Articles

Plant of the Month – December 2017

Erin Porter, Landscape Architect PLA

It’s that time of year again. Time for holiday parties, lights and music, and to search for something stunning and rare for a treasured collection. Pick out the perfect shade of red lipstick and get ready…. for December’s plant of the month!

The gorgeous lipstick palm, or red sealing wax palm, is a rare and exotic multi-stem palm with striking red crown shafts that is a collector’s delight. This palm is slow growing and is only propagated by seed. Native to the swamps and rain forests of Malaysia, this colorful palm is quite sensitive and can be difficult to keep happy. Personally, I am loving our cool weather this week, but the lipstick palm will not.  Unless you are in Miami, consider planting the lipstick palm in a pot and bring it inside for these chilly Florida nights. The lipstick palm likes the temperature to be above 60°.

SOURCES:                            

http://realpalmtrees.com/palm-blog/k-o/lipstick-palm-cyrtostachys-renda/

http://www.palmtreepassion.com/lipstick-palm.html#.WjL2-bmWzcs

http://www.palmpedia.net/wiki/Cyrtostachys_renda

http://www.florida-palm-trees.com/lipstick-palm-tree/

                                                     

Plant of the Month – November 2017

Erin Porter, Landscape Architect PLA

I am often asked for a plant that is low maintenance, is drought tolerant, and flowers.  The native blue Porterweed is one of my favorites and not just because we share a name.  This plant has a sprawling nature and whimsical flower spikes that suggest a cottage garden feel.

The blue Porterweed prefers full sun and does not require much water once it is established.  The small delicate flowers are a nectar source for many pollinators, butterflies, and hummingbirds. If the plant gets too large or full of woody stems, cut it back hard in the spring and the blue Porterweed will grow back with fresh new leaves.

SOURCES:

http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/stachytarpheta-jamaicensis

http://www.regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/plantdetail.asp?tx=Stacjama

http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/Hort/GardenPubsAZ/Blue_porterweed.pdf

Plant of the Month – October 2017

Erin Porter, Landscape Architect PLA

Look out! A bat!   The spooky yet stunning Black Bat plant is a showstopper in any collector’s haunted house.  Native to Southeast Asia the bat plant prefers a humid environment with lots of moisture and lots of air flow.  In the wild it hides in the dark understory waiting to scare those who dare to enter its preferred shady environment.  The 12” wide flower is actually a very deep purple with large bat-like wings and lengthy whiskers.  The sinister and striking flower will appear several times a year and should be left on the plant until the bloom fades into the mists of the underworld. The Black Bat plant is not a large plant and can be grown in a container as well, try trapping it in a shallow planter with rich, well-drained soil to show off your unique new creature.  Happy Halloween from Cotleur & Hearing!

 

SOURCES:

http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/giam/plants_and_grasses/flowering_plants/bat_flower.html

https://www.logees.com/black-bat-flower-tacca-chantrieri.html

http://www.seedsofeaden.com/ornamental-plants-k7/how-to-grow-the-bat-flower-tacca-chantrieri-b153.html

Plant of the Month – September 2017

Erin Porter, Landscape Architect PLA

All of us at Cotleur & Hearing sincerely hope that everyone weathered Hurricane Irma well and made it through with minimal or no damage to yourselves or your homes.  Many of you probably have at least some damage to landscape, particularly palms and trees.

This month we are featuring the aptly named Hurricane palm, or Princess palm.  This pretty palm has large, long, feathery fronds and is slow growing.  It is native to the Mascarene Islands, west of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, but is almost extinct in its natural habitat. These palms prefer warm humid air and don’t tolerate drought well, which makes them perfect for South Florida.  They are well suited for strong winds and the salt air. Consider the Hurricane palm if you are in need of a new palm for your home or office landscape. Stay safe the rest of hurricane season 2017!

SOURCES:                               

http://www.palmpedia.net/wiki/Dictyosperma_album

http://www.palmbeachpalmcycadsociety.com/palms/documents/DictyospermaAlbum.pdf

http://www.florida-palm-trees.com/princess-palm-tree/

Plant of the Month – August 2017

Erin Porter, Landscape Architect PLA

This August we are featuring the Red firespike. This bright burst of red color is a wonderful addition to a butterfly garden as an attractor of hummingbirds and butterflies. Red firespike blooms best in full sun, but is a unique choice where a bit of shade is present, as it will continue to bloom in a shady garden. Red firespike can also be used to make an impact as a background plant in a mass under taller trees or palms. The plant can be cut back several times a year to maintain shape, but is easy to maintain in an informal arrangement. Planted in groups the outer shrubs will help to support the sides of the somewhat floppy outer branches. Red firespike is a non-native plant, although there is a native variety (Odontonema callistachyum) that has purple flowers and will grows to a bit larger size.

SOURCES:

http://www.south-florida-plant-guide.com/firespike.html

http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/ornamentals/firespike.html

https://floridata.com/Plants/Acanthaceae/Odontonema+strictum/214

Plant of the Month – July 2017

Erin Porter, Landscape Architect PLA

The Livistona rotundifolia, or Roundleaf fan palm, is a pretty palm with a smooth, ringed trunk and round canopy. The roundleaf fan palm would make a nice addition to a residential yard as a specimen or near a driveway where space is limited. The Cotleur Hearing transportation team recently used this palm on the interchange of Indiantown Road and I-95. The palms shown in the photos can be seen marching down Toney Penna in Jupiter as well. While these palms were difficult to come by for a time, there has been a recent resurgence in the marketplace. Consider one as a singular statement or an ordered row on your next project.

SOURCES:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep009

http://www.dasignsourcebotanicals.com/plant_details.cfm?id=435

Betrock’s Reference guide to Florida Landscape Plants, Timothy K Broschat, Alan W. Meerow

Plant of the Month – June 2017

Erin Porter, Landscape Architect PLA

It sure has been rainy lately in South Florida! A perfect time to highlight one of our beautiful Florida native plants.  The Swamp Lily is a lovely plant that can be found along ponds, swales, wetlands, and residential rain gardens.  The clumping white and pink flowers have six petals on long green stalks, are several inches across, and have a fragrant smell. They are typically grown in masses for greater visual impact and can be used in coastal communities as they have moderate tolerance for salt exposure.

SOURCES:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp154

http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/ornamentals/swamp-lily.html

https://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/crinum-americanum/

Plant of the Month – May 2017

Erin Porter, Landscape Architect PLA

All winter the plumeria has been a bare-branched structure hiding in the corner of your yard. Do not remove them thinking they are dead! As summer approaches, we are now rewarded with clusters of gorgeous plumeria flowers starting to bloom. You will likely recognize the flower of the plumeria as it is used in traditional Hawaiian leis, but did you know that many varieties also have a lovely fragrance? Plumerias come in many colors and varieties and are easily propagated by cuttings. Many people become plumeria collectors due to their ease of propagation and a desire to collect all the colors and aromas.

Plumerias are a true tropical plant and will add a great accent to any sunny yard. They are easily maintained as a small shrub for small spaces, and when left alone they can grow into small trees. If you are in North Florida, be sure to protect them from the colder temperatures in the winter months. There is so much to learn about the Plumeria. Please look at the references listed for even more information.

 

April 2017 – Plant of the Month

Erin Porter, Landscape Architect PLA

If you like butterflies, then this is the plant for you. The Passion Flower Vine comes in many varieties, most often with purple flowers and the most common variety is Passiflora incarnata. The variety ‘Lady Margaret’ has a beautiful reddish-purple flower. The flowers bloom throughout the year and are well known for their beautiful and intricate architecture.

The Passion Flower Vine hosts the Gulf Fritillary butterfly and the Zebra Longwing butterfly and several other varieties visit the flower to drink the nectar. Remember, along with butterflies come caterpillars! The Passion Flower Vine prefers full sun, will die back in a hard freeze and return the following season. This climbing vine uses tendrils to attach itself to a trellis, fence or espalier system you have in your garden.


SOURCES:

http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/ornamentals/passion-flower.html

http://collier.ifas.ufl.edu/CommHort/CommHortPubs/Passionflower%20Vines[1].pdf

http://www.sharonsflorida.com/passion-vines-native-to-central-florida.htm

 

Plant of the Month – March 2017

Erin Porter, Landscape Architect PLA

The African tulip tree is a showy bloomer in the winter and early spring.  Large clusters of 3”-4” orange flowers cover the canopy of this dense shady tree.  Native to equatorial Africa, this tree prefers full sun and will grow rapidly, although it will get much larger in its native homeland.  The wood of the tree can be weak, making wind a concern and trimming important. Interestingly enough, the wood of this tree is also somewhat fire resistant and is used in items such as bee keeper bellows.

SOURCES:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st600

http://www.richardlyonsnursery.com/african-tulip-tree-spathodea-campanulata/

http://floridata.com/Plants/Bignoniaceae/Spathodea%20campanulata/882