Colvillea racemosa (Colville’s Glory Tree)

Colville’s Glory Tree, like the Royal Poinciana Tree, is native to Madagascar.  It was named for a British Governor of Mauritius, Sir Charles Colville.  Unlike the spreading canopy of the Royal Poinciana Tree, Colville’s Glory tree is mostly upright, attaining a height of 30-50′.  It has bi-pinnate feathery leaves and spectacular orange flowers are born on large 1-2′ long cone shaped racemes that hang downward from the tips of the branches.  The yellow-orange stamens are the conspicuous part of the flower and attract honey bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.  They begin blooming in late October, and bloom well into November in S. Florida.  We currently have these spectacular trees in 3gal. containers as young seedlings.

Colvillea racemosa (Colville’s Glory Tree)

Colvillea racemosa (Colville’s Glory Tree)

Colvillea racemosa (Colville’s Glory Tree)

 

Stemmadenia litoralis (Milky Way Tree, Lechoso)

A very beautiful tree from Central America related to Frangipani (Plumeria).  It produces tubular white fragrant flowers throughout the year, which contrast nicely against the glossy dark green leaves.  It produces so many flowers that the fallen blossoms blanket the ground underneath the tree.  This tree can attain a height of 20′, is salt tolerant, grows in partial shade to full sun, and was Fairchild Tropical Garden’s plant of the year in 2009.  The nursery has 3 sizes, 3gal./7gal./15gal. containers.  The 15gal. containers are flowering size.

Stemmadenia litoralis (Milky Way)

Stemmadenia litoralis (Milky Way Tree)

Stemmadenia litoralis (Milky Way Tree)

Stemmadenia litoralis (Milky Way Tree)

Stemmadenia litoralis (Milky Way Tree)

Stemmadenia litoralis (Milky Way Tree)

Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow (Brunfelsia grandiflora)

Brunfelsia grandiflora is a member of the Solanaceae Family, which its most recognizable member is the Tomato Plant.  Its common name, Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow, is aptly named, as its flowers start out purple, fading to pale lavender, and then to white over a 3-4 day period.  When the shrub is in full bloom in late October – February, all three color shades will be present at the same time.  This shrub is native to tropical regions of South America and can attain a height of 7-10′.  It grows best in sun to partial shade.  It is unclear whether flowering is triggered by the dry season or shorter daylengths in S. Florida.  The nursery has this beautiful shrub available in 1gal./3gal./7gal./15gal. containers.

Brunfelsia grandiflora (Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow)

Brunfelsia grandiflora (Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow)

Brunfelsia grandiflora (Yesterday,Today,and Tomorrow)

Podranea ricasoliana (Pink Trumpet Vine)

One of the hardiest of vines introduced to the United States is Podranea ricasoliana, the Pink Trumpet Vine.  During the fall, winter and spring it bears fragrant pale pink, bell-shaped flowers highlighted by red stripes.  The glossy foliage is also attractive.  The plant is one of the Bignoniaceae family, which also includes  the Jacaranda Tree.

The vine is thought to be native to the eastern coast of South Africa, but some botanists believe that it may have been introduced there by merchants.  When left to its own devices, the plant can reach 16-20 ft. high and wide, but is very amenable to hard pruning following flowering.  In fact, annual pruning also serves to proliferate flowering the next time around.  It can be left as a ground cover or mounted to a trellis, pergola or chain link fence.  Since this species does not produce tendrils, it may be tied to its support in whatever arrangement the grower favors.

Podranea ricasoliana (Pink Trumpet Vine)

Podranea ricasoliana (Pink Trumpet Vine)

The Pink Trumpet Vine is hardy throughout Florida and in parts of Texas, Arizona and California, proof of its resistance to both heat and cold.  Frost may nip leaf tips, but regrowth is vigorous.  The vine favors good drainage, and regular composting will help it thrive by lowering soil pH.  P. ricasoliana is available at the nursery in 3-gallon containers.

Agaves

Agaves comprise just over 200 species of succulent plants native to the New World, from the southwestern U.S. to northern South America.  They are characterized by a rosette of fleshy, stiff leaves capable of withstanding severe heat and drought.  Over time, the common name Century Plant has been attached to the genus on the claim that flowering occurs just once in a hundred years.  However, the truth is that most species produce a once-in-a-lifetime bloom after 12-20 years.  The flower stalk can be quite tall and bear plantlets which root out upon falling to the ground.  The plants can also reproduce via basal shoots or suckers, as well as by seeding.

Agaves are as well-known for their commercial uses as for their ornamental beauty.  For instance, Agave sisalana has long been the source of fibers used to make doormats, rope and twine.  The species is now grown commercially in many tropical countries, and Brazil has become the leader in sisal production.  Another species. A. tequilana, is, as the name suggests, the source of the wallop in tequila.

We have several interesting agave species at the nursery.  One of the special ones is A. desmettiana ‘Variegata,’  the Dwarf Variegated Agave, native to Mexico.  This stately species, defined by yellow leaf margins, grows slowly to dimensions of 30-36 inches tall and wide before hoisting an inflorescence of pale yellow flowers.  It can be utilized in the landscape in several ways.  It is striking planted out in a desert-type setting and shows off well when situated among decorative stones.  But it can also be used to great advantage as a containerized plant.  Such an application has been made with great aesthetic appeal at the Shops of Merrick Place in Coral Gables, where specimens have been planted in large clay saucers affixed to open-air stairways around the complex.  We carry A. desmettiana ‘Variegata’  in 1- and 3-gallon containers.

Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ (Dwarf Variegated Agave)

Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ (Dwarf Variegated Agave)

Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ (Dwarf Variegated Agave with Plantlets Forming Along The Flower Stalk)

Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ (Dwarf Variegated Agave)

Agave attenuata (Swan’s Neck Agave)