• Jun. 24 2013
  • Renee Waller

Tropicalia: False Pennyroyal

False pennyroyal (3) resized.jpg

  • Jun. 17 2013
  • Renee Waller

Tropicalia: Prickly Pear Cactus


  • Sep. 19 2012
  • Dominique Mitchell

Dr. Wilder Observes The Genus Scleria in Florida



Iscleria_george_20120828140717.jpg first observed Scleria lithosperma a few months ago, on May 31, 2012, in Key Largo, Florida. This is the only Scleria species listed as Endangered in Florida. Including S. lithosperma, I’ve now observed nine of the ten Scleria species known from Florida.  Scleria is a genus belonging to the monocotyledonous family Cyperaceae.  All Scleria species of Florida are native here, except for Scleria lacustris.


The fruit of all Scleria species is an achene (as is true for all other species of Cyperaceae).  An achene is a dry, indehiscent, one-seeded, fruit.   Species of Scleria, like species of other cyperaceous genera, are distinguished from one another largely according to features of their achenes.  All ten of our Scleria species have white achenes (an atypical feature among Florida Cyperaceae, overall) and their achenes are minute - ranging, collectively, from one to four mm long.   Because the achenes are so small, the beginner requires a microscope to see them clearly and to identify Scleria plants to species.


Florida species of Scleria appear, superficially, grass-like and weedy, and the average person would consider them unremarkable.  Yet, their achenes appear unique and beautiful under the microscope. I’ll now review selected features of the achenes.  While doing so, I’ll refer to the handout which I’ve distributed today. 1 


  • Jul. 13 2012
  • Nicolette Beard

Summer Camp Happenings from Heather

Heather DuPlooy, the Garden's Education coordinator, reports to us about what's been happening during summer camp. Here's what she had to say recently.

Walking around the classroom at the Naples Botanical Garden Summer Camp, I am distracted by delicate, colorful art pieces that look like stained glass. Camp counselor, Shannon Guidry, who is showing me around before my presentation to the campers, tells me that the work is inspired by the amazing hand blown glass art of Dale Chihuly.

 david_chiluly_glass_naplesnews.bmpThe vibrant artwork is part of an activity presented by Jessica Wozniak from the Naples Museum of Art. While I admire their work, the students are carefully weaving multicolored strands of yarn through garden pots which will later be planted with seeds from the garden. This gives Shannon a couple minutes to talk to me about what the kids have been up to this week. A lot!

  • Jul. 9 2012
  • Mike Malloy

Florida Butterflies-Spring Butterfly Count

Zebra longwing Florida state butterfly.jpgAt Naples Botanical Garden, the butterfly count has been high this spring for most of the Florida butterflies. Most people (myself included) were affected by Hurricane Wilma about five years ago and lost a lot of their garden’s canopy. Now finally, we are seeing a big return of the zebra long wings (Florida’s state butterfly) and also the Julia, which are two of our Florida heliconian butterflies, since the tree canopies are beginning to return.

These two butterflies like to play in shade or dappled sun, like under the canopy trees provide. I have always suggested when planting Passion vines, their host plant, i.e. plants that female butterflies deposit their eggs on, that they should be planted in shade or partial shade for maximum efficiency.

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