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?

Blooming at the Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On November 18th

A sampling of the blooms and fruits you can see at the Estates today…

What's Blooming at the Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On November 1st

Here’s a peek at some of the plants currently blooming and fruiting at the Estates.  Check back tomorrow for more photos of additional flowers!

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Name That Plant, Win That Plant XIV Answer: Desert Rose

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 6th

Desert Rose, Adenium obesum

Don’t let this plant’s common name fool you.  It is not a “rose” and although native to sub-Saharan Africa and the deserts of the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, this interesting plant grows well in South Florida’s humidity.  It has a beautiful bright red, pink and white flower, but many enthusiasts grow desert rose for the caudex, or base, which can be manipulated to form unique shapes.

Desert rose is suitable for container gardening or will thrive in your yard if planted in full sun and well-drained soil.  Plants should never be in standing water and should not get much water at all in the cooler months, as this species is prone to root rot.  If temperatures regularly fall below 35°F in your area, it’s best to grow desert rose in a container so the plant can be moved inside during cold snaps.  Leaves may drop during winter but the plant should recover nicely each spring, providing months of beautiful blooms in the summer.  All parts of the plant are toxic if ingested and the sap may irritate skin, so use caution when planting.

We have a desert rose growing in a container in front of the Caretaker’s house at the Estates.  We also have several for sale in our Garden Shoppe.  Don’t forget, garden blog readers save 10% off their Garden Shoppe purchases by mentioning the phrase of the month at check-out!

Name That Plant, Win That Plant XII Answer: Tamarind

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 15th

Tamarind, Tamarindus indica

Did you know you can grow one of the ingredients in Worcestershire sauce right in your backyard?  The fruits of the tamarind tree are used throughout the world in chutneys, drinks, candy and sauces.  In the US, tamarind is sometimes used in barbeque sauces and can be found in sweetened drinks available at ethnic restaurants and stores.

Although native to tropical Africa, this tree is now grown worldwide.  In Florida, it is rated for zones 10-11, may grow up to 90 feet, and will be evergreen except during long droughts.  Our horticulturist, Debbie, loves the weeping form of this tree and says the tamarind makes an excellent shade tree.  Flowers are produced in the summer and the fruits that follow may hang on the tree for several months.   Our tamarind tree is next to the friendship walk on the Edison property.  It is flowering now and produced more than 50 fruits last year, even though it was planted just six years ago.

Our friends at the University of Florida extension service compiled a few recipes for tamarind, including “Tamarind Chicken with Mangoes”.   Lucky for you, our Garden Shoppe sells tamarind and mango trees.  Sorry, no chickens.

Britta Soderqvist, Plant Curator