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.



  • 17 (Sat.): Yard visit in Dade.
  • 20 (Tue): Keys meeting in Marathon (Sea beans)
  • 27 (Tue.): Dade meeting (Hurricane Wilma's impacts)
  • 31 (Sat.): Field trip (South Dade urban County preserves)


  • 7 (Sat.): Chapter workday, Everglades National Park
  • 17 (Tue.): Keys meeting in Key Largo (TBA)
  • 22 (Sun.): Field trip (Big Pine Key)
  • 24 (Tue.): Dade meeting (Miami's Native Ferns)


  • 14(Sat.): NATIVE PLANT DAY, A.D. Barnes Park in South Dade. Contact Amy Leonard (305-458-0969, aleonar74@yahoo.com) for more info or to volunteer.
  • 17 (Tue.): Keys meeting (TBA)
  • 21 (Sat.): Field trip (Fern Forest in Broward County)
  • 24 (Tue.): Dade meeting (TBA)

May 21-24: FNPS Annual Conference, Palm Beach Co.

See our online Calendar for more details and dates.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Corbin Building, 10901 Old Cutler Road.  Free and open to the public.

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

Dr. Whelan studied Hurricane Wilma's impacts at a mangrove forest location along the Shark River, in Everglades National Park.  The initial impact showed a 37mm soil deposit by the storm.  After a year 10 mm was lost due to erosion and compaction.  But one year later, prolific growth of new live fine roots in the deposits suggested that the material on the site might become more stable -- erosion would decrease.  The findings thus far indicate that the soil elevation has made substantial gains compared to site specific relative sea-level rise.  Dr. Whelan has conducted research in South Florida, Costa Rican forests and wetlands, Mexican cloud forest, and Alaskan high arctic tundra. Research topics have included population dynamics of flora and fauna, hurricane and lightning disturbance, global warming, and restoration ecology. His South Florida research experiences show that everything is affected by regional dynamics crossing both political and natural boundaries.

This science-oriented talk will be presented with the non-scientist in mind, with lots of interesting pictures.  It's as an opportunity to broaden your knowledge and to see the Everglades you would otherwise not see.  (Didn't you always want to play in the mud?)

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

Feb. 24: "Miami's Native Ferns" - Jennifer Possley, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

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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!

Saturday, January 31:  South Dade urban preserves (Miami-Dade Parks),  9am-noon.

Sunday, February 22: Big Pine Key.  Keith Bradley, Assistant Director of The Institute for Regional Conservation and DCFNPS board member will lead the trip.  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 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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Welcome back to FNPS for the 2009 season!  If you have questions, suggestions for a future program topic or field trip, or could help out, please contact Lisa Gordon, ledzepllg@bellsouth.net or 305/743-0978.  Your input would be greatly appreciated!   To receive email reminders for activities, please send your request to douville@bellsouth.net.

January 20 meeting: Martha Resk, Manager of the Audubon House Gallery of Key West will discuss the sea beans that wash up on the shores of the Florida Keys and the journey that brings them.

February 17 meeting:  John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, topic TBA.

February 22 field trip: Big Pine Key, with the Dade group.

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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


Saturday, March 14, 2009

A.D. Barnes Park
3401 SW 72 Avenue (Bird Road & SW 72 Ave.), Miami

Programs, Activities, Nature walks, Plant sales, Book sales,
Displays, Raffles, Children's activities
Schedule of activities will be available in February


Save the date and tell your friends!
Co-sponsored by DCFNPS & Miami-Dade County Parks


Members - If you can help out in any capacity (large or small!) please contact Amy Leonard at 305-458-0969 (preferably, after 3pm) or aleonar74@yahoo.com.

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When: Saturday, January 17, 2009, 10 am to noon.   
Location: Member's Home near SW 77th Ave and SW 160th St.
Directions: Please see the printed newsletter for directions.

It is, unfortunately, easy to know when you have found a yard visit site. You will notice an oasis of native plants in a desert of Saint Augustine grass.  Bob's yard is dense with natives planted post Hurricane Andrew. It is amazing how quickly the native plants grow – some are record breaker size in this yard. The plants have been allowed to spread throughout the yard. As Bob says "nature is not neat" and that results in a wonderful assortment of visiting wildlife. The first thing I noticed when I got out of the car were butterflies – everywhere. This yard is packed with herbaceous plants of many kinds - one is growing happily in a surprising location. There are many shrubs and trees and some that we don't normally see in our yard visits.

This visit is part of an ongoing opportunity for those who wish to know the natives in a hands-on manner and to see them in various settings, formal and informal, and to learn the property owner's successes and failures at growing them. For more information please call me at 305-238-8901, Gwlady Scott

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Science Fair judges needed ASAP - Jan. 26 and/or 27, 2009. Attention, DCFNPS Members.  Do you:

The Dade Chapter is in need of members who can act as judges at the upcoming South Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair.  This year, the fair will be held at two locations over two days.  Judges need to be present between 8 and 9am for registration, and judging is usually over before lunchtime.  We judges will be looking for projects that are candidates for receiving our chapter's George N. Avery Award.

Please contact Jennifer Possley at jpossley@fairchildgarden.org or 305-445-6108.  Your efforts are appreciated! 
North:  Monday, January 26, Miami-Dade College - North Campus, 11380 N.W. 27th Avenue (33167)
South:  Tuesday, January 27, Southland Mall, 20505 South Dixie Highway (33189)

Chapter Workday at Everglades National Park: February 7, 9a.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).

The Dade Chapter's new official telephone number for general information is 786-340-7914.  You can also contact individuals listed in the info box on the back for specific needs.

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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

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Dade Native Plant Workshop.  NEW LOCATION: Miami-Dade College, Kendall Campus.  See IRC Web site or contact Steve for details if you are not on his email list. 3rd Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Bring at least 3 flowering/fruiting plants of any species (even if not the subject matter).  

Jan. 20: Solanaceae (discussion led by Kiki Mutis).  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. Jan. 14: Jim Duquesnel, Director of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, "Invasive Removal in Boca Raton Parks."  7pm social time, 7:30 meeting, followed by a plant auction. 

Ethnobotany: The Interactions Between People and Plants. Saturdays Feb. 14 - March 14, 2-4pm, at the Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 SW 72 Ave, Miami FL 33157 (305-235-1668, ext. 233 or www.deeringestate.com). Learn how plants have transformed our world as food and medicine, in construction and rituals, and for ornamentation.  The focus will be on local plants/people as well as plants used around the world.  Classes include a lecture and hands-on activity making medicinal salve, baskets and other items.  The class is taught by Gita Ramsay, M.S in Biology/Ethnobotany from Florida International University (and DCFNPS member!).

SAVE THE WHOOPING CRANES!  Lecture on Wednesday, January 14, 2009. 7:30pm. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Corbin Building.  George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation, will tell how Florida is helping to save the cranes.  Sponsored by Tropical Audubon Society.  Please RSVP (limited seating!) and purchase your ticket (305-666-2842 or tropicalaudubon@gmail.com).   Advance tickets are $10, $15 at the door.

Tropical Audubon Society. Doc Thomas House, 5530 Sunset Dr., 305-667-7337, www.tropicalaudubon.org for more events and activities, including beginning birding and kayaking.  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 more activities.

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. 9am-noon. Jan 16: Camp Matecumbe Pineland, 11400 SW 137 Ave. (EEL site not regularly open).  Jan 24: Seminole Wayside Park, 29901 US1.  Jan 31: Deering Estate North, 16701 SW 72 Ave (includes estate tour). Feb 6: Larry and Penny Thompson Park Pineland, 12451 SW 184 St. (includes nature hike).

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.

Green Living & Energy Education (GLEE) newsletter. If you'd like to keep up to date on what's happening with environmental issues in the Keys, subscribe to the GLEE monthly online newsletter. It's free and provides current information about what the cities and Monroe County are doing to reduce energy consumption. The newsletter provides a calendar of events, news about GLEE activities, and information about how to get involved in the effort to make the Keys more sustainable.  To subscribe, go to www.keysglee.com and click on "subscribe" in the upper right hand portion.

Biscayne National Park's Family Fun Fest series. Through May.  Free. 1-4 pm at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, 9700 SW 328 Street, east of Homestead, Florida. 305-230-7275 ext. 0 or http://www.nps.gov/bisc for more information. Games, science experiments, presentations and craft projects. Feb. 9: "Amazing Adaptations."  In the bicentennial year of Charles Darwin's birth, we look at some of the amazing adaptations that help Biscayne's plants and animals survive.

Coral Gables Museum - First Fridays Architecture and Design Lecture Series at the Old Spanish Village Sales Gallery, 2901 Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables. Lecture at 7 pm, followed by wine and cheese reception and exhibit tour.  Free but reservations required due to limited seating (305-910-3996, info@coralgablesmuseum.org, www.coralgablesmuseum.org).

Plant donations needed for Eagle Scout project.  James Baer is seeking donations of native plants (or cash to buy them) for his Community Service project, which is planting a butterfly garden at the Doc Thomas House (Tropical Audubon).  If you have any Dade County natives to offer, please contact him at Jb9213@aol.com, 305-979-6981.  He still needs a lot of plants (and needs to know what is available by January 20) and will be very appreciative!

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Notes from a presentation by Adrian Hunsberger, Urban Horticulture Agent / Entomologist, UF/Miami-Dade County Extension, to the Dade Chapter FNPS, November 25, 2008.

(Summary by Patty Phares, Tillandsia Editor. Thanks to Adrian for providing a detailed handout of her program!)

Adrian advises that natural enemies of some pests are already here, and she urges us to learn how to manage these pests responsibly.  "Some of the beneficial insects are mistaken for pests and are mistakenly destroyed.  Learn the difference!"  She also says that using wood chip mulch is generally not a problem.  "Insects will likely be killed during the chipping process. Also, the bugs will die because the plant tissue will be dead."

You will need more information than is included here on identification and management (if you choose to try to manage a pest).  Look online for photos and Fact Sheets on these pests and diseases.  Recommended Web sites:

  http://trec.ifas.ufl.edu/mannion//pests.shtml (check for future additions)
  http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu  (Featured Creatures)

Look for pests you have not seen before or unexpected damage.  Check these pest alert sites if you see something new:


Call the Miami-Dade Extension at 305-248-3311 if you need more information.  Call the Division of Plant Industry (DPI) at 800-282-5153 to report the spread of certain pests.

Croton Scale: This soft scale was first reported in April 2008 and is now throughout South Florida.  It is usually on thin stems.  It is common on croton and gumbo limbo. Also seen on the native plants lignumvitae, strangler fig, marlberry, firebush, wild coffee and other native and exotic plants. Look for a lot of sooty mold on the plant.  Mealybug destroyers eat this scale (as well as the pink mealybug).  The destroyer has waxy projections and moves - mealybugs don't move.

Fig Whitefly: First reported in August 2007 in Miami. Hedges of the exotic Ficus benjamina are most obvious with severe defoliation, but other Ficus species including strangler fig are also hosts.  Manage these pests early in the infestation.  If leaves have yellowed or dropped, wait for new growth and use a recommended drench on the soil.  Insecticidal or horticultural oil spray can be used on smaller trees.  There are also natural enemies present.  To help slow the whitefly spread, do not remove Ficus clippings from your yard - use as mulch.

Fig Wax Scale: First discovered in Florida in the mid-1990s.  It causes leaf drop and stem dieback on strangler figs, or even death.  It turns a rosy color when parasitized.

Erythrina Gall Wasp:  Found in Miami's Metrozoo in 2006.  It kills Erythrina species (e.g., coral bean, a native tree).  At present, only a systemic root drench is effective.

Photo of Lobate Lac ScaleLobate Lac Scale: Look for a small dark 4-lobed scale.  First collected here in 1999, this is now common in several counties and has killed native plants in the Everglades (especially wax myrtle) and affects more than 150 woody plants, including natives. It is found on twigs and small stems and causes stem dieback and death.  Natural enemies are being sought but some natural control may be happening in SE Florida.  It can be managed with horticultural oil and appropriate root drenches.

Sri Lanka Weevil: Found here in 2000.  It affects many plants, especially lychee (non-native fruit tree). Damage seems to appear suddenly but is cosmetic, and plants do not decline.  You can catch the adults (usually found in large numbers on a tree) in an inverted umbrella and then kill them.

Laurel Wilt: This serious fungal disease is spread by the Asian ambrosia beetle (which feeds on the fungus) and has killed many native red bay trees in the Southeast in the past few years.  It is moving toward South Florida, threatening avocado trees and natives in the Laurel family (red bay, lancewood). Initial signs are leaf drooping and discoloration; compacted sawdust protrudes from the beetles' bore holes. Infected firewood spreads the wilt - use only local firewood!  Treatment is expensive and slow.

Texas Phoenix Palm Decline (Sabal Palm Decline): Serious bacterial disease, found in Florida in 2006 but not yet on the Florida east coast.  The vector is a planthopper.  Affects Phoenix and queen palm (exotics) and the native Florida state tree, Sabal palmetto (Cabbage palm).  There are no good diagnostic symptoms for sabal palms.  Treatment is an injection but is best used as a preventative.  Report suspect palms to the DPI.

Red Palm Mite:  A serious pest - report suspect infested plants to DPI.  Feeds on palms, bananas, and some other monocots.  Establishes colonies on underside of leaves. Imported in cargo, dry materials, plants (including food) carried by travelers, occasionally by wind.  They spread rapidly by moving plants (nursery and homeowner) and landscape waste.  Prevention: Don't smuggle animals, foods, plants and plant parts, soil; thoroughly inspect plants before purchase.  More management options are needed, including chemical controls, but use the least toxic pesticides when needed and tolerate some plant damage.

Lobate Lac Scale photograph by: F. W. Howard, University of Florida in UF/IFAS Publication Number: EENY-276

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If you don't regularly look at the state FNPS Web site, check www.fnps.org for the latest announcements, interesting items, and links.

Opportunity for natural history artists.  Phillip Phillips, Florida Society of Botanical Artists, is organizing an art show at the Roskamp Center for Arts & Humanity in Sarasota, to be held from March through the middle of April 2009. He is interested in hearing from artists with an interest in Florida natural history who might like to submit work. Submissions must be received by Feb. 12 for initial jurying.  Please contact Phillips to receive information packet with requirements for submissions: plpartist@gmail.com

FNPS Conference (West Palm Beach Marriott, May 21-24, 2009). No conference program will be mailed, in an effort to save trees and costs. A reminder postcard with link to the FNPS website will be mailed mid-January, and all registration will be online. Members who do not have Internet access can contact FNPS Administrative Services (321-271-6702) for information and assistance.

2009 FNPS Endowment Grant program - Submittal deadline March 6, 2009.  Grants are up to $2500, awarded for a 1-year period, and intended to support research that forwards the mission of the Florida Native Plant Society which is "to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida."  To download an application, go to Awards & Grants - Research Grants. For additional information, contact Paul A. Schmalzer paul.a.schmalzer@nasa.gov.

2009 FNPS Landscape Awards - Submittal deadline March 6, 2009.  Go to Awards & Grants - Landscape Awards for details.  Plan now to submit your Florida native plant landscaping project!  There is a category for just about every project.  Homeowners are encouraged to enter -- help promote the FNPS mission by sharing your garden as an example!   For questions, contact Landscape Awards committee Chair Jake Ingram at jakeingramla@comcast.net 

Call for 2009 FNPS Conference Scientific Papers and Poster Presentations.  See the Web site for details.

Native Plant Coloring Book!  Teach children about Florida's native plants and the wildlife that use them using this handy coloring book that is available online.   Illustrations and text are by Amy Mosher, Sea Rocket Chapter.

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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

On November 23, 2008, FNPS members and interpretive staff of Big Cypress Preserve visited the Burns Lake Slough area in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Please see the printed newsletter for a list of the ferns and plants in bloom that were observed on the trip. I have also included plants observed without flowers but still fruiting and these are marked by an asterisk.  However, most of the grass-like plants are really in seed and many of the dicots listed as being in flower also bear fruit and seeds. 

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President: Robert Harris, 954-651-4176, xkensington6x@yahoo.com

General information:  786-340-7914

Refreshment coordinator, Dade meetings: Patty Harris, 305-262-3763 eve., 305-373-1000 day

Memberships: Patty Phares (305-255-6404)

DCFNPS Web page: http://dade.fnpschapters.org
Webmaster: Greg Ballinger (Greg_Ballinger@excite.com)

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.

© 1999-2009 Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society, Inc.

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Past Online Newsletters