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Century Plant

Century Plant

The flower spike of a century plant (agave americana) can reach a height of 20 feet or more. It takes at least 10 years for the plant to save enough energy to produce the flower spike, but when it does, the spike grows quickly, sometimes a couple feet each day. When...
Queen’s Crape Myrtle

Queen’s Crape Myrtle

The crape myrtle tree gives a classic sign that summer is here as the tree bursts into bloom with huge, colorful flowers. Queen’s crape myrtle is the largest of them all. A profusion of large, three-inch wide, bright pink to lavender blooms appear from June to...
Sandspur

Sandspur

Sandspurs are one of Florida’s nastiest, most painful wildweeds. The name pretty well describes this plant — it lives in sandy soil and is composed of lots of little spurs. A member of the grass family, they produce small, hooked burs, which are so sharp they...
Thryallis

Thryallis

Pretty as a picture, sweet-scented thryallis flowers on and off all year with informal, cottage-garden appeal. It adds a soft touch to typical landscape greenery, the small leaves and upright blossoms swaying in the breeze. One of the easiest care yellow-flowering...
White Dome Mushroom

White Dome Mushroom

This is the quintessential mushroom. It perfectly matches the definition of mushroom: a fungal growth that typically takes the form of a domed cap on a stalk, often with gills on the underside of the cap.
Red Top Mushroom

Red Top Mushroom

All mushrooms are fungi, but not all fungi are mushrooms. For those fungi that produce them, the mushroom plays a similar role to a flower or a fruit in plants. Some part of each mature mushroom produces microscopic spores that are similar to pollen or seeds,...
Table Top Mushroom

Table Top Mushroom

This week is mushroom week! With all the rains, I’ve seen lots of mushroom activity around the neighborhood. I haven’t been able to find a good source for identifying them; so, I’m making up names based on what they look like. Walk around your...
Curly Mushroom

Curly Mushroom

As heavy rains continue soaking Sarasota, the fungi underneath our feet are quietly showing their fruiting blooms. In backyards, ditches and roadsides, look closely, and you’ll start noticing patches of mushrooms here and there. Big ones, small ones, skinny...
Bromelia Pinguin

Bromelia Pinguin

This stunning bloom caught my eye as I was driving on Tuttle Avenue between 61st and 59th streets. I just had to drive back around the block to snap it. These blooms are emerging from one of the toughest plants we have in Florida. Commonly knows as Florida wild...
Orange Jasmine

Orange Jasmine

Orange jasmine’s glossy dark green leaves make a dramatic setting for the highly-fragrant, cream colored flowers which bloom several times a year. It is a member of the citrus family, and as you would expect, bees flock to the flowers. The flowers are followed by...
Melaleuca

Melaleuca

Melaleuca trees, also known as punk trees or paperbark tea trees, are native to Australia. The bark is whitish, spongy, peeling, and in many layers. Melaleuca’s white flowers are small and crowded in bottlebrush-like spikes at branch tips. Melaleuca’s...
Cape Lily

Cape Lily

Cape lily is the result of hybridization between two South African crinum lilies by English plant breeders in the 19th century. The Cape lily has gone on to become one of the most popular perennials in the southern United States, passed along though generations of...