Bombax ceiba, most often referred to its common name of Red Silk Cotton Tree. Although it is native to southeast Asia and Australia, it does quite well in S. Florida. When young, it has the characteristic thorns on its trunk like other members of the Silk Cotton trees, but as it ages, the thorns disappear. The red and orange varieties which Richard Lyons Nursery currently has in stock are flowering now. A very large bloom, plastic in appearance, emerges before any leaves, giving this tree a very striking look in early spring.
When you think of Petrea volubulis (Queen’s Wreath Vine), you naturally think of long purple sprays of blossoms, somewhat reminiscent of the temperate Wisteria Vine. However, there is a white cultivar, ‘Albiflora’, which doesn’t bloom as often, but when it does, is striking in it’s own right.
Most Gardenias only bloom once a year in the springtime. The exception to this is the Tahitian Gardenia (Gardenia taitensis). This Gardenia blooms on and off throughout the year. It is a sprawling plant, with dark shiny leaves similar to most Gardenias. It is fragrant like all of the Gardenias as well. Richard Lyons Nursery has the double flowering variety ‘Heaven Scent’.
The Jamaican Poinsettia is native to Jamaica, and a relative of the Christmas Poinsettia. Unlike the poinsettia you buy at Christmas, this large shrub or small tree, 12-15′, flowers year round. However, like the Christmas Poinsettia, flowering is dependent on no external light sources being present. So, no porch lights or security lights can shine on this tree at night in order for it to flower. In Jamaica, this small tree grows in limestone soils with little rainfall, so it makes an ideal candidate for S. Florida, when planted in a sunny location.
We have various sizes ranging from small seedlings to flowering size specimens. Come take a look at one growing in the ground to give you an idea what to expect.
A couple of months ago I wrote a short blurb about Red Firespike (odontonema strictum) as it was in full bloom. Well it is still in full bloom. There is nothing significant about that fact, but now its cousin, Purple Firespike (odontonema callistachyum), has joined Red Firespike in full bloom. The two together make a striking contrast, and double the amount of nectar available for hummingbirds and butterflies.
Richard Lyons Nursery currently has both of these plants in stock.