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.


November 2009

  • 7 (Sat.): Yard visit in South Miami, 2-4 pm.
  • 14 (Sat.):  Field trip (Greynolds Park)
  • 15 (Sun.): Native Gardening Event, North Miami Beach
  • 20-22 (Fri.-Sun.): Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Ramble
  • 24 (Tue.): Meeting in Miami-Dade (archeology and plants)

December 2009

  • 6 (Sun.): 5th ANNUAL HOLIDAY PICNIC at A.D.
    Barnes Park – Please RSVP
  • 8 (Tue.): Meeting in the Keys (Note date change)
  • 12 (Sat.): Keys Branch field trip - Marathon/Pigeon Key.
    RSVP required
  • 13 (Sun.): Dade field trip  (Chekika, ENP)
  • 19 (Sat.):  Chapter workday, Everglades National Park

January 2010

  • 9 (Sat.): Bolla/Gann holiday party -- please RSVP
  • 26 (Tue.): Meeting in Miami-Dade (Ecological landscaping)
  • Keys Branch activities in January: TBA

March 27, 2010: NATIVE PLANT DAY at Bill Sadowski Old Cutler Hammock Park.  Save the date!

May 20-23, 2010: Annual FNPS Conference in Tallahassee (date change from previous announcement)

See our online Calendar for more details and dates.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009, 7:30 pm at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Corbin Building, 10901 Old Cutler Road.  Free and open to the public. Refreshments begin at 7:15pm. Merchandise sales are before and after the program (cash/checks only).  The plant raffle follows the program.

Before the meeting at 7 pm: You're invited! The Board of Directors invites interested members to give input -- your thoughts about our chapter and how it functions and suggestions.

"Weeds and Seeds: A History of Dining in Southern Florida" - Dr. Michele Williams, Florida Public Archaeology Network.      

This lecture examines various plants utilized by early Floridians as well as some of the "meatier" issues of early diet in south Florida.  Learn how the wealth of natural resources in southern Florida has made it a unique dining experience for over 10,000 years.  Michele Williams, Ph.D., RPA is the Director and Terrestrial Archaeologist for the Southeastern Region of Florida Public Archaeology Network.  Her specialty within archaeology is the use of plants by prehistoric Native Americans.  She has participated in digs throughout the southeastern United States for the past 20 years.

December: No Dade meeting or Tillandsia

January 26, 2010: "Cities, Climate Change and Ecological Landscaping" - Dr. Jack Parker, Professor Emeritus, FIU Department of Environmental Sciences

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FNPS members and their guests (children welcome) are invited to this event.   If you are not yet a member, please join so you can enjoy all the activities of the chapter!  Address and directions are in the print newsletter sent to members.

If the weather is very bad, call to confirm.  Field trips are for the study of plants and enjoyment of nature by FNPS members and their guests. Collecting is not permitted. Children welcome. For carpooling, call Gwen (305-372-6569) or Patty (305-255-6404).

Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009: Greynolds Park in North Miami Beach.  9a.m. - noon.  This park on the Oleta River is one of the oldest County parks in Miami-Dade.  It is named for A.O. Greynolds, the head of Ojus Rock Company, who deeded the land to Dade County Parks in 1936.   Once a rock quarry, the park is 249 acres, including hardwood hammock with oak canopy and mangrove forest.  The land and river were used by Tequesta and Seminole Indians. 

Visit www.miamidade.gov/parks for more description.  The park contains historic buildings that were the focus of our October program by architect Rocco Ceo.  We will spend the first part of the trip with Park Manager Chris Hernandez, looking at buildings and learning about the park's history and some of the conservation and preservation issues it faces.  Then we will botanize on the nature trails in West Greynolds (west of the Oleta River) and/or East Greynolds (on Biscayne Bay), as time allows.

Sunday, December 13: Chekika, Everglades National Park. 9 a.m. - noon. 

This area was a private resort, then a state recreational area with a scenic swimming hole (fed by an artesian well gushing sulphur-laden water), picnic tables, nature trails, camping and a tiny museum.  In 1985, the artesian well was capped due to concern that the brackish water might contaminate surface wells downstream.  The park was transferred to ENP in 1991 and closed after Hurricane Andrew for restoration activities.  Since Chekika's reopening, the amenities have been discontinued, nature has been reclaiming the area, and the park is closed seasonally due to high water.  Our leader, Jonathan Taylor, Restoration Program Manager at ENP (and FNPS member), will show us the natural areas, hammock restoration and efforts to control non-native species.  We will see wild-flowers in the wetlands, but it's also a great place for birds and butterflies - bring binoculars!

Do you have suggestions for field trip destinations and leaders?  Please let us know!  (Contact Patty Phares, 305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com)

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To receive e-mail reminders of Keys branch activities, please contact Barb Moe, barbmoe@bellsouth.net.  Remember that all chapter members are welcome at both Keys and Dade activities!

Meeting: Tuesday, December 8, Marathon Garden Club (mile marker 52.7 Bayside). Note the date change! 

"The Best of Florida – Where to find great examples of our native plant communities" by former FNPS President Shirley Denton.  Shirley has been a member and a driving force in the FNPS since 1987.  She was recently awarded a Silver Palmetto Award for her outstanding service to the Native Plant Society.

Socializing, refreshments, merchandise sales, and plant ID begin at 7p.m. The program starts at 7:30 and is followed by a native plant raffle.  Bring your plant donations!

 Field trip: Saturday, December 12.  Please RSVP for this trip to Lisa at ledzepllg@bellsouth.net or 305-743-0978. Transportation to Pigeon Key is limited and requires us to reserve in advance.

Other upcoming activities in Marathon:

Activities in Key Largo are being planned, with meetings tentatively scheduled for 3rd Tuesdays in January and March.

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On Sunday, November 15, 2009, a casual social gathering will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 15251 NE 18th Avenue, North Miami Beach.  The focus of the event will be on growing native plants and will feature two lectures on how and why to use natives in the home landscape.  Plants will also be available for sale from Florida Naturescapes Native Nursery. 

We hope you'll be there! If you have friends in the north part of Dade, please encourage them to come.   A portion of the proceeds of the plant sales will benefit the Arch Creek Trust.   If you have questions, please contact Ted Shaffer at 305-944-1290.

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Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Ramble, Friday to Sunday, November 20-22. 

Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society
Miami Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Assoc.
Tropical Audubon Society and TREEmendous Miami
Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009, noon – 3 p.m.
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 your phone number.
"Non-chef" items are also needed.
Please contact Patty Phares:

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

Chapter workday, Everglades National Park.  Saturday, December 19, 9a.m. - noon.  Help with our native plant habitat landscaping maintenance around the Coe Visitors Center.  Drinks, gloves, hand tools and bug spray are provided, but you may want to bring your own.  Bring sun protection, and snacks to share, if you would like.  New helpers, friends and children are welcome and encouraged to come!  Everyone in your car gets into the park free after the workday.  This is an ideal time of year to work in and visit the park -- nice weather and birds have arrived but the surge of tourists has not.  For more information: Patty Phares (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com).

Butterfly Garden Project at the Deering Estate at Cutler.
The Deering Estate has asked for our help in designing a butterfly garden with native plants.  Please contact Gita Ramsay (786-877-7168, gita.ramsay@gmail.com) to provide your suggestions for appropriate native plants for this project.  Also, if you might be able to provide butterfly plants at some time in the future, please let Gita know now.

Welcome new members!  Alice Christy, Chislaine Greene, Janet Hiles, Elizabeth McQuale -- all in Miami-Dade County.

Message from the Chapter President
For those who attend our monthly meetings in Dade, you have come to know the refreshment table and the delight it adds to our meetings.  Our refreshment chair for many years, Patty Harris, has always taken great care to make a fun theme to go along with the excellent food donated by our members.  She has now taken a new position within DCFNPS as Membership Chair. Please join me in wishing Patty the best of luck in improving our member-ship numbers and improving relations with our existing member-ship. Vivian Waddell is taking the job of Refreshment Coordinator.  We wish her well in her new duties (of keeping us fed!)

 Robert Harris, DCFNPS President


January 9, 2010, 5 pm to 10 pm.

Joyce & Don Gann’s house
in the Redland (SW 154 Ave.)
All FNPS members and their families are invited.

Soup, salad and iced tea will be provided.
Please bring a dish to share (or whatever is needed for your special dietary restrictions) and BYOB!

Please RSVP to Mark Bolla at bollam@bellsouth.net
305-852-0242 or Joyce at 786-423-1881
for address and directions.  The parking is in a hammock and on an unlit street so bring a flashlight.


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Our next Native Plant Day will be on March 27, 2010, at Bill Sadowski Old Cutler Hammock in South Miami-Dade.  Many of our chapter members 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 can help out in any capacity this time, please let Amy Leonard know by contacting her at 305-458-0969 (preferably, after 3 pm) at aleonar74@yahoo.com.  Please save the date and tell your friends and family.  In addition to volunteers, we will need plant donations for the raffle and sale, so start potting up your plants now!

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Dade Native Plant Workshop.  MDC Kendall campus Landscape Technology Center.  3rd Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Bring at least three flowering/fruiting plants of any species (even if not the subject matter).  The group discusses identification, experiences in growing the plants at home, and all sorts of interesting information.  Contact Steve, 786-488-3101, Stevewoodmansee@bellsouth.net.   For directions see www.regionalconservation.org/ircs/aboutus/Outreach.asp  

Broward Native Plant Society.  Meets 7-9pm at the Agricultural Extension Service, 3245 College Ave., Davie.  954-370-3725 or www.npsbroward.org. 

“Botanical Treasures of the Everglades”, Nov. 1-30, 2009, at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center.  This art exhibit in pencil, pen and ink, and watercolor by Kathleen Konicek-Moran features rare orchids, threatened bromeliads and other plants from the subtropical environment of the Everglades.  An artist’s reception is November 15, 2 - 4:30 p.m.  See www.nps.gov. and click on “Cypress Cathedral” for a podcast.

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

Friends of the Gifford Arboretum, Univ. of Miami.  See www.bio.miami.edu/arboretum or 305-284-5364 for directions. 

Miami Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Association.  See www.miamiblue.org or contact Elane Nuehring, 305-666-5727 or miamiblue@bellsouth.net for details of walks and other activities.

Miami-Dade Parks Natural Areas workdays.  See www.miamidade.gov/derm/endangered_lands.asp for details. RSVP at 305-257-0933 x227, eel@miamidade.gov.  Students earn Community Service Hours and others earn the heartfelt thanks of everyone in Miami-Dade County.

Native plants at the Miami Book Fair International, Nov. 8-15.  Instead of areca palms, natives from Veber's Jungle Garden will grace entrances and share the stages with dozens of distinguished speakers!  If you'd like to talk about native plants with other Fair-goers, Leslie Veber invites you to stop a while at her educational/sale booth at the Street Fair (Friday-Sunday).

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I just returned from the Big Pine Key stop of the special "Whistle-Stop Tour" along our State's Florida Keys Scenic Highway in celebration of the brand new (as of October 16) national designation, All-American Road.  Our US1 Corridor is now the only All-American Road in Florida and one of only 31 in the entire country.

Thanks to the enthusiasm and years of work by many hundreds of Florida Keys Scenic Highway "boosters" -- including numerous eloquent FNPS members who wrote inspired letters to the National Scenic Byways (NSB)  program -- our US1 Corridor has been launched to this highest status in the NSB System, that of All-American Road.  At today's festivities, our Scenic Highway Corridor Alliance President, Judy Hull, spoke about this new "feather in our cap" for our entire 127 mile US1 Corridor. Not only will the new honor bring more tourists with a focus on all the unique characteristics of our Florida Keys, it also provides a greater opportunity to secure grants for enhancing the educational and natural habitat aspects of our Corridor.

Many of us view our Scenic Highway Corridor as a native plant buffer to our special natural areas. With the new national designation we are planning for a renewed effort to pull together our long over-due Landscape Management Plan (LMP), mandated in our Comprehensive Plan. The LMP should go a long way toward guiding the crews of FDOT and the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail (of DEP's Office of Greenways and Trails), volunteers for the Trail, and adjacent property owners (of both public conservation areas and private property) toward the protection, maintenance and restoration of our natural areas buffer. Our Scenic Highway and All-American Road Corridor will only thrive as a result of this cooperation.

Submitted by Tina Henize, DCFNPS Keys Branch member, Scenic Highway and OHT volunteer, and Monroe County Invasive Exotic Plant Tech

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By Chuck McCartney

Broward County’s Long Key Natural Area in the town of Davie is one of the legendary Seven Islands of Sam Jones, a series of tree islands once surrounded by Everglades marshes and now set in a sea of suburbia.  It was on these islands that the rebellious Native American leader Aripeka (called Sam Jones by whites) led his people during the Second Seminole War as they sought to elude capture by U.S. troops bent on forcibly removing them to the far-off Oklahoma Indian Territory.  But these islands were a place of human refuge long before the Seminoles were driven there from their homes farther north in the state.  Archaeological evidence shows that the earlier Tequesta Indians also used Long Key centuries before the Seminoles arrived.

The Dade Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society visited Long Key Natural Area on its September 26, 2009, field trip.  We were accompanied by naturalist Linda Briggs of the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division’s Environmental Section, which afforded us the opportunity to visit some parts of the preserve not usually accessible to the public.

Long Key is more a “natural area” in name than in fact because it has been so severely impacted by human activities, especially over the past century.  Previously, parts of the preserve have been used for a citrus grove, an exotic plant nursery and even a Wild West theme park. It was also the location of a gaudy and elaborate restaurant called the Kapok Tree.  Ornamental columns salvaged from the Kapok Tree have been used to surround a circular planting of native trees and shrubs near the entrance to the site’s new nature center and interpretive exhibit hall.  This planting featured a nice display of Beautyberry in fruit during our visit.

From the nature center, a bridge crosses a man-made pond to the accessible area of the hammock.  (Other parts are closed to the public because they contain sensitive archaeological sites.) A concrete-paved path winds through the hammock beneath the huge old Live Oak trees that dominate the site. The understory is sparse in places because vast numbers of exotic pest plants have been taken out (with many more still needing removal).

Our group also visited created wetland areas on the west and north sides of the property.  In fact, because the whole preserve site had been so degraded over the years, much of the “natural area” is actually an attempt to re-create the environment that was there (or was thought to be there) historically. Still, we managed to see 75 species of plants in flower, whether they had been brought in with the restoration effort or occurred there naturally.

A blooming plant list may be forthcoming and posted on the Website at a later date

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[First published in the Tillandsia, November, 1986.  Updated November, 2009]

You might like to have a real Florida touch when you decorate for your holiday party -- or anytime.  Instead of flamingos and coconut palms, picture casual or formal arrangements of cuttings of native plants (and maybe some exotics) from your own yard.  A little judicious trimming or some much-needed pruning could provide you with adequate materials.  Jonathan Foote has compiled a few tips on constructing arrangements and a list of good materials (mostly native) to use. 

First the rules:

Now the materials:

Evergreens: Slash pine, sand pine (not in Dade), bald cypress, red cedar

Coarse textures: Seven year apple, red mangrove, myrsine, red-tip cocoplum, satin leaf (use it upside down!), wild dilly, sea grape, pigeon plum, sweet-bay, pitch-apple

Fine textures: Black ironwood, Florida privet, live oak

Christmas effect: Silver buttonwood, bay cedar, winged sumac, live oak, myrsine, marlberry.  If they are in fruit, these add bright red color: hollies, lignum vitae, wild cinnamon, Christmasberry, firebush, wild coffee.  Pair silver buttonwood with dahoon holly branches (leaves and berries) in a vase.

For an "exotic" look: Ferns, pitch-apple stems, sea grape leaves, palm fronds

For special interest: Cattails, mahogany pods or other seed pods, Fakahatchee grass and other grasses (flowering stalks).  Add citrus and other long-lasting exotic fruits, or for short-term use, native fruits such as sea grapes, cocoplum, satin-leaf, etc.

Interesting containers: Driftwood, natural-looking containers, baskets, large shells, rocks

Wreaths and garlands: Grape stems (bend before drying), sea grape leaves (pin to Styrofoam), evergreens

Decorations on trees or wreaths: Pine cones (and other cones), winged sumac (fruiting heads), palm (flower stalks), pods (blackbead, exotics such as milkweed and Poinciana).  Use decorations in singles or clusters.

Now be creative!  Look for materials in your yard with interesting shape, texture, color or fragrance.  You can make a modern look as well as a "country" look.

Editor's notes:

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Several native plant nurseries and Fairchild will be selling native plants at the Ramble, November 20-22.  There is no need to drive any farther than Coral Gables!  Remember that individual vendors will collect their own sales receipts, and they generally will not take credit cards, so bring cash and checks.

These are just a few highlights in the list of species being sold by the vendors participating with the Dade Chapter FNPS.

Wildflowers and small plants: Beach verbena (Glandularia maritima), Blue porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis), Coontie (Zamia pumila), Hammock snakeroot (Ageratina jucunda), Mistletoe cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera), Pineland croton (Croton linearis), Pineland heliotrope (Heliotropium polyphyllum)

Wild allamanda photoShrubs and trees: Baycedar (Suriana maritima), Fiddlewood (Citharexylum spinosum), Simpson's stopper (Myrcianthes fragrans), White lantana (Lantana involucrata), Wild dilly (Manilkara jaimiqui subsp. emarginata)

Information from Natives For Your Neighborhood, The Institute for Regional Conservation, www.regionalconservation.org.

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There are two easy ways to raise funds for FNPS while sitting at your computer!

 Use the Internet search engine GoodSearch.  From GoodSearch.com, just select "FNPS, Melbourne" from the pull down menu and complete your Internet search.  Each time you search, a penny is donated to FNPS.

 Use GoodShop when purchasing online. From GoodShop.com, first select FNPS before you shop for office supplies, gifts, household goods.  A percentage of the purchase price goes to FNPS. All brand name stores are in the GoodShop network.

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

General information:  786-340-7914

Refreshment coordinator, Dade meetings: Vivian Waddell 305-665-5168

Memberships: Patty Harris (305-262-3763)

DCFNPS Web page: http://dade.fnpschapters.org

Webmasters: Greg Ballinger and Haniel Pulido Jr. (dadefnpsweb@gmail.com)

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dade-Chapter-of-the-Florida-Native-Plant-Society/110373246810

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 editors: Patty Phares (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com) and Elizabeth Kelly

Dade Chapter Board members:

President: Robert Harris  Vice-President: Ted Shaffer
Secretary: TBA Treasurer: Mark Bolla
At Large: Amida Frey, Patty Harris, Jose Luciani, Gita Ramsay, Vivian Waddell, Susan Walcutt
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

2009 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.

Join or renew FNPS online! Try it! If you are renewing, check your green card or send email to info@fnps.org with your full name to obtain your membership number (or ask you local membership manager).  Otherwise, reenter your personal information.  When renewing, please update your membership record. Family/household or higher level memberships can list two members, including complete contact info for each.  See https://www.fnps.org/secure/membership.php

Thanks to those who have renewed FNPS memberships recently!  Your continued support helps FNPS achieve its mission:

The purpose of the Florida Native Plant Society is to promote the preservation, conservation and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida.

Articles, announcements and news items are invited for Tillandsia from Dade and Keys members.  Please submit items for consideration by the 15th of each month.  

Advertising rates from $12/month.

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

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