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Overlooked and forgotten palms that deserve a second look

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Palm enthusiasts and collectors choose their favorite palm with an array of criteria. Some pick it based on looks alone; the red lipstick palm (Cyrtostachys renda) is coveted because of its stately red trunk.

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Passion Fruit

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Passion fruit, Passiflora edulis, is definitely a showstopper when it comes to tropical plants, and its aromatic fruit and beautiful flowers will ignite your horticultural passion. The passion fruit, unlike most tropical fruits, is not a tree but instead a climbing vine. This vine is multifunctional, providing fruit and habitat for some of South Florida’s most handsome butterflies, including the Zebra Longwing, Heliconius charitonius....

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Redberry stopper is a trouble-free native for small spaces

Sunday, October 27, 2013

If you are even slightly interested in native plants, you have heard of (and smelled) white stopper. It gives off a wonderfully musky scent, slightly reminiscent of skunk, but not offensive.

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Rose Apple: An Arc of Bells

Saturday, October 26, 2013









In Florida we have a unique opportunity to create an edible landscape we can enjoy year round. Fruit trees are an essential part of any edible garden. However, a tree may not always be possible or functional in all yards. The Rose Apple provides a unique ability to have a fruit tree with out having a traditional tree that would take up a lot of space, offering a bounty of fruit in the fall and spring....

 

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Snakes in the garden

Sunday, October 20, 2013

As published in the Miami Herald What wild things dwell in that uncultivated, unkempt portion of your yard? You know the area I’m talking about — the one where you occasionally dump leaves or hastily pulled weeds, rather than walk around to the compost bin.

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The History of Mangos in South Florida

Sunday, October 13, 2013

It has been more than 200 years since mangos arrived in South Florida. Before 1900, only seedling mangos of turpentine were grown. Mangos arrived to South Florida when the pirates were surrounding Florida's coasts, navigating tempestuous waters from Fort Myers down to Sanibel and Captiva Islands, south to Naples and east to the coveted Keys.  The pirates carryed mango seeds, that for generations had made this peninsula their home.....

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The Start Apple (Chrysophyllum cainito)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Star Apple (Chrysophyllum cainito) is a tropical fruit native to the lowlands of Central America and West India. The fruit has a star like design when it is sliced, hence its common name Star Apple. 

The start apple its mostly appreciated as a fruit tree in home landscapes. It is a beautiful tree, making a perfect tree for landscaping in South Florida. The canopy ...

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From extinction to your yard: a most unusual palm

Saturday, September 28, 2013

As published in the Miami Herald There are lists of plants and animals thought to have gone extinct, only to be rediscovered happily living out their lives unseen by those who take note of such things. What a reason for celebration, to find out we were wrong about the end of the line for a living community! Organisms in this category are said to belong to a “Lazarus taxon” — having seemingly risen from the dead like the Biblical Lazarus.


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Ready, set, grow: Start an edible garden now

Saturday, September 14, 2013

As published in the Miami Herald Most of the country is winding its gardening down and focusing instead on the new school year and autumn preparations — composting those old annuals, collecting seeds, digging it all under to go fallow.

However, our extreme southern gardening is really just beginning. Now, finally, we can grow some fruit and vegetables without the fear of them frying to a crisp under the summer sun or rotting in our tropical summer downpours.

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A small tree for tough landscapes: joewood

Sunday, August 25, 2013

As published in The Miami Herald Joewood (Jacquinia keyensis) is a somewhat uncommon South Florida native shrub or small tree. Though found in the Keys, preferring the ecotone - transition area - between coastal thickets and hammocks (sometimes called maritime hammock), it is rare elsewhere, listed as "threatened" by the state. Besides southeast Florida, Everglades National Park and the Keys, it has also been documented in Lee County's coastal strand on the west...

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