Pine rockland plants, poor things!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I've often mentioned to my fellow horticulturist, nature-loving friends that plants growing in the pine rocklands of south Florida are stunted due to the poor growing conditions.  We are growing many plants native to this special habitat in our nursery, the grounds of Fairchild and in our home gardens.  It is simply amazing how different the same species looks when grown in good soil versus the rockland.  Here is one example.  The first photo is Ocimum campechianum, wild sweet basil, in pine rockland habitat in Everglades National Park.




 Ocimum campechianum in pine rockland habitat, ENP



Here is a photo of the same species that was growing in our lowland pineland garden.  This is not rockland habitat.  The area was raised with fill received from the county around 2001.  It actually has soil versus the poor rock habitat found in pine rockland.



Ocimum campechianum growing in fill in FTBG pineland



This illustrates just how tough the growing conditions are in the pine rockland habitat.  Only the strong survive!  I've been simply amazed at the beauty of many of our native wildflowers which are typically found growing in pine rockland.  Grow the same species in decent soil and you might not recognize the plant!  More examples to follow!  Oh, we will be selling Ocimum campechianum  grown in good soil, at Members' Day Plant Sale, Saturday October 1.