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Newsletter - March 2011

March Meeting, Miami-Dade
NATIVE PLANT DAY March 12, 2011 - 9am - 4 pm
Upcoming Field Trip
Chapter News
Native Plant Day and Earth Day at John Pennekamp State Park

Other News of Interest
Nursery News: Shop At Native Plant Day!
Contacts for DCFNPS


Mar. 12: Native Plant Day in North Miami - save the date!
Mar. 19: Field trip (two south Dade pinelands)
Mar. 22:
Monthly meeting at Pinecrest Gardens

Apr. 2: Chapter workday, Everglades National Park
Apr. 16: Field trip (Jonathan Dickinson State Park)
Apr. 26
: Monthly meeting at Pinecrest Gardens
Apr. 30-May 1: FTBG Food & Garden Festival/Spring Sale

May 19-22: 31st Annual FNPS Conference, Maitland. Registration now open at
May 24: Monthly meeting and Annual Chapter Business meeting at Pinecrest Gardens
May field trip: TBA


Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 7:30 pm. at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 SW 57 Ave (Red Road),

Free and open to the public.

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

Please label your raffle donations with the plant name (and yours!) and help wipe out "mystery plants."

"Splish-Splash: A Look at South Florida’s Aquatic and Wetland Wildflowers" - Chuck McCartney

From the Everglades to the Big Cypress and to places in between, wild flower enthusiast and amateur photographer Chuck McCartney takes us on a journey to look at the showiest flowers of our area's renowned subtropical freshwater wetlands as we celebrate World Water Day.

A fourth-generation South Floridian now residing in Hollywood, Chuck was raised in Homestead, where, even as a child, he was drawn to the pretty native wildflowers. He is a former editor of the American Orchid Society's AOS Bulletin and the Awards Quarterly and was a copy editor with The Miami Herald’s Broward Edition, before retiring in 2009. He has written extensively about orchids for numerous publications.

Chuck's special interest is the native orchids of southern Florida. He has found and photographed most of the 60 species reported to be native to the southern end of the state, as well as many other wildflowers. He also has studied and written about orchids and other wildflowers in the mountains of western North Carolina. He speaks frequently to a multitude of organizations about the orchids and wildflowers of South Florida and the Southern Appalachians. These educational efforts earned him the 2002 Green Palmetto Award from FNPS. Chuck joined Dade County's original Native Plant Workshop in 1974 and has been a member of the Florida Native Plant Society for many years.

Upcoming meetings:

  • April 26: Dr. Tom Lodge will discuss the 3rd edition of his book The Everglades Handbook- Understanding the Ecosystem.
  • May 24: TBA
  • June 28: "Why the Future May Not Look Quite Like the Past: The Science and Art of Ecological Restoration" - Wesley R. Brooks, Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology & Evolution, Rutgers Univ. 

March 12, 2011 - 9am - 4 pm

Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park
1725 NE 135 Street, North Miami, FL 33181 (305-895-1119)
Sponsored by the Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society and City of North Miami Parks and Recreation

For more information including a schedule and directions: or call DCFNPS at 786-340-7914.

It’s easy to find (just take I-95 to NW 135 ST and go east 3 miles) -- an’ It’s not so far (about 30 minutes from the South Miami area). With lots of activities and a huge plant sale, it will be an informative and pleasant day under towering oak trees.

It’s not too late to help and donate!

Forward this link to your friends:

  • Help set up on March 11th (afternoon).   Set up the raffle and other stations, move tables, hang signs.  Contact Amy.
  • Loan butterfly larvae, potted host/nectar plants.We often need a last-minute source for caterpillars!  Contact Patty.
  • Donate to the raffle and chapter plant sale: Contact Amy if you can’t take them there yourself, or so we can prepare for the items you’ll bring. Raffle items can include native plants, books, gift certificates or passes, art items, gardening tools, etc.
  • Help at Native Plant Day!   If you can help a few hours, you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy the event.  Contact Gita.

Contact information for donations and volunteers:

Amy Leonard (305-458-0969 or
Patty Phares (305-255-66404 or
Gita Ramsay (786-877-7168 or

Event schedule (more details online):

  • Walk: "Early Bird" walk (8-9am, Joe Barros)
  • Top 10 butterflies of our urban yards (9:10, Gil Pettigrew)
  • Create a native environment in your yard (9:45, Jimmy Socash)
  • Walk: Trails & plants of Enchanted Forest (9:45, Lola Heasley)
  • South Florida geology and plants (10:20, Gwladys Scott)
  • Walk: Butterfly identification and habitat (10:20, Amida Frey)
  • Water conservation with native plants (10:55, Joy Klein)
  • Unique and interesting native plants (11:30, Gwen Burzycki)
  • Walk: Tree structure and pruning (11:30, Robin Luker)
  • Raffle #1 (12:15, you must be present to win)
  • Lunch, displays, activities, sales, trails (12:05-1:00)
  • Landscape with natives (1:10, Wendy Saltzburg)
  • Walk: Trails & plants of Enchanted Forest (1:10, Lola Heasley)
  • Tree care for hurricane preparedness (1:45, Robin Luker)
  • Native fern factoids (2:20, Jennifer Possley)
  • Walk: Plant sales area tour (2:20, Steve Woodmansee)
  • Miami-Dade’s Million Tree Campaign (2:55, Christina Casado)
  • Raffle #2 (3:30, you must be present to win)
  • Displays, activities, sales, trails (3:30-4:00)

Other activities and things to know:

  • Plant sale (commercial vendors and home-grown)
  • Merchandise sale (books, shirts & lots more - cash/check only)
  • Displays, hands-on activities for all ages
  • Plant Clinic - bring your questions
  • Lunch by the Crepe Maker, snacks and drinks for sale


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

March 19, 2011: Rockdale and Coral Reef Pinelands in South Miami-Dade.
(Joint field trip (DCFNPS and Miami Blue North American Butterfly Association)

Time, address and directions are in the print or e-mail newsletter sent to members.  Please join to enjoy all the activities of the chapter!

We will look for interesting pineland species and spring wildflowers, especially butterfly plants, and also look for butterflies with the help of the NABA folks. (Thanks to NABA for organizing this trip.) Close-focus binoculars can help if you want to try to learn some butterflies. Both of these county preserves are small gems among our few remnant pine rocklands and are important for butterflies as well as native plants. Rockdale was spared from being bisected the South Dade Busway and instead continues to harbor interesting pine rockland species, including the endangered deltoid spurge. See

  • Difficulty: Easy, walking mostly on open trails in both parks.
  • Bring: Drinks and sun protection.
  • Lunch: Please join us at a nearby restaurant if you can.
  • Plant lists:You can print comprehensive plant lists for most South Florida sites by conservation area before field trips. See The Institute for Regional Conservation’s website, > Floristic Inventory online. (Takes a little effort - copy and paste into a form you can print.)

 Lost?  Try Patty's cell (305-878-5705, only use that morning).


Chapter board member nominations are open. At the May 24 chapter meeting, new chapter board members will be elected.Is it time for you to serve on the Dade Chapter board? The Secretary, Treasurer and three Directors at Large will be elected for two year terms. A slate will be presented by the nominating committee. Please contact Amy Leonard (305-458-0969, if you are interested or have someone to suggest.  The main qualifications are enthusiasm and a desire to see the chapter thrive. You don’t have to be a botanist - a variety of skills is always needed on the board.

The Dade Chapter website has a fun new page for event photo galleries via Flickr. See >Events>Photo Galleries. If you would like to contribute (as space allows), please send photos for consideration to

Chapter workday at Everglades National Park, April 2nd, 9 am-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, and snacks to share. Bring sun protection! New helpers are welcome and encouraged to come. Everyone in your car gets into ENP free after the workday. For more information contact Patty Phares (305-255-6404,

Native plant photos needed.  The Chapter is seeking digital photos for a few projects, including close ups of flowers (with or without wildlife) and growth habit, whole plants and landscapes. High resolution photos are desired, but any help would be a great start.  Email photos to Photo credit will be given in the upcoming projects.

The new TILLANDSIA - less paper

Starting this month, most members will receive their Tillandsia by email only.

If you receive a paper Sabal Minor (FNPS newsletter) by postal mail, you will receive a paper Tillandsia.

If you are receiving two emails with the link to Tillandsia, you probably have two email addresses (the same or different) listed on the FNPS roster. You can change this by contacting FNPS, or just ignore one message!

To verify or change your recorded delivery preference, or add or change your email address(es), please contact FNPS (321-271-6702 or It may take another month for changes to be reflected in our chapter records.

If you elected postal mail delivery but also have an email address on record, you will receive Tillandsia by both electronic and postal mail.We hope you will try the electronic version and consider changing to email delivery only.(You can even print it to have a copy just like the paper version.) It saves the chapter much-needed funds and lets our volunteers devote their time to "native plant" purposes.

If you have questions, you can also contact Patty Phares (305-255-6404,



4th Annual Native Plant Day and Earth Day at John Pennekamp State Park
Key Largo (102601 Overseas Hwy)

Saturday, April 2, 9 am to 2 pm.

Sponsored by Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park

  • Admission to the park is free to those attending the event!
  • Enjoy lectures about Keys native plants and guided nature walks. 
  • Local organizations will host booths related to environmental concerns of the Keys and South Florida. 
  • Volunteers from the park’s nursery will display native plants of the Keys and have information about them. 
  • Children’s activities booth.

For more information contact Elena Muratori, 305-451-1202.


FNPS Landscape Awards - Applications are due by March 18, 2011.  Submit a landscape or restoration in your own yard, school, business, municipality or elsewhere, or suggest it to others (not just FNPS members). Awarding outstanding landscapes helps promote native plants and their conservation -- It’s not just an ego trip! Details at

FNPS trip to Nicaragua, Nov 25 - Dec 5, 2011 Join fellow FNPS members to explore the native flora of the rainforest and cloud forest of Rio San Juan and the Northern Highlands with plant experts.  $2,995.00 includes everything, even airfare. A trip extension is also available. SPACE IS LIMITED - Reserve your place now! Contact Elston Chavarria (954) 662- 1539, More details at

The FNPS Online Store is filling up with hats, tours, books, stationery, pine needle art and more.

Palmetto is "going green" -- sometime! Sometime in the future, FNPS will offer the ability to "opt out" of paper copies of our Palmetto magazine. At this point, we’re merely exploring ways to better serve our members and potentially, if there are cost savings, to redirect member revenue to better meet our mission. Meanwhile, we’d love to hear from members who might prefer to receive their Palmetto by email (presumably a link to an easily browsed online version). We will record your preference now so that we’re ready to go as soon as we have a solution that meets our high standards for communication. If you have suggestions, comments or questions on this service, please forward them to: As always, thank you for your membership support.

FNPS Administrative Services (321) 271-6702 or


Patios, Preserves and Public Spaces …

May 19-22, 2011, in Maitland (near Orlando).

Register now to get your pick of field trips and save $25. Visit for registration, full schedule, field trip descriptions, social events and sponsor information. Contact FNPS at 321-271-6702 or for assistance.

Watch the FNPS blog for continuous updates on the conference:

If you have never been to a FNPS conference, or would like a mini-vacation, you should definitely try to go!


Endangered plant workday: Saturday, March 26, 9am-noon at AD Barnes Park. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s "Conservation Team" is looking for volunteers to help improve the habitat for Miami’s endemic and very endangered Crenulate lead plant.  Volunteers will remove Asian sword fern (Nephrolepis brownii) from the vicinity of the Crenulate lead plant.  FTBG will provide water, snacks, and some gloves.  Volunteers should bring a bottle for water, poison ivy protection, and gloves if you have them.  Volunteers must wear long pants and close-toed shoes.  Long-sleeves are strongly suggested.  Please RSVP to

Art Exhibit at Everglades National Park Endangered and Endemic: Beautiful but Threatened Plants and the Animals that Depend on Them.

  • March 1-31, 2011, 8am-5pm: Photo exhibit
  • March 20, 2011, 7pm: Reception and program

Ultra-rare native orchids and endangered, threatened or endemic plants and butterflies are some of the subjects of the art exhibit at the Coe Visitor Center, Homestead (305-242-7700). The exhibit includes photographs by Roger Hammer and Keith Bradley and artwork by Kathleen Konicek-Moran and several members of the Tropical Botanic Artists from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden including Marge Brown and Margie Bauer. A special contributor is O.M. Braida, internationally known botanic artist and teacher at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Jimi Sadle, ENP Botanist, will speak on March 20 about issues surrounding endangered plants and animals in South Florida, followed by a gallery tour and reception.(You will recognize DCFNPS members and friends among the names above.)

Call to Artists:  "Common Roots" - An art exhibit about native plants of Florida and the circum-Caribbean region.  May 2-7, 2011, at Miami Beach Botanical Garden. Artwork must depict, refer to, or be made from native plants. Deadline for entry: March 15, 2011. Details at

Dade Native Plant Workshop. MDC Kendall campus Landscape Technology Center. 3rd Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Contact Steve, 786-488-3101; see Bring at least three plants (especially flowering/fruiting), even if they do not pertain to the topic. Beginners and old hands welcome!

  • Mar. 15: Heath Family (Ericaceae) which contains blueberries (yes we have native blueberries!)

Florida Rare Plant Task Force Meeting at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, March 31 - April 1, 2011. This year’s meeting features "Preserving Rare Plant Diversity on Public Lands." Registration (by Mar. 18) and meeting agenda are available online at

Seeds available. DCFNPS member Raul Moas has seeds to share with anyone interested: coontie (Zamia integrifolia), crenulate leadplant (Amorpha herbacea var. crenulata) and the wildflower pine hyacinth (Clematis baldwinii). Please contact him at

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

  • Mar. 9: Grass biology and identification - Dr. Phil Busey. The grass family and its role in the environment; distinguishing the spikelet; how to key out a grass; sight recognition of native and naturalized grasses of Broward.

Tropical Audubon Society. Doc Thomas House, 5530 Sunset Dr., Miami. 305-667-7337, for more details and activities. Nonmembers are welcome at all activities. To receive a free monthly e-mail TAS newsletter, send your request to

  • Mar. 9: Monthly meeting. "The hidden world of the endangered Big Cypress Fox Squirrel" - John Kellam, National Park Service. Doors open 7 pm, program at 8 pm.
  • Mar 19: Workday to restore native habitat, 8:30 am-1 pm.
  • Mar. 20: Spring wildflower walk with Roger Hammer
  • Mar. 23: Conservation Committee, 7:30 - open to all.
  • Mar. 26: Porter-Russell pine rockland walk

Friends of the Gifford Arboretum, Univ. of Miami. See or call 305-284-1302.

  • March 23: Meeting at 7 pm, Cox Science Bldg., Room 166.
    Dr. David Lee, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, speaks about "Wayside Trees of Tropical South Florida — a new book". The book will include both native and cultivated species, including palms. This book represents years of study and preparation, and promises to be invaluable to biologists and laypeople alike.

Miami-Dade Parks Natural Areas workdays. To volunteer, call 305-257-0933 ext. 227 or e-mail See Help protect and restore our precious natural areas. 

  • Apr. 4 (Mon.): Camp Matecumbe Pineland (exotics removal), 13841 SW 120 St.

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. The Delicate Balance of Nature Lecture Series. 7:30-8:30 pm at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, MM 102.5, Key Largo. Gate opens 7pm. Free, seating limited. For info call 305-451-9570 or see

  • Mar. 9: Roseate Spoonbills in Florida Bay: Pink Canary in a Coal Mine" - Jerry Lorenz, Audubon Science Center.
  • Mar. 16: "Archaeology of South Florida" - FL Public Archaeology Network.
  • Mar. 23: "The Miami Blue Butterfly" - Ricardo Zambrano, FL Marine Research Institute.
  • Mar. 30: "Reefs of SE Florida" - Christopher Boykin, FDEP.

Florida International University offers six MS research assistantships in agroecology in the Earth and Environment Department. Funded by the USDA National Needs Fellows (NNF) Program for two years.  Candidates will conduct research in the areas of soil microbiology, soil science, natural resource economics, agroecology and sustainable agriculture, population genetics, land use change and urban ecology, water resources, GIS applications in sustainable agriculture, and/or forest resources.  For more information contact Dr. Krish Jayachandran, 305-348-6553, or Dr. Mahadev Bhat, 305-348-1210, To apply see and send a copy of your completed application. Deadline March 31, 2011.

Species management planning - Public input is sought concerning conservation needs and economic and social factors to consider in the management for the 60 existing listed species for which Florida’s FWC is initiating management planning.  This comment period closes March 20. Send comments to  FWC will be seeking public input throughout the management planning process.  See (Note: the species listed are all animals, but native plants play a part in the discussion.)

Help butterflies in the Keys with native plants. Neil Schoenfeld of Marathon has been spurred into action by the decline of butterfly populations in the Keys and has been promoting the use of native plants.  He has also obtained agreements from the managers of several public facilities to allow removal of their invasive exotic landscape plants and replacement with native plants.  Neil could use more donations of plants native for the middle Keys, and assistance with planning and installing butterfly gardens and other native plantings at various public sites in the Marathon area.  If you are interested in helping, contact Neil by telephone (518-965-0899) or by e-mail through Linda Miller (

Laurel wilt reported in the Bird Drive Basin area of Miami-Dade County. This disease, which has been moving south for years, attacks (with certain death) our native laurels (swamp bay, sweet bay, red bay and others) and also avocado. It is spread by the redbay ambrosia beetle. It was previously reported in Miami-Dade in error, but now it looks certain. Please stay tuned for more updates. Do not carry firewood to different locations when you are camping, as this is spreading the beetles. See  

NURSERY NEWS: Shop at Native Plant Day!

There will be more species available at Native Plant Day on March 12 than ever before, thanks to the three nurseries participating and the members of DCFNPS who are donating plants. Shop early, leave your plants in the holding area and enjoy the day! Do your homework before you come -- find out which are appropriate for your area of the county and your yard in particular. Some are not cold-tolerant in north Dade, some are native to many areas. Learn more about these plants at > Natives For Your Neighborhood, or in books.

Some of the less common species offered:

Acanthocerus tetragonus - Barbed wire cactus
Acoelorrhaphe wrightii - Paurotis palm 
Alvaradoa amorphoides - Mexican alvaradoa
Amorpha herbacea var. crenulata - Crenulate leadplant
Aster carolinianus - Climbing aster
Aster dumosus - Rice button aster
Chrysobalanus icaco - Cocoplum (white-fruited coastal form, "horizontal")
Colubrina asborescens - Coffee colubrina
Cordia bahamensis - Bahama manjack
Crossopetalum rhacoma - Rhacoma
Crotalaria rotundifolia - Rabbitbells
Galactia striata - Coastal hammock milkpea
Galactia stricta - Florida hammock milkpea
Glandularia maritima - Beachverbena
Jacquinia keyensis - Joewood
Lantana involucrata - Wild sage
Liatris tenuifolia var. quadriflora - Narrowleaf blazingstar
Licania michauxii - Gopher apple
Opuntia stricta - Erect pricklypear cactus (coastal)
Quercus minima - Dwarf live oak
Rhipsalis baccifera - Mistletoe cactus
Sesuvium portulacastrum - Shoreline sea purslane

And many old favorites: all the stoppers, passionvine, wild coffees, firebush, beautyberry, white indigoberry, coontie, saw palmetto, South Florida slash pine, wax myrtle, West Indian lilac, various cactii, locustberry, blue eyed grass, tickseed, skyblue clustervine, chiggery grapes, pineland snowberry, pineland heliotrope, blolly, dahoon holly (male and female), lopsided indiangrass, pineland clustervine, tropical sage (note: not native to SE Florida), thatch palms. And more!

Here are profiles for a few others (SW = Steve Woodmansee, the others compiled by the editor from descriptions and photos by The Institute for Regional Conservation - Natives For Your Neighborhood, ).

Dodonaea viscosa photo VarnishleafVarnishleaf or Florida hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa) occurs in the US in coastal thickets along the Florida east coast. It is usually an erect shrub, 10 to 15 feet tall. It grows in full sun to light shade, is drought-tolerant, grows well in sandy soils and can grow in nutrient-poor soils, though it prefers a little organic content. It does not tolerate salt water flooding, however. The flowers are inconspicuous, but the fruits are distinctive - a three-winged capsule which is green to pinkish (on the female plants). The leaves are flat, stiff, very glossy and 3-6 inches long. A form of Dodonaea viscosa with wider leaves is found in some coastal areas.

Note: there are two other species of varnishleaf in South Florida: Narrow varnishleaf (D. angustifolia), which grows mainly in pinelands and coastal uplands and is less than 6 feet tall, with narrow leaves, 2-4 inches long; and Smallfruit varnishleaf (D. elaeagnoides) a rare shrub in the Keys with leaves 1-2 inches long. (Photo by George Gann)

Christmasberry photo Lycium carolinianum

Christmasberry, Carolina desertthorn (Lycium carolinianum) is coastal shrub throughout Florida. It is typically 6-8 feet tall, with open structure and small, succulent leaves. It is found in sunny areas or light shade, grows in brackish soils and tolerates brackish or occasional salt water. The beautiful flowers are lavender to lilac or white and produce showy, bright red, succulent berries. It is a nectar plant for some butterflies and sphinx moths. Take a walk on one of the coastal trails in the Everglades during the fall or winter to see the wonderful flowers or fruit. (Photo by Shirley Denton)

Chapman's Goldenrod  photoChapman’s Goldenrod (Solidago odora var. chapmanii) is a wildflower native to pineland habitats throughout Florida. Unlike many goldenrods, it is not weedy and will not dominate the landscape. It is a clumping perennial possessing one to several woody stalks up to three feet long, sometimes dying back in the winter to regenerate in the spring. Stalks terminate in showy clusters of bright yellow flowers, flowering predominantly in the fall although it will flower at other times, especially after being pruned (or burned). Despite their reputation, goldenrods are non-allergenic, attracting dozens of pollinators especially bees and small butterflies. SW (photo by Shirley Denton)

Poinsettia cyathophora photoPainted Leaf (Poinsettia cyathophora) is a wildflower native to sunny open habitats such as pinelands and coastal uplands throughout peninsular Florida. It is a short lived, medium sized non-woody herb, up to 2 feet in height. Painted leaf flowers year ’round and has small green flowers subtended by showy green and red bracts. It is great for pollinators, including butterflies, and doves forage on the seeds. It is a larval host plant for one of the sphinx moths. It will spread in one’s yard but is easy to pull up if it becomes too dominant. SW (photo by Steve Woodmansee)

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Chapter Contacts

Dade Chapter Board members:
President: Ted Shaffer,
Vice-President: Amy Leonard
Treasurer / Secretary: Susan Walcutt
At Large: Amida Frey, Patty Harris, Gita Ramsay, Vivian Waddell, Lynka Woodbury, Buck Reilly, Lauren McFarland
FNPS board: Lynka Woodbury
Past-President: Robert Harris
Mailing address:

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

General information: 786-340-7914,

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

Memberships: Patty Harris, 305-262-3763

DCFNPS Web page:

DCFNPS Facebook:

Webmasters: Greg Ballinger and Haniel Pulido Jr.,

Tillandsia editors: Patty Phares, 305-255-6404,

State Organization

FNPS Chapter representative: Lynka Woodbury,

FNPS Web Page:

FNPS Blog:

FNPS Facebook:

FNPS Twitter:

FNPS Eco Action Alert List:Send email request to

FNPS (state) office: 321-271-6702,