Botany

  • lantana_involucrata_inflorescence

    What’s in a name? The “involucrate” of Lantana involucrata

    By / March 31, 2015

    My last post was about a nice little Florida native plant that I’m trying out (again) in the yard: Lantana involucrata. Now “lantana,” you’ll recall, in addition to being the name of a town not far from where I live, comes from the Latin for “flexible,” whatever that may mean when applied to these rather woody… Read more

  • Grasses really are flowering plants.

    Grasses really are flowering plants

    By / May 22, 2013

    Grasses don’t get a lot of love. People walk on them, dogs do their business on them. If they get noticed at all it’s only for the time it takes the gardener to sigh or curse, depending on temperament, at how tall the grass has gotten before heading off to fire up the lawnmower. Even… Read more

  • danaus_gillipus_20111026

    Late October

    By / October 27, 2011

    It’s late October, and in South Florida that means it’s going to be either windy, or hot, or both. Today we’ve got a bit of both: a steady 7–8 mph east wind, with gusts up to 14 mph, and a temperature of 83°F. Mercifully, the humidity is relatively low (under 60%), so the heat index isn’t… Read more

  • cordia_single_bloom

    New backyard planting: Cordia globosa

    By / July 29, 2011

    I’ve mentioned this plant a few times, but I don’t think I’ve ever really written up this interesting little shrub, Cordia globosa; the common name is bloodberry. It has many virtues to recommend it: it’s easy to grow, easy to maintain, and attractive to a wide variety of  nectaring insects and berry-hungry birds. The flowers… Read more

  • tabebuia_fullbloom

    Flowering trees

    By / May 5, 2011

    Flowering trees add visual interest to your home landscape, sure. Some of them, like this Tabebuia tree (Tabebuia chrysotricha), that’s about all they do: And they only do it for about three weeks a year. The picture above, taken in my front yard in late March, shows a beautiful yellow trumpet-flower tabebuia; today that tree… Read more

  • zanthoxylum-newgrowth

    New plantings: Zanthoxylum fagara

    By / April 28, 2011

    One of the cornerstone plantings in my new backyard is a Wild Lime tree, Zanthoxylum fagara. It didn’t come from the native plant auction, but from one of my friends in the Audubon Society who is also an FNPS member and who graciously allowed me to come take many many plants to get my back… Read more

  • heliotropum_polyphyllum_closeup

    New plantings: Heliotropium polyphyllum

    By / April 26, 2011

    Our old house in Boca was just starting to enjoy some great trees and shrubs after our native plant makeover of several years back, but it was a little light on wildflowers. Sure, we had tropical sage (Salvia coccinea), but that was really about it. We had planted lizard’s tail, scorpion tail, and a few… Read more

  • newplanting-jacquemontia

    New plantings: Jacquemontia pentanthos

    By / April 25, 2011

    There’s a tiny little street in Paris, in the 17th arrondissement, not too far from the Parc Monceau, called Rue Jacquemont. It’s named after the French botanical explorer Victor Jacquemont, who traveled briefly to the United States before moving on to India for the remainder of his too-short life (b. 1801, d. 1832). But he… Read more

  • newplanting-passiflora

    New plantings: Passiflora suberosa

    By / April 22, 2011

    One of the plants I scored at the native plant auction earlier this week is a real workhorse in the garden: Passiflora suberosa, Corkystem passionvine. It’s one of our two native passionvines. Not as showy as its cousin, P. incarnata (the “maypop” vine), it is nonetheless also a larval food plant for three species of… Read more

  • newplanting-forestiera

    New plantings: Forestiera

    By / April 21, 2011

    For anyone interested in creating a backyard habitat for wildlife, it makes sense to learn everything you can about your own backyard and what kind of plants will thrive there. So this year I joined the Florida Native Plant Society, Palm Beach County chapter. And this week they held their native plant auction, which I… Read more

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