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Newsletter - February 2012

Monthly Meeting
Native Plant Day
Upcoming Field Trips
Dade Chapter and FNPS News
Other News and Events
Plant Profile: Man-in-the-Ground
Hello from your new editor
Contacts for DCFNPS


Feb. 11 (Sat): Chapter workday and Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, Everglades National Park
Feb. 28 (Tue): Monthly meeting at Pinecrest Gardens
Mar. 10 (Sat): Native Plant Day at Miami-Dade College Landscape Technology Center
Mar. 27 (Tue): Monthly meeting at at Pinecrest Gardens
Mar. 31 (Sat): Field trip to CREW Marsh, Collier Co.
May 17-20 (Thu-Sun): FNPS Annual Conference, Plant City.  Registration now open at


Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 7:30 pm

Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 SW 57 Ave (Red Road), Pinecrest, FL 33156.

Free and open to the public. Refreshments begin at 7:15 pm. Merchandise sales are before and after the program (cash, checks and credit cards).  The plant raffle follows the program.  Please label your raffle donations with the plant name (and yours!).

“Palm-spotting around Florida”  Scott Zona, Conservatory & Greenhouse Curator, Florida International University.

Well-known tropical plant and palm expert Dr. Scott Zona will tell us about the wonder of palms in South Florida and beyond, and how to recognize our native palm species.

Scott Zona is Florida International University’s Conservatory & Greenhouse Curator.  He holds a B.S. in horticulture and an M.S. in botany from the University of Florida.  His Ph.D. in botany is from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and Claremont Graduate University, California.  He has explored for plants in Florida, California, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Pacific islands, Indonesia, Malaysia and Madagascar.  His interests are in horticulture and the taxonomic diversity of tropical plants, especially palms, salvias and woody ornamentals.  He has over 130 publications, both scientific and popular, on palms and other tropical plants.  He is coauthor of the forthcoming revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms (Timber Press, 2012).  Scott is co-editor of the International Palm Society’s quarterly journal, PALMS.  He gardens in South Miami, where, ironically, his favorite palm, Jubaea chilensis, will not grow.


March 27: Stephen Davis of the Everglades Foundation will give us an update on the progress of restoration in the Everglades.

Native Plant Day!

Saturday, March 10, 2012
FREE and Open to the Public!

New location:
Miami Dade College's Landscape Technology Center
11011 SW 104 Street

Co-sponsored by:
The Dade Chapter FNPS
Miami Dade College - Kendall Campus

Our annual public outreach and education day will have activities for all ages: walks, programs, plants for sale, and more!  Bring your family and friends to enjoy this free day of fun and learning with us!   We're excited to explore this new venue and learn about all the Landscape Technology Center has to offer!

How can you help?

  • Raffle and Plant Sale Donations: We sell plants and merchandise to raise funds for the chapter, and raffle off some of the best or rare plants and items.  Start grooming your plants now!  Contact Amy Leonard to drop them off in advance, and so we can plan for the selection.
  • Loan interesting display plants or items: Butterfly larvae, host/nectar plants, or other neat plant/animal interaction displays (contact Amy Leonard)
  • Stick labels on postcards Sun, Feb 19: RSVP (for time, and in case date changes) to Amy Leonard.
  • Suggest a speaker or offer to conduct a walk: (contact  Buck Reilly)
  • Distribute stacks of postcards: Place them at your grocery store, doctor's office, library, school, or other well-trafficked area - available at the Feb 28 meeting (contact Amy Leonard).
  • Help set up on Fri Mar 9: We need about 6 people to help set up the raffle and other stations, move tables and hang signs the afternoon before NPD (contact Amy Leonard).
  • Help contact volunteers (Gita Ramsay is expecting a new baby at the end of January and would appreciate your help!)
  • Help at Native Plant Day!  On March 10th we will need about 40 volunteers to make the event happen.  If you can give us part of your morning or afternoon, you'll still have plenty of time to enjoy the event!  Please contact Amy Leonard if you, your family, or some young people you know might be able to help.

Contact Information:

Amy Leonard: 305-458-0969,
Buck Reilly: 786-291-4824,


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 their guests. Collecting is not permitted. Children are welcome. For carpooling, call Patty Phares (305-255-6404).

Saturday, March 31, 9:30 am -12:30 pm. Corkscrew Marsh (Collier County)

This will be a joint field trip with DCFNPS and NABA-Miami Blue Chapter. This area is a 6825-acre tract purchased as part of the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed project.  It has pine flatwoods, oak and palm hammocks and 5000 acres of marsh -- good possibilities for lots of spring wildflowers. 

Details will be in the March Tillandsia, but if you need more information before then, contact Patty Phares, 305-255-6404,

Our field trip coincides with CREW’s annual Wildflower Festival, held four miles south from 8:30 am to 2 pm.  The schedule for the festival activities (walks, talks, booths, food) will be online (


Chapter Workday and Volunteer Appreciation Lunch at Everglades National Park, Sat. February 11 Help prune and weed around the Coe Visitors Center, 9 am to noon.  The burn last month will allow us to do things we usually overlook.  Drinks, gloves and hand tools are provided, but you may want to bring your own and snacks to share. Bring sun protection.

The Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon is 12:15-2 pm on the ENP headquarters patio.  Brand new and long-time volunteers for the project are encouraged to attend! Please RSVP by Friday Feb. 10 for the luncheon to Patty (, 305-255-6404) even if you're just a "maybe"

Controlled burn at the Coe Center

Controlled burn at the Coe Center. Photo by Mary Rose

See the Dade Chapter website event photo galleries for new slide shows of recent activities, including:

  • Field trip to the Rabenau Camp area of Big Cypress Preserve (November 19, 2011 - photos by Larry Whipple).
  • Prescribed burn at the chapter's landscaping project around the Coe Visitor Center at Everglades National Park (January 6, 2012 - photos by Mary Rose and Barry Wright)
  • Field trip to Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Key Largo (January 14, 2012 - photos by Haniel Pulido)

FNPS Grants and Awards, DEADLINE Friday, March 2: for submitting proposals and applications for Chapter Grants, Conservation Grants, Endowment Research Grants and Landscape Awards.  See > Awards and Grants for more information.  Winners will be announced at the FNPS Conference in May. Landscape Award winners will see their winning projects featured in a conference program.  Please let your friends and colleagues (including non-FNPS members) know about these opportunities and encourage them to apply. 

FNPS 2012 Conference: "Saving the Heart of Florida." May 17-20:  See the preliminary conference information at  We will have exclusive access to Crystal Springs Preserve for the Saturday night social event.  After looking at the photos on the January 1 2012 blog posting (, you'll want to register right now.  Speakers include Doug Tallamy, author of the acclaimed Bringing Nature Home.


DCFNPS needs a few volunteers to help with the hospitality table at our monthly meetings this year. Various jobs are available and the schedule is flexible. Please call Vivian Waddell at 305-665-5168


Dade Native Plant Workshop, Tue Feb 21 at 7 pm: MDC Kendall campus Landscape Technology Center.  The topic this month is the “Greenbriar family” (Smilacaceae), led by Dr. Marty Roessler. Bring at least three plants (especially flowering/fruiting), even if they do not pertain to the topic.  Beginners and old hands are all encouraged to come. Meetings are held the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. See For more info, contact Steve at or 786-488-3101.

Broward Native Plant Society February 8: “Native Palms as Food” – Murray Coreman. Meets 7-9pm at the Broward Agricultural Extension Service, 3245 College Ave., Davie.  954-370-3725 or 

South Miami Art Walk, Fri February 10, 6-9 pm: DCFNPS members Nancy and Bruce Moreland will showcase Nancy’s nature and wildlife photography at the historic Doc Thomas House, 5530 Sunset Drive in South Miami. Nancy’s work ( ) will be there for the whole month of February. Thirty percent of each piece sold will benefit the Tropical Audubon Society. If you can’t make it the evening of the Art Walk, the Doc Thomas House is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 am to 4 pm or by appointment (contact Stephanie at (305) 667-7337).

Roseate Spoonbills

Roseate Spoonbills. Photo by Nancy Moreland

Naples Chapter FNPS Annual Banquet - February 24, 2012 at the Naples Botanical Garden.  Dr. Loran Anderson will speak on “What is a Flower?".  Also a silent plant auction and reception.  $35 for all activities, $20 for the lecture only.  Contact Nancy Richie, 239-389-5003,

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

  • Native Plant Sale -Feb 25-26 (9-5 on Sat., 9-3 on Sun.) or Friday evening if you are a TAS member (become one at the sale!).  On Saturday (9-10am) John Ogden will hold a Bird Friendly Plant Work Shop under the chickee.
  • Conservation Concert on Feb. 25 with Solar Dogs.

Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension Open House, Saturday, February 25, 2012, 10 am to 2:30 pm, 18710 SW 288 Street in Homestead.  Demonstrations, seminars, displays on grafting, making a rain barrel, landscaping, gardening, tree pruning, healthy eating, new pests and plant problems, plant diagnostic clinic, and much more.  Activities for the entire family.  Locally grown produce and plants available for purchase (cash only)., 305 248-3311.

Miami-Dade Environmentally Endangered Lands Volunteer Workdays.  9am-noon.  Students can earn Community Service Hours but it's worthwhile and informative for adults, too!  Pre-register at 305-257-0933 ext. 227 or (  See for more info  Feb 11 – Crandon Preserve; Mar. 3 - Chernoff Hammock Preserve.

Miami Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Association.  See or contact Elane, 305-666-5727 or for walks and other activities.

  • March 3: Fourth Spring Seasonal NABA Shark Valley Count: A great way to learn your butterflies! 

Friends of the Gifford Arboretum, Univ. of Miami. 

  • Mar. 7: Meeting - Social at 7 pm, program at 7:30.  Cox Science Bldg., Room 166.  Roger Hammer will speak on “Florida’s Most Exquisite Wildflowers.” For more information see:

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

  • Feb. 8 - "Edible Wild Plants of South Florida" (Chris Rollins)
  • Feb. 15: Sex, Drugs and Sea Slime: The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter (Dr. Ellen Prager)
  • Feb. 22: Plants, Pollinators and Protectors in South Florida (Dr. Suzanne Koptur)
  • Feb. 29: We Hardly Knew Ye: The Decline of Atlantic Sawfishes (Dr. George Burgess)
  • Mar. 7: Speaking for Reefs: Please Take Out the Trash (Nancy Diersing)

"Orchids of the Great Smoky Mountains," a slide program by Dade FNPS member Chuck McCartney for Gold Coast Orchid Society.

  • Tuesday, March 13, 7:30 p.m.
  • Gwen Margolis Community Center, 1590 NE 123rd St., North Miami
  • Open to the public. Free
  • (954) 922-9747 or e-mail

Plant Profile: Man-in-the-Ground

By Roger L. Hammer

Article reprinted from the FNPS Blog, originally posted December 25, 2011.

Man-in-the-ground (Ipomoea microdactyla)

Man-in-the-ground (Ipomoea microdactyla), a fantastically
beautiful morning glory for southernmost Florida.
Photo by Roger Hammer

Most everyone is familiar with morning-glories in the genus Ipomoea, and certainly everyone reading this has even eaten Ipomoea batatas, the common sweet potato.

The Morning-Glory Family (Convolvulaceae) is well-represented in Florida, with 67 species in fourteen genera. Of those, twenty-four species are naturalized exotics, and four species are endemic to Florida, found nowhere else. The genus Ipomoea is the largest in the family, with twenty-five species and one naturally-occurring hybrid of two native species. Exactly half of the species (13) in Florida are native.

Only two species are rare enough to be listed as endangered by the state of Florida, and these are the rockland morning-glory (Ipomoea tenuissima) and man-in-the-ground (Ipomoea microdactyla). Both are on the northern extreme of their natural range in Florida, and both are restricted to pine rockland habitat in southern Miami-Dade County.

All species of morning-glories are pretty in their own right, but the most eye-catching, in my not-so-humble opinion, is man-in-the-ground. This peculiar common name refers to the large, underground root, similar to a sweet potato, that stores nutrients and helps the plant survive drought, dormancy, and fire. In fact, man-in-the-ground responds quickly after fire, sending long stems over the charred stems of other plants, and brightening the otherwise bleak landscape with cheery, pink, tubular flowers. Hummingbirds and butterflies (mostly skippers) visit the flowers for nectar.

Outside of Florida, man-in-the-ground is only known from pinelands in Cuba, especially on the Isle of Youth. In Florida you can find it in remnant pine rockland habitat of southern Miami-Dade County, and good places to look for it are in Larry & Penny Thompson Park, Camp Owaissa Bauer, Navy Wells Pineland Preserve, Florida City Pineland Preserve, and on Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park, particularly shortly after fire. It won’t be hard to find; simply look for lots of showy, brilliant pink flowers. Silent Native Nursery north of Homestead grows it if you want one for a sunny spot on a fence or arbor in your yard.

Roger Hammer is a former Dade County Parks Naturalist, photographer, and author of numerous books on South Florida nature and wildflowers.

Hello from your new editor

My name is Rachel King, and I’m excited  to be the new editor for the Dade Chapter newsletter, the Tillandsia. As a fledgling editor, I will need everybody’s help. Please consider writing articles, news, announcements, or notes.  Possible subjects include descriptions of recent field trips, profiles of your favorite plants, tips on growing or landscaping with natives, or....? Articles are reviewed and edited before publishing, so don't worry if you need a little assistance.  Send to

Specify your Tillandsia and/or Sabal Minor delivery preference by contacting FNPS at or 321-271- 6702.
For each publication, indicate email or postal mail. You may also specify Palmetto delivery preference to be enacted at a future date (email delivery of the Palmetto is not currently available).


Chapter Contacts

Dade Chapter Board members:

President: Ted Shaffer,, 305-944-1290
Vice-President: Buck Reilly,, 786-291-4824
Secretary: Amy Leonard,, 305-458-0969
Treasurer: Susan Walcutt,
At Large: Amida Frey,  Lauren McFarland, Gita Ramsay, Eric von Wettberg, Vivian Waddell, Lynka Woodbury
FNPS board: Lynka Woodbury,

Mailing address:

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

General information: 786-340-7914,

Refreshment coordinator: Gita Ramsay,, 786-877-7168

Membership: Patty Phares, 305-255-6404

DCFNPS Web page:

DCFNPS Facebook:

Webmasters: Greg Ballinger and Haniel Pulido Jr.,

Tillandsia editors: Rachel King,, 786-897-0916

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,