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Flora Portraits

Mounts Botanical Garden is filled with unique plants, flowers, trees and edible plants from around the world. We hope you enjoy these flora portraits!

Monstera (Monstera deliciosa)
Also known as windowleaf, cut-leaf philodendron, swiss-cheese plant, and split-leaf philodendron, this fast-growing vine is indigenous to the hot, humid, tropical forests of Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama. Grown mostly for its ornamental value here in South Florida, it can be used in the landscape or as a containerized plant. The Monstera is also our Garden icon! Look for it in our entrance area. — source: UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions

Jamaican Caper (Capparis cynophallophora)
This native shrub grows 6 to 18 feet, performs well in soils with good drainage, and is drought resistant. Jamaica Capper can be utilized as an understory tree in the partial shade, or grow in an area that receives full sun to medium shade. Plants serve as larvae hosts for Florida white butterfly (Appias Drusilla)

Giant Farfugium (Farfugium japonicum ‘Gigantea’)
This cold-hardy perennial from Japan performs surprisingly well here in South Florida. There is no other plant’s foliage which can compare to these large, completely round, glossy bright green discs for leaves. This plant makes a great accent in a nice ceramic pot. Farfugium makes a spectacular border plant especially when contrasting its bold texture with the finer texture of grasses, bamboo or even Liriope. Not only is this a striking foliage plant, it is colorful too. Spring into summer it produces tall sprays of yellow daisy-like flowers. This plant prefers moist and humus soils and is beautiful planted around a pond or lake edge. It does not like full sun so pick a spot with filtered light to bright (good visible light) shade. — Joel Crippen, Display Gardens Horticulturist

Queen Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia speciose)
This purple-flowering beauty is semi-deciduous and makes a nice shade tree. It blooms from spring until fall. — Matt Boyson, Horticulture Supervisor

Evergreen Hydrangea (Dichroa febrifuga)
This Hydrangea relative bears clusters of white buds that open to blue and pink flowers. — Matt Boyson, Horticulture Supervisor

Coreopsis, Florida’s state wildflower (May 4-10 is National Wildflower Week)
This beauty is a common sight along roadways, but they may appear as a yellow blur traveling at 70 mph on Florida’s turnpike. Many roadsides along Florida’s highways have been seeded by the Florida Wildflower Foundation working with FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) to help sustain the populations of many native wildflower species and to feed the pollinators that rely on these flowers. We have 12 species of Coreopsis native to the state of Florida. Their common name is tickseed, as their seeds resemble a tick or insect and are enjoyed by birds. The flowers are loved by bees, butterflies and a variety of nectar feeding insects. They make a great addition to the natural landscape, wildflower gardens or can be used in pot culture. — Joshua Spall, MBG Horticulturist

Heliconia “Hot Rio Nights” (Heliconia rostrata)
Heliconias are rainforest beauties that range from one-and-a-half feet to almost fifteen feet tall. They can add a tropical feel to our South Florida gardens, thanks to their lush foliage and bright, striking flowers (technically, they’re bracts). The blooms are typically red, yellow, or orange spikes, and make wonderful cut flowers. Some look like a stack of lobster claws! Heliconias should be grown in full sun or part shade in well-drained soil. They’re not drought- or salt-tolerant, but will take moist soils. Heliconias can be used as specimen plants or massed together in groups. — source: UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions

Black Sapote (Diospyros nigra)
Also known as the chocolate pudding fruit, the Black Sapote is native to Central America. It is a member of the persimmon family, with a texture that is light and airy, similar to fresh whipped cream. Although the fruit is practically flavorless with a slight hint of sweetness in its original state, its unique texture allows for many culinary uses, such as frostings, puddings, brownies and more! — Joshua Spall, MBG Horticulturist

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Buttonbush makes a great shrub or small tree. This Florida native can be found in swamps, ponds, and stream banks. It likes moist, wet soil and is deciduous in the winter but produces beautiful one inch, white flower balls from early spring to late summer. It even attracts birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The Buttonbush pictured here was located in the O’Keeffe Rain Garden; unfortunately, I discovered it at the end of its bloom still a beautiful flower. — Matt Boyson, Horticulture Supervisor

Ant Plants (Hydnophytum moselyanum and Myrmecodia beccarii)
These epiphytic plants are found in regions from Southeast Asia to Australia and some South Pacific Islands. They form a large caudex (trunk) that contains many chambers and entry holes. Within the caudex are two types of chambers. “Smooth-walled” chambers are where the ants live and raise larvae. “Knobby-walled” chambers are where ants store their waste and contain nutrient absorbing root-like structures. This is a form of mutualism, a symbiotic relationship where both species benefit. — Joshua Spall, MBG Horticulturist