Calabaza is the Spanish name for any type of pumpkin. In English, it refers to West Indian Pumpkin, or Calabassa, a winter squash grown in the Caribbean and Tropical America. Botanically, it is Curbita moschata.
At Richard Lyons Nursery it is grown under the rows of Jakfruit and Sapodilla trees. It is unfortunately a host plant for the Clabaza Squash Moth. The moth is a pollinator, however its caterpillars are very destructive defoliators.
Richard Lyons Nursery currently has this squash/pumpkin for sale.
Lignum vitae (Guaiacum sanctum) is native to the Florida Keys and Miami-Dade County. This native tree is listed as endangered due to habitat loss. Lignum vitae translation is ‘Tree of Life’ for its many medicinal properties. However, it is mainly grown as a beautiful ornamental. While it is slow growing, it is one of the more colorful native trees. It blooms twice a year with small clusters of purple flowers which produce a bright orange fruit which is also very attractive.
Richard Lyons Nursery has this tree in various sizes.
Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) can make for a very interesting container plant. It is highly prized in S. Florida for its large caudex trunk which develops with age. Interestingly, it will only develop a caudex when grown from seed, so it takes several years to mature. When grown from cuttings, the swollen base never develops. There is a wide array of flower colors on the market today through hybridization, and many growers are grafting these hybrid colors onto established root stocks.
Richard Lyons Nursery has a very pretty red and some pinwheel pink and white flowering varieties grown from seed, so the caudex will develop over time.
Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus), is a hibiscus relative which can attain a height of 6-7′ and 4-5′ wide in a relatively short period of time. Its bright red fez-like flowers that hang down and never appear to be fully open is an excellent hummingbird and butterfly attractor. It blooms most of the year and best of all requires very little care.
Richard Lyons Nursery currently has this plant in stock.
This week’s highlighted plant is the Red Passion Flower Vine. One of the few passion vines that can tolerate some shaded conditions. It can meander along the ground until it reaches a vertical surface such as a fence or trellis, or a tree. It also is one of the few vines that if it goes up into a tree, it won’t shade out and kill the tree. It is mainly a winter/spring bloomer with large bright red flowers to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Our native butterflies mostly use this plant as a nectar source, with the exception of the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly. This butterfly has been known to lay eggs on this vine from time to time.
Richard Lyons Nursery currently has this vine in stock.