Print Print     Decrease text size Text Size Increase text size

Newsletter - September 2012

Monthly Meeting
Upcoming Field Trips
Dade Chapter and FNPS News
Chapter Workday at Bill Sadowski Park Arboretum
New Tillandsia editor needed
FNPS Conservation Grant Award to honor Joyce and Don Gann
Other News and Events
DCFNPS Treasurer's Report
Book Review - Native Wildflowers and Other Ground Covers for Florida Landscapes
Botanical Gardens I have known - Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden
Contacts for DCFNPS


Sept. 25 (Tue.): Meeting at Pinecrest Gardens
Sept. 30 (Sun.): Field trip (Paradise Key, ENP)

Oct. 6 (Sat.): Chapter workday at Bill Sadowski Park
Oct. 20 (Sat.): Chapter workday, Everglades National Park
Oct. 23 (Tue.): Meeting at Pinecrest Gardens
Oct. 27 (Sat.): Field trip (coastal location TBA) 

Nov. 9-11 (Fri.-Sun.): FTBG Ramble - DCFNPS display
Nov. 17 (Sat.): Chapter workday at Bill Sadowski Park
Nov. 24 (Sat.): Field trip (Big Cypress)
Nov. 27 (Tue.): Meeting at Pinecrest Gardens 

Dec. 2 (Sun.): Annual holiday picnic at Bill Sadowski Park
Dec. 8-9 (Sat.-Sun.): Butterfly Days at FTBG - DCFNPS display
Dec. 15 (Sat.): Chapter workday, Everglades National Park
Dec. 16 (Sun.): Field trip (location TBA)
(No meeting in December)


Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 7:30 pm.
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 and credit cards).  The plant raffle follows the program.  Please label your raffle donations with the plant name.

"Tales of Old Florida: The People, Plants & Animals" - Rob Campbell

Rob's father, Carl, moved his family to South Florida in 1957 when Rob was three months old.  The family quickly became acquainted with a circle of special people who figured prominently in the history, agriculture and native plant communities of this area.  Everglades National Park was only ten years old. The Homestead area was sparsely populated and the flora and fauna were spectacular. The land was dominated by Pine Rockland communities dotted with hammocks.  Rob will share some of his early experiences growing up here.

Rob has spent his whole life in South Florida and has extensively explored the entire region.  He began picking seed for a nurseryman when he was six and has worked as a nurseryman with emphasis on native plants for thirty-five years.  He currently is a grower for Signature Trees and Palms and is known as one of the best growers in South Florida. (Some say Rob can "grow roots on a pencil."  Maybe we'll learn more about that later.) 

  • October 23: Dr. Christopher Buzzelli from SFWMD presents on submersed aquatic vegetation habitats, important indicators of coastal ecosystem status in South Florida.
  • November 27: Dr. Eric von Wettberg from FIU will speak about ways genetics can help us protect rare species in Florida and the Caribbean.


  • Book Review by Chuck McCartney: Native Wildflowers and Other Ground Covers for Florida Landscapes by Craig N. Huegel
  • Botanical Gardens I Have Known: Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden - by Dr. Eric Von Wettberg
  • FNPS Conservation Grant Award in honor of Joyce and Don Gann


Sunday, September 30.  Paradise Key area of Everglades National Park. Taking a cue from the historical focus of our September program, we will visit the Paradise Key area of Everglades National Park.  While the Gumbo Limbo Trail and the historic Old Ingraham Highway are very familiar to most of us, we'll walk these trails with the both history and botany in mind.

In an attempt to beautify the area around a lodge at Paradise Key, the Florida Federation of Women's Club members introduced nonnative plants that remain in the area, but their interest in preservation resulted in the establishment of Royal Palm State Park in 1916, the area which later became the nucleus of ENP. Read more about the history at

The Gumbo Limbo trail winds through Royal Palm Hammock, where tropical and temperate climate species mingle. In the company of our botanical experts we may see examples of ferns, bromeliads and peperomias, among other interesting plants.

  • Bring: Water, insect repellant, park pass or $10 entrance fee per car. (If you wish to save money, you can combine on your own into fewer cars at the Visitor Center.)  If you care to, bring lunch to picnic afterward.
  • Difficulty: Easy walking on paved and unpaved trails.
  • Leader: Chuck McCartney.
  • Lost? Try Patty's cell (305-878-5705 - please use that morning only).

October 27 field trip:  We will visit an area with submersed aquatic vegetation (the topic of the October program) as part of a coastal field trip.  Details next month.

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


Welcome new members!  Mark Glasser, Merryl Iannelli, Sylvia and John McBride, Barbara Soliday

Introducing board member Surey Rios.  Surey recently joined the Dade Chapter board as a member at large. Originally from Puerto Rico, she has been enjoying native Florida habitats since her childhood.  With degrees in biology and science education, Surey has been teaching secondary school students (directly and indirectly) in science and the environment since 2003. Currently, she teaches Agriscience and Biology at TERRA Environmental Research Institute and is looking forward to connecting her students, school and community with native Miami.

Chapter volunteer opportunities.  Please save the dates to help at the chapter displays at the Ramble, November 9-11 and Butterfly Days, December 8-9.  More information will be provided in the next newsletter. 

Is your chapter newsletter missing?  If you are a member and occasionally do not receive the email with the link to the newsletter, please contact Lauren McFarland,, so she is aware of the problem and can try to fix it. 

Sabal Minor.  In case you missed it, the September-October state newsletter is available at

Broward Native Plant Society.   New meeting place: Secret Woods Nature Center, 2701 W State Road 84.  Sept. 12, 7pm: Wally Wilder presents on "Florida Native Orchids" See 


  • When: October 6, 9am-noon
  • Where: Bill Sadowski Park, 17555 SW 79 Ave., Palmetto Bay (1/2 mile west of Old Cutler Road on SW 176 St.)
  • Volunteers needed to:  Open up and mark trails, clean up debris, paint signs, clean benches.
  • Bring: Gloves, hand tools (clippers, loppers, pruning saws), your own drinks and snacks, insect repellant.
  • Wear: Long pants, closed shoes
  • Contact: Buck Reilly at 786-291-4824 or for questions or to be added to the reminder list for future workdays.

Bill Sadowski Park (aka Old Cutler Hammock) in Palmetto Bay is the site of our new arboretum restoration project. (See the May 2012  Tillandsia.)   In May we identified and marked trees.  Over the summer a small team reviewed the tree inventory, made recommendations for trees to feature or remove, and identified a possible layout for trails.

At the October workday we will start to prepare for two events to be held at the park, the four-organization Annual Holiday Potluck Picnic on December 2, 2012 and Native Plant Day on March 23, 2013.  While we cannot achieve making permanent signs and other major improvements before December, we aim to get the arboretum back into working condition by then.

There will also be a workday on November 17, when we will probably label trees with temporary signs and continue making other improvements.

The project leaders are Dallas Hazelton (Miami-Dade Parks Natural Areas Management) and Buck Reilly (DCFNPS).  Buck would like other chapter members to help with coordination, sending email reminders before workdays and other tasks.  Please contact Buck (see above) with questions and to offer assistance.


A note from retiring-editor Rachel King:

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my 7 months of editing the Tillandsia, especially the opportunity it has allowed me to interact with so many of the wonderful plantophiles that make up our community. Unfortunately, the last-minute demand for time needed to pull the newsletter together at the end of each month puts too much strain on my family, so I will have to phase out of the editorship.  Patty Phares and Lauren McFarland will be filling in for the bulk of editing the Tillandsia, and I will help where I can, while we look for another person to eventually take over the extremely rewarding job of editor. Thank you all for your patience and help over the past months, I look forward to continuing to take part in the great work that DCFNPS does."

Thank you to Rachel for her contribution to Tillandsia these past months!  Please contact Patty Phares (, 305-255-6404) or Buck Reilly (, 786-291-4824) if you might be a candidate for editor, do the formatting (a new appearance would be welcome!) or assist in assembling announcements and articles.

Photo: Wild-allamanda (Pentalinon luteum)

Wild-allamanda (Pentalinon luteum)
Lauren McFarland


At the chapter's 30th anniversary celebration in July, Dade Chapter founders Joyce and Don Gann were honored for their dedication to FNPS and native plants.  President Buck Reilly presented the Ganns with a plaque:

Photo of Appreciation Plaque

We appreciate the Ganns for bringing new plants to our gardens, sharing their knowledge and love of plant identification, teaching us about native plants and nature, and advocating on behalf of native plants.  Just as much, we appreciate their friendship and support of the chapter for over 30 years.

Photo: The Ganns recieving plaque from Buck Reilly

Each year, FNPS awards conservation grants of $1500 to support applied native plant conservation projects in Florida, such as native plant community restoration, land acquisition and habitat enhancement projects.  We hope you will help the chapter fund this Conservation Grant with your contributions.  By helping sponsor the grant, you will not only show your appreciation of Joyce and Don, but you will also support native plant conservation.  The chapter will match the contributions.

Please send your contribution to:

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

Please be sure to indicate what your check is for ("Conservation Grant fund").   You may also make your contribution at upcoming chapter meetings.


Lichen web site. Rick and Jean Seavey have launched a new website that will contain all the lichen species they have documented in Everglades National Park.  The site currently includes 415 of the 506 species on their ENP checklist and lacks some details, but it is mostly complete through the P's.  See >Lichens.

Dade Native Plant Workshop.  MDC Kendall campus Landscape Technology Center.  3rd Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Contact Steve at or 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 are all encouraged to come.  If you join on the website you will receive a monthly email reminder.  September 18 topic: Asteraceae (Sunflower Family).   [Tip: To find a list of South Florida Asteraceae, see > Floristic Databases Online > Plants of South Florida and check Group by Family.]

Tropical Audubon Society. The public is welcome at all activities. Info at 305-667-7337 or TAS is at 5530 Sunset Dr.

  • Annual Conservation Workshop: Sept. 22 at the Deering Estate. Help set the TAS conservation agenda for the year.  RSVP by Sept 17.
  • Conservation meetings: 7:30 pm, 4th Wednesdays
  • Bird Days: Oct. 4-7 at FTBG, cosponsored by TAS.  Birding trips, programs, gardening info, plant sales, kids' activities.  See

Florida Keys birding and Wildlife Festival, September 25-30.  See for programs, walks and activities to be held in several locations throughout the Keys.  Walks and some other activities require reservations.  On Saturday a free environmental fair (10am-3pm) at Curry Hammock State Park provides activities for all ages.  The Miami Blue NABA chapter is leading butterfly walks in North Key Largo, at Fort Zachary Taylor and at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden.  For additional information: 305-872-0774 or

Friends of the Gifford Arboretum meetings.  Social at 7 pm, program at 7:30. Cox Science Bldg., Room 166. Univ. of Miami.  For info: or 305-284-1302.

  • September 6: Craig Morell, "A Better Diet Makes a Better Garden: The Renovation of Pinecrest Gardens"
  • October 4:  Dr. Jack Parker, "Trees for a Cooler Planet and Lowering Your Electric Bills"


The Dade Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society ended their fiscal year ( June 30, 2012 ) with a modest profit after tightening our belts to break even.  The majority of our income is from our Chapter's portion of FNPS dues.  I encourage you to bring a friend to one of our monthly meetings.  Once they are in the door, it is an easy sell to get them to join with our modest fee for dues.  This will allow us to expand our work in the community and also purchase some new books for our merchandise table.

Our operating bank balance at June 30, 2012 was $6,728.51.  A DCFNPS Money Market account holds the Bob Kelley Memorial Fund of $49,767.07.  Bob Kelley, a long time DCFNPS member, left funds in his will for our Chapter.  The Kelley Memorial Fund was created for Chapter use on special projects.

Susan Walcutt, Treasurer

    PROFIT & LOSS  -  July 2011 through June 2012

   Ordinary Income/Expense
      Income           DONATIONS                         398.00          EDUCATIONAL INCOME              3,445.35          MEMBERSHIP DUES                 3,544.60      Total Income                       7,387.95    Expense          ADMINISTRATION                  1,448.69          EDUCATION                       4,054.47          MERCHANDISE FOR SALE              916.42   Total Expense                        6,419.58

   Net Ordinary Income                    968.37   Other Income/Expense          INTEREST                           49.88          FL SALES TAX                       32.49   Net Other Income                         17.39

Net Income                                985.76

BOOK REVIEW - Native Wildflowers and Other Ground Covers for Florida Landscapes

Native Wildflowers and Other Ground Covers for Florida Landscapes
By Craig N. Huegel
Softcover, 328 pages. University Press of Florida (2012)
$29.95 ISBN No 978-0-8130-3980-0

Reviewed by Chuck McCartney

Photo of book

If you’re interested in growing native plants other than trees, you’ll want to purchase Craig Huegel’s excellent new book titled Native Wildflowers and Other Ground Covers for Florida Landscapes. It is a treasure trove of practical information on what plants to grow (and how to grow them) beneath those trees or in the wide-open spaces of your native landscape.

Huegel, a Midwesterner who moved to Florida in 1987, is a professional ecologist, an active member of the Florida Native Plant Society, and the author of Native Plant Landscaping for Florida Wildlife, among other publications.

In straightforward, easy-to-understand prose, Huegel offers down-to-earth advice on growing wildflowers, grasses and ferns gleaned from 20 years of cultivating these plants in his own Pinellas County garden. He is mindful that growing plants in South Florida is very different from growing natives in his Central Florida area or in North Florida and the Panhandle, so he is careful to point out which ones will do well in which of these geographic regions of the state.

The introductory chapters alone are worth the $29.95 cost of the book. In them, he discusses in general terms the meaning of the plant types he treats in the book as well as their botany, habitats, reproductive cycles and how to maintain them in the home landscape. It is must-read information for anyone interested in growing native plants. And all this is before he gets to the heart of the book, which addresses more than 200 ferns, grasses and primarily herbaceous wildflowers and gives advice on where and how to use them in the landscape and offers tips on how to propagate them. The text is accompanied by nearly 300 color photographs of mostly excellent quality, the majority of them by the author.

Even with the photographs and discussion of individual wildflower species, Huegel is quick to point out that this is not intended as a field guide to identifying native wildflowers in the manner of the excellent ones by Walter Kingsley Taylor, Roger Hammer and Gil Nelson.

Among addenda at the back of the book are lists of resources for information about native plants, including organizations, websites, books and plant sources, along with a thorough index.

The book is not without a mistake or two. For one thing, the author buys into the romantic myth about Florida being named “The Land of Flowers” by Juan Ponce de Leon when he blundered into the peninsula, which is not true. It was named for the Easter festival of Pascua Florida, which was being marked at the time of the Spanish explorer’s arrival in April of 1513 (rather than 1512, as stated in the introduction). Also, the photos of the four-petaled St. John’s-wort species Hypericum hypericoides and Hypericum tetrapetalum were accidentally switched by the printer, and a photo of Piriqueta cistoides subsp. caroliniana was inadvertently substituted in the discussion of the somewhat similar-looking yellow-flowered Carolina Rockrose (Helianthemum carolinianum).

These are, however, minor considerations in a book that will be so useful to those of us trying to grow the state’s fascinating and beautiful native plants in our gardens.

   Chuck McCartney 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 wildflowers and orchids for numerous publications. He is a member of FNPS.

BOTANICAL GARDENS I HAVE KNOWN - Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

Part 1 of an occasional series by Dr. Eric Von Wettberg

Photo: Jamaica caper, Capparis cynophallophora
Jamaica caper, Capparis cynophallophora
Photo by Eric von Wettberg

I often have the chance to visit botanical gardens.  This summer I have had the opportunity to visit several botanical gardens with collections of plants native to South Florida and the Caribbean.  Several of these gardens are well worth the visit to anyone curious about our native flora. I look forward to describing these wonderful places in the coming months.  The first is right here in South Florida, down in the lower Keys in Key West.

Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden ( is set on over 15 acres of native habitat on Stock Island. Unlike most botanical gardens, KWBG’s collection is focused solely on native species, rather than a cosmopolitan mixture of ornamentals from around the world.  As the only fully frost-free botanical garden in North America, it holds an excellent collection of native West Indian hammock species.  With its diversity of plants and size, it attracts a large number of birds and butterflies. And it's simply delightful.

KWBG has a very active education program, with a variety of programs for students from primary school through college interns.  Three thousand children in the Monroe county school system have the opportunity to come to KWBG yearly for hands on explorative activities where they take the role of scientist in the living laboratory of the garden.  Several University of Central Florida undergraduates have interned at the garden in the past year as well, and plans are afoot to expand to other universities.

The garden hosts a variety of events, both at the garden and through sponsored trips abroad to exotic destinations like Cuba and Ecuador.  Events include the annual Midsummer’s Night Dream spectacle.

If you happen to be in the lower Keys, consider a visit or even becoming a member.  I hope future visits will bring us there again.

Dr. Eric Von Wettberg is Assistant Professor of Population Genetics in FIU's Department of Biological Sciences, researcher at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's Center for Tropical Plant Conservation, and board member of the Dade Chapter FNPS.

Photo: Blodgett's ironweed (Vernonia blodgettii)
Blodgett's ironweed (Vernonia blodgettii)
Lauren McFarland


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: Buck Reilly,, 786-291-4824
Vice-President: Amy Leonard,, 305-458-0969
Secretary:  Gita Ramsay (, 786-877-7168)
Treasurer: Susan Walcutt, (
At Large: Amida Frey,  Lauren McFarland, Eric von Wettberg, Vivian Waddell, Kurt Birchenough, Surey Rios
FNPS board: Lauren McFarland

Past President: Ted Shaffer

Mailing address:

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

General information: 786-340-7914,

Refreshment coordinator: Cheryl & Ben Morgan (

Membership: Patty Phares, (, 305-255-6404)       

DCFNPS Facebook:

DCFNPS Website:

DCFNPS email:

Webmasters: Greg Ballinger and Haniel Pulido Jr.,

Tillandsia interim editor: Patty Phares, 305-255-6404,

Assistant editors: Lauren McFarland

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 per month.

State Organization

FNPS Chapter representative: Lauren McFarland

FNPS Web Page:

FNPS Blog:

FNPS Facebook:

FNPS Twitter:

FNPS Eco Action Alert List: Send email request to

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