RSS

My Favorite Hedge - Simpson's Stopper

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Many people have Ficus benjamina, which can quickly become a huge tree, hedges which require regular pruning and now there is a whitefly which is killing it in south Florida. My favorite hedge is Myrcianthes fragrans, Simpson's stopper, which is a native of hammocks of south Florida and Tropical America. This shrub or small tree grows to 20 feet tall. It makes a great hedge and is a low maintenance alternative to the commonly used ficus hedge. Simpson's stopper's silvery gray to warm brown ...

Learn More

We have another cannonball tree blooming in Fairchild.

Friday, July 18, 2008

In May, 1992 we received seeds of Couroupita guianensis from Venezuela. The seeds were in our greenhouse when Hurricane Andrew hit just a few months later. It survived Andrew's wrath and was planted in plot 18 in June 1994. The young tree had to be moved to plot 45 due to the Visitors' Center construction in 1999. In late October, 2005, Hurricane Wilma blew it down. It was quickly propped up and voila, is now in bloom for the first time! It's first 16 years have not been easy, but now that ...

Learn More

For The Love of Mangos India, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fairchild Tropical Fruit Program ventures back to the ancestral home of the mango - India. Our mango team Dr. Richard J. Campbell and Noris Ledesma the Curators of Tropical Fruit went to the monsoonal plains in search of the secrets of the king of tropical fruit. For 2 weeks in May, 'Alphonso', 'Kesar', and 'Dusehri' will become daily fare, treasured for their sweet, complexity of fruitiness and Indian spice. Nowhere on earth is the mango more cherished, or more integral to the people and ...

Learn More

My Gardening Joy - What is Yours?

Monday, February 18, 2008

About 15 years ago, I was fortunate to find a piece of property, just under one-half an acre with a small house and very little vegetation.  I had a nearly blank slate to start my own garden on the first property I had ever owned.  I took a while to consider what kind of garden I wanted.  I am a nature lover; birds, butterflies, even squirrels and snakes always delight me with their presence.  So I decided to create natural habitats in my yard to attract wildlife.  That...

Learn More

We have beautiful parrots in Fairchild!

Friday, February 1, 2008

During recent weeks I have seen large parrots or macaws flying over the arboretum and lowlands of Fairchild. I have seen a pair and sometimes as many as five birds flying and making their very loud squawking noises. Today while I was near the southeast edge of Royal Palm Lake, I heard the unmistakable sounds of the parrots in a royal palm in plot 87. I was fortunate to have my camera and took a few photos. One of the parrots was using its beak to tear off bits of a leaf stem in a Veitchia...

Learn More

CTPC staff monitor the endangered Pseudophoenix sargentii on Elliott Key

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jennifer Possley, GIS Lab Coordinator/Field Biologist, reports that two weeks ago today, several members of Fairchild's Center for Tropical Plant Conservation (CTPC) returned from a three-day trip, monitoring the endangered palm Pseudophoenix sargentii (Sargent's cherry palm) on Elliott Key.  We last conducted a thorough monitoring of this taxon on Elliott Key in 2003.  This time, we collected data on: (1) approximately 115 surviving individuals that were planted by...

Learn More

Don't forget to look up while walking through our rainforest.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This morning, around 8:30, as I was walking out of my office in the rainforest, I heard a very loud squawking noise.  I looked up and saw a pure white large bird fly over the trees.  It landed nearby and continued its raucous call.  Harvey, Rod and I walked in the direction of the sound.  We looked up to see a beautiful cockatoo perched upon the tip of a Veitchia spear leaf.  Eventually the bird flew to the east, before I could get a good photo.  We occasionally...

Learn More

I discovered something neat in our rainforest

Friday, December 21, 2007

A couple afternoons ago I was walking through the rainforest on my way to the arboretum to check some seeds I am  watching for propagation purposes.  Just before I entered the rainforest plaza I looked up and saw a Schefflera seedling sprouting from the surface of a palm leaf!  The palm is a very robust Livistona seedling with leaves held in a horizontal fashion.  Seeds in a rainforest can fall onto leaves, in the crevices among tree branches, even onto a roof of a hut or in...

Learn More

Discovering Fairchild Tropical Garden - the Rainforest

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Photo by M. Collins Rainforest waterfall I often see many people walking through the rainforest on the tram road but they don't venture onto one of the paths which are lined with beautiful plants and our wonderful stream with cascades and waterfalls. Our rainforest stream uses water from Glade Lake. Water from the lake is pumped up in a pipe under the Cycad Vista. Through gravity, the water flows down the stream which begins behind the Hawke's Lab hort office building, under the tram roads ...

Learn More

First35363738394041424344