Cycads

If you are only passingly familiar with cycads, you’re missing out on one of the most ancient and interesting representatives of the plant kingdom.  The first cycads arose somewhere around 280 million years ago, but came into their own in the Jurassic Period, the same time dinosaurs began … Continue reading

Krugiodendron ferreum (Black Ironwood)

Krugiodendron ferreum, or Black Ironwood, is native from Cape Canaveral southward into islands of the Caribbean Basin and from southern Mexico to Honduras.  It is often found in hammockland near coastal waters, yet once established in an urban setting, it does not require … Continue reading

Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm)

Quick!  Can you name a beautiful ornamental succulent plant that somehow belongs in the same family as hyacinth and asparagus?  Our choice is Beaucarnea recurvata, a uniquely constructed tree native to arid areas of southeastern Mexico.  Where it’s native, Beaucarnea can reach 30 ft. high … Continue reading

Ficus microcarpa (Green Island Ficus)

In our part of the world, the genus Ficus has gotten a rather mixed reputation, primarily because some species have aggressive root systems than can raise sidewalks, crack foundations and clog underground pipes.  But not all of the 800 or so … Continue reading

Polyalthia longifolia (Mast Tree)

About 35-40 years ago, a Miami couple fresh from a long trip to Asia brought seeds of an attractive Indian evergreen tree to Fairchild Tropical Garden.  Over time this species, Polyalthia longifolia (a/k/a P. longifolia var. pendula), has proven to be a very successful … Continue reading