The Java Plum - Syzygium cumini, Is a fast growing evergreen tree that reaches heights of 30-80 feet tall depending on the location/conditions planted. It is considered a tropical tree and is a member of the flowering plant family Myrtaceae. It grows in an erect single trunk they could be straight or crooked in form with a rounded crown. The tree was introduced to Florida in 1911 by the USDA, it originated from Asia, specifically India and Burma. It has become established in Maritime hammocks, lake margins, flatwoods and rocklands throughout Central and Southern Florida. It is similar to the Malabar Plum Syzygium jambos but can be distinguished by the different sized leaves and fruit. It is treated by the state of Florida as an invasive species. It can be found growing from Sea Level to 6000 feet above in the tropics. It grows best in areas with very high rain or humidity levels.
Monday, November 30, 2020
Friday, November 27, 2020
Santa Maria - Calophyllum antillanum, is most easily recognized by the combination of oval leaves with numerous closely set parallel veins and deeply pitted, diamond-patterned bark. It is an evergreen tree, salt tolerant tree that originated in the West Indies but has become naturalized in South Florida. This plant is considered to be invasive to mangrove forests and inland hammocks. It is similar to the Alexandrian Laurel which is also naturalized in Florida but is distinguished by it's bisexual flowers with 200-300 stamens and fruit that is 2.5 - 4 cm long. It is a member of the Clusianceae / Garcinia Family.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
The Turkey Oak - Quercus laevis is most easily identified by the small stature in combination with it's twisted petioles, some leaves that are tri-lobed almost resembling a turkey footprint and dry sandy habitat. It is a small deciduous that grows in a typically upright fashion with a narrow crown. It is native to deep, well drained sandy ridges and sunny hammocks. The trees growth range is limited to only Virginia to Louisiana and Florida. The Turkey Oak covers over 9-10 million acres of land in Florida. It is very similar in appearance to the Southern Red Oak.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
The Common Hackberry - celtis occidentalis, is a deciduous tree or sometimes large shrub. It grows primarily in an erect upright fashion with a single trunk and low branching, rounded, broad crown. The branching habit of the Hackberry can range from slender and horizontal to zig-zag or irregular. It is native to stream banks, flood plains, wooded hillsides and often found in areas that are moist from 0-1800 m. In the North they can be found from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Maine, in the South from North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, West through Wyoming, Colorado, Arkansas, Northern Oklahoma and Northern Texas.
T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
The Mountain (Fraser) Magnolia - Magnolia fraseri is most easily identified by the combination of gray colored trunk, leaves that are eared near the base and hairless buds and twigs. It is also referred to in some areas as the Mountain Magnolia. Native to rich woods and cove forests from 300-1520 m, this species is confined mostly to the Southern Appalachians, found in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Northern Georgia. It is similar in appearance to the Pyramid Magnolia and is often only distinguished by the native range and habitat.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
The genus Eugenia (Stoppers) - Eugenia is made up of approximately 1000 species distributed throughout the tropical areas worldwide. Only six species occur in North America. Four of these species are considered to be native and 5 are found only in the far South-Eastern portion of the United States. The five species found in North America are Eugenia axillaris, Eugenia foetida, Eugenia confusa, Eugenia uniflora, and Eugenia rhombea. The Eugenia/Stoppers are evergreen shrubs or trees with opposite, simply shaped, leathery leaves. The flowers are generally bisexual with 4 petals and 4 sepals each, they can be found clustered or individually depending on the species. The fruit is in the form of a rounded berry with either 1 or 2 seeds, the top of each berry appears to have a crown shape from the remains of the calyx.
Friday, November 13, 2020
The Bald Cypress - Taxodium distichum is a large conical shaped deciduous tree with a domed top. Though it is thought by many to have the appearance of an evergreen most times of the year. Sadly people who are not familiar with this variety of tree will think the tree is dead when the leaves fall off and may rush to remove it. Generally found growing wild in swamp areas and flooding river plains. They are native to much of the Mid to South Eastern United States and planted widely as an ornamental.
Thursday, November 12, 2020
The Mahaleb Cherry - Prunus Mahaleb, is the only Cherry that grows in the Eastern portion of North America with primarily rounded or circular leaves. It is a small deciduous tree that only reaches heights of 25-35 feet tall. It was originally introduced from Eurasia and has become naturalized along roadsides, fields and vacant lots from 0-1000 m. Found in the Eastern portion of the United States from Massachusetts, New York and Ontario in the North, South through North Carolina and and Oklahoma. It is also found established in scattered areas in the West.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
This one is a common sight this time of year, with lovely red fire like coloring the Burning bush - Euonymus alatus is a well loved addition to many fall landscapes.
Monday, November 9, 2020
The Lilac Chastetree - Vitex agnus-castus was originally introduced from Eurasia but has naturalized through the South and Middle to South Eastern United States. It is found from Southeastern Pennsylvania and Kentucky in the North to Florida and Texas on West through California in the West. It is distinguished by the combination of palmately compound, 5 parted leaves, and lavender flowers. It is a deciduous strongly aromatic shrub or small tree that reaches heights of 10-25 feet on average and grows in an erect form. Generally a single trunk but sometimes found with multiple stems, a rounded crown that is dense in shape.
Friday, November 6, 2020
The West Indian Mahogany - Swietenia mahagoni, is best recognized by the fissured brown bark, leaves with curved leaflets and large fruit capsule. It is a evergreen or semi deciduous tree that reaches heights of 50-85 feet and grows in an erect fashion with a broad crown. It is native to subtropical hammocks, commonly grown in private gardens, along roadsides and in highway medians in South Florida. The Swietenia is a small genus of only 3 species distributed in tropical West Africa and tropical America.
Thursday, November 5, 2020
The Sour Orange - Citrus x aurantium is a small evergreen shrub or small tree that reaches heights of only 10-30 feet tall. The Sour Orange has been naturalized in Florida, Georgia and Texas, but originated in southeastern Asia and South Sea Islands (Fiji, Samoa, and Guam). Sour Orange is grown in orchards settings only in the Orient/various other parts of the world where its special products are of commercial importance, including southern Europe and some offshore islands of North Africa, the Middle East, Madras, India, West Tropical Africa, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Paraguay.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
The American Beech - Fagus grandifolia can be most easily identified by the combination of smooth gray to almost blue gray bark, coarsely toothed leaves and elongated torpedo shaped buds. It is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of near 100 feet if given the right location and ideal growing conditions. Generally growing in an erect upright fashion with a single main trunk and broad open crown. Native to rich woodlands, moist slopes and deciduous forests the American Beech can be found growing from New Brunswick and Ontario in the North South through Texas and Florida between 0-1250 m. It is believed that the best specimens are found growing in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys where growing conditions are ideal.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Ever wonder how freshly ground wood chips can benefit your gardens at home. Check out this documentary on the benefits of using wood chips in your organic gardens. Not only to they help provide you with improved soil conditions but they help conserve water.
Monday, November 2, 2020
The "Dragon's Claw" or "Corkscrew" Willow - Salix matsudana - is a cultivar of the Chinese (Babylon) Willow. This cultivar grows very fast from cuttings made from the youngest (and often most curly) shoots. It is considered medium to large in size and is a deciduous tree that grows in a primarily upright fashion. Chinese Willow's have a relatively short lifespan, estimated between 40-75 years in the wild. The Chinese Willow is a Native of Northeastern China. It has been planted heavily as an ornamental in the United States, Europe and Australia, so is seen often outisde of it's native area.