Under The Jakfruit Tree

This week’s featured plants are two native asters in the Smphyotrichum genus. Symphyotrichum dumosum (Rice Button Aster), is a mounding herbaceous plant native to eastern North America. In Florida, it is present in most of the state, but most noticeably absent from Hendry, Palm Beach, and Broward counties. The three counties just south of Lake Okeechobee. It occurs in drier prairie and grassland habitats. This Aster has pale lavender blossums, which are present in the fall and winter months in South Florida. The flowers attract Skipper Butterflies and honey bees.

Symphyotrichum carolinianum (Climbing Aster), is a woody vine/shrub, also native to eastern North America. It also occurs in almost all of Florida, except the western most Panhandle counties. Unlike its cousin, this aster grows in the wetlands of Florida. The flowers are very similar in size and color to the Rice Button Aster, and they also attract Skipper Butterflies and honey bees.

If you desire some color in the fall and winter months, these plants are for you and are available at Richard Lyons Nursery.

Under The Jakfruit Tree

It is peek flowering season for one of the more colorful shrubs in the South Florida landscape, with an unusual common name. I am referring to the Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow shrub (Brunfelsia grandiflora). While it starts blooming in late September or early October, and continues into the springtime, mid-November thru December really is at its most spectacular.

Now, for an explanation of its common name: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is referring to the three color phases of each flower. This gives the appearance that the shrub has three different colors of flowers, but in fact, every flower starts out purple, fades to lavender, and then to white before falling off. That is why, you only see white flowers on the ground. Since flowers continue to bloom each day, you do in fact see three different colors at the same time. Yesterday they were purple, Today they are lavender, and Tomorrow they will be white. By the end of the day, all of the white stages of the flowers fall to the ground. Each flower blooms for approximately three days.

Richard Lyons Nursery currently has this shrub in stock.

Under The Jakfruit Tree

I went past a Bixa orellana (Lipstick Tree) tree in a golf cart planted at Richard Lyons Nursery and couldn’t help but notice how spectacular this tree looked. Bright red seed pods against dark green heart shaped leaves, and beautiful pinkish lavendar colored blossoms,

The tree is native to northern S. America, Central America, and Mexico. The bright red seed pods give the tree its common name, Lipstick Tree. The seeds are the source of annatto, a natural orange-red dye. The ground seeds are used in many recipes throughout its growing region.

Richard Lyons Nursery has this tree currently in stock.

Under The Jakfruit Tree

This week’s featured plant is a very attractive palm tree. Chambeyronia macrocarpa (Blushing Palm, Flame Thrower Palm, or Red Leaf Palm) as you can see has at least three common names that I know of. It’s endemic to the island of New Caledonia, which is east of Australia and north of New Zealand. It is a solitary palm tree attaining a height of 20-25 feet. Its uniqueness and common names arises from the fact that its new frond is orangey red in color. This persists for about 10 days before gradually turning a somewhat shiny green with a length of 10-12 feet long.

Richard Lyons Nursery currently has this palm in stock.

Under The Jakfruit Tree

It’s that time of year again when the red firespike is blooming and the ruby throated hummingbird has migrated from the north searching for nectar in its flowers. Some of the hummingbirds are content staying in South Florida for the winter, while others make a quick stop before continuing on to points farther south. At any rate, if you want to attract hummingbirds, the firespike shrub is a must have.

Richard Lyons Nursery has the red firespike in stock along with the purple firespike, which blooms a tad later than the red one. Hummingbirds don’t show any preference toward the color however.