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?

Plant Spotlight: Dwarf Poinciana

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 17th

by Britta Soderqvist, Estates Plant Curator

Dwarf Poinciana, Caesalpinia pulcherrima

This is a fast-growing shrub or small tree, growing up to 12 feet in height and sometimes 12 feet in width.  It blooms best in full sun and tolerates drought well.  A variety of flower colors are available, although the yellow and red variety (pictured above) is most common.  Flowers can appear year-round but are more prolific during the warm months.  The Dwarf Poinciana is thought to have originated from the West Indies and the tropical Americas.

Unlike its larger “cousin” the Royal Poinciana, the Dwarf Poinciana can grow in cooler temperatures.  It has been known to survive in temperatures as low as the high teens.  During extreme cold, it may die back to the ground but will likely recover.  Dwarf Poincianas will bloom when potted but they do better when planted in the ground. 

If you love the look of the Royal Poinciana Trees that are blooming all over McGregor Boulevard but don’t have the room for such a large tree, consider purchasing a Dwarf Poinciana from the Estates Garden Shoppe.  Plants in 6 inch pots are $10 and have been selling quickly. You can see our Dwarf Poinciana in full bloom next to the fountain between the Edison Main House and the Moonlight Garden.

What's Blooming in June?

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 16th

There is always something blooming at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.  Take a look at what’s in bloom right now:

Plant Spotlight: Dwarf Poinciana

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 27th

by Dick Dutton, Plant Curator

dwarf poinciana

The Dwarf Poinciana is a large shrub/small tree that has flowers resembling a Royal Poinciana tree with the advantage of a smaller size. The Royal Poinciana, considered by some the most beautiful flowering tree in the world, is large and can reach 30′ in height with a 50′ spread. This makes the Dwarf Pionciana perfect for smaller yards or lanais where space is limited.

Dwarf Poincianas grow to 8-12 feet and are semi-deciduous, losing their leaves during the winter for a relatively short time. They are easy to grow from seed; germination takes no more than seven days during the warmer weather. There is one tree on the Edison & Ford Winter Estates grounds by the fountain on your way to Edison’s Pier.

Dwarf Poincianas are very popular and are available for sale in the Estates Garden Shoppe located near the Information Booth.

Choosing the Right Tree

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 9th

by Debbie Hughes, Estates Horticulturist

Everyone needs a tree in their yard to provide some shade, and our summer rainy season is a perfect time for planting.  I am going to tell you a little secret to help you decide on what tree to choose. The most important mantra you should repeat to yourself is “Right plant in the right place.”  If you want to be happy with your choice for the lifetime of the tree, do the research.

  • Determine the mature height and spread, the flower, fruit, or leaf drop, and the wet, cold and salt tolerance.
  • Size matters – especially if you don’t want the tree to take over your property (or your neighbors).
  • A tree with flowers that fall on your driveway and car can be messy, but perfectly acceptable over the middle of the grass.
  • Most tropical fruit trees won’t survive in cold winter temperatures in northern regions of the county.
  • If you only live in Florida in the winter months and want a fruiting or flowering tree, make sure it blooms while you are in town.
jacaranda tree

jacaranda tree

Most people buy plants and then decide where it should go in the landscape. This is a no-no.  You will end up with the wrong tree for your situation and have to spend the money to cut it down later; not to mention losing all those years of growth only to be back where you started.

Some great choices for trees include (but there are many more):

  • SMALL: East Palatka Holly, Crape Myrtle, Orange Geiger, Bahama Strongbark, Sweet Acacia, Senna Surattensis, Tabernaemontana Orientalis (blooms smell like buttered popcorn)
  • MEDIUM:  Foxtail Palm, Shady Lady Black Olive, Tabebuia (Golden Trumpet and Caribbean Queen)
  • LARGE: Live Oak, Royal Poinciana, Jacaranda, Mahogany, Royal Palm

As the Edison & Ford Winter Estates restores the botanical gardens of the historical property, we invite you to commemorate your marriage, celebrate the birth of a child, or honor a passed away loved one by planting a tree in the gardens or sponsoring a memory bench. For more information on donating a Celebration Tree to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, please visit http://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/events/celebration-tree-plantings.