Green Management of Runoff Water
One issue common in all of today’s South Florida neighborhoods, both residential and commercial landscapes as well as natural areas is water management. The Dry Stream Bed, crafted from a common swale that handles runoff water, allows that water a cleansing path flowing through the landscape. The plants chosen for this garden can handle temporary flooding and periods of drought while having the appearance of plants along a natural stream bed.
Highlighting this area are the Rainbow Eucalyptus, Bamboo and Indian Mast tree.
Rainbow Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta)
One of only four eucalypts species that do not naturally occur in Australia, this tree is native to the rain forests of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. The amazing colors come from patches of the outer bark shedding on this extremely fast growing tree. Freshly exposed bark is bright green and as the patches of exposed under-bark mature, they darken into blue, purple and maroon tones. The rainbow eucalyptus, while beautiful, should not be planted in home gardens as it is listed as a Florida invasive by the UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants.
Although Bamboo resemble trees, they are actually a woody grass that grows in tropical to sub-tropical regions with mild temperatures. There are over 1,000 different species and they are the fastest growing plant on earth. Bamboo only grows for a short period of time, about 90 days, but during that time it is on overdrive. Some species can even grow up to three feet a day and can reach heights up to 130 feet! Because they are hollow and grow so quickly, they are a strong, light weight, renewable resource for building materials and are used to make furniture and flooring as well as fishing poles and the occasional walking stick.
Indian Mast Tree (Polyalthia longifolia)
The Indian mast tree trunk was used to make masts for sailing ships, as the trunk is flexible, straight, and light weight. Today they are frequently planted to help alleviate noise pollution (like our collection of P. longifolia along the path between overflow parking and the main entrance)