Bromeliads in the landscape that form a low physical barrier along property lines. There are many that could be used, but for this article I will focus on three that add contrasting color, and that Richard Lyons Nursery currently has in stock. Quesnelia testudo forms large clumps that can take up a large area and have nice light green leaves and beautiful pink flower bracts. Aechmea blanchetiana is grown for its bright orange leaves in bright light and is also a great clumping bromeliad. Finally, Aechmea ‘Marcelino’ has dark red leaves, is a little taller than the previous two, and also clumps nicely.
The leaves of these three bromeliads are very stout, with sharp pointed ends, and sharp serrated edges. Anyone, or any animal will think twice about trying to walk through this natural barrier.
The Loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica) is a member of the Rose Family (Rosaceae) whose fruit is ripening now. Despite its species name, japonica, this fruit tree is native to south-central China which would be the equivalent to the temperate zone in the U.S. Unlike most temperate zone plants, this one does quite well in South Florida. Japan is the world’s leading commercial producer of the fruit, so that may be why the species name is japonica. The flowers are somewhat fragrant, and the leathery serrated leaves makes this an attractive tree in the landscape. The fruit is just an added bonus.
Richard Lyons nursery currently has this tree in stock.
With the decline of citrus trees in back yards, the giant swallowtail butterfly (Papilio cresphontes) could be in jeopardy, as it relies on citrus trees to lay its eggs on. Fortunately, any member of the citrus family (Rutaceae) will suffice. One such member is the native wild lime tree (Zanthoxylum fagara). It looks more like a very large shrub than a tree, and it does not bear edible fruit. In fact, the fruit is so small, you would be hard pressed to even see it on the tree. It is rather thorny and dense, which makes it an excellent natural barrier to keep people and unwanted pets from entering or leaving your yard. More importantly, it is an excellent host plant for the afore mentioned Giant Swallowtail Butterfly.
Richard Lyons Nursery currently has this plant in stock.
Golden Plume (Schauria flavicoma), a relatively new inventory item for Richard Lyons Nursery, is a small plant which used to be classified as Justicia. It can attain a height of 2-3 feet, and blooms from fall until spring. It’s aptly named as its flower is yellow and shaped like a plume. While it can be acclimated to full sun, it seems to do very well in partial shade.
Do you have a place in your yard that gets full sun, no irrigation, very well drained, the grass is always full of weeds, and simply looks bad? May I suggest a small project, such as making a rock garden in this area. South Florida as ample pieces of limestone rock just below the surface of the soil which can be dug up and utilized on the surface. Also, if there is any construction nearby, such as home building, you usually can obtain varying sizes of rock. Contour the area so it’s not perfectly level, place the rocks as you see fit, and now you have an area ready to plant. Using drought tolerant plants such as succulents, certain bromeliads, and cactus you can beautify an area which previously was a headache. Plus, as an added bonus, you have also eliminated an area of grass that you no longer have to mow. Below are some photos of plants Richard Lyons Nursery has in stock which would be suitable for this project.