An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

July 31, 2012

A Plant Geek in South Florida - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Part II, Fruit, Flowers and Freaks

Although I was totally amazed by the trees at Fairchild, there were many other items fighting for my attention.

I am not sure which banana this was, but I loved its flower.

Banana (2)


As you might expect there were also many bromeliads.


Bromeliad and Setcreasea

The plant combo above was part of a much larger landscape, looked over by tall Bismarkii nobilis.

Fairchild Landscape (2)

Flame Violet (Episcia cupreata)

Episcia cupreata

Japanese Lantern (Hibiscus schizopetalus)

Hibiscus schizopetalus



Gold Finger Plant (Juanulloa aurantica)

Juanulloa aurantica

Cannonball Tree (Couroupita guianensis)

Couroupita guianensis (4)

This waterlily had good company in the form of some Chihuly sculpture.


Chihuly in the Water

One of my favorite parts of Fairchild was the Madagascar garden. The thorny trunks on the left belong to Pachypodium lamerei.

Pachypodium lamerei (2)

I am not sure what this was lying on the floor of the rainforest garden.

From the Rainforest

Wax Jambu (Syzygium samarangense)

Syzygium samarangense

The size of jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) would make any man tree feel proud.

Artocarpus heterophyllus (2)

African rainbow lizards were all over the garden, and they are also starting to show up on Florida's ever-increasing invasive species list.

African Rainbow Lizard

This will end our visit to Fairchild Gardens, but if you would like to see more photos click here for my complete set. 

Up next from Florida, I enter a world far more foreign and exotic to me than any tropical garden - I go to a shopping mall.


  1. A shopping mall? Ew. hahahaha
    That Canonball bloom looks like something that should live under the sea. Love seeing those exotic blooms.

  2. Really nice angles and shots from around the garden. They are such alien looking forms like the banana. The lizard is cool. Thanks for sharing your walk.

  3. Ha! Funny guy. What a neat bunch of exotic flowers. Are you sure you weren't in the tropics on an island somewhere?

  4. Wow, what spectacular plants. I do love that banana tree flower and the water lily is stellar. There are so many invasives in Florida; makes me wonder what will be left. gail

  5. I am hypervntialting over your photos......OMG...I am going to try to paint the water lily...dont worry I wont sell anything.....the plumeria ,the hibiscus..all.....I wish you could teach me....sigh ...tell us about your camera!!!

  6. Hi Les.

    Great images from a great garden. I was there a few months back and really enjoyed looking around. The new research center they are constructing is going to be quite something, and how about those glass sculptures!

    Glad you got to go...hope it was not too humid,


  7. The lizard is a pretty one, too bad they are invasive. I agree, the banana flower is unique and beautiful.

  8. The banana bloom wins the gold medal, hands down! Have really enjoyed drooling over your amazing pictures of the beautiful Fairchild Tropical Garden. Thanks for the "escape."

  9. What a gorgeous garden! It looks like shots from the movie Avatar, that lizard especially. I'm still savoring my vacation too. I like how you've broken yours down into separate posts.

  10. Amazing! Because your photographs are so fantastic!

  11. Love the flowers! Lovin' the tour, Les!

  12. Les, that cannonball tree flower (?) looks like something from under the ocean.

    Your photos are wonderful and things are incredibly lush there.

    Thanks for touring me around the gardens.

  13. Thanks for the tour. I think I like the photo of the goldfinger flower best. Just right. One can only sigh about all the invasive species--the boas seem the scariest.

    shopping mall? be careful!

  14. Janet,
    The canonball tree was so cool. It looked like a typical tree at the top, but clinging to the lower trunk were vines that the flower bloomed on, but it was all one plant.

    Yes there were lots of aliens in the garden.

    South Florida is an island, Ocean on one side and a vast wetland on the other.

    I think it will end up being survival of the fittest when it comes to species conflict.

    You are welcome to paint the waterlily and sell it if you want. Just let people know what your inspiration was. I have a Nikon D5000 with a standard lens. I also run my photos through Photoshop, mainly to crop, but somtimes to tweak colors just a little.

    I remember you post about Fairchild. You also posted about Bonnet House which promted me to visit. Humidity is not a problem for me, it is what I am accustomed to.

    He was not the only lizard there, but it was the flashiest, though a little shy.

    You are quite welcome. I was not after any medals, it is just a joy to play.

    I had to break mine down in seperate posts. If I showed it all in one there would be way to many pics and computers would crash like an Indian power grid.

    Dirt Woman,
    Thank you very much. Have you ever been to Richmond, Va.? There was a person who managed a parking lot on Grace St. and he was a fixture on the very colorful street. He was known as Dirt Woman. That's not you is it?

    Thanks! Two more Florida posts remain.

    It was indeed lush. The tour bus has a couple more stops.

    Hoover B.,
    The goldfinger had no ID tag that I could find, and I thought I would not be able to find its name. My first day back at work my co-worker shows me a Logee's catalog and guess what had the coveted cover photo?


  15. I stopped in the other day, but got interrupted and did not get a chance to leave a comment. I just wanted to come back to say how amazing these images are!

  16. So.........oooo Beautiful! These flowers seems to be exotic flowers. Amazing photography! Thanks for sharing this post.