October eNews for Broward Native Plants
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Florida Native Plant Society

Promoting the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Broward County
Membership $35


Broward Chapter (Coontie) & Event Calendar
Chapter Email
Plant List (Inst. for Regional Conservation)

The Stoppers

October Speaker

You've likely heard of the stoppers; perhaps a leafy shrub comes to mind. I've heard they are a good alternative hedge plant, preferable to some of the exotics commonly used along fence lines. And I hear them pointed out from time to time as we hike in the wilds, but I'm never quite sure which plant. There are Red, White, Spanish, Simpson, Redberry, and Long-stalked stoppers. I must have missed the class on stopper identification because I'm thoroughly confused by them. All aren't even the same genus, so clearly I need help to understand them both in the wild and in landscaping. October's speaker is teaching the class that so many of us missed (or never encountered) until now, "Stopper ID". Don't miss it.
Photo in header (Tom MacCubbin) and above (T. Ann Williams), both Simpson's Stopper, Myrcianthes fragrans
"Stopper ID" with Janine Griffiths
WEDNESDAY EVENING, 7 pm, October 8, 2014

Janine has prepared an interactive evening starting with what we know (and don't know) about stoppers. Some of you will remember Janine from her popular hands-on propagation workshop and are sure to enjoy another workshop to see, touch, and smell the stoppers. We have high hopes of finally mastering the stoppers by class end.

Janine Griffiths is an accomplished 4th generation gardener, landscape designer, and owner of Green Thumb, Inc., an interior plant maintenance and fine gardening service specializing in rose gardens. She began in her family’s Homestead nursery and worked with high-end interior plantscape companies in New York City before coming to Broward.

Janine is a committed Broward County Master Gardener and a Master Naturalist with a graduate degree from FAU and naturalist certification from the University of Florida. Working with Jesse Durko, at Jesse Durko’s Nursery in Davie, she developed a selection of native plants, an extensive collection of antique and old garden roses, heirloom herbs & vegetables, and tropical perennial herbs for this area.
Spanish Stopper, Eugenia foetida, by Roger Hammer
At Julia Hall, Secret Woods Nature Center
2701 Florida (W. State Rd.) 84, Dania Beach, FL 33312
"Stopper ID Field Trip" with Janine Griffiths
(meet at the boardwalk entrance in the parking lot)
Fern Forest Nature Center, 201 Lyons Rd. South, Coconut Creek, FL 33063

As a follow up to the stopper class (but do come whether you attend the class or not) Janine will take us to see some stoppers at Fern Forest Nature Center, including one endangered species. Fern Forest is definitely one of the jewels of Broward Parks, so you will also enjoy seeing many other native plants there that you may have never seen in the wild. It's easy walking likely to be entirely lovely, nevertheless we recommend for every hike, water, shoes for mud, insect repellent, and sun protection for your comfort.

An afternoon walk is a departure from our usual time, so schedule this walk in the forest among the ferns into your Saturday plans. Hikes are not canceled for rain. See you there.

Local Beauties

Native Plants for Broward County

From the Amaryllis family, beautiful Hymenocallis latifolia, Mangrove Spiderlily, shows off delicate white flowers with long filaments dangling orange anthers. You might encounter it along the banks of mangroves mostly out of the water or in coastal locations. It is also called Beach Spiderlily and Perfumed Spiderlily.

We have seen it in very dry locations testing its drought tolerant capabilities, but it never looks happy there. With moderate moisture large strap-like, lush-green leaves make it a handsome 2-3' plant even out of flower. It is tough. Ours survived a period of over-watering that would have rotted and killed other plants. Once the moisture was corrected, it came back to life. Gardeners lacking confidence would do well to try it. Like most new plantings, you want to give it daily water for a week or two, weaning to a weekly schedule (in soil with good drainage) for the first year. Thereafter, water it during periods without rainfall to keep it looking lush and healthy in a residential setting.

Native Choice Nursery in Boynton Beach lists Hymenocallis latifolia among its inventory, but as with any nursery, call ahead. It is common enough that you might trade a cup of coffee and muffin for a few bulbs. More likely the donor will want you to dig for the bulbs yourself, since an old plant may have a tough, densely packed base.

It will tolerate a little shade, but to encourage those showy blossoms, it needs summer sunlight. It also does well in a container, so could be a beautiful solution for a condo deck garden or a patio. On a deck, experiment with light (perhaps some morning or afternoon shade) and medium moisture (letting the saucer go dry between watering) to achieve happiness.
It probably won't respond quickly to poor treatment, so when you see a decline, make a guess and correct it, then persist long enough to see if you have discovered a sweet spot. Natives for Your Neighborhood states growth rate as "moderate" so think more long-term than quick rewards, or plant more bulbs.

You have noticed other lily-like plants. Hiking in swamps, you might encounter a slightly smaller species, Hymenocallis palmeri, Alligatorlily, that shares a similar-looking flower with hymen-like center. Hymenocallis palmeri is endemic to south and central Florida.

From another genus is Crinum americanum, String-lily or Swamp-lily. As this common name implies, it requires more moisture and is not drought tolerant. Crinum americanum is common in urban landscaping, enjoying regular irrigation. The flower is noticeably different from the Spiderlily with sting-like pedals without the connecting disc at the center. The Alligatorlily and Swamp-lily are good choices for a canal or lake bank where the soil is naturally moist or wet.

Photos top to bottom: Scott Zona (H. latifolia), John Bradford (H. latifolia), Roger Hammer (H. palmeri), Shirley Denton (C. americanum)

Speaker events are on 2nd Wednesdays at 7 pm at the Secret Woods.
Field Trips are usually on a following weekend but they vary,
so always check the Calendar and check again for last minute trip updates.
Visit for a wealth of information about local plants.
Copyright © 2014 Broward Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, All rights reserved.

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