 27: "Hurricane Wilma’s impacts on mangrove forest soil" - Kevin Whelan, Community Ecologist for the South Florida Caribbean Inventory and Monitoring Network.


4th Annual Holiday Picnic, December 7.
Bolla/Gann Native Plant Holiday Party, December 27.
Native Plant Day planning - volunteer!

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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. Time and direction 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, November 23: Burn's Lake, Big Cypress National Preserve.  9am - 1pm. We'll enjoy the late fall flowers, foliage and fauna in mesic pineland, prairie and marshes. Thanks to the abundant rainfall the past few months, we may encounter everything from dry ground to muddy road to knee-deep water, but we’ll avoid the deep sloughs.  Difficulty: Moderate.  Wear: Shoes and long pants that can get wet.  Carry: Sun protection, water, snack or lunch. Some people find a walking stick helpful in wet places. Leader: Marty Roessler.  Please see the printed newsletter for directions and meeting time and place.

Saturday December 13, Everglades National Park. 9am-1pm.  December is a wonderful time to visit the park.  We are fortunate to have Park Botanist Jimi Sadle to lead us to a couple of old favorites.  We will visit Mahogany Hammock and walk along the boardwalk as the water levels within the park may be high.  This hardwood hammock, surrounded by marsh, is one of the largest in the park, and possesses the northernmost native Mahoganies on the mainland.  In addition to looking at vascular plants Jimi will show us some of his discoveries of Liverworts which he is currently studying. (Search online for info about liverworts, an ancient form of plant.)  We'll also go to the Pahayokee overlook, one of the most beautiful vistas within the park.  If water levels are lower than expected, we may go off trail and explore.  Difficulty: Easy. Bring: sun and bug protection, water, snack or lunch and money for entrance ($10/car).  There is a slight possibility for those who are adventurous to go off trail, so be prepared to get wet.  Leader:  Jimi Sadle. Please see the printed newsletter for directions and meeting time and place.

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.

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 many sites by visiting The Institute for Regional Conservation website at www.regionalconservation.org and entering the Floristic Inventory of South Florida online database.


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Keys Branch activities: Stay tuned while planning proceeds!

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Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society
Miami Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Assoc.
Tropical Audubon Society and TREEmendous Miami
Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008, noon – 3 pm
(note the earlier time)
Rain or shine
A.D. Barnes Park - Shelter #2
3401 SW 72 Avenue (Bird Road and SW 72 Ave.)
Miami, FL 33155

Bring family, nature-loving friends and your favorite dish!
No glass beverage containers or pets, please.

Please RSVP by December 3 with the number attending, your potluck contribution (main dish, side/salad, or dessert) and phone number. "Non-chef" items are also possible.Patty Phares, 305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com.

A.D. “Doug” Barnes Park is home to The Sense of Wonder Nature Center and Trail set within one of the few remaining Pine Rocklands in Miami-Dade County.  It has become an “oasis” for migrating birds and, according to the National Audubon Society, is one of the best places to see birds in Miami. The park also has recreational amenities for kids and adults.


December 27, 5pm to 10pm .
All FNPS members and their families are invited.

Enjoy Mark Bolla's "Hortobágyi palacsinta"
(Hungarian crepe w/ meat filling & Paprika cream sauce), soup, salad and iced tea.
Please bring whatever you feel would complement these items or for special preferences. (BYOB!)

See the printed newsletter for RSVP information and for address and directions. 
The parking is in a hammock and on an unlit street so bring a flashlight.

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Chapter Workday at Everglades National Park: December 6 a.m.-noon. Help with our native plant habitat landscaping maintenance around the Coe Visitors Center.  Drinks, gloves and hand tools are provided, but you may want to bring your own as well as snacks to share.  New helpers, family and children are encouraged to come.  Enjoy the afternoon in the park - you and your companions get in free after the workday. For more info, contact Patty Phares (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com).

Welcome new members!  In Miami-Dade: Ruth and Victor Balestra, Citizens for a Better South Florida (Director Kelly Altosino-Sastre), John Demott, Jeanette Gato, Amida Frey (student), Fred McGrath, Peter Morgan and Haniel Pulido. In the Keys:  Ecoscapes,LLC (Evan Bell) in Key West. 

Thanks to all who have renewed and rejoined!  Your continued interest and moral support are as valued as the financial support your membership provides.

Yard Visit - January 17, 2009, 10 am- noon.   Save the date!
A member's yard in Palmetto Bay is dense with natives planted post Hurricane Andrew.  As the owner says “nature is not neat” and that results in a wonderful assortment of visiting wildlife. This yard is packed with herbaceous plants of many kinds and some shrubs and trees that we don’t normally see in our yard visits.  Details in the January Tillandsia.

FNPS news:

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Paid Advertising - Your Ad Here!


Comfortable ranch-style 3/2 house in desirable Whispering Pines neighborhood in South Miami-Dade.  Excellent elementary school nearby.  Yard is planted with over 100 varieties of native plants --- some federally or state endangered or threatened. Entire yard is mulched except for swale and small segment on one side.  Lovely shaded patio outside. French doors overlook bird feeders and birdbath.  Price is definitely negotiable.  Come see! 

Also, plants are free for rescuers.  

      Marion Glenn
      10531 Whispering Pines Rd. Cutler Bay, FL 33157
      305-251-8633    marionsg313@aol.com


Members, many of you have long enjoyed helping out with tasks, both large and small, to make Native Plant Day a reality.  We certainly could not have had such wonderful events without all of your contributions!  If you are able and willing to help out in any capacity this year (large OR small!) please let Amy Leonard know by contacting her at 305-458-0969 (preferably, after 3 pm), or via email at aleonar74@yahoo.com.  Please save the date for the event: March 14, 2009 and tell your friends and family about our event which will be held at A.D. Barnes Park this year!

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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). Nov. 18: Cucurbitaceae (Cucumber and Gourd family).  Dec. 16: Plants with red berries and the Aquifoliaceae (holly family). And the annual party with refreshments.  See www.regionalconservation.org/ircs/aboutus/Outreach.asp or contact Steve Woodmansee (305-595-5541, Stevewoodmansee@bellsouth.net)

Broward Native Plant Society.  Meets at  the Agricultural Extension Service, 3245 College Ave., Davie (between Central Campus of BCC and Nova Univ. at the Extension Service Building, west side of College Avenue, 1/2 mile south of Nova Drive.  954-370-3725. See www.npsbroward.org. Nov. 12: Pat Howell - "Rare Plants of Broward Parks."   Dec. 10: Brian Volker, Field Biologist and Miller Legg - "Wetland Mitigation."  7 pm social time, 7:30 meeting, followed by a plant auction. 

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

Miami Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Association.  See www.miamiblue.org or contact Elane Nuehring, 305-666-5727 or miamiblue@bellsouth.net for details.  Nov. 15: Trip to Lignumvitae Key.  Nov. 22: Nixon Smiley Pineland Preserve. Tree planting (9-10:30 am) with Miami-Dade Parks followed by a short program on butterfly watching for beginners and a butterfly walk. Meet at northeast gate, 13200 SW 124 St. Jan. 10: "Butterflies of Everglades National Park: A Photographic Exhibit" at the Coe Visitor Center, by Miami Blue Chapter photographers.  Opening reception, 1 pm., program at 3pm, and walks in the native plantings (planted or maintained by DCFNPS) around the Visitor Center.

Friends of the Gifford Arboretum. Events (and parking) are free and open to the public. For more information, call 305-284-5364 or visit www.bio.miami.edu/arboretumDec. 6: Annual John C. Gifford Arboretum picnic and tour, 11:30-3:30.

Miami-Dade Parks Natural Areas workdays.  RSVP at 305-257-0933 x227 or eel@miamidade.gov.  Students can earn Community Service Hours and others earn the heartfelt thanks of Miami-Dade County.  These EEL sites are not regularly open to the public. Nov. 22: Nixon Smiley Pineland. See details under Miami Blue (above). Dec. 13: Ludlam Pineland Preserve, SW 67 Ave. at 146 St.  (7-10 am.)  Birding, cleanup, exotic removal.

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park -- The Delicate Balance of Nature 18th Annual Lecture Series. Wednesdays, through March, 7:30-8:30pm at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, MM 102.5 Oceanside, Overseas Highway. Free. Gate opens at 7 p.m.  Limited seating, bring a cushion for comfort. For more info call the Visitor Center at (305)451-9570.

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This month's plant profile contributor is Richard Lyon's Nursery.  Richard has been a DCFNPS member since the 1980s.  He started his nursery in 1991 as a bonsai and flowering tree nursery and then couldn't stop expanding to everything, including natives and butterfly plants.  His philosophy is to grow plants easily adapted to our environment using no pesticides.  The nursery currently has more than 30 species native to south Florida, including trees, shrubs, palms, gama grass, coontie and corky-stemmed passionvines.  Richard strives to be as environmentally sensitive as possible with natives and exotics alike.  You can see photos of some of his natives (past and present) and wildlife at his website, http://www.rarefloweringtrees.com/.  Call 305-251-6293, or drop by 20200 SW 134 Ave, where Richard can drive you around in his golf cart on weekends to tour the natives.  A black ironwood donated by the nursery will be in the raffle at the November meeting.

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By Steve Turner, Richard Lyon's Nursery

Krugferr_geoDGannBlack ironwood, or leadwood, (Krugiodendron ferreum) is a small to medium tree in the Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family).  It  grows to 25 feet tall in the hammocks of central and south Florida, including The Keys (Brevard, Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties).

Growing in coastal hammocks, it has moderate salt wind tolerance.  This tree also has the densest and hardest wood of any tree in North America.  It weighs 80 pounds per cubic foot and sinks in water. 

The tree is evergreen, with attractive glossy green leathery leaves approximately 1 inch long and ½ to 1 inch wide.  It has insignificant greenish yellow flowers that open in late spring to early summer.  Although the flowers are very small, they are an excellent nectar source for many insects, including bees and butterflies.  The fruit is a small ovoid drupe which turns glossy black when mature, in September to November.  The fruit is an excellent food source for many small song birds, including several warblers which migrate through south Florida during these months.  

Photo by George D, Gann, The Institute for Regional Conservation, Natives for Your Neighborhood (www.regionalconservation.org).  See in color at NFYN or in the online newsletter at (http://dade.fnpschapters.org).

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FYN is implementing the Water Use Efficiency Program for residential irrigation systems for Miami Dade Water & Sewer.  "Native plant people" usually have a Florida Friendly yard that can exist on rain with an occasional assist from rain barrels for new plantings.  And we know you plant the right native plant in the right place!

Please share the program information with your neighbors and help us help them save water and learn about how to create a Florida Friendly home landscape.

For information regarding the program please call us or visit our website or visit the Miami Dade Water & Sewer website:

Remember, get your yard acknowledged as Florida Friendly and proudly display the Florida Friendly Yard sign along with your Native Plant sign and Florida Backyard Landscapes for Wildlife "I did something Wild in my Backyard" sign!  We have Master Gardeners doing yard acknowledgements now to help with the backlog of requests.  Please call us to schedule.

Barbara McAdam, Program Assistant, FL Yards & Neighbor-hoods, UF/IFAS Ext. Miami Dade Co., 305-248-3311, Barbara McAdam, ext.245, Laura Vasquez, ext. 239

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THANKS TO OUR VIPs! (Volunteers In Parks)

Among the "behind the scenes" DCFNPS volunteers are those at our workdays at the Coe Visitor Center at Everglades National Park.  Since 2001 they have been planting and maintaining examples of native plant communities outside the Visitor Center at bi-monthly workdays.  The landscaping offers an interpretive opportunity for visitors, provides habitat for wildlife and reduces lawn mowing.  In 2007, the project received an award in the restoration category of the FNPS Landscape Awards program.  Our volunteers are included in ENP's "Volunteers in Parks" program.  Some have attended close to 50 workdays!

Our core group of volunteers deserves special kudos: Carl Barta literally goes the "extra mile" by hauling the weeds and clippings to the park dump every month after everyone else has left.  Mary Barfield quietly disappears into the saw palmettos to give her personal attention to a neglected area.  Ellen Barrett, Donna Rich, Mary Rose, Jeanne Rothchild and Gwladys Scott regularly beat the Spanish needles into submission.

Thanks also to recent helpers Falanca Apallon, Lisa Blackwelder, John Brooks, Gladys Burzycki, Carrie Cleland, Sam Dawson, Sharon Dyer, Carol Farber, Jim Gross, Lauren McFarland, Naomi Kibe, Joy Klein, Gita Ramsay, Dave Ramsay, Jean Seavey, John Scally, Vivian Waddell, Jo Woodmansee, Barry Wright.  ENP's new and past District Interpreters, Christiana Admiral and Alan Scott, also work side by side with us as well as providing support and guidance.  We hope you will join us at a future workday.

In October we were pleased to be joined by several students from Miami-Dade College and Southridge High School's EcoSpartans.  Jackie Dostourian, the volunteer coordinator at ENP, received this email from one MDC student:

"I had a blast Saturday. … Jonathan taught us about different invasive plant species and the damage they do to the native ecosystem. After finishing the workday I went into the park to explore. I explored Royal Palm. The Anhinga Trail was incredible, as I saw several alligators, and I also enjoyed the Gumbo Limbo Trail, the solution hole was fascinating.  I explored Royal Palm for about three hours.  I explored Pa-hay-okee Overlook, and also visited the Mahogany Hammock...  At around 6:30 I started my drive back but since I was a little tired I decided to go back into Long Pine Key and take a nap. At 9:50 pm I left the park, but I would have stayed there all night. I was a little disappointed that I didn't see any panthers but overall it was an incredible experience, my first time ever in Everglades National Park. Thanks for all, Yoel Gonzalez"

Thanks to all from the Coordinating Committee: Gwen Burzycki, Mary Collins, Patty Phares, Jonathan Taylor.

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by Martin Roessler

On October 11, 2008, we visited Atlantic Ridge State Park in Martin County. The Park is managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Recreation and Parks. The Park is over 7000 acres and includes 11 plant associations. We examined the riverine forest of the Halpatiokee River, mesic to wet pine flatwoods, marsh and disturbed roadside communities.  Please see the printed newsletter for a detailed report.

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by Martin Roessler

The Seaweeds of Florida by Clinton J. Dawes and Arthur C. Mathieson, 2008, University Press of Florida. 591 pp.

This is the result of 30 years of work and is a complete modern floristic book. It will replace William Randolph Taylor (1960) as the standard reference on marine macro-algae of Florida. The guide offers descriptions, line drawings, references and keys for 693 macro-algal species occurring in the diverse habitats of Florida’s coastal waters. It does not treat any of the planktonic groups.

The opening section of the book provides a succinct description of seaweeds, their classification and the floristics of the region. Information on geology, coastal and climatic features and descriptions of the mangrove, seagrass and seaweeds habitat and distribution is summarized.

The taxonomic treatment begins with the description of the different phyla and subkingdom currently recognized. (See Brodie and Lewis, ed. 2007) and provides the reasons for placing the algae in the phyla, Chlorophyta and Heterokontophyta and the subkingdom Rhodoplantae.

Detailed descriptions of each genus and species is provided, including the current scientific name, the naming authority, source of the original description, information on habitat, vegetative and reproductive characteristics and notes on ecology and relative abundance. Plates with black and white illustrations of the thallus and cytological features are provided for each species. Keys to the species within each genus are provided. However, there are no keys to the broader taxa and the reader is left to his own experience, the included illustrations or the use of other sources such as the colored illustrations of Littler et al (1989) to narrow the identification to the generic level.

Finally Dawes and Mathieson provide a great glossary that I suspect will be needed by phyclogist and amateur alike in interpreting some of the keys. The bibliography is very comprehensive for Florida.


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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)
Co-editor: Vacant (applications being accepted!)  

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

mailing address:

Dade Chapter FL Native Plant Society
6619 South Dixie Highway, #181
Miami FL 33143-7919

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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