Firebush (Hamelia patens)

No less a publication than Southern Living magazine has long recommended our native Firebush, Hamelia patens, to its readership.  And it’s no wonder.  The species has many endearing qualities. First, if not foremost, it’s rather cold-tolerant.  The Florida Native Plant … Continue reading

Golden Dewdrops (Duranta erecta f/k/a Duranta repens)

If you’re not already familiar with Duranta erecta, now is a good time to get acquainted with this very attractive New World flowering species.  Like a lot of plants, it comes with its own little bag of mysteries:  Its current … Continue reading

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

Autograph Tree or Pitch Apple (Clusia rosea)

In 1898, the United States became embroiled in the Spanish-American War. President William McKinley, eager to assess the relative strengths of the Spanish forces and Cuban insurgents, wanted to send a message to General Calixto Garcia, who was somewhere in … Continue reading