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The state of orchids in the wild, brought home

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Coalition for Orchid Species' annual symposium Aug. 2 brought speakers from California, Texas, New York and Miami to the Garden House. About 80 people happily spent hours focusing on their favorite topic: orchids that occur in the wild. Because of habitat destruction, orchid species are sought by growers and collectors looking for increasingly rare plants. COS was organized in 1990 to stress conservation and educate the public about the diversity of the flowers found in nature. Lee Moore ...

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Members' Day Plant Sale coming soon....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

MEMBERS' DAY PLANT SALE PRIMER Distribution of rare, unusual plants to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden members has had a long rich tradition in south Florida. In 1939, Fairchild Tropical Garden had the first Members Plant Distribution. To quote David Fairchild from the first list of plants: "In accordance with our policy to grow and distribute plants and palms which are more or less rare in this section, we have now on hand and ready for distribution a limited quantity of plants, a...

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For The Love of Mangos Peru, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Curator Noris Ledesma once again delves into the world of mangos with an ambitious agenda of mango hunting and adventure to capture the harsh realities that the Peruvian mango is confronting. The Peruvian mango is an export fruit and Peru is the second country to bring mangos to the United States. Their mangos arrive around Thanksgiving, when other countries' mangos are not ripe. Peru produces many Florida mangos, including Edward' for the local market where the prices...

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What is that purple flowering tree in our rainforest?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In recent days I've been asked about the tree in the rainforest which is currently flowering. Showy purple flowers appear in the canopy of the Fairchild rainforest. It is Carpodiptera ameliae, a member of the Tiliaceae family, native to Central America. Commonly called mountain pear, it is a 30-40' tall tree with large evergreen leaves. In July and August, a profusion of panicles with many small lavender-rose colored flowers are produced. If you want to see Fairchild's mountain pear, stand ...

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Never Give Up

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

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Assisted Migration

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

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Saving a Cycad Isn't Easy

Monday, July 27, 2009

Microcycas calocoma is the handsome dark green cycad in the center of this photo. It is complimented with bromeliads. Surrounded by a bevy of big bromeliads, this beautiful Microcycas calocoma is just south of the Visitors Center. A native of the province Pinar del Rio in western Cuba, this genus has only one species, and is extremely limited in its natural range, according to Loran Whitelock's The Cycads. As late as 1998, there were believed to be about 1,000 left, with reproductive...

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Stamp of Approval

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fort Jefferson's light will shine on your letters. Our very own Fort Jefferson Lighthouse in Dry Tortugas National Park has its very own stamp now, with the first day issue ceremony held last week at the Key West Post Office in Key West. The lighthouse also is called the Garden Key Harbor Light. The original was built in 1825. The existing light is a hexagonal wrought iron tower, although the light no longer is an active aid to navigation. The first day of issue postmark is a pen and ink ...

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90 Miles south of Florida: Orchids of Cuba

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Betty Eber Betty Eber, a long-time Coral Gables orchid grower and teacher of orchid culture, spoke about Cuban orchids Monday night at the Coalition for Orchid Species meeting at Fairchild. Betty's map of Cuba also featured a purple star near the town of Cienfuegos, with the notation: Betty's Birthplace. Orchids of Cuba are generally small and many tend to grow in coastal scrub. Some, however, are high mountain denizens. Some also have wonderful color, such as the intense yellow...

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Happy Campers at Fairchild's Farm

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer camp at the Fairchild Farm is underway, and on the day I stopped in, the kids were studying worms. Worms! Noris Ledesma had collected earthworms so that each child could have his or her own worm and learn how to tell the head from the tail. Once they got over the shivers just looking at the worms, the children found they could handle them, dangle them in the air and even use them as face decoration. Elizabeth Garcia, 7, knew why it's important to have worms in the garden: "So...

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