Showing posts from November, 2021

The endangered Florida Torreya tree struggles along Apalachicola ravines

by Lilly Anderson-Messec, Director of North Florida Programs and TorreyaKeepers Coordinator. Originally published in the Tallahassee Democrat November 11, 2021 ( link ) The large female Torreya cones take 18 months to mature and female tree of reproductive are extremely rare. Nestled in the unique and biodiverse steephead ravines along the mighty Apalachicola River, an evergreen tree found nowhere else in the world teeters on the brink of extinction. Since European colonization, Torreya taxifolia has been known by many names; Florida Torreya, stinking cedar, Florida nutmeg, polecat wood, fetid yew, and gopherwood. Many of these refer to the tree’s pungent odor when the leaves are bruised, or the wood is cut. To me, the scent is similar to the aroma of tomato plants but much more concentrated. Its Latin name honors New York botanist John Torrey, who first acknowledged it as a new species based on samples sent in 1833 from Florida. At that time, Florida Torreya was a standard component o

Kirsten Sharp-Ortega's Pollinator in a Pot - Update

 In August I visited landscape architect and small business owner Kirsten Sharp-Ortega at her home to film her creating three pollinator gardens in a pot for our Lunch and Learn series. Since filming and the airing of the Lunch and Learn (which you can view here ) the pots have been happily growing for three months. For higher resolution images, check out the Flickr album .