Mandarin Hat

Blooming in January

While you’re visiting Heathcote and enjoying the 5 acres of Gardens, here are a few of the many flowers you can find blooming in January.

Mandarin Hat

This herbaceous perennial is a climbing shrub, native to the lowlands of the Himalayas and found in many Florida gardens. Holmskioldia sanguinea is also known as Mandarin Hat Plant (the name preferred in Southern Florida), Chinese Hat Plant or Cup-and-Saucer Plant. The 8 to 10 foot plant is irresistible to butterflies and hummingbirds.

Chocolate Cherry Allamanda

From Tropical South and Central America, these large plants have striking foliage and trumpet-shaped flowers which bloom nearly year-round at Heathcote. Allamanda is a genus of flowering plants in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae. The most common of the species produce yellow flowers. Allamanda attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, it’s resistant to deer and rabbits and grows well in full sun or in light shade. All parts of the plant are toxic if swallowed.

Glory Bower Vine

You may have a hard time finding this one at Heathcote as it is high up in the trees in our rainforest. Flaming glorybower, native to western Africa, is a woody or semi-woody evergreen vine or running shrub that climbs by twining and is popular in warm, humid climates. The flowers are extremely showy and attractive to butterflies.

Red in the Gardens

The Gardens are looking lovely and there is a wonderful assortment of “red” (or close to it) throughout the grounds right now.

From the red Amaryllus in the parking lot, to the blooming Bougainvilla in the Bonsai Garden, there are many beautiful plants and flowers to find everywhere.

Fun Facts:

Guzmanija lingulata: The genus was discovered in 1802 and named after the Spanish botanist A. Gusman.
Amaryllus: Cultivation of amaryllis started in the 18th century. There are more than 600 varieties of amaryllis today. South Africa and Holland are among the greatest manufacturers of amaryllis in the world.

Philodendron: Always allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering.

Eucrosia bicolor: Native to Ecuador and Peru. This species grows very well in tropical climates. It was the first species of Eucrosia to be scientifically described, in 1816, and the first to be introduced into cultivation in Europe, flowering outside its homeland for the first time in 1817.

Crown of Thorns: Currently, all varieties are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meaning that international trade in wild grown plants should be carefully monitored.

Billbergia pyramidalis: Commonly known as the Flaming torch, is a species of bromeliad that is native to Brazil, Venezuela, French Guiana, the Lesser Antilles and Cuba. When planted at the base of a tree, they slowly will climb the trunk.

Bougainvilla: The beautiful bougainvilla is listed as one of the top 10 flowering bonsai trees to grow. Discovered in Brazil during French Adm. Louis de Bougainvillea’s 1768 voyage, these plants were named in his honor.

Neoregelia Aztec: This tropical epiphyte thrives with humidity, often going two weeks without supplemental water.

Desert Rose: It has no thorns and it is totally unrelated to the rose family – it doesn’t really even look like one.

Surinam Cherry Bonsai detail

The Surinam Cherry Bonsai Tree

Surinam Cherry Bonsai Tree

The Surinam Cherry bonsai is a sub-tropical evergreen with dark green ovate leaves formed in pairs and thin, tan-colored, peeling bark. In the spring it bears small white flowers which are followed by red edible fruit. It is a popular landscape tree in the southern part of the United States and is highly recommended for those wanting an outdoor tropical bonsai as it has a long life and is relatively easy to grow.

Surinam Cherry Bonsai Tree

Surinam cherries, also known as the Pitanga, are small, red, ribbed berries that look very similar to a cherry. Their taste, however, is very different. Some say they are tart and acidic with a taste much like a green bell pepper, others say it tastes like a mango. The fruit is also rich in antioxidants and an excellent source of vitamins A and C. The tropical Surinam cherry is related to the guava, clove, allspice and eucalyptus plants. The name is deceptive since it’s actually not related to sweet or sour cherries.

The Surinam cherry is named for the northern country in South America where it is believed to have originated. It naturally grows in neighboring French Guiana and Guyana and can be found as far south as Uruguay and Argentina.

The leaves of the Surinam cherry contain various essential oils such as turpentine in the form of polyterpenes and sequiterpenes; citronella which is known to repel insects.

 

Come and visit the James J. Smith Bonsai Gallery here at Heathcote and see this beautiful bonsai for yourself.