Author: Leonard Goldstein

Rare & Unusual Tropical Trees & Plants, Flowering, Fruit, Native, Palm, Bamboo, Heliconia, Hummingbird, Butterfly

Tropical Fruit – A Tasty Survey

Often––especially while stuck in snail-paced traffic on a hot, muggy day––we forget some of the unique benefits of living in southern Florida. One of them is the ability to grow a very large variety of tropical fruit species in our yards. Confined to a fairly small patch of land at the bottom of a peninsula,…
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May 26, 2018 0

Brachychiton acerifolius: No Shrinking Violet

Australia is known for its vast array of interesting plants. Among them are 30-plus species and natural hybrids of the genus Brachychiton. Some of those species make small trees with modest floral characteristics. But B. acerifolius is decidedly not made in that mold. Perhaps this species’ common name––Illawarra Flame Tree––provides a clue to its flowering…
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May 19, 2018 0

Iochroma: A Very Down-to-Earth Plant

What are the odds that a plant native to elevations more than a mile above sea level in the Andes could grow well in southern Florida? Probably no better than for the lion to lie down with the lamb. But, amazingly, Iochroma cyanea beats those odds. I. cyanea is endemic to the Ecuadorean Andes in…
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May 12, 2018 0

Madre de Cacao: A True Multi-Tasker

The pea (Fabaceae) family of plants is not only among the largest in the world––at about 19,000 species––but also one of the most useful to humanity. And within that distinguished family, Madre de Cacao (Gliricidia sepium) may well be the second-most significant species, behind only the Lead Tree (Leucaena leucocephala). G. sepium has its origins…
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May 5, 2018 0

Featuring the Monkeypod Tree (Monkeys Not Included)

One of the outstanding ornamental trees on earth is Albizia saman. Native from northern South America through Central America, and perhaps into the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, it has been distributed into the Old World tropics and climatic niches as far north as Hawaii. So popular is it that it has accumulated a host of…
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April 28, 2018 0