Mandarin Hat Plant (Holmskioldia sanguinea)

The management and staff of Richard Lyons’ Nursery always make a sincere effort to urge customers to use both scientific and common names of plants. But considering how hard it is to say Holmskioldia sanguinea, we’ll forgive you if you … Continue reading

Firespike (Odontonema strictum)

Firespike can really fool you.  You might think that a plant native to Central America would perform poorly in cold weather, but this species is capable of doing quite well along a huge swath of the U.S. running almost uninterrupted from southern South … Continue reading

Native Florida Coffee Species (Psychotria ligustrifolia, P. nervosa, P. sulzneri)

Since 1958, grower Juan Valdez and his mule, Conchita, have been employed to put us in mind of some of the best coffee in the world.  These fictional characters have left an indelible impression on generations of consumers.  And right now you might … Continue reading

Bauhinia blakeana (Hong Kong Orchid Tree)

Many botanists believe this tree is a hybrid between Bauhinia variegata and B. purpurea, and not a true species as its botanical name implies. The tree is sterile, so it does not produce seedpods and seeds.  This makes it an ideal Bauhinia, unlike … Continue reading

The Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

The Giant Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio cresphontes) is the largest butterfly occurring in the United States, with a wingspan that can reach 6″.  The larvae are sometimes called ‘Orange Dogs’ due to their host plants being members of the Citrus (Rutaceae) family.  … Continue reading