Carol's Corner

by Carol Hebert, Conradina Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society

The following is a collection of Carol's Corner from the first half of 2016 reprinted in part from the Conradina chapter newsletter. They are the reasons to "Plant Native." Enjoy!

May 2016
Simpson Stopper, Photo by Carol Hebert

Carol’s Corner: Smells So Good!

This wonderful plant is so durable, grows so slowly, and also rewards us with small, beautiful flowers that smell so incredibly wonderful! Simpson Stopper (Myrcianthes fragrans) is categorized as a small tree. I guess you can recognize why the species name is fragrance in Latin. It grows slowly with very little need to prune. I enjoy seeing it used as hedges for commercial businesses. We even have it as a hedge in front of my work place at Dr. Martin Luther King Library on University Boulevard. I loved making my co-workers smell the flowers. It grows on the mainland and beach-side also.  Plant native! C

Lupine (Lupinus diffusus) Photo by Carol Hebert

April 2016

Carol’s Corner: Lupine in Bloom!

We had an enjoyable walk at Turkey Creek Sanctuary, and we saw wonderful plants. There was Conradina grandiflora in bloom—the plant our chapter is named after. Blueberry (Vaccinun myrsintes) and Deerberry (Vaccinum stamineum) were also wonderfully in bloom. We took a walk on a boardwalk done by a Scout recently to see huge Giant Leather Ferns. Toward the end of our walk, we enjoyed the sight of many bunches of Lupine (Lupinus diffusus). They were drop dead beautiful! Plant native! C

Shiny Lyonia (Lyonia lucida) Photo by Carol Hebert

March 2016

Carol’s Corner: Spring Has Arrived!

We enjoyed a wonderful walk through Cruikshank Sanctuary in February with Vince Lamb and saw Shiny Lyonia (Lyonia lucida) in bloom. It is a beautiful shrub that likes full sun. Rusty Staggerbush (Lyonia ferruginea) was also in bloom. We enjoyed about six to seven Scrub Jays. It was a fun walk through sandy soil and the best season to enjoy the scrub. I personally also enjoyed Adam's Needle (Yucca filamentosa) with fiber swirling out from its leaves. Scrub is an enchanting habitat and is wonderful to walk through to see its vast diversity. Plant native! C

Acer rubrum(Red Maple) Photo by Carol Hebert

February 2016

Carol’s Corner: Autumn Colors

Fall is almost over and there are still a few autumn colors there to enjoy. Red Maple (Acer rebrum) is showing its display of how wonderfully its leaves change color and contribute to the soil. There are several other leaves changing color and falling such as the deep red of Virginia Creeper and the yellow leaves of the Grape vines (Vitus sp.) and the American Elm (Ulmus americana). I have already seen the Laurel Oaks showering their leaves! This is the best time to leave all those leaves in your yard to enrich the soil. Since Melbourne is about four inches above the average rain fall, spring is on it's way. Plant native! C

Photo Skyblue Clustervine by Carol Herbert

January 2016

Carol’s Corner: Winter Blooms

December 21st was Winter Solstice and the beginning of the winter season. It’s almost hard to believe we are in this season since we have hit (or close to) a record high temperature on each day. Plants are wonderful how they bloom in different seasons. Fall brings us so many colors such as yellow with Goldenrod (Solidaga sp.), Coreopsis, and Silkgrass (Pityopsis graminifolia). A nice variety of purple blooms contrast beautifully such as Gayfeather (Liatris sp.), Ironweed (Vernonica gigantea), and Stokes’ Aster (Stokesia laevis). Currently, my favorite fall blooming purple flower plant is Skyblue Clustervine (Jacquemontia pentanthos). This vine grows nicely on the north side of my house so it receives partial sun and shade all day. The flowers are small, about an inch wide and have the “morning glory” look. No fragrance but they are so pretty to see everyday because they open just for a day so flowers are in different places on the vine each day. Find a fence or trellis and decorate it with this evergreen vine named Skyblue Clustervine. This plant will give a wonderful display of lavender flowers at the end of each year. Plant native! C


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