"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. " ~Lindley Karstens

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden -- Part Three

This is the last part of my tour to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami.  If you have not read the first two parts and you are interested to read more, you can check out part one and part two.

In part two, I have shown you all kinds of the beauties Fairchild displayed in their "Window to Tropic Conservatory".   After visiting the conservatory, we had a quick lunch in the garden cafe, and kids got the ice cream to cool down.  Then we are ready to explore more...

Fairchild has a showcase called "The Lin Lougheed Spiny Forest of Madagascar ".  It is a representative display of some of the wonderful plants found in Madagascar’s spiny desert.  Some of them are unusual and rare plants found in that threatened habitat.

These two Agave plants have their flower spikes soaring up to the sky. 

This Mouse Trap Tree is full of blossoms.  What a beauty!
Uncarina grandidieri (Mouse Trap Tree, Succulent Sesame)
Uncarina grandidieri
(Mouse Trap Tree, Succulent Sesame)

Euphorbia Viguieri
Aloe Sinkatana
I am always amazed to see cactus blooming.  How can a plant with such a tough out look produces such delicate flowers?

After stepping out the area of  "The Lin Lougheed Spiny Forest of Madagascar",  we are on the way back to the gate.  

Found two Heliconias blooming... It won't be called a tropical garden without some heliconias! 
Heliconia subulata

Heliconia x Pabstii
Even these banana flowers are kind of hidden among their huge leaves, I was still able to spot them in distance.  The color and the shape of the bloom looks so beautiful against the green leaves with the sunshine penetrating through.

These bush is full covered by three colors of flowers, white, purple, lavender.  All are on the same plant.  I was not able to find the plant label.  The three color bloom feature is similar to the plant 'Brunfelsia pauciflora', also called "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow".  However, the flower shape does not match when I looked it up.  Anybody recognizes this plant? 

This flower looks just like its common name, "Chinese Lantern" or "Japanese Lantern"!
Hibiscus Schizopetalus
(Chinese Lanterns, Japanese Lanterns, or Fringed Rosemallow)
 I love the water lilies.  If I can ever have a small pond in my garden, water lilies are the must!

Wonder who is the lady sitting on the bench in front of that giant gumbo limbo tree (bursera simaruba)? It is a life-sized sculpture of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, created by sculptor and Fairchild volunteer Freda Tschumy.  Marjory was one of America’s greatest conservationists and the first editor of Fairchild’s magazine. The existence of the Everglades National Park is largely due to her efforts. She also lobbied extensively for the formation of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.   A big salute to you, Marjory!

It was very hot and humid that day, and we were ready to head back home...

Hold on, do you still remember in part one that I said I was not only treated with a garden trip, but also some nice plants for Mother's Day?  Yes, it happened that day the Fairchild had a flowering tree sale going on! Guess it was my lucky day!   Even I was not looking for buying any trees (not I don't love flowering trees, I just don't have space for them in my garden, sigh...) , we went there to check it out anyway.

It turned out to be that they did have some other plants for sale in addition to flowering trees. 

Such as different color and types of Frangipanis, some in pots, and some sold as cuttings.... I have one grown in the pot right now, still trying to find a place to put in the ground.  I guess I won't get more. 

All kinds of Desert Roses (Adenium Obesum )...  Hmmm, I already have one in my garden as well.

Ooh, what is this pretty flower?  I want one!
Tibouchina lepidota nana
Dwarf Tibouchina
I believe this is also known as "Princess Flowers".   This type is supposed to grow much more compact than Tibouchina urvilleana, about 3 feet tall.  Perfect for my small garden, and purple is one of my favorite garden colors!

And how about this beauty?!  Ok, it is actually just the picture on the label, the plant itself does not have flower yet.  I recognized this Giant Apostle's Iris' flower from several Florida bloggers' posts.  I have been looking for it for a while.  Since only two was left, I grabbed one quickly!  It is not very cheap though, cost me $20.00, but I can not find it anywhere else.

Neomarica Caerulea 'Regina'
 (Giant Apostle's Iris)
I was quite satisfied with my two choices.  What a perfect way to end a perfect day!

Boys, Thanks for a perfect Mother's Day!  Oh, can not forget to thank my husband for his nice thought to bring me to this garden :)  I definitely will return here in the cool season, so that we can walk in the garden for longer time in much more comforts.

Thanks all for following along with the tour.  Hope you enjoyed it.


  1. Ami, I once again enjoyed your tour. Tibouchina was a good choice, it never stops flowering around here. It is nice for those of us with smaller gardens to visit places with so much variety and drool for a little while.

  2. Ami what a feast for the eyes this breakfast time for me. Those photos are just incredible....... mousetrap tree is something I really like along with the name. I wonder why they called it that?

  3. Ami ~ Thanks for part three of your Mother's Day outing. I just love that Mouse trap tree.

    I love Tibouchina and have one growing in a huge terra cotta pot. It's only about 3' tall at the most and I keep looking for buds. The flowers are wonderful.

    That Giant Apostle's Iris is stunning.

    Enjoy the new beauties that you're adding to your lovely gardens.


  4. Part 3 was every bit as much a treat as Parts 1 & 2 were. You will love your new plants. I have the common tibouchina and it does get killed to the ground every winter but even after this Jan. it is back and growing by leaps and bounds. When it blooms it is one of the favorite flowers for the hummingbird I see infrequently in my garden. Hope you have many hummers visit yours.

  5. Ami, you have chosen to spotlight some beautiful specimens! That mousetrap tree is both stunning and bizarre at the same time. I don't think I've ever seen one of those. And the Gumbo-Limbo is amazing! I want to visit Fairchild so badly! To think, I used to travel to that area often in my younger years.

    Your mystery "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" is the Giant Star Potato Tree, I believe. (Solanum macranthum) It is quite beautiful.

  6. It's been many moons since I visited Fairchild Gardens...I can see it's still as lovely as ever. So many beautiful tropicals.

  7. africanaussie: Yes, lots of plants will never fit in my garden, so enjoying them in other gardens are the second to the best.

    Rosie: Glad you liked it. I am also not sure why it calls mousetrap tree, maybe a little googling can help :)

    Flowerlady: Isn't that Mousetrap tree beautiful? It really stood up among the agaves, cactus plants. Glad to know that Tibouchina growing very well in your garden. Hope it will do the same for me.

    NanaK: Glad you enjoyed the part three as well. I am happy to know that Tibouchina is a hummingbirds' favorite. Never seen the hummingbirds in my garden, hope this one can bring some here.

    FG: Once more you got the plant name identified for me! I looked it up, and you are absolutely right! THANKS! Wish you can make the trip to Fairchild soon.

    Susan: Thanks for stopping by! Fairchild is a very beautiful one, especially it is located in a place where the land is so precious nowadays. Glad that I am not far away.

  8. Fairchild is a neat place. It is amazing to see all the varied plants from around the world they can keep healthy there. Great tour and photo's. Hope your new plants do well for you.

  9. aloha ami,

    yeah i finally got a chance to see your tour two and three, what an amazing place, thanks for taking us on a nice tour around the gardens...just too many amazing things to see...i also loved the tillsandia wall and the chihuly glass in the conservatory, it really adds alot of exotic color...thanks for taking us there.

  10. Great choices to photograph! That hibiscus has always been one of my favorites there, but I always want to call i coral hibiscus for some reason.
    BTW my tibouchina performs really well for me here so I hope your little one does well too!

  11. Ami,
    A beautiful tour of gardens I hope to see for myself someday. You've made me want to go even more with all your beautiful photos.

    I'm glad you found the iris but I wish you didn't have to pay so much for it. If it is a large one you can split it up right off and make several plants from the one pot.

  12. I have never seen a purple banana flower and I never imagine that a 'mouse trap' can be so beautiful. Ooh, I have enjoyed the tour.

  13. Meems: Glad that my photos made you wanting to visit Fairchild even more :)

    I also think the price I paid for Iris is a little bit more than it should. That is what happened when you desparately wanted some plant! The plant is not that big, but I might be able to divide it into two. Still in container now, need to find a spot and some time to plant it...

    Autumn Bell: So glad you you enjoyed the tour! It was also my first time to see that kind of banana flower and the mouse trap tree. So many things I have never thing in that garden!

  14. What a fantastic collection of interesting plants! I love banana trees - their blossoms/fruits are so amazing. That gumbo limbo tree is gorgeous too! Thanks for the tour!

  15. Hi Ami, it's good you visited as i am prompted to be here again. It is said that most of our endemic palms are planted at the Fairchild Botanic Gardens, and most of them are from our Makiling Forest Reserve because our foremost agriculture and forestry campuses of the University of the Philippines are at the foot of that mountain, and the first professors are Americans in 1909. My friend in Florida always say her backyard is the Everglades, which makes me more envious.

    Thanks for your 3part posts. May i email you privately? thanks.

  16. It's amazing to see how far ahead Fairchild's garden is from mine..and I'm only about 1-1/2 hours north. Beautiful!
    Those cacti are blooming in my area right now too. Gorgeous!

  17. thanks Ami, for giving me the link to this post. How pretty the Mouse Trap Tree looks!! Mine has multiple trunks since it froze back to the ground, but who knows, maybe it will grow up strong and pretty as well
    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.
    Evelyn :-)


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