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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The Old Man Palm is endemic to Cuba, but grows very well as an ornamental landscape palm in S. Florida. It is a single trunk fan palm, with white-grey fibers covering the trunk. These fibers emerge from the new fronds and hang down and surround the trunk, giving the appearance of a grey beard, which is why this palm gets its name. Even the species name, ‘crinita’ is from the latin, meaning, ‘hairy’. This palm is slow growing, but it can eventually obtain a height of 30′. The trunk is only 3-8″ in diameter, but the beard surrounding the trunk, gives the illusion that the trunk is over 2′ in diameter. The nursery currently has a large selection of these palms to choose from in 7gal. pots ranging in height from 12-15″ tall.