Front Cover
 Title Page
 Back Cover

Group Title: Bulletin
Title: Landscape plants for Florida homes
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089064/00001
 Material Information
Title: Landscape plants for Florida homes
Series Title: Bulletin
Physical Description: 120 p., 12 p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Watkins, John V ( John Vertrees )
Publisher: State of Florida, Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1956
Subject: Landscape gardening -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Plants, Ornamental -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by John V. Watkins.
General Note: Unchanged except in illustrations, from the 1955 ed.
General Note: "September 1956".
General Note: Includes index.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089064
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AHW9381
oclc - 01908977
alephbibnum - 001657679
lccn - a 57009215

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Full Text
L v~-t





Associate Professor of Horticulture,
University of Florida
NATHAN MAYO. Commissioner


Wild Honeysuckle near Quincy

Bkr^orI I

Bulletin No. 106 September 1956





Associate Professor of Horticulture
University of Florida


NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner

Bulletin No. 106

September 1956


Landscape plantings in Florida have come of age. Gone
are the front yards of clean-swept earth, the hard-packed grass-
less backyards, the fenced-in suburban homes. In their places
are some of the most effectively planted and expertly main-
tained small home grounds in the world, and as a result, our
state claims some of the most beautiful and home-like com-
munities to be found anywhere in the nation.
In the 1930's there began a trend in garden planning and
building that has led to this near perfection evident in so
many Florida home grounds. Due to many complex factors.
such as pride of ownership, the garden club movement, the
influence of home and garden magazines. and the institutions
of higher learning through their extension efforts and the gradu-
ation of young people trained in horticulture and in landscape
design, Florida has become notably garden conscious.
Most home owners like to putter around in the yard and
they find satisfaction in planning, planting and maintaining
their own home ground. They have long since learned that
gardening is a healthful, engrossing hobby. It is for this ever
increasing number of home gardeners that this bulletin has
been prepared.
Sound principles in the use of plants are the same whether
one lives in Miami or Minneapolis, Tallahassee or Topeka,
whether one's property is large or small, whether the exposure
is north or south. It is true that the kinds of plant materials
will vary with the region and the spirit of no two gardens will
be identical, but fundamental concepts of good planning are
the same regardless of locale. A unified, harmonious land-
scape scene may result from good composition, and this implies
that the forms of order-repetition, dominance, sequence and
balance are present. Perhaps it might be well to recall a
definition: "Composition is the orderly organization of parts
into an harmonious whole." Just as a good painting, a winning
flower arrangement or a beautiful interior depends upon the
ordered relation of its elements, the successful landscape is the
one which is skillfully composed.
Modern Florida homes are usually low and compact and
more or less centered on level, rectangular plots, and so, it is
best to use landscape plants sparingly, but to choose them care-
fully. Stiff hedges and ornate beds have no place around to-
dav's modern homes.


John Watkins

Bougainvillaea, podocarpus and eugenia combine to make a beautiful
portal planting.



The architecture of the dwelling will influence the disposi-
tion and kinds of plants as well as the materials of construction
of walls and walks. It is considered good design to project
the lines of the house out-of-doors so that they become integral
parts of the garden itself. With houses of masonry, major
walls may extend to enclose carports, patios, service areas, or
game lawns. Here the material, texture and color of the house
is repeated harmoniously out-of-doors.
Doors and windows serve as frames for garden pictures
that are viewed from within the house, and for this reason they
must be considered when arranging the landscape plants.
The public area embraces the ground between the dwelling
and the street and serves as a setting for the house. This should
be simply planted to present a dignified picture. Usually a
few trees or palms to frame and to cast shadows, and a re-
strained base planting for transition and surface decoration,
are all the landscape plants that will be needed. As perma-
nent features, these plants may well be the choicest and most
costly in the landscape scheme. It is these plants that create
the setting for your home and you can well afford to expend
thought upon their selection and time and effort upon their care.
In southern Florida tropical settings are desirable and so
palms, yuccas, century plants, flowering tropical vines, euphor-
bias and cacti are widely employed. Palm shadows cast upon
walls and upon the turf contribute to the feeling of the tropics.
For houses which stand upon piers a continuous planting
of evergreen shrubs is essential, as the open space below the
floor is best hidden. However, when a dwelling is built on a
slab just two steps above the ground level a few choice speci-
mens as accents and for wall decoration may be carefully
arranged, and in places the house may be allowed to merge
into the land, unadorned. Simple, restrained plantings are
the vogue today, as there is a trend away from the heavily
planted foundations of a decade ago. Many of these older
plantings have grown well beyond their allotted space to hide,
almost completely, the small houses they once complemented.
In Florida, as elsewhere, there is a notable tendency to
use some species too frequently. In the northern section the
general use of fast-growing, inexpensive wax privet makes for
mediocrity; in the southern part of the state there is a tendency
to over-use the ABC planting. namely, aralia, bougainvillea.


and croton. All of these are excellent plants, when planted as
strong accents, hut they are often employed too extensively.
Growing out of the old backyard which all too often was
a catchall for poultry houses, fuel piles, incinerators, garbage
cans and other utilitarian items of household equipment, is the
largest part of the modern residential property and this is called
the outdoor living room or private area. This section assumes
the closest relationship with the family and their guests, and it
is used for relaxation, for entertaining and for parties.
In its modern development with attractive borders and
open central area an outdoor living room is especially useful
in Florida where it is possible to spend so much time out of
doors. A side of the house with proper base plantings of ever-
green shrubbery will serve as one boundary, possibly the garage
or ell of the house will become another and the two remaining
sides may well be planted with carefully chosen evergreen
shrubs. The objective is to create an attractive barrier that
will exclude objectionable scenes and assure privacy within.

John Watkins
An attractive outdoor living room enclosed by informal
shrubbery borders


Where space permits, the most popular method of enclos-
ing the outdoor living room is an informal shrubbery border
that has interesting bays and promontories and planned se-
quences in foliage color and texture. Perhaps five or seven
plants of feijoa might merge into a group of six wax privets,
which, in turn, would have as neighbors, four oleanders. The
planting distance in this type of layout may be four to six feet
each way and the shrubs are set in groups, rather than spotted
singly or alternated. The individual plant is subordinated
to the total effect in this sort of planting. This simulated
hedge row, completely informal or naturalistic, has wide appeal
as an enclosing device. In such an arrangement, annuals,
perennials and bulbs are set in drifts or beds in the shrubbery
bays so that their colorful blossoms, as strong accents, serve
as points of interest.
A service area or drying yard is wanted by some home
owners, particularly if there are small children in the family.
This, the smallest sub-division of the modern suburban property,
should be near the driveway, carport and kitchen.
Shrubs are planted to screen the service area from the
outdoor living area and the street. The plant materials used
to enclose the utility yard must be tall and narrow in habit
so that they will occupy a minimum of space. They must
be evergreen for permanent effect and they must be resistant
to pests, drought and cold, so that maintenance may be kept
to the minimum.
The aralia, in its many horticultural forms, is valuable for
southern Florida, while wax-myrtle and upright ligustrums are
approved in the northern and western parts of the state. Some-
times, hardy, evergreen vines trained on chain-link fences are
used to screen the service area.
A backyard compost bin should be a part of every well-
planned service area. A fenced bin or walled pit to hold peat,
leaves, lawn clippings, peanut hulls, pruned branches, water
hyacinths and some manure is a worthwhile investment. The
addition of a complete, balanced chemical fertilizer is recom-
mended as an aid to decomposition and to fortify the end
product. Garden magazines carry advertisements of special
chemicals that are designed to speed the making of artificial
manure. As fresh material is added, lightly sprinkle fertilizer
on each layer of organic matter and keep the pile moist at all


times. At the end of the first rainy season, it is forked over
and the following spring it should be ready for use. In most
cities it is possible to buy excellent, ready-made, acid composts
from landscape nurseries.
Plant food elements are added by the slow decomposition
of compost in the soil, and the environment is favorable for
the growth of friendly microorganisms. When organic mate-
rials become well blended with the soil plant nutrient elements
are held in forms that are readily available to plants. Organic
matter acts much like a sponge, absorbing and holding many
times its weight in water.
Most of our choicest trees and shrubs grow naturally in
forest habitats and for that reason they thrive when their roots
are well protected by thick layers of leaves. It is true that some
palms and succulents come from desert lands, but, for the most
part, the plants Floridians prefer are forest dwellers. Though
much has been written about the benefits of mulch, this gardener
would like to add his word to bring home the fact that this
practice is of first importance in Florida gardening.
An organic mulch lowers soil temperatures during summer-
time, and it conserves heat in winter. A mulch prevents wide
fluctuations much as does the insulation in the attic of your
home. A mulch is very retentive of moisture, yet the fluffy
blanket of leaves allows for perfect aeration so that the moist-
ure-to-air relationship is ideal.
Decaying leaves furnish nutrient materials and organic acids
so necessary to the health of garden plants. Soil under a
heavy mulch is not to the liking of rootknot nematodes, and
this fact alone should be enough to warrant the widespread use
of a permanent organic mulch. Nut grass, crab grass and
other noxious weeds are discouraged by the maintenance of a
heavy leaf blanket and if weeds should start they are easily
pulled from the loose, airy mantle above the soil.
Most gardeners have good results when they maintain a
mulch three or four inches thick. While some writers suggest
that rotted mulch be turned into the earth each spring before
more is added, I am of the firm conviction that it is more
efficient to add fresh material without turning under the old
leaves. Deep spading reduces the feeding roots and thus re-
tards the growth of plants.


High temperature, heavy rains, and rapid bacterial action
cause organic materials to disappear at an astonishing rate in
Florida and so frequent replacement is needed. After the
mulch has been in place for a while the roots will grow up into
it and the sudden removal of this material may result in injury
to a cherished specimen.
In some sections, drainage is a problem of first moment
and adequate provision must be made to draw off water during
wet weather. Most garden plants will not tolerate water-logged
soil. Roots must have air and when the water table rises the
air is forced out and the roots die. Leaf-fall, a hard, knarled
condition of the twigs, debility and death may be indications
of poor drainage.
Florida's coastline, the longest of any state in the union,
is a favored place for vacation homes and certain sections, on
the east and west coasts, are thickly populated. On the Atlantic,
houses are on the sand dunes, or immediately behind them
and, in some towns the entire strip of palmetto and pine barren
between the ocean and the tidewater lagoon to the west is resi-
dential property. Gardens unusual, distinctive tropical in feel-
ing and strongly characteristic of the section are a part of these
seaside homes.
Gardening on the coast of Florida is as difficult as garden-
ing can be anywhere. The outer steep beach exposed to the
full force of the east wind and the Atlantic surf, the ever-
present shell that makes the earth alkaline in reaction, locking
up vital mineral elements, and the sand, devoid of humus are
unsuitable for many inland garden subjects. Fortunately, a
dozen or so plants that grow naturally on our sand dunes lend
themselves to dramatic tropical compositions. In addition to
the species that are native to the coastal sands, several exotics
from desert regions will thrive in this environment. Plants
from similar environments can make harmonious compositions
and their kindred wants reduce maintenance.
On the west coast, dunes are lower; undefined is the line
of demarcation between the shingle and the ridge of sand.
Some houses are built directly on the Gulf beach. The wind
off the Gulf of Mexico is not as strong as that off the Atlantic
Ocean, the air is not so heavily laden with salt. It is generally
conceded that it is a little easier to grow plants on the Gulf
than on the Atlantic.


Many dwellings for permanent or seasonal occupancy are
built on tidal basins. Although these bodies of brackish water
may be known colloquially as rivers, lakes, bays, creeks and
bayous, they are, nonetheless, tidewater lagoons. Man-made or
natural, they make attractive settings for waterfront homes.
Gardens for waterfront homes may be quite simple, and a
few well chosen plants to accent the architecture, groups of
palms for framing and background, a lawn and boundary plant-
ings for privacy will suffice. The private area is usually not
developed in detail as an off-scape over water is always wanted,
so complete enclosure as discussed previously, is not of primary
consideration. Axial lines are usually ignored except in the
most pretentious gardens. Some beach dwellers are content
to have wild front yards more or less sparsely inhabited by
native plants such as sea-oats, beach morning-glory and sprawl-
ing succulents, but many orderly souls feel that they should
have civilized greenswards like those at home.
Ground covers other than grasses come into their own and
interesting effects are achieved with succulents such as fig-mari-
gold, artillery plant, peperomia, or mesembryanthemum.
For exotic shrubs and trees, planting holes must be prepared
with care. Dig oversized holes and fill with a mixture of
hammock soil, peat, leaf mold or compost. A sprinkling of
one of the mineral mixtures from the seed store is long-term
insurance against shortages of the so-called minor elements.
Minor though iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, and
boron may be on fertile soils, major they become in beach
sands. In fact, any of the nutritional elements may really
become limiting factors for many trees, shrubs and flowers.
Choice palms, vines and annuals frequently exhibit the chlorosis,
stunted growth and dead tips that are manifestations of mineral
deficiencies. Plants growing naturally in soil to which they
are endemic will usually get along well without mineral supple-
ments, so this extra precaution is advocated only for exotic plants
on alkaline soil or inorganic sand that has been pumped in.
Palms are so much a part of Florida's seascapes that water-
front homes are incomplete without sereval of these decorative
tropical trees.



Cabbage palm
Coconut palm
Live oak
Red bay
Red cedar
Thatch palm


Pindo palm
Rubber tree
Senegal date plam
Washington palm


Beach morning glory
Bumelia tenax
Century plant
Saw palmetto
Spanish bayonet


Patio is the Spanish word for courtyard. This court, open
to the sky, is surrounded by wings of the house and perhaps
a wall on one side. Originally the enclosing walls were erected
for protection against intruders as well as to divert the hot, dry
winds of southern Spain. Frequently doors from the rooms
opened directly on to the patio, and along one or more sides
covered walkways were used as means of circulation. Purely
utilitarian in earlier days, these roofed walks were long and
narrow and were not used as areas for relaxation and enter-
taining as they are today. Becoming naturally a part of ram-
bling L-shaped or U-shaped houses, the modern room-sized
patio is popular as a part of our design for outdoor living.
The house and the garage may form sides, and doors from
all rooms may open directly into the patio or into a narrow


roofed loggia which is an integral part of it. The fourth side
of the modern Florida patio is frequently left open for a water
view. Sometimes rolling screens of structural glass may close
this open side during cold weather.
Windows and doors may or may not be grilled in present
day examples, but they must look across the court to pleasing
Below are basic requirements of a modern patio.
PAVING: In Florida the following materials are popular
for covering the patio floor: Coralline Key Largo limestone,
brick, glazed tiles, terrazo, Crab Orchard stone, simulated coral
rock or combinations of these. Because of heavy traffic in a
small space, grass will not survive, so its best use is in chinks
between paving blocks.
CENTRAL FEATURE: A well or similar water feature is au-
thentic, but sometimes a group of palms, a specimen banyan
tree or sea-grape becomes the dominant plant of interest. Ar-
tesian water, frequently available in coastal areas, can be
employed with telling effect as a part of the central feature.
City water circulated by a hidden electric pump may bubble
in a central pool, and move rapidly down a tiled runnel and
return through a closed system.
POTTED PLANTS: Dwarf palms in urns, seasonal bulbs,
annuals for winter color and succulents for interesting leaf
form are essential accessories. Wall brackets of wrought iron
are sometimes installed in groups. Orchids, anthuriums, bro-
meliads and other plants are hung in these brackets when they
come into bloom. The tenderest, choicest plants will thrive in
this little enclosed, air-still area where partial shade, humidity
and moisture may be kept at optimum levels.
SHADE: A tree whose foliage serves as a sector of living
roof to cool a part of the patio and the house, but to allow
a sunny corner for chilly days is desirable. This may be a
native palm, a picturesque sea-grape or a dramatic gumbo-limbo.
Plants within a patio are for wall decoration, fragrance
and color interest and must not encroach too heavily upon the
space designed for human occupancy.
Plants for Florida patios must have certain specific char-
acteristics if they are to be successful year in and year out.


They should lend a tropical atmosphere, endure restricted grow-
ing space, be tolerant of dry soils, full sun, high temperatures,
drip from the eaves and, above all, they must be resistant to
Plants that will hug the walls, and never sprawl are the
best to use.
Perhaps a small patio might be adequately planted with
a palm or two for shade and atmosphere, a pair of flowering
vines for wall decoration, a collection of potted plants for color
interest and some flowering tropical plants in iron wall brackets.
Suitable furniture is needed to complete the patio for human


Cabbage palm
Fishtail palm
Paurotis palm
Pigmy date
Senegal date
Sentinel palm
Yellow palm

Flame vine
Golden chalice
Hunter's robe
Queen's wreath
Rangoon creeper

Dwarf lily-turf

Century plant

Annuals in season
Wandering Jew

Floridians are justly proud of their beautiful home land-
scapes and they boast, too, of the superb public gardens that
are major tourist attractions here. Out Route 319 northward
from Tallahassee, is one of the South's most beautiful gardens.


Florida Cypress Gardens

Bananas, tropical aroids and palms stamp this scene
as typically Floridian.


Through the generosity of Mrs. Alfred B. Maclay, the beautiful
plantation, Killearn Gardens, became state property in 1952.
Thanks to masterful planning and a quarter-century of careful
maintenance, this marvelous garden has become one of the most
delightful in the nation. Here may be viewed superb plant
materials at their mature best. Palms, native flowering trees,
massed azaleas and tree-sized camellias are employed with
telling effect. In Tallahassee, also is located Florida State
University, which is noted for its beautiful campus. Here, ex-
cellent well-grown specimens of species that thrive in western
Florida are on display. In Gainesville, on the University of
Florida campus will be found examples of mature plant ma-
terials in approved landscape uses. At all public institutions,
persons in charge of the various plant cultures, will be pleased
to show visitors around and to answer questions.
In St. Petersburg and in Sarasota are admission gardens
in which may be viewed tropical plant materials in specimen
status. Toward the center of the state at Winter Haven is
renowned Cypress Gardens, noted for spectacular horticultural
displays and aquatic shows. Not far away is Bok Tower, a
secluded, restful sanctuary, in which may be viewed some ex-
cellent arrangements of plant material. On the east coast at
Vero Beach is McKee Jungle Garden, a well-known admission
garden that is popular with tourists. On U. S. Highway 1 at
Stuart will be found Mr. Ed Menninger, The Flowering Tree
Man, who will be pleased to show his collection of tropical
trees to visiting horticulturists. In Miami, Bay Front Park is
famous for tropical landscape plants at their mature best. Down
the Homestead road is Florida's most famous arboretum, the
Fairchild Tropical Garden. This tropical arboretum on the
mainland United States, continuously expanding, is destined to
be one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Palms, vines,
shade trees and hibiscus, well-grown and carefully labeled, are
seen here at their best. At Homestead, the State of Florida
maintains a sub-tropical experiment station where excellent
examples of carefully labeled Florida trees are featured. Many
excellent nurseries in all metropolitan areas will welcome
visitors to their grounds.


Despite Florida's heavy rainfall, supplementary watering
is needed during dry spells in autumn and springtime. Estab-
lished palms and trees will survive, but lawns, shrubs and
flowers will need irrigation to keep them in active, healthy
growth. During spring and summer plants need more water
than during cold weather when growth is arrested by lower
temperatures. Yet it must not be forgotten that water is taken
up by roots during cold weather and therefore plants must be
supplied with adequate amount of water at all times.
Annuals need most attention in the matter of watering and
grasses require frequent irrigation for active growth and an
attractive deep green color. Italian rye grass winter lawns need
unusually large amounts of water.
Permanent underground irrigation systems, that can be con-
trolled by a single, easy-to-reach valve, are desired by every
home owner, but lacking this facility, it is desirable to have
spigots arranged so that every part of the grounds can be reached
by one fifty-foot length of hose.
Not only are sprinklers needed to supply water to all parts
of the landscape planting during dry periods, but water under
force is helpful in reducing red spider mites and thrips. Dur-
ing sunny, dry weather these pests can be very injurious to
azaleas, camellias and other choice shrubs.
It is always better to soak the ground thoroughly than to
sprinkle indifferently and often. Light sprinkling encourages
shallow rooting whereas heavy soaking encourages the roots to
strike deep into the earth. During dry periods which may
occur in November-December and March-May, good results are
had by weekly soakings when the hose is allowed to run two
hours in each place before it is moved along. Good gardeners
do not wait for their plants to wilt before irrigating, yet they
are cautious not to over-water because they know that excessive
soil moisture leaches away soluble nutrients and may cause
roots to rot off. Discretion in this, as in all phases of garden
maintenance, is needed.
Contrary to widespread opinion, watering gardens in full
sunshine is not harmful. If it were fatal, few plants would
be growing in Florida. There is less evaporation and water
is utilized much more efficiently if it is applied just before

Elephant Ears and Bilbergia
at Cypress Gardens

A Royal Poniciana in full bloom

A Philodendron at the Florida Nursery
and Landscane Co. at Leeshura


dark. but there is not the slightest danger of burning garden
plants by watering at mid day.

In Florida, landscape plants grow very rapidly and for this
reason frequent systematic pruning is needed.
For the most part, heading in to preserve natural form,
rather than shearing to geometrical shapes, is preferred today.
Standard hand pruners are used to remove robust shoots well
below the contour of the bush. \hen these heavy growths
are severed down close to the ground, multiple growths will
push out from latent buds and produce several twigs of normal
size. Later these fine twiggy growths should be reduced with-
out regular pattern and in moderation, so that the plant will not
display an artificial, barbered look. Pinching, the removal of
terminal buds with thumb and forefinger, should be practiced
all through the growing season to encourage well-branched, com-
pact plants. WXhen terminal growths become woody and firm,
pinching is discontinued to allow flower buds to develop.
The time when shrubs should be pruned will vary with
several conditions. In general, it can be said that spring-
blooming species should be pruned immediately after flower-
ing. Bridal wreath, abelia, hydrangea, oleander and a host
of others fall into this category. Because flower buds are
formed during summertime, blossoms will be sacrificed if the
plants are pruned in late summer. Crape-myrtle blooms on
current season's wood, and it is standard practice to prune this
southern favorite after the leaves are shed in the fall.
Coniferous evergreens and broadleaved species that are not
grown for their blossoms, should be headed back all through
spring, summer and fall when shoots grow out of bounds.
Cherry-laurel, wax privet, wax-myrtle, podocarpus and the
junipers can be lightly headed back periodically during the
growing season so that the plants are kept shapely and compact.
Hedges need frequent shearing from early spring until
autumn to keep them tidy and attractive. Hedge shears are
accompanied by directions which state that trimming must be
done while the new growth is tender and succulent lest the
jaws of the shears be thrown out of alignment. This manu-
facturer's warning, issued in the interests of their products, is


sound horticultural advice as well, because clipped hedges so
trimmed will be kept in best possible condition.

Upon occasion, it is necessary to remove parts of plants
that have been injured by low temperatures. Ornamental
shrubs are not benefited by deferring this work, and so, it is
strongly urged that the job be done within a day or two after
injury has occurred.
Take your pruning shears and nick along a frosted branch
until the incision reveals healthy, green inner bark, then, drop
somewhat below this point and make a clean, slanting cut.
It is good practice to sever injured branches just above a shoot
or healthy bud that points away from the center of the plant.
For small wood, hand shears are used, for larger branches one
should employ a pair of heavy lopping shears, and for members
above an inch in diameter, a sharp, well-adjusted pruning saw
is the accepted implement.
After pruning is complete, all wounds over two inches in
diameter should be covered with tree wound dressing. These
modern antiseptic paints are available under several trade
names at garden supply stores or they may be obtained by
mail order direct from the manufacturers who advertise in the
national garden magazines.
Though we regret the devastating effects of frost in our
gardens it cannot be denied that the periodic cutting back
which must follow not only contributes to the well-being of the
plants that have grown leggy and unattractive, but the overall
appearance of the garden is much improved as well.

Trees are essential to the successful development of any
landscape plan. Careful thought as to suitable kinds is one
of the early steps in the development of a landscape planting.
Suitable trees may be natives that are already growing on the
property or they may be nursery-grown exotic species bought
especially for the purpose. Trees relate the house to the gar-
den and the land to the sky and scale relationship must be care-
fully considered. One must think in terms of mature sizes
rather than of the little container-grown specimens that are


bought in nurseries. In Florida, many semi-tropical species
grow rapidly and assume gigantic sizes in a comparatively short
time. Many of these, too, cast very dense shade under which
it is impossible to grow a lawn. These vigorous tropical trees
are not suited to residential landscaping and their use must
be limited to parks, arboretums and roadside plantings. Ma-
ture sizes will be indicated in the descriptive paragraphs which
Shade is essential in Florida because of the large number
of bright sunny days. Broadleaved evergreen trees may be
chosen if year-round shade is wanted, while deciduous species
are best in some positions so that sunlight may be enjoyed
during the winter.
As suggested earlier, framing is an important function of
trees in landscape design. Trees set toward the property lines
on both sides, rather forward of the house, frame the dwelling
and the garden and give a finish and completeness that can be
attained in no other way. For this purpose, small erect-grow-
ing, broadleaved, woody trees or palms should be chosen for
most homes. Sometimes it is possible to keep existing native
trees for these important positions, and in other cases it will
be necessary to plant framing trees early in the landscape
Two or three somewhat larger evergreen trees set near the
rear property line will furnish a background that gives solidarity
and definition to the landscape plan. Frequently property may
be acquired upon which such trees may be growing.
Hardiness, adaptability to one's soil type, long life, freedom
from diseases and insect pests and resistance to strong winds
are important considerations when selecting trees for home
planting. Some species will be selected for their beautiful
evergreen foliage, others will be wanted for their striking blos-
soms, and there are all-time favorites which are wanted because
of the fruits which they bear. Trees discussed in the paragraphs
following may not possess all of these characteristics, however,
many will serve in the development of the basic landscape plan.
It must be remembered that many trees are protected by
law and cannot be dug from the woods without permission of
the property owner. Every right-thinking citizen will respect
property rights and will ask permission to collect trees before
going into a woodland with digging and pruning tools.


Wild trees, growing in competition with their neighbors,
have far-reaching roots and it is impossible to dig them with
satisfactory, compact root systems. From every aspect it is
more desirable to buy trees from a reputable nursery. A
nurseryman has transplanted, root-pruned, cultivated, fertilized,
sprayed and irrigated his stock and his trees will attain ma-
turity much more quickly than will trees of comparable sizes
from the woods. Today, when container-grown stock is so
widely available, small trees carefully taken from five quart
or three gallon cans are unquestionably most desirable. When
one of these is bought at a nursery, the attendant will cut the
can so that it is a simple matter to set the tree, with intact, un-
disturbed root system upon arrival back home. This system
of growing landscape material in tin cans also extends the
transplanting season in Florida to include every day in the year.
While it is considered best to transplant field-grown trees be-
tween December and February, container-grown stock with un-
disturbed roots, is transplanted successfully at any time.
Even before trees are purchased it is a good plan to prepare
the planting holes so that locations will be ready for the trees
at the right time. Dig holes that are large enough to contain
the sizes which you plan to acquire, place the sandy native soil
aside and fill the hole with a rich, acid mixture of compost
and peat. Into this, mix a couple of handfuls of balanced
commercial fertilizer that has been fortified with trace elements.
This is long time insurance against deficiencies which may occur
upon occasion. When planting trees, whether they be balled
and burlapped, bare root or container-grown, be certain that
they stand at exactly the same level at which they grew formerly.
Too deep planting is harmful in many cases and must be care-
fully avoided. Allow water to flow in gently from the hose as
the soil is shoveled in so that all air pockets may be eliminated
and a close contact may be made between the roots and the soil
particles. Finish with a saucer-like depression and fill this
with water at least once each week that it does not rain.
Newly planted trees have low resistance and so it is recom-
mended that the trunks be protected for the first two seasons.
Beginning at the ground level make a spiral wrap upward until
the branches are reached. Spanish moss, muslin, or paper may
be used and it should be secured at intervals with cord or wire.
After leaves emerge the following spring, loosen the wrap or


allow it to disintegrate gradually. This wrapping is good
protection against sunscald, excessive drying and borers and
it will materially aid trees in recovering from the transplanting
Cutting back to reduce leaf-bearing surface in proportion
to the loss of the roots is very important. Head in lateral
branches at least half their length; perhaps remove some of
the limbs close down to the ground. Do not prune the central
leader, but allow the single terminal growing point to maintain
its dominance.
Newly planted trees will not need to be fertilized during
their first growing season because of the fertility of the soil into
which they were set. However, during the following February,
and annually thereafter, all trees should be fed systematically.
A mixed commercial fertilizer is applied in punch-bar holes
around the tree. Use a heavy crow bar or similar tool to make
holes about 10 to 12 inches deep concentrically around the
trunk and then fill these holes with fertilizer. The number of
holes and the amount of fertilizer to apply will vary with the
species, age, soil type and other factors, but, generally speak-
ing, a pound of fertilizer for each inch in trunk diameter might
be about right. Of course, the holes should be equally dis-
tributed around the tree inside the drip of the branches.
Until shade trees, ornamental citrus and palms are well
established, they should be grown in circles that are kept free
of grass by frequent cultivation. Ordinarily these rings of
cultivated earth may be five to eight feet in diameter, depend-
ing upon the species, the size of the individual, the fertility of
the soil and other factors.
The best tool to use in keeping these circles free of grass
is a sharp, longhandled scuffle hoe, the common goosenecked
garden hoe being second choice. During the rainy season,
shallow cultivation should be practiced every week or ten days
while for the remainder of the year a light hoeing once a fort-
night should suffice. So that feeder roots will not be injured,
the soil must be flat-hoed, that is, the blade must not be allowed
to cut deeper that an inch. Another reason for recommending
the scuffle hoe is that it serves as a good edger to cut the grass
around the periphery of the circle at each cultivation.
It is generally held that mature lawn trees look best when
they grow out of unbroken turf, therefore grass may be allowed


to encroach gradually so that it grows up to the trunks after
five or six years.
Lawn trees should need little pruning, but occasionally it
is necessary to remove crowding, crossing or interfering branches
or those that have been injured by cold or wind. Sometimes
one of two leaders must be reduced so that Y-crotch may be
Sharp, well adjusted pruning saws, hand shears and loppers
are necessary accessories. Smaller branches are headed in
with the hand shears, or removed close to the supporting mem-
bers with the loppers, while the pruning saw is used for larger
wood. Always make a preliminary cut about a foot from the
supporting member. This will prevent the heavy branch from
carrying away a strip of bark when it falls. The final pruning
cut, then, is made very close to the trunk. Painting the wound
with a tree wound dressing or with paint is strongly recom-
mended. This will help prevent checking and will assist in the
exclusion of wood-rot fungi until callus can cover the wound.
Generally speaking, the best time to prune ornamental trees
is just prior to spring growth or immediately after blooming.
Spanish moss, which grows so luxuriantly in parts of Flor-
ida, is harmful and must be removed annually if lawn trees are
to be kept in good condition. This fast growing epiphyte casts
heavy shade, forces growth outward and causes many small
branches to die. The most satisfactory way to remove Spanish
moss is by hand picking but this is laborious, and if there are
many large trees, spraying is preferred. Lead arsenate sprayed
on at the rate of one-half pound to fifty gallons of water will
result in the death of all but about 5 per cent of Spanish moss.
The efficiency of this arsenic killer will be increased if a cupful
of detergent is added to the spray tank. Obviously, high pres-
sure will be needed to kill moss in tall trees. The disadvantages
of spraying for controlling moss are that it is troublesome,
expensive and the garlands of dead moss hang in the tree for
a long time. On the other hand, the disadvantages of hand
picking are obvious and experienced persons know that a heavy
infestation of chiggers or red bugs may result from a session
of picking Spanish moss out of shade trees!
WVhen fruit trees (oranges, avocados, mangos and pecans)
are employed as lawn trees, they must be protected from insects


and diseases just as they are in commercial orchards. Un-
sprayed fruit trees will not look thrifty and clean and they
cannot bear abundant fruits of good quality. Most home own-
ers cannot maintain equipment and hire help that is needed to
apply insecticides and fungicides efficiently to mature fruit
trees, so it is strongly recommended that local grove service
organizations, nurseries, or tree maintenance companies be
engaged to apply spray materials in the approved manner at
the correct time. Your county or home demonstration agent or
the secretary of the chamber of commerce can furnish names
of approved service organizations.
If there is over half an acre in landscaped ground and it is
desirable to do the spraying yourself, a wheelbarrow sprayer
should be used. Single or double wheeled models with iron
rims or rubber tires are available. Hand-operated models are
efficient, capable of producing high pressure, they are easy to
clean and easy to repair as they have a minimum of working
parts. Advanced models have electric motors or gasoline en-
gines to run the pumps.
If the yard is small and you have a yard man, a five-gallon,
brass, knapsack-type sprayer will be a good buy, but if you
must do your spraying unaided, a stirrup pump is good to have.
The spray material is mixed in a water bucket, over the side
of which the intake element of the stirrup pump fits. Fairly
high pressure and satisfactory breakage of the liquid is ob-
tained with these sprayers. Attachments screwed on to the garden
hose will disperse insecticides and fertilizers with minimum
effort on the part of the home owner.
Garden supply houses, retail nurseries, seed stores and
mail order houses carry sprayers of the types mentioned. In
the national garden magazines will be found advertisements
of manufacturers of dependable spraying equipment.
Shade trees discussed in the following pages should not
need regular spraying except as noted specifically in the descrip-
tive paragraphs.

ACACIA (Acacia spp.) 8-50 feet. These showy members of
the legume family are noted for the large numbers of bright
yellow blossoms and are available at nurseries in several species


and varieties. Mostly semi-tropical acacias must be grown in
the southern part of the state.
Propagation is by seeds, as is the case with most legumes.
AFRICAN TULIP-TREE (Spathodea campanulata) 75 feet,
is admired when its bright, orange-scarlet flowers are produced
in sheltered places on Florida's lower coasts. There, it is em-
ployed both in dooryard and avenue plantings. The handsome,
tall evergreen tree, though native to tropical Africa as the
connoinl name suggests, is widely distributed in the American
tropics. This is a prominent arborescent member of the bignonia
family, which is propagated by cuttings.
AL-MOND (Terminalia catappa) 80 feet, is favored for
Avenue planting in tropical cities. Its striking horizontal branch-
ing, smooth, brownish-gray bark, and stiff, magnolia-like leaves
account for its popularity. Principal color is contributed by

BLACK-OLIVE-(Bucida buceras)
An excellent avenue tree or windbreak for the Miami area.


CAJEPUT TREE-(Melaleuca leucadendra)
A beautiful small tree that is outstanding as a specimen, street tree
or windbreak.


the leaves which turn red before being shed. This leaf fall
may be caused in Florida by cool weather, in the Antilles by
the excessive droughts which recur regularly. Though there
are 100 species in Terminalia, T. catappa is the one most widely
seen in the New World tropics. Mr. Menninger has grown a
baker's dozen in his garden at Stuart.
Propagation is by seeds.
BLACK-OLIVE (Bucida buceras) 70 feet. The native black-
olive is in high favor in southern Florida because of its adapt-
ability and great resistance to strong winds. Small leaves are
clustered near the ends of the branches of the symmetrical,
round head. As a street tree, windbreak or lawn specimen,
this tropical evergreen is highly commended to home owners
within its range. Identification may be made by the foliage
described above, spikes of small greenish flowers and downy,
curved, oval fruits.
Propagation is by seeds.
CAJEPUT (Melaleuca leucadendra) 50 feet. A medium-
sized tree of great distinction, the cajeput is a popular lawn
specimen in central and southern sections. The thick, multiple-
layered bark, the strict habit, the small, narrow leaves and the
yellow-white, bottle-brush blossoms all contribute to make this
one of our outstanding ornamentals and make identification
easy. In some areas this Australian tree has established itself
in great cultures which demonstrate its adaptability to condi-
tions in Florida. Other species of bottlebrushes, are popular
ornamental trees or shrubs.
All are increased by seeds.
CAMPHOR (Cinnamomum camphora) 40 feet. Well known
as a beautiful, hardy, evergreen tree, the camphoi is satisfactory
on fertile soils that do not become excessively dry. Identification
is by the camphor smell of crushed.leaves. Unattractive yellow
foliage and an unthrifty condition may be accounted for by a
mineral deficiency in the soil or red spider mites attacking the
leaves. Sulphur dust (325 mesh) or syringing with the hose
are effective in reducing mites, but these controls are seldom
employed for camphor trees. Florida red scale, those rounded
black dots with red centers, frequently attack camphor foliage.
A white summer oil at 2%dilution will give good control. This
type of scalecide is obtainable at your seed store under the trade


name "Volck", "Niagrol", "Linoil" or "Sunoco." Complete
directions for use are printed on the labels. Recently parathion
and malathion have come into use as scalecides but because of
their toxicity to all animal life, precautions are necessary.
As they cast heavy shade and are voracious feeders, it is
usually difficult to maintain a good lawn under healthy camphor


CAMPHOR TREE--(Cinnamomum camphora)
Suitable for any section of Florida:


Camphor trees do not transplant readily, and for this reason
they are container-grown so they may be moved without disturb-
ing the root systems. Seeds, employed entirely for propaga-
tion, are sown directly in these containers and the small plants
thinned to one to each vessel.
CASSIA is a genus of tropical trees rated very high by dis-
cerning gardeners. Cassia fistula, 30 feet (the golden shower),
is popular in southern Florida. Like so many of the legumes,
this tree flowers in early summer and so it is not well known
to some winter residents. Grown from seeds, golden shower
is easy to come by and well worth growing in frost-free sections.
Cassia nodosa, 50 feet, is a beautiful pink flowering tree that
has wide usefulness in many lands where it is a favorite door-
yard and roadside tree. Perhaps, even more beautiful vet is
the gorgeous apple-blossom cassia (Cassia javanica). 40 feet,
rated very close to the top of all lists of worthwhile flowering
This genus, with at least 400 species, has a tremendous
potential for frost-free areas. In the section on shrubs will be
found additional listings in this large plant genus.
CASUARINA (Casuarina spp.) 70 feet and more. Adapted
to the widest possible range of conditions, the casuarinas are
the most numerous trees of southern Florida. C. equisetifolia,
150 feet, the species of open growth, withstands brackish soils
and salt spray and is grown extensively near the seashore as
clipped hedges, windbreaks and high screens. C. cunning-
hamiana, 70 feet, is considered the most hardy and may be
grown as far north as Gainesville, yet here it is killed back
during most winters. C. lepidophloia, 60 feet, more widely
planted than any other species, has an attractive dark green
color, dense habit and produces quantities of root suckers.
These become troublesome in backyard plantings yet they are
used to increase this last kind, while the others are grown
from seeds.
CHASTE-TREE (Vitex agnus-castus) 20 feet. As a small
dooryard tree, the vitex is quite popular because of its attrac-
tive lilac blossoms. The 5-parted, lacy-digitate, deciduous
leaves are beautiful during mid-summer when the fragrant 7
inch lavender spikes appear. A related species (V. trifolia


var. variegata), with white-margined, 3-parted leaves is popular
as a small tree, shrub or clipped hedge. Vitex may be grown
from softwood cuttings during summer. Identification is cer-
tain by the lavender spikes which appear in July.
CITRUS TREES and their allies (Citrus and Fortunella species
and hybrids) are among the most decorative of all of the broad-
leaved evergreen trees known to horticulture. As shade trees,
for backgrounds, framing and as free-standing specimens, the
oranges, tangerines, calamondins, kumquats, and their hybrids
are widely employed in Florida home grounds plantings. In
order that the health and beauty of the trees and the quality
of the fruits may be of the best, a careful spray program (as
suggested on page 23) is essential.
Citrus trees are usually sold as budded specimens and
moved while comparatively small in size. During the winter

AUSTRALIAN PINE-(Casuarina cunninghamiana)
This is the hardiest species of Casuarina.


they are moved with the greatest facility, but small orange trees
can be successfully transplanted during any month in the year.
It is the custom to grow citrus trees in circles that are kept
hoed free of grass. Thus, the trees can be cultivated and
fertilized most efficiently. The turf may be allowed to grow
close around mature, established calamondins, kumquats and
sour oranges that are grown purely as ornamentals. There,
fertilizers are placed beneath the sod in punch bar holes.
COCK-SPUR CORAL TREE (Erythrina crista-galli) 20 feet,
is a woody member of the huge legume family which produces
trusses of coral-red, butterfly flowers in springtime. Killed
by frost, coral trees of all species are recommended for Tampa
southward, however, they serve as renewing perennials in colder
sections. Coral trees are increased by seeds and cuttings.
CRAPE-MYRTLE (Lagerstroemia indica), may be seen as a
shrub and as a tree in all tropical and semi-tropical regions.
Flowering on current growth that elongates after leaves appear
in springtime, the huge terminal panicles of white, pink, red or
purple florets are borne at the beginning of the rainy season.
Widely adapted to many soil types and different climates, this
cosmopolitan tree is justly popular. This gardener will agree
with the Superintendent of Hope Garden in Jamaica in his
statement that the crape-myrtle is one of the finest flowering
species for the tropics. Even more spectacular than the
Chinese species above is the queen crape-myrtle (Lagerstroemia
speciosa) 60 feet, from India and Australia. This is a tree
which acquires a height of 60 feet and has upright growth which
carries large, rough, deciduous leaves. These, which resemble
huge guava leaves, may be as much as a foot in length. The
terminal panicles, up to two feet in length, are produced by
current growth and are made up of gorgeous, crape-paper blos-
soms about three inches across.
Control of powdery mildew on the foliage may be effected
by starting to dust with 325 mesh sulphur at first signs and
continue through the rainy season. Customarily crape-myrtles
are headed back during early winter when the leaves shed.
This makes for heavy bloom, a compact head and heavy, lush
foliage. Suckers which spring up around the trunks during
the growing season must be rubbed off while they are still
tender. If allowed to remain, these suckers are very untidy


and detract from the beauty of otherwise well grown crape-
myrtle trees.
DOGWOOD (Cornus florida) 40 feet. Native to the ham-
mocks of central and northern Florida, the flowering dogwood
is well known and widely planted as a lawn specimen. Graceful,
beautiful, in flower and fruit, small in size and attractive when
not in leaf, this tree is strongly recommended to home owners
within its range. Nursery-grown, grafted trees are suggested
as the best for planting, and protection of the trunk against
borers by wrapping with moss or paper is essential for the first
2 or 3 years until a canopy of leaves is developed.
FRANGIPANIS, American trees or shrubs, which grow to a
height of 15 feet, are much planted in tropical lands for their
delightfully fragrant flowers. Plumeria rubra has 6-inch broad
leaves with conspicuous marginal veins and red, pink or purple
blossoms, while Plumeria alba has leaves half as wide, without
the heavy veins along the edges, and, as the specific name im-
plies, is typically white-flowered. The thick, fleshy, sausage-
like branches support tufts of leaves near their tips and, in
summertime, terminal clusters of spicy blossoms. Much planted
in dooryards and cemeteries because broken pieces root easily,
frangipani is among the most popular of small flowering trees
in tropical America.
My first frangipanis came to me years ago from Hawaii
when a friend went to a great deal of trouble to secure the
succulent, sausage-like cuttings by air mail. Used in the Land
of Aloha for making leis, frangipani is thought of perhaps, as
an Old World plant, when actually, it is native to our own
FRINGE TREE (Chionanthus virginica) 30 feet. The termi-
nal clusters of glistening white blossoms that appear with, or
just before, the leaves in spring are most attractive and account
for the popularity of this small native. In the upper part of
the peninsula and westward, the fringe-tree is successful when
grown in fertile soil. The trees are grown from seeds.
GEIGER TREE (Cordia sebestena) 25 feet. This native of
the Florida keys is coming into its fair share of popularity
with gardeners who live in the Palm Beach-Miami area. Of
slender proportions, the Geiger tree has large, rough, opposite


leaves that make for coarse texture. The showy orange colored
flowers are borne in terminal geranium-like clusters in summer-
GOLDEN RAIN-TREE (Koelreuteria paniculata) 30 feet. Well
deserving its common name, this deciduous tree produces clouds
of golden blossoms in October when garden color is so welcome.
A second show occurs within a fortnight as the seed vessels
mature and develop their rosy-red colors. The dissected, com-
pound leaves fall to allow the winter sun to penetrate beneath.
Seedlings usually occur in great numbers under fruiting speci-
GUMBO-LIMBO (Bursera simaruba) 50 feet. Because of
its bright tan bark that appears just to have been shellacked,
and unusual knarled and bent branches, this native tree is highly
prized and widely planted as a landscape subject in the Palm
Beach-Miami area. Well adapted to this section, the gumbo-
limbo is particularly decorative. Propagation is usually by
seeds but cuttings, even in huge sizes, root easily.
HIBISCUS TREES, in two species, both of which may be as
tall as a three-story building, are worth growing near the
peninsula's tip. Both resist salt and grow in alkaline soils.
Mahoe (Hibiscus tileaceous), well established on tropical is-
lands, has reclining branches and heart-shaped leaves like a
linden. The single hibiscus flowers open yellow with maroon
centers, and turn pinkish before they close at day's end. Velvety
fruits with persistent calyces follow. Tree hibiscus (Hibiscus
elatus) is said to have larger leaves with longer tips, flowers
which are red at first opening, turning dark maroon by twilight.
The fruits, according to Hortus, do not have calyces attached,
and this is the identifying character.
HOLLY (Ilex spp.) 15-50 feet. Beloved by all, the holly
has come down through the ages as one of the most popular of
all evergreen trees. Thirteen species are native to Florida and
of these, six are classed as trees. Horticultural varieties of
these and several exotic types that grow well here are offered
by nurseries. Good soil of acid reaction, an even supply of
moisture are requisites for success. The berries are borne on
pistillate trees and, to insure an abundance of fruit, one should
be certain that a staminate tree of the same species grows in


J r I

-Sesiia~ *"e~ -': r-r~ '----* -


White and green Bananas with Poinsettias,
Bird of Paradise, Water Lilies and Bougain-
villea at Cypress Gardens

~r'23-l *rflY

:4 t~

Formosa Azaleas, Spirea Ligustrum and
-.".. L 81.. L.- Z vN-. w- --....


the neighborhood. Hollies are protected by law and must not
be collected without permission of the property owner. When
everything is considered, cutting-grown or grafted, true-to-name,
heavily fruiting trees from a nursery are much superior to
those dug from the woods.
Our leading native species is the American holly, Ilex opaca.
Some trees bear leaves that have but one tiny thorn at the tip,
while others have leaves that are heavily armed with many
spines. The latter type more nearly approaches the traditional
English holly, so variieies with armed foliage are most popular
for clipping at Christmas time. Horticultural varieties of the
American holly that bear spiny leaves are Croonenburg, Lake
City, Savannah, Howard and Taber No. 4. East Palatka fruits
heavily every year, but as the leaves are almost smooth, this
variety does not closely resemble the English holly type. It
is free fruiting well down the peninsula and is grown from
cuttings taken in May or June.
Another native species of interest is the dune holly, Ilex
cumulicola. Thriving on the light sand of interior dunes, this
small tree has merit and certainly should be more widely grown.
Attractive upright habit of growth, thorny leaves, heavy bear-
ing and the ability to thrive on light sands are characteristics
of this good tree. Typically the leaves are quite heavily armed,
as is the commercial variety Fort McCoy, but occasionally an
individual with ahnost smooth leaves is found.
The dahoon holly, Ilex cassine, which grows throughout the
state, may be classed either as a shrub or a small tree, in cultiva-
tion it is usually the latter. This species has long, narrow, un-
armed leaves and small red berries that are borne in dense
clusters. As the dahoon prefers moist soil and will endure
inundation, it is useful in gardens that experience occasional
high water.
While the three are the principal tree hollies native to
Florida, several oriental species have become popular here.
Perhaps the most spectacular of all is the very beautiful, heavy-
fruiting Japanese holly, Ilex rotunda. Introduced three decades
ago by the Bureau of Plant Introduction, this striking tree has
demonstrated its ability to thrive in our state. Because of rapid
growth, its extra heavy clusters of bright red berries and beauti-
ful evergreen foliage, this Japanese holly is one of the most
useful of the genus.


Propagation of tree hollies is accomplished by rooting
JACARANDA (Jacaranda acutifolia) 50 feet. This is central
Florida's most spectacular flowering tree. In springtime the
trumpet-shaped blue flowers make a never-to-be-forgotten dis-
play. Native to South America, this large sprawling tree with
fernlike, deciduous leaves demands little attention save for
careful planting and adequate moisture during the first few
years. Jacarandas are grown from seeds.
JERUSALEM-THORN (Parkinsonia aculeata) 30 feet. The
lacy foliage, pendulous habit, attractive yellow blossoms and
green bark of the Jerusalem-thorn make it quite unusual and
attractive. For all parts of the state, this graceful little hardy
tree is of great ornamental value and is highly recommended.
Seeds from mature brown pods may be sown directly in con-
tainers so the roots of the young trees will not be disturbed in
KAPOK TREE (Ceiba pentandra) is the standout in tropical
locations from the aspect of grandeur. Growing to fantastic
heights, with huge buttressed trunks, this giant is spotted at
once by all travelers to warm countries. When the leaves are
gone clusters of small white or rose flowers appear, later to be
followed by the fruits which bear the kapok of commerce.
Every tropical metropolis (Miami, Nassau, Havana, Kingston)
has its famed ceiba tree that is adequately exploited as a tourist
attraction. The mammoth kapok is too large for home plant-
ings and must be restricted to municipal properties where it
may assume its mature stature of one hundred twenty-five feet!
LIGNUM-VITAE (Guaiacum officinale) 25 feet, is a small,
slow-growing tree that has foliage of fine texture, a very com-
pact round head, beautiful small blue blossoms and bright
yellow fruits. All of these characteristics combine to make the
lignum-vitae a tree of great distinction and of more than ordi-
nary -usefulness for small residential properties. It is native
in Caribbean islands and up into the Florida keys.
Lignum-vitae grows very slowly from seeds.
LILY-THORN (Catesbaea spinosa) 15 feet. Indigenous to
southern Florida, this little tree can be used when fine scale is
indicated. The branches are wiry and heavily armed with


sharp spines about an inch in length. In late summer the
creamy-white blossoms are produced in profusion. Lily-thorn
is grown from seeds.
LOQUAT (Eriobotr)u japonica) 30 feet. Over most of the
state a favorite dooryard tree is the loquat. The attractive.
dark, evergreen leaves, the decorative, delicious fruit and its
small size commends the tree to home owners. Easily and
quickly grown from seeds, this Chinese fruit tree can be had
by everyone.
Unfortunately, loquats are host to fireblight, a disease which
may cause branches to die back for a considerable distance.
Infected branches must be cut back well into healthy wood by
sterilized shears as soon as the disease is discovered. Tools
used for this work must be sterilized by dipping in alcohol after
each cut is made.
While they will succeed and produce good crops of luscious
fruit under light cultivation, a heavy mulch of leaves, compost
or peat is ideal for loquat trees.
MAGNOLIA (Magnolia grandiflora) 100 feet. Justly famous
throughout the South, this native is one of our choicest trees.
Evergreen, trim and graceful, the tree is highly desirable at
any time of the year, but in springtime, the huge, creamy-white
blossoms put the magnolia in a class by itself. Choice varieties
are grafted but the species increases naturally by seeds. From
Gainesville westward the deciduous oriental magnolias (M.
liliflora, M. stellata, M. soulangeana, and others) succeed if
given fertile, acid soils and adequate moisture. Deciduous
magnolias are increased by leafy, softwood cuttings taken in
Magnolias, of all classes, are forest dwellers, and thrive
with a thick, spongy blanket of leaves and twigs over their roots.
While clean cultivation is satisfactory, an organic mulch is
preferred. Most serious pest is magnolia scale, a large, turtle-
shelled scale insect that succumbs to 2 percent oil emulsion.
Magnolias may be secured as balled and burlapped speci-
mens from nurseries in late winter and early spring, and moved
during that season with complete success.
MAHOGANY (Swietenia imahogani) 60 feet. The native
mahogany is frequently to be seen in the Miami area as a street


tree. Although evergreen, the tree does not cast dense shade
and lawns can be grown under it quite well. Mahogany pro-
duces seeds in great abundance which germinate and grow
MANGO (Mangifera indica) 50 feet. While essentially a
fruit tree, the mango is very ornamental and is much used as a
street tree and lawn specimen from Vero Beach around the
coast to Tampa. Seedlings will grow easily and rapidly, but
improved varieties, purchased as grafted trees, are strongly
recommended because of the superior quality of their fruits.

MAGNOLIA- ( Magnolia grandiflora)
This is a ,oung specimen of the South's favorite tree.

;: Ir~--~-~IIClhZI~Q,~ ~nrsc- rIn
fli..,.. r


Insects and diseases must be controlled by an adequate
spray program (pages 22-23) and a mulch of leaves and grass
clippings, and 3 annual feedings are recommended for choice
budded stock.
MIMOSA TREE (Albizia julibrissin) 40 feet. The mimosa
tree is so much at home here that it has become naturalized.
It is popular because of its small size, horizontal branching and
attractive, pink, globular blossoms which are borne for a long
period each springtime. The graceful, fern-like leaves are
produced in March-April. Propagation is by seeds, and growth
is rapid even under trying conditions. For the first two or three
years, clean cultivation will encourage strong growth. there-
after, the mimosa tree will succeed in turf. As this is written.
there are no serious diseases or insects to guard against in
Florida, although cottony cushion scale, may, upon occasion.
attack trees which lack vigor. Volunteer seedlings are found
under old trees.
MORETON BAY CHESTNUT (Castanospermum australe) 60
feet. This is a tall tree that has attractive, evergreen, pinnate
leaves and showy racemes of yellow flowers in springtime.
Highly thought of bv those who possess it, the Moreton Bav
chestnut should succeed on good soils of acid reaction in warm-
est sections of the peninsula.
Propagation is by seeds, which incidentally, earn the tree
its name, as they are edible when roasted.
MOUNTAIN-EBONY. ORCHID-TREE (Bauhinia spp.) 6-20
feet. For the warmer sections this spectacular tree is unsur-
passed when a small flowering specimen is wanted. All of the
species, B. monandra, B. variegata, B. purpurea, and others
which are available are well worth growing as lawn specimens
for Orlando and southward. They have deciduous leaves that
are cleft in two parts like the hoofs of cattle, and attractive
Bauhinias are easily grown from seeds, but as they do not
transplant readily, it is suggested that the seeds be sown directly
in expendable containers so that the small plants can be trans-
ported and set without disturbing the roots.
These diminutive trees will not grow thriftily nor will they
bloom profusely if hea\v turf covers their roots. Clean culti-


ovation or a mulch of leaves together with 2 springtime feedings
will assure healthy growth.
OAK (Quercus spp.) 100 feet. Several native species have
been extensively planted as street, roadside and shade trees.
Their complete adaptability is beyond question and they are
resistant to disease, 'insects and drought. Some thirty species,
both evergreen and deciduous, are credited to Florida and these
range in size from the dwarf running oak to the giants of the
hardwood hammocks.
The most desirable species is the live oak (Quercus vir-
giniana), identified by deeply corrugated gray bark of main
trunk and structural branches and by the thick, rough leaves
that are shiny above and downy beneath, with inward rolling
edges. This well known tree has the longest useful life of all
southern species and does not reach senility and break up when
less than fifty years old as may the laurel and water oaks.
True, it grows less rapidly than the others, but, given good care,
its rate of growth is satisfactory and, at the half-century mark
it does not present hazards to public safety and necessitate
costly replacement. It is suggested that moss be removed an-
nually either by spraying with lead arsenate or hand picking
so that normal growth will not be impaired. This clean-up,
together with annual feeding of young live oaks is all the care
that is needed.
Trees can be collected from the woods or grown from acorns.
PINE (Pinus spp.). Native to our state and thriving under
most trying conditions, the several species of pines are without
superiors for home grounds plantings. Where lofty, narrow-
topped trees that cast light, broken shade can be used, the native
pines will serve well. To break the direct rays of the sun over
azalea or camellia beds and for backgrounds, these coniferous
trees are unexcelled.
Transplant very small seedlings during midwinter or at the
beginning of the rainy season and retain a ball of soil of suffi-
cient depth to encompass all of the far-reaching taproot.
If mature pines exist on your building site, be certain that
stout protective barriers of 2-inch lumber be built around them
so that it will not be possible for the contractor to pile building
materials or drive heavy trucks over the roots close to the


Lrunks. Unfortunately, many valuable pine trees are fatally
injured by construction crews.
PONGAM (Pongamia pinnata) 75 feet. One of the best trees
for street and windbreak planting because of its strength, this
Australian tree is highly recommended. Beautiful and fast-
growing, the pongam is well adapted to conditions in southern
Florida where it seeds abundantly. These produce seedlings
easily. Identification is by the drooping branches, pinnate
leaves and pinkish, pea-like flowers in pendant clusters.
REDBUD (Cercis canadensis) 40 feet. Always popular be-
cause of its delightful spring color, this small native tree is
widely planted as a front lawn specimen. For the best soil
types that occur in northern Florida, the redbud cannot be too
highly recommended. The beautiful pink pea-like flowers,
which precede the leaves in springtime are well known to all
residents of northern Florida. The trunks of newly transplanted
specimens should be wrapped, rings of lightly cultivated earth
should surround the trees and an annual application of a bal-
anced fertilizer should be made in punch bar holes as suggested
on page 21.
Propagation can be accomplished by sowing seeds, but
nursery-grown trees of improved types are grafted.
ROYAL POINCIANA (Delonix regia) 40 feet. This, Florida's
most spectacular tree, is tropical in its requirements and is
found only in the warmest sections. The lacy, compound leaves
appear in springtime, and as the rains commence, the flaming
orange-red trusses are produced. To visit Florida's southern-
most cities in June-. ly is a rare treat as then, the flamboyant
trees are at their best. Usually increased by seeds, there are
color variants from the orange-red type.
RUBBER TREE (Ficus spp.) 80 feet. This genus, contain-
ing several hundred species, is well represented by many orna-
mental kinds in tropical Florida. Typical of most species is
rapid growth, great size and aerial roots that drop from the
larger branches to form multiple trunks. F. benjamin, the
weeping laurel, is favored as a beautiful avenue tree; F. elastica,
is the huge, big-leafed India-rubber tree; F. religiosa, is the
sacred bo-tree. Other interesting and worthwhile species are
widely available and much used in southern Florida. All tropi-


cal Ficus trees require much space for full development and
are not recommended for small properties. All of the rubber
trees are increased by cuttings.
SAPODILLA (Achras zapota) 50 feet. This is a beautiful
evergreen tree native to the American tropics that has found
a congenial home and a host of admirers in the Miami area.
The brown, sandy-skinned fruits are edible and latex yields
gum chicle from which chewing gum is manufactured. Highly
thought of as a lawn specimen or shade tree, the sapodilla is
widely planted within its climatic range. It is notably tolerant
of salt-laden winds of considerable force.
Trees are easily grown from seeds.

ROYAL POINCIANA-(Delonix regia)
Southern Florida's most spectacular tree blooms in the summer.

SATINLEAF (Chrysophyllum oliviforme) 60 feet. This small
native tree is well named because the under sides of the leaves
are a soft, glistening, copper color. For the warmest places,
this indigene is a distinctive and worthwhile lawn specimen.
Propagation is by seeds.


SEA-GRAPE (Coccoloba uvifera) 20 feet. Native to the
coastal dunes, this stout, much-branched, small tree is frequently
seen as a landscape subject in its native habitat. Utterly distinc-
tive in appearance, because of its contorted branching and its
stiff, circular, red-veined, 8-inch leaves, the sea-grape exerts
a strong tropical influence and is much appreciated in resort
areas. Summertime dividend is the abundance of purple fruits
which are decorative and excellent for jelly as well.
Propagation is by seeds which are found singly in the
purple fruits.

John Watkins

Rubber tree,- often haxe \e(r- attractive branching.


Tabebuia is a genus of American evergreen or deciduous
trees to which botanists ascribe a hundred species. Mr. Edwin
Menninger, the flowering tree man, has several species growing
in his experimental plantings at Stuart. He extolls the merits
of this group as he has great faith in its future in our state.
Generally producing terminal panicles of trumpet-shaped flowers
and behaving well on poor soils that may be deficient in moist-
ure, this large genus of bignoneaceous trees promises much for
gardens and municipal plantings in frost-free sections. Best
known, perhaps is silver trumpet-tree (Tabebuia argentea), 25
feet, with stiff awkward branches, deciduous compound leaves
and yellow trumpet flowers in showy clusters.

John Watkins

Sea-grape is one of Florida's best landscape plants
for seaside planting.


TAMARIND (Tamarindus indica) 75 feet. This massive tropi-
cal fruit tree is quite ornamental and is frequently seen toward
the tip of the peninsula. The leaves resemble those of the
black-locust. the pods contain an acid flesh that is used in ades
and sauces.
Propagation is by seeds.
TORREYA (Torreya taxifolia) 50 feet. One of the rarest
of Florida trees, this member of the yew family, is to be found
only in a restricted area on the banks of the Apalachicola
River. The cone-shaped crown is made up of drooping branches
furnished with sharp, evergreen leaves, which have a distinc-
tive odor when crushed.


Acacia .....-------------.... --- 23
African tulip-tree ..----...--. 24
Almond .............. ..... 24
Black-olive -..-.. .......- 26
Cajeput ...--------............----- 26
Camphor .--.....--......-----.... 26
Cassia -..--..---.....------. 28, 75
Casuarina --...........---....-. 28
Chaste-tree ......------... ..---- -- 28
Citrus trees ..----------...-- . 29
Cock-spur coral tree -..... 30
Crape-myrtle ....-.........- 30
Dogwood .............. .--- --- 31
Frangipani ..........-.......... 31
Fringe-tree ...--............... 31
Geiger tree ...-------- ----- 31
Golden rain-tree ...-----....... 32
Gumbo-limbo .......-.----..... 32
Hibiscus trees .........-- 32, 82
Holly ....................- 32
Jacaranda ......--- .......-- 34
Jerusalem-thorn 34

Kapok tree .......
Lignum-vitae ...
Lily-thorn .....
Loquat ..........
Magnolia .........
Mahogany ...
M ango ..---.......
Mimosa ......----
Moreton Bay ch
Oak ....-
Pine -.. .
Pongam .....
Redbud .........
Royal poincian
Rubber tree -...
Sapodilla ..--.....
Satinleaf .......-
Sea-grape .....
Tabebuia ...-..
Tamarind ......

...- ..........- 34
....-...- ..... 34
. -...........-. 34
.............. 35
-.....--.-- 35
-.-.......... 35
...... ... 36
.......... .. 37
estnut ..-... 37
............... 37
.. ----.. 38
...... .. 38
......-.... 39
......... 39
- -- 39
a ...........- 39
.............. 39
--............. 40
..........-.. 40
-..-...-...- ... 41
-.-...-....~. 42
............. 43
..... 43


Nowhere in the continental United States is it possible to
grow the wide variety of palms that can be successfully culti-
vated in our state. Mainly tropical in distribution, these grace-
ful trees do much for Florida's distinctively different landscape.
Many native and exotic species, varying from dwarfs of a few
feet to magnificent trees which attain a height of 100 feet, are
widely employed with telling effect in this semi-tropical tourist
land. They are appreciated for their full worth, and yet there
are thousands of homes that boast no palms, many others that
might be enhanced by additional specimens.
Palms may be used in many ways in landscape plantings.
Species in varying heights can be so planted as to form attractive
groups; they may be used as enframement and background for
the home, but the most telling way that palms can be employed
is as avenue trees. Tall, clean-growing, single-trunked speci-
mens, planted at 25-30 foot intervals on either side of an avenue
make a picture that is not soon to be forgotten.

Palms may be transplanted at any time of the year, but
the beginning of the rainy season is most favorable. Then,
root action is most rapid and the plants rally from the trans-
planting operation most quickly.
Several weeks before you plan to move a palm, prepare the
planting hole as described on page 20.
Palms are transplanted in all sizes from small seedlings to
finished landscape specimens; size being limited only by the
mechanical equipment that is at hand to transport the trees.
The size of the root ball is much smaller, in proportion, than
that habitually taken with a typical woody tree. In fact, the
roots are chopped a foot or so out from the trunk.
It is well known that palm roots will emerge higher and
higher above the crown and, therefore, it is common practice
to set palm trees slightly deeper than they grew. Use good
judgment as it is easy to plant too deeply. Too shallow plant-
ing is dangerous and must be avoided.


When the palm is in place (slightly deeper than it grew)
fill with the fertile soil that was taken from the enriched hole,
allow water to flow in from the hose to eliminate air pockets
and to make a good contact between the roots and the particles
of soil. Finish the job by tramping to firm the soil and then
build a saucer around the tree to hold water. Once each week
that it does not rain, fill this depression with water.
Because of the drastic reduction in the volume of roots,
it is accepted practice to remove the leaves at transplanting
time. Tie the uppermost leaf stems around the bud as pro-
tection. Every effort must be made not to harm this vital
structure. When a large palm is felled, it must be guyed so
that it does not fall hard and harm the bud.
Palms over eight feet in height should be firmly braced.
Three 2 x 4's spiked to the trunk at one end and then firmly
secured to "dead men" in the ground are the most satisfactory
braces. If these timbers remain in place for about 18 months
a heavy root system will have been built to hold the palm against
-trong winds. Choice exotics may be braced each autumn as
routine protection.

DI)arf palms are valuable as patio subjects and lawn specimens.


Young palms will grow rapidly to attain mature landscape
size if they are encouraged by proper cultivation and fertiliza-
tion. As already discussed on page 21 it is a good plan to keep
a circle of clean earth around your young trees for the first
few years. Cultivate a five-to-seven-foot ring frequently with
a scuffle hoe, allow the hose to run slowly for several hours
(all night is better) once a week during dry spells and fertilize
in punch bar holes several times during the growing season.
Palms that have been neglected can usually be reconditioned
by filling rotted cow manure into post holes that are dug at
intervals around the trunk.
Most palms are particularly resistant to diseases, insects
and drought, and once they become established, the lawn can
be allowed to grow up around the crown and little routine
maintenance is required.
Several species of the genus Phoenix together with the pindo
palm are likely to be attacked by the palm leaf skeletonizer.
This destructive insect despoils the leaves by its feeding during
the warm months. In order that damage may be kept to a
minimum, an arsenical spray, benzene hexachloride, or DDT
with an adequate spreader should be applied at intervals dur-
ing the spring months. Fronds that have been made unattractive
by the palm leaf skeletonizer should be promptly removed with
a pruning saw or pole pruner.
Palms are increased by seeds and by division. As soon as
they are ripe, the seeds should be sown in beds, pots or boxes
of fertile soil. Cover the seeds to a depth approximating their
diameter and cover the whole with one thickness of burlap.
This moisture will conserve moisture and discourage birds
and rodents. In winter the seed beds must have full sun, but
during the warmer months, they must be protected by cheese-
cloth or slat shade. At the beginning of the rainy season, the
burlap should be renewed so that the seeds will not be washed
out of the soil.
Palm seeds vary greatly in the length of'time required for
germination. Some will sprout in a few weeks, while others
will require as much as one and one-half to two years to come
up. It is quite evident, therefore, that close attention is needed
until the seedlings are well under way.


Seedlings may be potted shortly after germination; they
must be potted before the roots attain much length. Then they
may be set individually in earthen flower pots, felt plant bands,
wooden boxes or discarded refinery cans. The soil used in
these containers should be a fertile organic mixture of slightly
acid reaction.
Coconuts are set in rows and buried only one-half their
thickness, the upper portions being fully exposed. Germination
should be complete in about five months.
Division is the method of vegetative propagation in which
a plant is divided into several units. Species of the Phoenix,
Chrysalidocarpus, Rhapis and Caryota may be so multiplied
when well rooted offsets are seen to be available. If the speci-
men is in a container, it can be turned out and cut into units
with shears or an axe, if it is a lawn specimen, sturdy offsets
several years old can be severed from the old tree with the aid
of a sharpened leaf from an automobile spring, large chisel
or heavy crowbar. The several divisions may be potted or set
directly in the garden where they are to grow.
Temperature, although only one factor that limits the dis-
tribution of plants, is a very important one. Along the coast
from Jupiter to Sarasota, it is possible to grow all but the most
tender of tropical palms, as one progresses northward and in-
land, the list become notably shorter, until, finally, upon reach-
ing the Georgia line, only about a half-dozen species can be
recommended as being fully hardy in all winters.
Hardiness is very important as these plants can be con-
sidered only as permanent elements in the landscape scheme.
Once chosen to serve a definite purpose in a planting, trees must
be hardy in all weathers. The following list contains the most
popular palms arranged by hardiness zones:

groupp A. Tropical palms for warmest coastal positions.
Coconut Sargent palm
Fiji fan palm Sentinel palm
Madagascar palm Silver palm
Merrill palm Plus all of the palms in
Paurotis palm Croup B and C
Royal palm


Group B. Half hardy palms for the lower half of the Florida
Blackburn palm Pigmy date palm
Canary date palm Queen palm
Chinese fan palm Senegal date palm
Gru-gru palm Plus all of the palms in
Fish-tail palm Group C.
Group C. Hardy palms for gardens throughout Florida.
Cabbage palm Rhapis palm
Date palm Saw palmetto
Eropean fan palm Washington palm
Pindo palm Windmill palm

CABBAGE PALM (Sabal palmetto)* 80 feet. The hardiest
of our native palms, this well known species grows well through-
out the state. Tolerant of a wide variety of soil types, salt
spray and brackish water, the cabbage palm well deserves its
universal popularity. Two exotic species of this genus, S.
causiarum from Puerto Rico and S. umbraculifera from His-
paniola are out-sized avenue palms, more tender than our cab-
bage palms, that are sometimes seen in botanical collections.
CANARY DATE PALM (Phoenix canariensis) 60 feet. Hardy
over the Florida peninsula, this huge pinnate-leaved palm has
been widely planted. Because of its massive trunk, low, droop-
ing leaves and its susceptibility to attack by the palm-leaf
skeletonizer it is not recommended as a dooryard tree. Until
it attains some size its branches interfere with traffic and it
cannot be recommended as a street tree. For municipal prop-
erties and large acreages its monumental size is well adapted.
CHINESE FAN PALM (Livistona chinensis) 50 feet. This
is a beautiful fountain palm that has become popular in Florida
gardens because of its attractive leaves and comparatively
small size. Enduring a few degrees of frost, mature specimens
are to be found in several communities of the upper peninsula.
In central Florida, and southward from there, Chinese fan palm
is perfectly hardy, well adapted to soils and climate and grows
like a native.
Nomenclature follows Manual of Cultivated Plants, L. H. Bailey, Macmillan,
New York, 1949.


The giant Royal Palms
at McKee Jungle Gardens-
Vero Beach

Massed Formosa Azaleas at Cypress Gardens


The pretty fan-shaped leaves, deeply pleated, and shining
green, are displayed in attractive fountain arrangement. The
pendulous, once-split leaf segments, bright green leaf-stems
with small, green, curved thorns at their edges, and the absence
of curling, gray filaments characterize the Chinese fan palm
and distinguish it from the more common Washington palm.
Furthermore, the Asiatic species has a more slender trunk that
is prominently ringed and more heavily furnished with brown
fiber around the boots.
In most nurseries, young trees can be bought in egg cans.
Because young plants are injured by hot sun, transplants must
be protected by a lath- or burlap-screen fitted above the foliage.
COCONUT (Cocos nucifera) 100 feet. The native coconut
palm with its tall leaning trunk, immense leaves and spectacular
fruits lends a tropical aspect that can be equalled by no other
plant. As a street tree, lawn specimen or background subject
this palm is unsurpassed and. can be recommended without
reservation to all who live south of Fort Pierce and Palmetto.
DATE PALM (Phoenix dactylifera) 100 feet. The species
that produces the date of commerce is occasionally seen as a
single specimen in Florida, but because of the high humidity
here, edible dates are rarely produced.
EUROPEAN FAN PALM (Chamaerops humilis) 30 feet. This
is Europe's only contribution to Florida's palm flora. Growing
naturally in a temperate climate, this dwarf fan palm will en-
dure temperatures experienced in all sections of Florida.
Although there is only one species of Chamaerops, there
are many varieties, some are true dwarfs, others may attain
heights of thirty feet. Foliage variations, too, are notable.
There is one characteristic which is constant for Chamaerops
humilis, and that is the habit of producing suckers from the
base of the stem. Though variations in stature, foliage and
fruit there may be, European fan palm invariably grows in
heavy suckering clumps.
As an urn subject for terrace or patio this dwarf, fine-scale
palm is popular, as it can be left outside all winter.
Fruits are produced in Florida, from which young stock
can be grown, but an occasional plant to give a friend can be
obtained by carefully dividing off a basal sucker that has be-
come well rooted.


FIJI FAN PALM (Pritchardia pacifica) 30 feet. One of the
most graceful and distinctive of all, this tropical palm with its
beautiful pleated fan leaves folded to wedge-shaped outline
is well thought of in southern Florida. Easily injured by cold
and by strong winds, the Fiji fan palm must be grown in pro-
tected locations.
FISH-TAIL PALM (Caryota spp.). Very satisfactory for the
lower east and west coasts and for the warmest parts of the
ridge section, these distinctive ornamental palms have gained
wide popularity for the curiosity of the pinnae which resemble
the tails of ornamental gold fishes. Caryota mitis (25 feet),
the smaller species suckers readily and may be increased by
separating these small offsets. In addition to its value as a
garden tree, this species is grown in urns for indoor decoration
during the winter tourist season.
GRU-GRU PALM (Acrocomia sclerocarpa) 40 feet. This
unusual palm from the American tropics, with its single massive
trunk and dense crown of soft, feathery fronds, resembles the
well-known queen palm, but it is set apart by the murderous
thorns which grow out from the trunk. These vicious thorns
must be clipped off to a height of seven feet so that all danger
of injury is eliminated. Resembling, as it does, the queen palm,
and growing to comparable height, the gru-gru may serve well
as a free standing specimen, or as a framing tree in the out-
of-door living area of a plant enthusiast.
With good care, young plants grow off rather quickly.
MADAGASCAR PALM (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) 20 feet.
As an urn subject and patio plant, this clump-growing, yellow-
stemmed palm from Madagascar is extremely popular. Because
it requires moist, rich soil and freedom from frost and salt
spray, the areca palm is limited in distribution as a garden
plant. Wherever it will grow successfully, however, it is very
well liked and is strongly recommended. Identification is posi-
tive by the yellow leaf-stems.
MERRILL PALM (Adonidia merrillii) 25 feet. In high favor
in southern Florida for street and lawn plantings, this exotic
species is being substituted for the larger growing royal palm.
The trunk is stoutly erect, tapering toward the top, and strongly
ringed, giving much the same effect as the famed royal palm.
The medium-sized fruit clusters bear fruits, about an inch in


length; these are a bright cherry-red, that glistens in the sun-
light to enhance the tropical scene and to appeal strongly to
Because of its complete adaptability to Florida's southern
tip and the limestone soils found there, and growth that is fast
enough to please most people, as a lawn specimen near a ram-
bling modern house, this small species would be preferred to
the massive royal palm. As a framing tree, and for background,
too, it is equally effective.
PARLOR PALM (Neanthe bella) 6 feet. This diminutive,
feather-leafed palm has become so popular in southern Florida
that nurseries must grow stock rapidly to supply the demand.
Though parlor palms reach a height of 6 feet out of doors
under best conditions of growth, container-grown plants are
nearer half this size. They grow from a slender, ringed trunk
and produce beautiful little feather-leaves with a dozen opposite
pinnae. Narrow, thin, dull green, symmetical in array, these
feather-parts give the palm its charm, which incidentally, is
quite universal in its appeal.
Intolerant of direct sun, bright, reflected light and dust-dry
sand, this plant is best suited to use in containers in the protec-
tion of a patio or screened porch where the environment may
be modified to its needs. Apparently, overwatering can be
harmful too, as can a soil that is severely acid in reaction.
PAUROTIS PALM (Paurotis wright) 30 feet. In high favor
for landscape plantings, this clump-growing, fan-leaved palm
from southern Florida and the West Indies is found as a speci-
men in some of Florida's most beautiful gardens. Paurotis
palm tolerates alkaline soil, salt wind and poor drainage.
Of easy culture, tolerant of reasonable amounts of salt drift,
the principal requirement of the Paurotis palm is freedom
from frost.
Most wild cultures have been depleted, but cultivated speci-
mens are available at some landscape nurseries within the
palm's range.
PIGMY DATE PALM (Phoenix roebeleni) 7 feet. The best
liked of all dwarf palms, this tiny, feather-leaved species, with
petioles typically armed, has many attractive characteristics.
As a pot plant, patio subject or as a part of the landscape plant-


ing, the pigmy date is quite worthy of the high esteem in which
it is held. A partially shaded spot in which the soil is fairly
rich and slightly acid in reaction is to the liking of this plant.
This accounts in part for its wide acceptance as a patio subject
and as a northside plant in the foundation planting scheme.
Subject to several species of scale insects, the pigmy date
should be protected by several applications of a white summer
oil during the winter months. Container grown specimens,
apparently most prone to scale attack, can be covered efficiently
if the foliage is swirled about in a deep container of a 2 percent
oil mixture. For individuals growing in the open ground, the
oil must be applied by a mechanical sprayer, of course.

PINDO PALM-(Butia capitata)
Blue-green leaves recurve sharply toward the ground.

PINDO PALM (Butia spp.) 30 feet. Extremely'hardy, and
therefore capable of being grown in all sections, this South
American palm can be depended upon to succeed in every gar-
den. The pendant, blue-green leaves arise from stout trunks
to arch sharply downward. Because of this low, spreading
habit, the pindo palm requires much space and is not adapted
for planting along streets, walks or in small dooryards. Very
effective in palm groups, however, this type is recommended


for parks and estates. Formerly this palm was erroneously
known in the nursery trade as Cocos australis. Seeds may
require 18 months or more to germinate.
QUEEN PALM (Arecastrum romanzofianum) 40 feet. Cen-
tral Florida's most popular palm, usually called "Cocos
plumosa" is a native of Brazil. Wherever citrus will grow
successfully, the queen palm is highly recommended as an
avenue tree, a lawn specimen, or as a background subject. Here
it serves well as a substitute for the royal palm which is recom-
mended only for the most nearly frost-free sections.

The beautiful queen palm is central Florida's most popular palm.

RHAPIS PALM (Rhapis spp.) 10 feet. This genus is com-
posed of dwarf palms with fine, reed-like canes that form
clumps by means of stolons. Very satisfactory as tubbed speci-
mens, patio plants or as a part of the foundation plantings,
these hardy little palms can be depended upon throughout Flor-
ida as they are hardy to cold, but they must be grown in shady
locations. Propagation is accomplished by dividing old clumps.
ROYAL PALM (Roystonea regia) 100 feet. The massive
tapering, cement-grey trunks, the clean appearance, the bright
green crown shaft, and attractive crown of dark green, pinnate
leaves have universal appeal and make this the most popular
of all palms within the state. Classic examples of the effective
use of the Cuban royal palm as an avenue tree are well known



Royal palms are favored for avenue planting in southern Florida.

v93^' ~. *^JsiC


to everyone who has visited in our southern Florida cities. Indig-
enous to moist, rich soils of Collier County, the Floridian royal
palm (Roystonea elata) is best adapted to such locations. Some-
what taller than the Cuban royal, thickened mostly toward the
upper part, with shoulder at the top, and fruits that are nearly
globular are characteristics which identify our native species.
This species is less widely planted as a street tree than the
Cuban royal, but it is the one seen at the famed Hialeah race-
SABAL PALMS (Sabal spp.). In addition to the native cab-
bage palm several exotic species of this genus are occasionally
seen as specimens. The Blackburn palm (S. umbraculifera)
from Hispaniola and the Puerto Rican Hat Palm (S. causiarum),
both attain heights of 50 feet or so and are characterized by very
stout trunks and huge, grayish, fan-shaped leaves. These are
striking trees that are effectively employed as specimens or for
avenue planting. Sabal peregrina is planted in Key West and
the West Indies.
SARGENT PALM (Pseudophoenix sargentii) 20 feet. Native
to Caribbean islands, possibly, also Florida's keys, this little
palm resembles a scale-model royal palm. To 20 feet in height
with a ringed trunk only a foot thick, the pinnate leaves are
grayish-green and about 7 feet long. Positive identification is
by the branched cluster of orange-red fruits that is sent out
among the leaves. Useful because of its small size and moder-
ate growth rate, Sargent palm is recommended for moist, shady
locations in the area between Palm Beach and Fort Myers.
SAW PALMETTO (Serenoa repens) 3 to 8 feet. The saw
palmettos are thought of as noxious weeds by stockmen and
farmers, but they do have definite landscape value. When one
is building on land on which they grow, clumps can be left to
good advantage as they blend in well both as a foundation
subject and as a member of the informal shrubbery border. A
tree-like form with erect trunk is occasionally found and this
makes an attractive fine-scale specimen palm.
SENEGAL DATE PALM (Phoenix reclinata) 20 feet. A lean-
ing palm that grows in large clumps made up of many slender
trunks finds wide usage as a patio specimen as well as a lawn
tree. This picturesque. easily grown palm, is highly com-
mended for gardens south of Gainesville. Phoenix rupicola


which grows with a single slender trunk is a palm of fine scale
often used in landscape plantings.
SENTINEL PALM (Howea spp.) 35 feet. Formerly called
Kentias in the florist trade where tubbed specimens are widely
employed for decorating, the two species of Howea have be-
come well known. They are occasionally seen as lawn speci-
mens in the Miami area but they have not been widely planted
out of doors in America.
SILVER PALM (Coccothrinax argentata) 25 feet. This slen-
der, fine-scale palm is native to the Bahama Islands, the Florida
Keys and adjacent mainland. The very slender trunk is topped
by a small head of circular fan leaves 2 feet across which are
silvery white beneath. Occasionally used as a landscape speci-
men in that section, the silver palm is distinctive and unusual.
The black fruits of half an inch across, said to be edible, are
used for increasing silver palms.
WASHINGTON PALM (Washingtonia robusta) 100 feet. This
fan-leafed giant of northern Mexico grows very well in Flor-
ida's humid climate where it attains a height of nearly one
hundred feet. Hardy in the peninsula, this monumental tree
finds its greatest use for avenue planting. Identification is
positive by the harsh thorns which are on both edges of the
leaf stalks.
WINDMILL PALM (Trachycarpus fortune) 30 feet. This
is a slow-growing fan-palm from eastern Asia that grows by
an erect trunk which is always clothed with an abundance of
black, hair-like fiber, even after the boots slough off. This
single, hirsute stem gives the little palm a distinctive appear-
ance that makes it highly acceptable as a free-standing specimen
for small home grounds. Sometimes it is worked into informal
shrubbery borders for accent. In northern Florida, and in the
extreme western part of the state, where palms are all too sel-
dom used, the windmill palm has value, and grows in several
gardens there with telling effect.
Windmill palm is the exception to the rule that palms for
northern Florida will grow south too. This Asian species thrives
in the northern tier, yet it does poorly in southern sections and
is not recommended there. It is rare and, very few nurseries
stock the windmill palm.


Cabbage palm ......... ...... .. -- ---..... 48
Canary date palm ......................... 48
Chinese fan-palm ......... .. ....... ... 48
Coconut ........ ..... ................ 49
D ate palm ... ........ . ......... .... ...... .... 49
European fan.palm .. ........... 49
Fiji fan-palm . ......... 50
Fish-tail palm ....... 50
Gru-gru palm -.. ...... ... ... ........ 50
Madagascar palm.... 50
M errill palm ... ....... ...... .... .. 50
Parlor palm ........ .. .. 51
Paurotis palm ...... ....... ..............-..... 51
Pigmy date palm ....... .. 51
Pindo palm .. ....... .......... ...... 52
Queen palm ....... .. 53
R hapis palm ................... ........... ... 53
Royal palm ...... .. .... 53
Sabal palm .... ... ......... ............... ..... 48, 55
Sargent palm .... .. ....55
Saw palmetto ....- ....- .. ........ .................. --55
Senegal date palm . ... ................... 55
Sentinel palm --..--... ..... ................................... 56
Silver palm -- -....-....... .......... ... ................ . 56
W ashington palm ..........-- ... .. ....................... 56
W indmill palm .. ..... .............- .... .... 56




African tulip tree ----
Almond ...........

Black-olive -..--------
Cabbage palm --
Cajeput ......-.....--.
Cassia ......-.....
Coconut -----------....
Dogwood .....----..
Holly ...............
Live oak -------......
Magnolia ..----------
Mahogany ....-----


...-.. 24
-.....- 24
....... 26
.. 48
..-..- ... 26
.. 28, 75
.-.-.-- 49
.. 31
... 32


Mango ......................- .. 36
Merrill palm -.....-.. .... 50
Pongam ......-------------.------- 39
Queen palm ---------- 53
Redbud --- 39
Royal palm .-------------------.. 53
Royal poinciana ------ 39
Rubber tree ............. 39
Sapodilla .-................... 40
Tam arind .----------------... ..... 43
Washington palm ...--------. 56


Acacia --..--.. --------
A lm ond ...-------- .... .. ..... -
Black-olive .....-----....... ......
Cabbage palm --....-....--
Cajeput -.......- ....--- ..-- ..-
Camphor .........------- ... ...-
Cassia .....----- ....... ---- 28,
Chaste-tree .......-----........ --
Chinese fan-palm .........--
Citrus ......----...... .....----
Coconut .... ..----- ...-..... ---
Crape-myrtle .----------..
Dogwood .....------.....-... ----
European fan palm ......--
Frangipani ....- ..... ..-----------
Gru-gru palm .--.........----
Gumbo-limbo ---....-.... -------.
Fiji fan-palm ...--...........
Fish-tail palm -... . ..---....

23 Holly ...--...-.. ...--. ..-... 32
24 Jacaranda .---....-.... 34
26 Jerusalem-thorn ..----- 34
48 Lily-thorn .......... ... 34
26 Loquat .-............. .. 35
26 Madagascar palm ..--------. 50
75 Magnolia ....... .~...-..- 35
28 Mahogany ................. 35
48 M ango .-...--.... ........ 36
29 Merrill palm -...-...... 50
49 Mimosa tree .--------...-... 37
30 Mountain-ebony--------. 37
31 Paurotis palm ---------. 51
49 Pigmy date palm ----- 51
31 Pindo palm ............... --- 52
50 Pongam ..........- ........ 39
32 Queen palm -..-------- 53
50 Redbud ...............-... 39
50 Rhapis palm ------- .. 53


Royal palm -
Sapodilla .-.....
Sargent palm
Satinleaf -.....
Sea-grape ..--


-- ...... 53
..... -- -40
..-- -. 55
-- ... 40
S-.- - 41

Senegal date palm
Sentinel palm ........
Silver palm ....-
Windmill palm ..


Almond ....-...
Cabbage palm
Cajeput ----
Casuarina ....
Coconut .-....
Gumibo-limbo -
Live oak ....
Loquat ........
Magnolia -----
Mahoe ........
Mahogany ---

------... 24
-.....----... 48
----..... 26
-------- 28
1----. 49
-. -- 32
...........- 38
..--... 35
--- 32
....... 35

Paurotis palm ....
Pindo palm .....
Rubber tree --....
Sapodilla .........
Sargent palm ....
Saw palmetto _
Sea-grape --..--
Senegal date palm
Silver palm .....--
Washington palm


Acacia .........
Cajeput .......
Cassia ...-..... ---
Chaste-tree --------
Crape-myrtle --
Dogwood ........
Frangipani .......
Fringe tree .......
Geiger tree ........
Golden rain-tree
Jacaranda ......

.-..-..- 23
-........ 26
.. 28, 75
......... 28
..---... 30
.-...-...... 31
.- 31
..... --... 3 1
......... 31
----- 31

Jerusalem-thorn .-..... 34
Lignum-vitae ........... .. 34
Lily-thorn ........ -- 34
Magnolia --..............----- 35
Mimosa tree ...........-...-- 37
Moreton Bay chestnut -..-.. 37
Mountain-ebony ............. 37
Queen's crape-myrtle -----. 30
Redbud ...........--... ... 39
Royal poinciana ....... 39
Tabebuia ........ --.. .. ....- 42

...... ..--- 55
.... .. 56
...-... .. 56
--.-.----..- 56

..-..-- 51
--... 52
--... 39
....... 40

--.... 55
.. 55
-- 56


Shrubbery is considered an indispensable part of suburban
living today. Through countless successful demonstrations,
through the many useful articles in garden magazines, through
the work of the garden clubs, and by means of superlative plant
material, Floridians have carried this concept through to a state
of near-perfection that was not dreamed of two generations ago.
Generally speaking, landscape material can be set about
two feet out from the house and drip lines of the eaves are
disregarded. When below-floor ventilators are present, in the
rear of the house, carry the plants out in small promontories
to allow for the circulation of air and the entry of workmen.
No plant should be set closer to a choice specimen than five
feet, lest this specimen be crowded out of symmetrical shape.
Planting intervals, for best effects in the base planting,
should be comparatively short. Semi-dwarf species such as
boxthorn, lime-berry and Kurume azaleas may stand perhaps
two feet from their neighbors. More robust growers should
never be less than three feet, and when there is no objection to
a spotty effect for the first season, a four-foot planting interval
may be employed.
Arrange shrubs about on the beds for best landscape effect,
mark around the root balls or containers and then turn out the
soil and commence to plant. Make certain that shrubs are set
no deeper than they grew. If the plants are container-grown
or bare-root, it is easy enough to use the soil line as the depth
gauge, but if the stock is balled and burlapped, there is often
the tendency to cover the collar of burlap around the crown
and, as a result, the shrubs will be set too deep. To avoid this
possibility, cut the roll of burlap away and then the surface
of the original soil can be seen. Set the shrubs. so that this is
very lightly covered when planting is finished. Of course, too
shallow planting must be avoided.
Finish by firming the soil with your feet and soak the entire
bed thoroughly. Run the hose for a couple of hours or so each
week that it does not rain.
For satisfactory growth, lawn grass must be kept out of
shrubbery beds. Frequent, systematic edging is necessary dur-
ing the summer months so that the grass is kept outside the


drip of the outer branches. If this is carefully attended to, dan-
ger of injuring shrubs with the lawn mower will be eliminated.
Shrubs will grow best under a mulch of oak leaves, peat,
pine straw or compost. Clean cultivation, with a sharp scuffle
hoe is acceptable for the most robust species, yet mulch is pre-
ferred for choicer kinds.

An attractive outdoor living room enclosed by informal
shrubbery borders.

Because most shrubs that we grow in Florida prefer a slightly
acid soil, the beds or planting holes should be well prepared
some weeks in advance of planting.
First remove all concrete and mortar that has been left by
the contractor. As many small fragments will pass through
the tines of a rake, it is recommended that careful hand picking
be resorted to in the area immediately around the house that
landscape plants are to occupy. The presence of lime-bearing
materials will injure many choice shrubs. Next, remove the soil
to a depth of a foot or so and replace it with a mixture made
up of acid peat, hammock soil and cow manure. As this fertile
mixture is shoveled into the shrubbery beds, sprinkle on some
commercial fertilizer that is fortified with minor elements.
Shrubs, properly planted, will not need to be fed until
their second growing season. Then, during January, apply an
acid, balanced commercial fertilizer. Some gardeners broad-
cast the plant food directly on top of the mulch and wash it


part way through with the hose, but this gardener holds that
fertilizer is much more efficiently utilized if it is placed in
punch bar holes that extend well within the root zone. Again at
the beginning of the rainy season ornamental shrubs should
receive a second yearly application of a balanced fertilizer.
Within recent years several fertilizer companies have formu-
lated special mixtures for azaleas and camellias. From experi-
ence and observation, these are reliable and to be recommended.
Not only are these special acid, slowly available fertilizers very
good for azaleas and camellias, but they are recommended for
gardenias, hollies, hibiscus, magnolias and all types of choice
landscape material.



Abelia ..................
Allamanda ............
Aralia ...---..--..-......
Azalea ................
Boxthorn ....--........
Brazilian-pepper ....
Bridal wreath .........
Camellia ....-----.....
Cassia ...................
Century plant .........
Cherry-laurel -----
Cocculus ......--
Coontie .........--
Copperleaf .........---
Crape-jasmine -------


Eugenia -.-----------... -
Feijoa ........-..
Firethorn .--.....--
Gardenia ....-----..
Glory-bush ............-
Golden dewdrop -
Hibiscus ....--........
Hydrangea ..-----....
Ilex ........ ........-
Ixora .- ....------- .---


.. ...... 65
...... 65
.. 7, 65
...- 66
-..- ... 69
..-.- 69
........ 70
.-.- 70
- 75
S28, 75
.--..----- 75
--.. .. 76
.. 76
-.-- 76
..- 76
.-... .. 77
...... 77
-.. .... 77
--- ..- 77
.......... 78
-- ...- ..-- 82
. ..- ... 82
-- 82
.. ....... 84
... 32, 84
-....- ... 86

Jasm ine .............. ........-...
Juniper --..... ....... --..---...
Lantana -.... ...-- .. .........--
Lim e-berry .--....-------
M alpighia ........ .... ..---
Nandina ... .- .. ..------.
Natal-plum ............ ...--...
Oleander ....-...-........... ...
Orange-jessamine ---...
Pitch-apple ----..... ....------
Pittosporum ........- ..--------
Plumbago ....--- -........---
Podocarpus ...................
Poinsettia ----------- -..
Privet --------------- 5,
Rice-paper plant .........-
Rose-of-Sharon .-----
Scarlet-bush .---------------....
Screw-pines ........ ---------
Silver-thorn -----............---
Snow-bush -.............-....--
Spanish-bayonet ---..---....-
Sweet-olive ------.....
Thryallis ....---------------.--...
Turk's cap -.... ..------------- ..
Viburnum .....--..........
W ax-myrtle -........ .........




ALLAMANDA-(Allamanda cathartica)
Huge waxy, yellow flowers are produced the year around.

~flR- --
c i. 9r ~ e~ ~E.


THRYALLIS-(Thryallis glauca)
For southern and central sections, this ornamental shrub is
highly commended.


ABELIA (Abelia grandiflora). Small, shiny foliage, bright
crimson twigs, and clusters of white blossoms subtended by
pinkish calyces make abelia a very choice shrub. Its best
growth is attained in sunny locations in the northern part of
the state, where it is accepted as one of the best plants for
hedge making.
Hardwood cuttings, lined out in mid-winter should root
satisfactorily and grow into landscape material during the
second season.
Clean cultivation is usually practiced to keep abelias free
from weeds and grass, but these shrubs, like all others, grow
well under a mulch of oak leaves, peat or compost.
Spraying is usually not required, but systematic pruning
is needed to head in succulent canes that push out in spring-
ALLAMANDA (Allamanda cathartica). The yellow-flowered
allamandas are among the most colorful and free-growing of
the tender flowering shrubs. Vine-like if not injured by cold,
or cut back in pruning, these vigorous tropical climbers quickly
grow to a large size in the warmer sections. The variety Hen-
dersoni, with its huge flaring trumpets of gold is the most
popular allamanda and most widely grown.
The true purple allamanda (A. violacea) from Brazil should
not be confused with the rubber vine (Cryptostegia), which is
sometimes sold under this designation. Allamanda neriifolia
has small yellow blossoms and narrow leaves and does not
become a vine.
Allamandas are easily increased by cuttings and ordinarily
are grown under clean cultivation. Generally, pests and dis-
eases are of little concern.
ARALIA (Polyscias spp.). Its strict habit, ability to thrive
in poor soil and intense heat and its striking foliage of many
patterns has made aralia one of southern Florida's most widely
planted shrubs. As a narrow, tall hedge or screen where space
is limited this tropical shrub serves admirably. Identification
is positive by the many prominent lenticels along the stems.
Hardwood cuttings, stuck right where a hedge is wanted,
root quickly during the rainy season.


AZALEA (Rhododendron spp.). Throughout the South count-
less millions of Indian and Kurume azaleas flower each spring
and the fame of these plants has spread to every part of our
nation. If one is careful about the preparation of the soil and
the growing position, these choice evergreen shrubs can be en-
joyed in all sections of our state north of Tampa.
A rich but well drained soil of high organic content, acid
in reaction (pH 4.5-5.5), is essential as is broken shade for
most light sandy soils. In western Florida on fertile soils when
properly mulched with oak leaves, pine straw or compost,
azaleas grow quite well in full sun. An abundant supply of
moisture that can percolate beyond the root zone is needed if
good bloom is expected.
Azaleas are effectively used in bold groups of a single color
or grouped for color sequence. As specimen plants and as
edgings, certain varieties are very strikingly employed.
Azalea blight or azalea flower spot is a devastating disease
which is rather widespread in Florida during certain seasons.
Some years azalea blight is non-existent, the next it may be very
severe. When the disease is present the blossoms look exactly
as though they had been drenched with boiling water. Expand-
ing buds are infected and, as a result, normal bloom is not
It has been demonstrated that complete control is possible
when the recommended spray program is followed. Spraying
commences as soon as color shows and is repeated every three
days until the last blossom is shed. Dithane, zinc sulphate and
a spreader may be obtained in a kit that contains the correct
amount of each ingredient together with complete instructions
for the preparation and application. It is probable that re-
search now in progress will result in the formulation of other
materials that will be useful in controlling this virulent disease.
In order that full coverage by fine droplets be obtained,
a wheelbarrow or power sprayer must be used. Small hand
knapsack sprayers do not atomize the liquid sufficiently. As
the fungus lives over beneath the plants the mulch under the
azalea bushes must be thoroughly drenched.
Mushroom root-rot occasionally causes the death of azaleas.
The organism carried over on oak roots, causes one or two
canes in a clump to die gradually, and these are followed by


others over an extended period. Occasionally the typical mush-
room growths are found under infected plants. Pruning out
the dead branches is of no value in controlling mushroom root-
rot. If you are certain that a given plant has died from this
cause, other azaleas should not be used for replacement.
The principal pests of azaleas are red spider mites and
thrips. Neither will become a problem if azaleas are syringed
frequently during dry weather. In the event that red spider
mites become established, they are easily eradicated by dusting
with 325 mesh sulphur. Efficacious, too, is malathion and the
highly dangerous parathion.
Upon occasion azalea defoliator appears. This large cater-
pillar is controlled by chlordane dust or parathion applied at
the rate of one tablespoon of the 15% wettable powder in a
gallon of water. Azalea galls are grotesque proliferations
which occasionally appear and are easily controlled by hand-
picking. Be certain that the galls are completely destroyed,
to prevent re-infection.
Azaleas of all types have the characteristic of producing
heavy, succulent canes during the spring flush, and these vigor-
ous shoots grow out beyond the contour to form that undesirable,
two-storied effect. In order that this condition may be avoided
the shoots must be pinched before the terminal bud reaches
the height of the upper branches. The thumb and forefinger
should be used several times during the spring and summer
months to execute this simple but necessary act of regulatory
In the event that these strong, irregular shoots were not
pinched back while they were succulent, it will be necessary
to employ the pruning shears to shape the plants. Azaleas
must be pruned before August lest flower buds be sacrificed
in the process.
Propagation may be accomplished by taking tip cuttings
in June or by wrapping a wounded branch in moist sphagnuml
moss or by covering a partially cut branch with sandy soil.
NATIVE AZALEAS, Rhododendron austrinumn, R. canesce.n
and R. serrulatium are protected by law which makes it a nis-
demeanor to dig plants and cut flowering branches.


Indian azaleas (larger growers)
Kurume azaleas (the dwarf kinds)


Fielder's White
Lediofolia Alba
Indica Alba
Mrs. G. G. Gerbing

Pride of Dorking
Red Macrantha
Christmas Cheer

President Clay
Prince of Orange
Coccinea Major

George Lindley Taber
George Franc
Macrantha Pink
Apple Blossom


New White
Hakata Shiro



Coral Bells
Sweetheart Supreme
Pink Pearl

Prince of Wales




Violaceae Rubra
Southern Charm
Due De Rohan
Duke of Windsor
Duke of Wellington
Countess of Nieuport

Morning Glow
Mauve Queen

Salmon Beauty
Salmon Prince
Salmon Queen
Salmon Pink


BOXTHORN (Severinia buxifolia) is one of the choicest
shrubs for central Florida. The glossy oval leaves closely
packed on fine, thorny branchlets, are supplemented many
months in the year by attractive globular jet-black fruits. Much
branched, slow-growing, shade-tolerant, amenable to shearing,
this citrus-relative is most highly commended to all gardeners
south of Gainesville. Scale insects must be controlled by two
annual applications of Volck or malathion and clean cultivation
or mulching is accepted.
Boxthorn is usually grown from seeds.

BOXTHORN-(Severinia buxifolia)
A dense, slow growing, hardy shrub of the citrus family that is excellent
for foundation plantings, hedges or specimens.

BRAZILIAN-PEPPER (Schinus terebinthifolius). Tall screens
and windbreaks are effectively formed by planting the attrac-
tive red-fruited Brazilian-pepper at six-foot intervals. This
husky evergreen is suited to the citrus belt and must be pruned
frequently if it is to be kept below tree size. Thrips, which
may cause leaves to shed may be controlled by frequent syring-
ing or by a nicotine or rotenone spray. Lawn grasses should


be hoed back from the base of the plants and clean cultivation
used to encourage robust growth.
Seeds or cuttings can be planted for new stock, the latter
being preferred so that fruiting individuals may be perpetuated.
BRIDAL WREATH (Spiraea spp.). For Gainesville north-
ward and westward the several species of spirea are popular
as garden shrubs, blooming dependably each spring. For masses
of glistening white in informal shrubbery borders, these de-
ciduous shrubs are unsurpassed. Pruning must be done just
after flowering lest bloom buds be sacrified. A mulch of organic
matter over the roots, or hoed earth may be used at the discretion
of the cultivator.
Spireas of all types must be grown from softwood or hard-
wood cuttings.
Aphids, which frequently infest succulent, new shoots, may
be controlled by nicotine dust, nicotine spray, or rotenone dust.
CAMELLIA (Camellic japonica). Long considered the aristo-
crat of shrubs in the South, the japonica has been a part of
rural life since antebellum days. The compact growing habit,
the beautiful glossy foliage, and the blossoms that appear in
winter and early springtime account in part for the popularity
of this attractive shrub.
Like azaleas, camellias require a fertile soil that is acid in
reaction and retentive of moisture. In making up the planting
holes, the mixture must be acid in reaction. This will be assured
by the liberal use of peat and the omission of materials that
are known to contain lime. Camellias must always be set at the
same level at which they grew originally. Deep planting will
result in the decline of vigor and the eventual death of a plant.
Adequate moisture that percolates through the soil is needed.
A lack of drainage will result in the loss of roots and this will
be manifested above ground by a generally unthrifty condi-
tion, leaf-fall, bud-drop, uead twigs and in time, death.
In the peninsular part of the state choice camellias will
grow in broken, shifting shade, such as is cast by native pines,
palms or the smaller deciduous oaks. On the better soils of west-
ern Florida many beautiful camellias are thriving in full sun.
In any position, an organic mulch is recommended for
growing camellias as garden shrubs. Small plants in nursery
formation are grown under clean cultivation, but in landscape


plantings a thick mulch of oak leaves or peat is highly recom-
mended by all authorities.
An acid fertilizer, possibly one of the azalea-camellia
specials, may be applied in punch bar holes around the plants
in January. Another application may be made at the beginning
of the rainy season, but it is suggested that no stimulants be
given after mid-summer lest the plants go into winter with im-
mature wood and thus be liable to winter injury.
Aphids will cause new leaves to curl downward and then
to be malformed permanently, so these pests must be eliminated
as soon as they are discovered on the new shoots.- A spray of
nicotine or rotenone, or one of these in dust form will control
As with azaleas, red spider mites are occasionally to be
reckoned with during dry spells. They can be forestalled by
syringing the leaves thoroughly when watering, yet if mites
become established, they succumb to sulphur dust. Parathion,
15% wettable powder, used at the rate of two level tablespoons
in a gallon of water will kill mites. Repeat in two weeks to
kill young mites that have hatched in the interim.
Scale insects of several species are forever a menace. Start-
ing in February and again in May and perhaps in September
or October, a 1% or a 2% oil emulsion may be applied with
a good sprayer. Because the leaves lie close together, shingle-
fashion, diligence is needed to get complete coverage. Remember
a scale insect must be covered with an insecticide if it is to die.
If just a few bushes are in your collection and scale becomes
very bad on one of these, a sure way to get a cleanup is to mop
the infested leaves with cotton dipped in the 2% oil emulsion
spray. Caution-do not apply oils during very hot or very
cold weather.
Under several brand names, these white summer oils are
for sale at your garden supply house. Parathion is sometimes
effective against certain camellia scales and may be used where
there is no danger to humans and higher animals, and mala-
thion, less harmful to humans, is favored by some experts.
Camellia twig blight or dieback is a disease of great con-
cern to fanciers. A leafy twig of current growth wilts and dies
and the brown leaves hang in place. Sometimes a large branch
may be lost and, upon occasion, an entire plant.


As this is written no preventive measures have been worked
out and the best we know to do is to remove infected wood as
soon as possible. Use your pruning shears to nick along the
branch and when you come to the normal, healthy, green inner
bark, make a sharp, slanting cut. Be certain to destroy the dead
twig and sterilize your shears by dipping in alcohol after each
cut, as twig blight is transmitted by pruning tools. The wounds
thus made should be mopped with paste of Bordeaux mixture,
wettable sulphur, or with a wash of Fermate. Pruning is usually
not needed by camellias, yet rampant shoots formed in late
summer should be pinched to keep the plants compact.
Yellow mottling has long been observed in camellia foliage
and it is of virus origin. It was demonstrated by grafting that
seedlings with normal green leaves could be induced to have
tip growths that were yellow-spotted. It is widely acknowledged
that the presence of this virus will cause flowers of scions
worked upon an infected stock to come marbled with white.
This virus apparently does not impair vigor, but perhaps in-
fected plants are less attractive in the garden than those with
typical dark-green foliage. A word of encouragement-the
virus is not spread by touch.
Most dyed-in-the-wool fanciers are deeply affected when
blossom buds are frozen. In spite of precautions, all too often
buds of late varieties will be injured. The over-worked bed-
spread is of little use and cannot be recommended. A tarpaulin
supported by a wooden frame, under which a lantern burns
will work, but construction of this type is a big job for a short
period each time cold threatens.
For smaller bushes of rare varieties, one could construct
pyramids of cheap fiberboard or insulation board. These would
nest and could be stored in the garage when not in use. Placed
over favorite plants on the afternoon before frost is anticipated,
and heated by one-hundred watt bulbs at the ends of extension
cords, they should carry flower buds through for the specialty
In the landscape, the uses of camellias are many. Next
to the main doorway, the compact growth and lustrous foliage
of camellias can be used to full advantage. Where a pillar-
type is wanted, Professor C. S. Sargent or Elena Nobile are
desirable. If, because of the architecture, a dwarf, globular
form is needed, Aspacia, Bella Romana, Gaiety and Magnoliae-

A heavily blossomed Camellia bush
near Gainesville

~; "



Salvia, Snapdragons and Easter Parade
Bougainvillea at Cypress Gardens


flora should be considered. For a heavy mass at the corner of
the house, there is upright Herme, Aunt Jetty or Mathotiana.
If there is an expanse of unbroken masonry, surface decora-
tion can be provided by informal, spreading Lady Clare or
Gigantea of the japonica group and Mininoyuki and Hinode-
gumo of the sasanqua varieties. A dramatic solution to the
monotony of an uninteresting plane is an espalier of Camellia
sasanqua. This, trained carefully to an exact pattern, can be
strikingly effective. Espaliers may be procured from several
specialty nurseries. Although sasanquas are usually used in
espaliers, japonicas can also be trained to grow in fixed patterns
if one begins with young plants.
When espaliers are used, no other plants should be placed
too close to them lest they detract from the design's measured
Under high windows on the utility side of the house, either
species may be planted. Among the japonicas best suited to
such locations are Donckelaari and Magnoliaeflora while sasan-
quas give us Hebe, Usu Beni and Hiodoshi.
When camellias are used as neutral fillers under windows
or by a screened porch, they may be set about 3 feet apart.
Some plants must be given at least 5 feet lest their lower
branches be shaded by encroaching shrubs. Espaliers must
have 10 feet to themselves.
To define boundaries of formalized settings, clipped hedges
of Camellias sasanqua cannot be surpassed. While a double,
staggered row of plants at 18-inch intervals is ideal, a single
row will serve almost as well. The plants must be pinched
frequently to induce thick branching and clipped regularly
during the growing season to insure a thick, compact hedge.
Although japonicas can be maintained as clipped hedges,
the sasanquas are better because their finer texture makes clip-
ping easier. Briar Rose, Dainty Bess, and Rosea are excellent.
Bulbs, spring-flowering perennials, drifts of annuals planted
in front of a camellia hedge make an enchanting sight.
Camellias may be used to enclose the service area because
they are hardy, evergreen, compact growers that will make a
permanent barrier. Now that some of the robust, upright
growers may be had at reasonable cost these beautiful shrubs
can serve the utilitarian purpose of enclosure, and at the same
time, furnish endless blossoms for cutting. In order that unity



Camellias may be grouped to separate one area from another.

CHERRY-LAUREL-(Prunus caroliniana-sheared)
This is a good hedge or specimen plant as it can be kept in any
desired shape by shearing.


may be served, plants of one single variety should be selected
for the service-area screen. Sarah Frost, T. K. Variegated,
Herme and Elena Nobile might be considered for this use, if
space is not at a premium; while narrow hedges of tightly clipped
sasanqua varieties like Rosea, Texas Star or Dawn would be
best where there is but little room for the utility screen.
CAPE-HONEYSUCKLE (Tecomaria ce.pensis). Orange-red
little trumpet flowers make this well known, vine-like shrub
very showy most of the year. As a screen or division plant it
serves well because of its adaptability to conditions in lower
Florida. Clean cultivation is usual for cape-honeysuckle, and
generally, insects and diseases are of no concern. Identification
is positive by the toothed pinnate leaves and clusters of orange
funnel-shaped flowers and six-inch pods which follow.
Propagation is by cuttings or seeds.
CASSIA (Cassia bicapsularis). Cassia is a sprawling shrub
which produces its golden butterflies in October, in northern
Florida to be ended by the first frost; in southern Florida to
continue to the New Year. Other yellow flowered, shrub-cassias
(C. alata, C. bahamensis, C. corymbosa and more) are being
widely planted in Florida gardens. Tender to cold, they die
back after frost, yet come back lustily to produce their yellow
blossoms again in season. All shrub cassias are increased by
seeds and repay hoeing and fertilization with increased flowering.
CENTURY PLANT (Agave americana) is not a shrub, but
since it is used as such in Florida landscaping it must be included
here. Native, resistant to salt and strong wind, tolerant of
poorest sandy soils, even those which are strongly alkaline, this
succulent perennial has been widely planted throughout the
Peninsular State to enhance the tropical atmosphere. The huge.
upright leaves are green or banded in cream and are tipped
with vicious thorns. These must be clipped off as soon as leaves
unfurl. There are many other species of century plants, and
countless horticultural forms. Tall candelabra flower stalks
may be sent aloft after ten to twenty years of favorable growing
Century plants are increased by suckers which spring up
around old plants and by plantlets which develop in the in-


CHERRY-LAUREL (Prunus caroliniana). Although this plant
becomes a good sized tree in our hardwood hammocks, its great-
est landscape use is as a shrub. Beautiful, shiny, evergreen
leaves are held in good condition the year around and, during
springtime, the new growth is especially attractive. As a sheared
hedge or as a formal, clipped specimen, cherry-laurel is par-
ticularly recommended in northern Florida. Wilted foliage,
poisonous to livestock, must not be placed where grazing ani-
mals can reach it.
Small plants may be collected in hammocks or they may
be grown from seeds.
COCCULUS (Cocculus laurifolius). Because its long, oval
evergreen leaves are carried well to the ground by the drooping
green branches, this shrub is approved by those who admire
good landscaping material. For foundation plantings and for
screens, this tropical shrub is offered by most central Florida
nurseries. Ordinarily cocculus is kept free of grass and weeds
by flat hoeing and no pests or diseases are of great importance.
Softwood cuttings root easily in summertime.
COONTIE (Zamia floridana) is a native cycad that is admired
for its lacy, soft texture and.its ability to grow in dense shade.
Trunkless, coontie sends up its fernlike leaves from the large,
subterranean stem. Seeds are used for increase and transplant-
ing is extremely difficult because of the deep, far-reaching roots.
Florida red scale is a major pest that must be controlled by
several annual sprayings of an oil emulsion.
COPPERLEAF (Acalypha wilkesiana). Much planted in
southern Florida, this large-leafed, fast-growing ornamental is
well known to all gardeners in that section. Copperleaf grows
easily from cuttings and will succeed in any situation that is
not too shady.
As a foundation material it is too coarse, usually gets out of
scale, certainly it serves as too strong an accent. The green
acalypha withr'ut and dissected leaves marked with cream-color
is A. godseffiana heterophylla.
CRAPE-JASMINE (Ervatamia coronaria). With its opposite,
glossy, evergreen leaves and fragrant white flowers, crape-
jasmine is often confused with cape-jasmine. The milky juice
easily distinguishes the former, which also has larger, glossier
leaves, smaller flowers, less hardiness to cold, and greater toler-


ance of nematodes in sandy soil than has gardenia. Usually
the double-flowered form is grown, and the scent is more marked
at night. The petals are ruffled or craped, giving rise to the
name crape-jasmine. A sunny location is best for this fine large
shrub, which is best used in borders. Propagation is by soft-
wood cuttings.
CROTON (Codiaeum variegatum). The world's most color-
ful and variable shrub comes into its own in southern Florida.
Here, crotons in endless variety, are seen in every conceivable
landscape usage. Good taste insists that they are much over
used. Their garish, boldly variegated colors demand that they
be strong highlights in a green composition.
Crotons are easily grown from cuttings stuck in sand at the
beginning of the rainy season.
EUGENIA (Eugenia spp.). This is a diverse genus that has
several important representatives in southern Florida. The
pitanga (Eugenia uniflora) is in favor as a hedge material
because it shears well and bears delicious and decorative fruits.
Brush-cherry (E. paniculata and varieties), is a favorite land-
scape material that is frequently seen as sheared accent plants
in foundation plantings. Both types are carried by southern
Florida nurseries.
Eugenias are propagated by seeds and softwood cuttings,
and hoeing and mulching will be satisfactory.
FEIJOA (Feijoa sellowiana). Hardy throughout our state,
this South American fruit plant is admirable for landscape use
as well. The gray-green leaves with whitish under-surfaces
make this a good plant for contrast and transition.
Seeds are sown when the fruits ripen in summertime, and
seedlings grow very slowly.
FIRETHORN (Pyracantha spp.). Of all fruiting shrubs
that grow in the cooler sections of Florida none is more showy
during the winter months than the beautiful fire-thorn. Nurs-
eries supply the kinds that are known to be successful in this
area. As large pyracanthas do not transplant well from open
ground, it is suggested that small plants in expendable con-
tainers be selected.
This member of the rose family may be infected by fire-
blight upon occasion and. as a result. an appreciable portion


of a plant may be lost. A mild copper fungicide directed into
the open blooms is said to arrest the development of organisms
brought in by bees and flies. As recommended for fire-blight
in the loquat, the prompt removal of infected wood is imperative.
Use a sharp pruning implement to sever the dying member well
below the point of apparent infection and paint the wound with
sulphur paste or Fermate solution. Remember that the fire-
blight organism is carried on pruning tools, so immediate dis-
infection in alcohol is necessary.
A lace-bug, which attacks firethorn foliage, will be control-
led if a spray containing DDT, malathion or parathion is applied
in April, June, and August. Wax scale, though not easy to
eradicate completely, can be held in check by two annual ap-
plications of a 2% white summer oil or by parathion.
As firethorns grow very rapidly within their climatic range,
pruning is usually necessary. They flower (and therefore fruit)
on current buds that arise from fruiting spurs one year old or
older. It is obvious, then, that these handsome shrubs cannot
fruit the season after they have been cut to the ground. A
system of renewal pruning is advocated to keep firethorns
within bounds yet to assure annual displays of the colorful fruits.
One or two large canes can be sawed off near the ground one
winter, allowing several to remain intact to carry their fruit;
then when the new canes arise and develop fruiting spurs, the
ones which had been left originally may be discarded.
It is known that firethorns grow best, flower and fruit
most satisfactorily when lawn grasses are kept out of the root
zone and a mulch of oak leaves or peat moss is used as an
insulation against excessive heat and to assure a moist growing
Named varieties are propagated by cuttings, yet seeds will
germinate well and produce fast-growing young stock.
GARDENIA (Gardenia jasminoides). Ranking with the ca-
mellia, rose and hibiscus, the gardenia has long been a favorite
dooryard shrub in the South. Usually grown as a free-standing
specimen, this beautiful broadleaved evergreen is much planted
by urban and rural homeowners alike.
While botanists place 60 species of subtropical plants of
the Eastern Hemisphere within this genus, only 2 are prominent
in American horticulture. Gardenia jasminoides, from China,
is the species to which belong all forms: those available as cut


flowers in retail shops and those obtainable as landscape shrubs
in nurseries and chain stores.
A second species. Gardenia thunbergia, is important because
it is used as a root stock for outdoor gardenias in southern
Florida, as it resists attack of the rootknot nematode and toler-
ates the hot, inorganic sands. Quite unprepossessing in appear-
ance and easily killed by low temperatures, this tropical plant
serves only as the below-ground portion of southern Florida
In its natural habitat in China the gardenia grows in a deep
fertile soil that is slightly acid in reaction, retentive of moisture
and well supplied with organic matter.
If it is feasible to treat the gardenia plot with a soil fumi-
gant in advance of planting it is an excellent plan to do this.
Garden supply houses stock chemicals that will kill nematodes
and other soil-borne troubles. Patented applicators are fur-
nished when the chemical is bought.
A location in full sun well away from trees or large shrubs
is recommended. The north side of a tall building is not the
best location because of the absence of sunlight there, nor is
the south wall of a building a good location for gardenias be-
cause of the excessive heat of summertime and water loss to
the sun.
The light, shifting shade cast by tall pine trees is good for
gardenias and the fallen needles make an excellent mulch. Open-
headed turkey oaks and tall palms cast mild shade in which
gardenias grow well.
Gardenias thrive on lake banks if the water level is constant.
The plants will be killed, however, by inundation.
A heavy mulch, four to six inches deep, of oak leaves, pine
straw, tobacco stems, cane bagasse, peanut hulls or other organic
material will be reflected in vigorous growth and heavy flower-
ing. Cultivation should be unnecessary under this system. In
large nurseries where gardenias are propagated on heavy fertile
soil, clean cultivation is used.
In sections where the soil is of poor quality, of alkaline
reaction, or infested by rootknot nematodes, it may be desirable
to grow gardenias permanently in containers. These may be
boxes of cypress, pots, urns, jardinieres or cans. Vessels twelve
to fifteen inches across should be large enough to support ma-
ture flowering gardenias. Holes for drainage must be in the


bottom to allow the free passage of water, and an inch of neutral
silica gravel or broken flower pots should cover the bottom.
The growing medium may be composed of peat, cow manure
and soil. Because of the prevalence of rootknot nematodes and
soil-borne diseases, gardenia soil should be pasteurized by
heating to about 160 F. for three or four hours. The containers
should be placed upon an off-the-ground support so that infected
soil particles will not splash in from the earth.
When a potted gardenia is received at Easter or Mother's
Day it should be kept in a cool moist spot. The dry atmosphere
inside our houses is unsuitable to its continued welfare. Bud-

In southern Florida gardenias are grafted on Gardenia thunbergia
which is resistant to rootknot nematodes.


drop is the first response to an uncongenial environment. Sev-
eral times a day the foliage may be lightly moistened with the
mist from a hand atomizer. The applicator sold with window
cleaning fluid is suitable. After the flowering period the potted
plant can be plunged in a shrubbery bay or it can be knocked
out of the container and planted as a permanent garden shrub.
Sooty mold, well known to everyone who grows gardenias,
is a fungus disease that injures by withholding light and pre-
venting gaseous exchange. The leaves become covered by a
crusty black film which is most unpleasant. This fungus lives
on honey dew from white flies and aphids. A one per cent or
two per cent white summer oil will cause the sooty film to roll
off within hours after application.
Chlorosis is the manifestation of an abnormal condition.
The loss of normal green color so that the veins appear bright
green on a yellow field may be due to several causes. In Florida
the most outstanding cause of chlorosis is the lack of iron
brought about by an alkaline soil. A foliage spray of ferrous
sulphate at the rate of a teaspoon to a gallon of rain water with
a half teaspoon of detergent as a spreader will usually work
a quick cure. If the soil is not corrected to an acid reaction,
however, the foliage will develop chlorosis soon again, brown
areas will develop, and the plant will be stunted and unpro-
ductive. The only permanent corrective method is to transplant
the chlorotic gardenia to a new site that has been prepared with
a known acid mixture that contains all necessary mineral ele-
ments. Never fertilize gardenias with bone meal, lime or any
material that will make soil basic in reaction. Much municipal
water in Florida is very alkaline and this, alone, is sufficient
to induce chlorosis in potted gardenias.
Chlorosis of similar pattern may be caused by over-watering,
low soil temperatures in wintertime and by rootknot nematodes.
In Florida it is customary for specialty nurserymen to sell
budded field-grown, balled and burlapped gardenias through
chain stores in April. These are excellent plants, well grown,
clean, free of rootknot and invariably well furnished with large
flower buds. The lifting, transporting, displaying, with attend-
ant sacrifice of optimum environmental conditions, usually re-
sults in marked bud-drop. Though consumers are justified in
their complaints, nothing can be done, under this system of
merchandising, to assure the holding and opening of flower


buds. Gardenias, container grown or those carefully trans-
planted by the balled and burlapped method early in the winter,
should re-establish themselves well in advance of flowering time.
GLORY-BUSH (Tibouchina semidecandra). Glory-bush is
somewhat distinctive in Florida gardens because of its flowers
of violet-purple. Upright-growing, hairy-leaved, tender to frost
and too tall for foundation plantings, glory-bush is probably
best adapted to use in informal shrubbery borders. As a free-
standing specimen it will display its large purple blossoms to
advantage, as they appear at the tips of the branches. Increase
is by softwood cuttings.
GOLDEN DEWDROP (Duranta repens). This large, fast-
growing shrub is widely distributed throughout Florida both
as a garden plant and as an escape from cultivation. As a
background plant for gardens in the citrus belt it is recom-
mended, but it ordinarily attains too great size to be employed
as part of a foundation planting. Clean cultivation ordinarily
is employed for these cosmopolitan plants as they grow quite
well without an organic mulch. Insect pests and diseases are
of little concern.
HIBISCUS (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis). Sometimes called the
Queen of Shrubs, the beautiful rose of China has more uni-
versal appeal than any tropical shrub the world around. The
graceful habit, beautiful glossy, evergreen leaves and the gor-
geous colorful blossoms all contribute to make this shrub a
top-flight landscape material. Propagation of most common
varieties is by tip cuttings taken during the summer, but rare
kinds are grafted upon understocks of the single red or other
fast-growing variety. While for commonplace types an oc-
casional hoeing and watering will suffice, choice varieties are
set into carefully prepared planting holes and protected by a
thick mulch of leaves or peat. Scale insects, mites, and thrips
are held in check by spraying with malathion or parathion. Use
one tablespoon of the 15% wettable powder in each gallon of
water. Becoming widespread throughout Florida is the red-leaf
hibiscus (Hibiscus eetveldeanus). This tender African species
grows as a straggly shrub to about 8 feet in height and is quickly
identified by the smooth red stems and the maple-like, magenta
leaves. Flowers, lavender-red with darker eye-zone are pro-
duced in late autumn, when the plant is usually killed to the


HIBIscUS-(Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
This handsome shrub has many uses in the landscape scene.

HYDRANGEA- (Hydrangea macrophylla
This is an ideal north-side plant.


ground by frost. Increase is easily accomplished by softwood
cuttings or seeds when available. Credit for identification and
first published record of red-leaf hibiscus must go to Morton
and Ledin. in their excellent garden book-400 Plants of South
Known in Florida gardens since earliest history is Confeder-
ate-rose (Hibiscus mutabilis). The sprawling, untidy shrub
with large hairy leaves, is cultured for the handsome blossoms
that open white during autumn mornings, turn pink, and finally
red by evening. Sometimes known also as cotton-rose, this.
like all hibiscus, is propagated by cuttings.
ROSE-OF-SHARON (Hibiscus syriacus), that hardy, deciduous
shrub of northern gardens, succeeds in upper Florida, thriving
particularly in places where the soil is heavy and fertile. Spring-
time sees the first leaves after winter dormancy, and summer-
time witnesses the arrival of the white, pink, rose or lavender.
single or double, bell-shaped flowers.
Hybrid mallows, involving four species of Hibiscus are
admired for their striking white, pink or red blossoms of dinner-
plate size. These herbaceous hybrid mallows can be grown on
fertile soil of the upper peninsula. Stock can be obtained from
nurseries which advertise in garden magazines of national cir-
HYDRANGEA (Hydrangea macrophylla). This deciduous
flowering shrub from Asia is another of universal appeal. The
huge trusses of blue which appear above the attractive shiny
leaves in late springtime are very striking. In Florida, this
plant is shade-demanding and the best position for hydrangeas,
therefore, is a northern exposure. Any cutting back must be
done immediately after flowering, else blossom buds will be
removed. Aluminum sulphate, which acidifies the soil, makes
for blue hydrangeas, and if you want them pink the soil must
be limed so that it has a basic reaction.
Propagation is by hardwood or softwood cuttings.
ILEX (Ilex spp.). Several small-leaved hollies can be kept
to shrub size by careful pruning and these are in high favor as
they are handsome plants. The most important is the striking
native yaupon (Ilex vomitoria). Because it is so much at home.
stands shearing well and bears small, scalloped leaves and
beautiful berries in wintertime, the yaupon is unsurpassed for


hedges and sheared specimens. Nursery-grown, fruiting speci-
mens are much more satisfactory than are plants collected from
woodlots. Yaupons are protected by a law which makes it a
misdemeanor to cut or dig wild plants.
The Japanese holly (Ilex crenata variety convexa) has be-
come very popular for foundation work in northern Florida,

5 i ~ ...;~ V 4

n A t

Red-flowered ixora is popular in southern Florida.


but it is not tolerant of adverse growing conditions, so a north-
side location and an adequate mulch are held to be necessary
for its well-being. Small shining evergreen leaves are closely
packed alternately on much-branched, green stems. Numerous
black fruits are attractive highlights during fall and winter.
This choice landscape plant is grown from cuttings.
The Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta) is another favored land-
scape subject from Asia that is offered by most nurseries in
northern Florida. The variety Burford, with single-thorned.
waxy, green leaves and small clusters of large red berries, is the
form of Chinese holly most frequently seen in Florida gardens.
IXORA (Ixora coccinea). Garden forms with showy, tubular
flowers in shades of red and yellow are seen in the warmer
sections. Counted as one of the best ornamentals there, the
ixora serves as a hedge, specimen or base planting material.
Likely to display evidences of nutritional deficiencies on
sandy calcareous soils in southern Florida, ixoras should be
set with care in made-up acid planting holes. A sprinkling of
a mineral mixture should be given with the fertilizer in January
and June. A heavy mulch of leaves or peat should protect the
roots at all times.
Tender tips root in white sand in summer.
JASMINE (Jasminum spp.). This genus furnishes several
sprawling evergreen shrubs that are widely employed in land-
scape plantings. For the colder sections, the flowering jasmine
(J. floridum) and the primrose jasmine (J. mesnyi) are excel-
lent, hardy, yellow-flowering shrubs; in the citrus belt the white-
flowered star jasmine (J. multiflorum) is often seen as a shrub
and as a vine, while in the warmest locations, the fragrant
Jasminum gracile (syn. J. simplicifolium) is in high favor.
There are many other species, some of which are grown as rare
plants by nurseries and plant collectors. All of the jasmines
root readily as cuttings and where canes touch the ground.
JUNIPER (Juniperus spp.). This is the most dependable
genus of coniferous shrubs for Florida. Many beautiful horti-
cultural forms, which will thrive in northern and western sec-
tions, are available at the nurseries. One of the best low ground
cover forms is the shore juniper (Juniperus conferta) identified
by the two white bands on the upper surface of each leaf; an
intermediate horizontal grower is the well known Pfitzer's juni-


per (Juniperus chinensis pfitzeriana) identified by outward-
pointing branch tips, while one of the very best of the tall
evergreens for a sheared accent is the beautiful pyramidal
Japanese juniper (Juniperus chinensis columnaris). This can
be told by the strong upright trunk and the two types of leaves
on every branch.

* "14''

STAR JASMINE-(IJasminum multiflorum)
Almost indispensable as a landscape plant in central Florida, it has
periodic crops of star-shaped white flowers.

All junipers are propagated by cuttings and clean culture
is usual in most landscape plantings. Red spider mites, which
cause browned foliage in dry weather, are controlled by re-
peated syringing with the hose or by dusting with sulphur at
very first signs.
LANTANA (Lantana spp.). So well adapted that it has es-
caped cultivation, lantana is known by everyone. Sometimes
lantanas will fill that difficult sunny garden spot as no other
shrub can. Botanically, the red and yellow-flowered shrub is
Lantana camera and the attractive lilac-flowered weeping lan-
tana is L. montevidensis. Both will be killed by frost but will
recover in springtime.


LIME-BERRY (Triphasia trifolia) is a favored landscape
plant for southern Florida. Graceful, dense, evergreen, amen-
able to shearing, this beautiful plant well deserves the high
esteem in which it is held by nurserymen and landscape planners.
Its susceptibility to rootknot nematode seriously limits its use-
fulness, however.
Seeds are employed to increase stocks.
MALPIGHIA (Malpighia coccigera) is popular with home
owners in southern Florida because of its dwarf habit of growth.
It has fine-textured, spiny-toothed, holly-like leaves, attractive
rose blossoms, red fruits, and grows quite well in the shade.
Nurserymen grow large numbers of seedlings to supply the
constant demand, yet they, and their customers must furnish
rootknot-free soil, and constant mulch if malpighias are to be
successful. Barbados-cherry (Malpighia glabra) produces its
3-lobed, cherry-like fruits on a taller, more straggly bush and
is not widely grown in home grounds beautification.
NANDINA (Nandina domestica. West of Live Oak, on rich
soils, this decorative ornamental grows to perfection. The many
reed-like, erect stems, lacy, compound leaves and hanging clus-
ters of rich, red fruits make this a must-have for gardens within
its range. Nandina does not look its best on the open, infertile
sands of peninsular Florida.
Seeds germinate slowly, but are used for propagation as
are suckers that come from old plants.
NATAL-PLUM (Carissa grandiflora). This West African
fruit plant serves well as an ornamental in the Palm Beach-
Miami area where it is favored for ocean-front locations. Its
compact habit, horizontal branching, oval, evergreen leaves,
beautiful white flowers and decorative red fruits, account for
the high favor in which the natal-plum is held. Leathery op-
posite leaves accompanied by sharp, forked thorns -make identi-
fication positive.
Plants are grown from seeds and are available at most
landscape nurseries in southern Florida. Malathion, parathion
or an oil emulsion spray will be needed to control scales and
a heavy mulch of leaves is better than clean cultivation.
OLEANDER (Nerium oleander). This cosmopolitan ever-
green shrub is too well known to warrant detailed discussion.

".*t.1. .


"4 Poinsettias near Leesburg

i'/ \S,4.), ,*.


0': ~UI

An Ixora hedge near Winter Haven

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