Sunday, March 2, 2014

Flowers of Ft. Lauderdale

Florida 2014
Passiflora sp. (Passifloraceae); Butterfly World, Coconut Creek

As yet another winter storm heads towards this way, threatening not only several inches of snow but temperatures into the low teens, I'm still thinking about my vacation in Ft. Lauderdale last weekend!  Here are some of the tropical and subtropical flowers I've seen there.

Florida 2014
Jatropha multifida (Euphorbiaceae); Butterfly World, Coconut Creek

Florida 2014
Vireya (Rhododendron sp., Ericaceae); Butterfly World, Coconut Creek

Florida 2014
Calotropis gigantea (Asclepiadaceae); Butterfly World, Coconut Creek

Florida 2014
Ruellia brittoniana (Acanthaceae), Ft. Lauderdale

Florida 2014
Jatropha integerrima (Euphorbiaceae), Wilton Manors

Florida 2014
Pachypodium sp. (Apocynaceae),Wilton Manors (photo of the entire plant here)

Last year I found these capsules on a a spiny vine growing in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park; clearly a legume of some kind that I later identified as Caesalpinia bonduc, a pantropical species whose large, hard seeds are spread by water:

Caesalpinia bonduc
Caesalpinia bonduc (Fabaceae), Ft. Lauderdale

Two years ago we came across this courtyard in Palm Beach that was practically engulfed in Bouganvillea, which is planted all over south Florida for its brightly colored, almost fluorescent flowers (technically bracts);

Bouganvillea (Nyctaginacae), Palm Beach

Begonia odorata 'Alba' is commonly cultivated as a container plant, and sometimes directly in the ground:

Begonia odora 'Alba' (Begoniaceae), Palm Beach

But one of my all-time favorite flowers of southern Florida is Clerodendrum quadriloculare, a beautiful but weedy winter-blooming species that our motel's owner told us was invading from a property next door:

Clerodendrum quadriloculare
Clerodendrum quadriloculare (Lamiaceae), Ft. Lauderdale

Finally, a few photos from my very first trip to south Florida in 2005.  I had been invited to give a talk at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and decided to start out in Ft. Lauderdale and explore a bit of the rest of the state.  On our way to Naples to visit with my parents, we stopped at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, one of the true gems of southern Florida.  That first trip inspired Dan and me to start vacationing regularly in Florida, and we've traveled there every winter since then.

Solandra maxima
Solandra maxima (Solanaceae), Fairchild Tropical Gardens, Miami

Thunbergia grandiflora
Thunbergia grandiflora (Acanthaceae), Fairchild Tropical Gardens, Miami

Seemannia sylvatica 
Seemannia sylvatica (Gesneriaceae), Fairchild Tropical Gardens, Miami

Uh-oh, I'm dreaming of vacation again...



  1. Beautiful and colorful! Love them all!

    1. Thanks, it was a nice break from this awful winter!