Tropical Florida Gardens - What's in Bloom at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates?

Tropical Florida Gardens

What's in Bloom at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates?

Name that Plant – Because We Can't!

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 31st

Mystery plant

Know what this plant is? Good! Please tell us! It sprouted on its own in one of our raised beds in our Heritage Garden and we don’t know what it is.  It’s just over six feet tall and the newer leaves are fuzzy on both the top and bottom of the leaf.  The older leaves are rough. We haven’t seen any flowers on it yet. You can click the photos for larger images or come by and see the plant for yourself – it’s right outside the ticket office.

If you’re the first to correctly identify the plant for us (post your answer as a comment on this blog or on Facebook) and we’ll give you a FREE firespike plant. Previous winners, no matter how recently they won, are eligible for this contest.

Mystery plant - bottom of leaf on left side, top of leaf on right.

Mystery plant leaves

Firespike are great butterfly plants.  I’ll post more about them in the next few days, but here are a few pictures…

Firespike flower - win this plant by identifying our mystery plant.

Win this butterfly plant by identifying our mystery plant.

Name That Plant, Win That Plant XIII

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 9th

Be the first to identify this plant and win it!  The correct answer will be announced Wednesday, September 15.  Here’s a hint:  It’s a tree.


Contest Rules: Leave a comment on Facebook or the Garden Blog with your answer.  The person with the first correct answer may choose to receive the mystery plant (if available) or a peace lily.  The winner will be announced on the Estates Garden Blog and on Facebook.  Plants must be picked up from the Edison & Ford Winter Estates within 7 days of contest end (and, no, we can’t ship them!).  If you have won previously, please wait 60 days before guessing again.

Name That Plant V: Win That Plant

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 6th

The game continues!  Can you identify this plant?  We will post the answer next Tuesday!

Contest Rules: Leave a comment on Facebook or the Garden Blog with your answer.  The person with the first correct answer may choose to receive the mystery plant (if available) or a peace lily.  The winner will be announced on the Estates Garden Blog and on Facebook.  Plants must be picked up from the Edison & Ford Winter Estates within 7 days of contest end (and, no, we can’t ship them!).

Name That Plant IV ANSWER: Coral Plant

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 6th

Last week, we asked our readers to identify the plant below.  The person who correctly identified it first would win the mystery plant.  This week, Sally Skabar came the closest by identifying the genus as Jatropha.  Congratulations, Sally!

Coral Plant, Jatropha Multifida

With unique leaves, a bright red flower, drought tolerance and an ability to grow in pots or in the ground, this plant is a great choice for south Florida.   In the ground, this shrub usually grows to 10 feet but may sometimes grow to 20 feet.  Native to Mexico, it is commonly grown as a specimen plant due to its tropical look.  It will drop its leaves below 40°F and it will recover from a light freeze.  If the weather is not too cold, the coral plant will flower year-round but it blooms more profusely in the summer months.   

This species, like all Jatrophas, have a milky white sap that can be an irritant to some people.  It’s this sap that led Thomas Edison to experiment with other species of Jatrophas as a potential source of latex for his rubber research.  There’s no known evidence that Edison experimented with the coral plant, but it was planted here as early as 1908 and was still on the grounds in 1931.  The Edisons likely enjoyed the plant for the same reasons we do today, including its ability to attract birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects.

Coral plants are available for purchase in the Estates Garden Shoppe:  $8 for 1 gallon, $12 for 3 gallon.

Name That Plant II: ANSWER – Bromeliad

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 14th

On Monday we asked you to identify this plant:

The correct answer is Bromeliad.   There are over 3,000 species of bromeliad including the pineapple.  This particular variety can be seen to the left of the entrance gate to the Homes & Gardens at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.