Some folks are fond of saying that Miami doesn't enjoy the change of
seasons. Not so! Seasonal changes are more subtle here, but they are
marked by the flowering of our native and exotic ornamental plants.
Here are a few of the flowering plants you might see in the Gifford
In the early spring,
Bombax ceiba produces spectacular, almost other-wordly flowers. The
similar flower of another member of the Bombacaceae (Pseudobomax
elliiptica) graces the Gifford Arboretum logo. (t shirts and
tote bags are available!)
(Lonchocarpus violaceus) could be considered our Florida version of
the lilac. It blooms profusely in the autumn, bearing large, soft
clusters of very fragrant blooms.
The Yellow Elder
(Tecoma stans) is a small, shrubby tree that bears spectacular,
fragrant flowers in spring and autumn. The aroma of the flowers is
strangely reminiscent of those little marshmallow chickens you get in your
This tropical beauty
(Costus sp.) is one of many specimens in our understory monocot
garden. Expect to find gingers, heliconias, Bird of Paradise and many
other colorful genera.
Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) bears tiny clusters of lavender
flowers, very attractive to local butterflies, in late spring. Late
summer and autumn sees a bounty of shiny purple berries which are an
important food source for local avian fauna such as mockingbirds, orioles,
bluejays and migratory perching birds.
pulcherrima is sometimes called the "dwarf poinciana" because of its
resemblance to its larger cousin, the Royal Poinciana (Delonix
regia). In the West Indies, this beautiful little tree is sometimes
known as "The Pride of Barbados." It is excellent for attracting
butterflies to a garden.
(Cassia alata.) is so-named for its tubular, erect inflorescences
which appear in late summer, and persist through the middle of autumn. It
is an important food source for larval sulfur butterflies, and hence is a
good addition to any butterfly garden.
herbaceous shrub is our only native representative of this large, tropical
genus. The flowers, which appear in early spring, are attractive to
hummingbirds and butterflies. In summer, the plant bears black pods
containing shiny, red seeds which are poisonous to mammals.
(Hamelia patens) bears numerous cymes of bright orange, tubular
flowers for most of the year. It is a favorite nectar source for native
Heliconius butterflies, which can usually be found fluttering among
the firebush's branches. This plant is common in hammocks, coastal dunes
and shell middens throughout southern Florida.
We hope you'll come search out our many other interesting and beautiful
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