Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, in Miami, Florida, is named for plant explorer David Fairchild (1869-1954) who traveled the world as a USDA scientist in search of plants of potential use to the American people, bringing back hundreds of important plants, including mangos, alfalfa, nectarines, dates, cotton, and bamboos. This 83 acre garden showcases tropical and subtropical plants from around the world, including one of the world’s greatest living collections of palms and cycads. Enjoy some pictures of just a few of the many wonderful flowers that were in bloom there on the last day of March:
Justicia sp. (L), Turnera subulata (C), and Holmskioldia sanguinea (R).
Trees: Pseudobombax ellipticum (L), Bombax ceiba (C), and the bromeliad “Spanish moss”, Tillandsia usneoides hanging in trees (R).
Vines: sky vine, Thunbergia grandiflora (L), Solandra grandiflora (LC), and jade vine, Strongylodon macrobotrys (RC). Ornamental banana, Musa ornata (R).
Calathea burle-marxii ‘Ice Blue’ (L), bat flower, Tacca chantrieri. (C), and Alpinia rugosa (R).
Orchids: red and white Phalenopsis (L), Cattleya guatemalensis hanging in a tree (C), and the tiny, coconut-scented Maxillaria tenuifolia (R).
Euphorbia punicea (L), Aglaonema sp. or hybrid (C), and variegated terrestrial bromeliad (R).
Butterflies in the Wings of the Tropics: 3 postman butterflies, Heliconius melpomene (top L), cydno longwing, Heliconius cydno (bottom L), tiger longwing, Heliconius hecale (top LC), tailed jay, Graphium agamemnon (bottom LC), blue morpho and paper kite in flight (RC), and paper kite, Idea leucone (R).
Fauna in the garden: Agama lizard from Africa (L), dragonfly with patterned wings (LC), white ibis (C), a 1/2 inch wide spiny orb weaver spider, Gasteracantha sp. (RC), and green anole (R).