The South Florida Palm Society is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to disseminate information about and encourage interest in palms and the use of those plants.  The South Florida Palm Society uses its funds to help support local botanical gardens, individual scientific research expeditions or projects, conservation and planting projects and educational efforts.



July 31, 2017: Keeping Virginia Key beautiful with native palms, courtesy of the South Florida Palm Society

Nothing works better in putting the right palm in the right place. The Board of Directors voted at the last meeting to approve a request from TREEmendous Miami for funds to buy 30 Sabal Palms for installation on Virginia Key Beach as part of a long-running project to restore native flora to the key. Twenty of the palms had about 6 ft. of wood, and the remaining ten had 15-16 ft. of wood.

Clink on the image below for more information







Under Articles and Websites:

  • "Getting the tough ones to germination" advice on scarification of seeds. Should help those who pickup up the free Attalea and Acromia seeds at the last meeting - See Articles and website links

  • Articles/ links of interest including identification guide to Syagrus and Coccothrinax palms by Dr. Larry Noblick - See Articles and website links



Prior Meetings

Aug 7, 2017. Dr. Carl Lewis, director of Fairchild Garden, presented "Palms of the Spice Islands" which a recent FTG organized trip retraced routes taken by Dr. David Fairchild's famed Cheng Ho Expedition undertaken on the eve of World War II. His presentation intermingled beautiful photos taken on the trip, with those taken by Dr. Fairchild.

June 5, 2017. Kevin McLeod discussed some of the more practical aspects of growing palms in South Florida. He has been particularly successful at growing Copernicia and other similar Carribean palms with drilling deep holes, frequently all the way to the water table in south Florida's coral rock. Other topics discussed wer: best watering practices, cutting and trimming palms, fertilizing practices; the difference between 3-month and 1-year fertilizer formulas and difficulty of ridding palms of nutritional deficiencies.

April 3, 2017: A slide presentation of the IPS's 2016 Biennial Tour, by Elvis Cruz, included Kuching and Singapore. Kuching - An old Malaysian city with some traditionally Asian features, and world-class palm touring nearby. Singapore - An ultra-modern city, with some of the best cultivated gardens on earth including astounding pictures of Licuala orbicularis, Jubaea chilensis, and an astounding joey palm. Mixed in with the slides were a quirky mix of the fauna of the both Malaysia and Singapore, including the occasional leeches. An auction of palms and a couple orchids followed the presentation.

Feb 6, 2017:Jeff Searles presented his travels in Borneo in advance of the 2016 IPS Biennal Meeting. Borneo is a most interesting place. Not only is it the largest island in Asia, but it is the third largest island in the world. For several reasons, it has been slow to give up its secrets. Its thick tropical lowland forests, majestic Mt. Kanabalu, and gigantic leeches have long presented for- midable challenges to explorers. Some historians believe that no westerner was able to traverse the island until 1982!

Nov 5, 2016: The SFPS 2016 Fall Garden Tour took place in the Redland. First we visited Botanics Wholesale Nursery with an abundance of unusual palms including Joey palms and other tropical plants. Then it was on to the Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC). Operated by the University of Florida, the facility occupies about 160 acres and boasts a very nice collection of palms that includes Copernicia fallaensis and Attalea crassispatha. Our third stop was at Kevin McCloud's house where he is growing a huge Tahina palm. He shared with us some of his secrets which includes making a big hole for his Tahina and doing a really diligent job of palm hunting among the vendors.

Oct 13, meeting. Sara Edelman, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences at FIU and until recently she was Manager of Palms and Cycads at FTG. Sara's topic was "The Search for Paurotis Palm Across its Range." Most of us think of Paurotis (Acoelorrhaphe wrightii) as a local species, probably because it is commonly known as the Everglades Palm. However, this beautiful plant has an extensive native range in the Caribbean Basin - along the Atlantic coast from the Yucatan Peninsula to northern Costa Rica, in Cuba, and in the Bahamas, as well as southern Florida. Sara will take us on a tour of the places where Paurotis hangs out. (By the way, she is the first person known to have made a sighting of this palm growing as solitary-stemmed specimens in Florida.)

June 6 meeting, Lenny Goldstein, President of SFPS. Lenny made a slide presentation of the many palms the SFPS help to plant and grow at Metro Zoo as part of our mission to raise appreciation of the beauty of palms in our Florida's landscapes. Bob Yokel, the director of Dade County MetroZoo, as it was then called, expressed reservations about allowing a volunteer group to set up shop inside the zoo, because he had seen clubs abandon other volunteer projects after just a few months. We assured him that we were in it for the long haul, and we kept our promise. More then 35 years later, Zoo Miami has notified us that our nursery space will be converted to an aquaculture operation. On Monday night, we commemorated the society's most extensive community service project!

April 4, 2016 Meeting with Dr. Chad Husby, Botanical Horticulturalist with Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden: Horticultural Expeditions in SE Asia: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, by Chad Husby and Jason Lopez.

The two great acheivements of David Fairchild were exploring for new plants for introduction in the US and making connections with botanists world wide. In this tradition, Dr. Chad Husby and FTG Living Collections Manager, Jason Lopez, made a recent trip to several SE Asian countries. The trip began in Bangkok, with exploring for unusual plants during the King's birthday festival. The market offered many unusual plants and just about everything else including fried squid on a stick and durian fruits.

Then, we got to see the world famous Noog Nooch nursery, (500 acres- roughly 6 x Fairchild Garden), in southern Thailand known for an abundance of rare palms, cycads and other tropical plants. It is also a resort and a nursery, known for its topiary, zoo, entertainment and restuarants. But, the five foot Johannesteijmannia perekensis (Joey on a stick palm) was truly a knock out to all palm lovers. Then off to more gardens/ nurseries, as the expedition went to Malaysia, Jakarta and Singapore. In Singapore, they visited Singapore's "Gardens on the Bay", a spectacular garden-resort (only 3x larger than FTG), with an amazing fusion of modern glass structures with plants, making it difficult to separate the beauty of modern conservatories and what's inside of them including exotic bromeliads, ferns, palms (of course) and other tropical plants.

Hopefully , many of the new plants gathered on this expedition will make their way into distribution through commercial growers, or at FTG plant sales. Or perhaps they will be appearing soon in FTG's conservatory. This expedition also established contacts with botanists who work in the various nurseries for great and informal exchange of conservation needs and horticulture knowledge.

March 12-13, Spring Show and Sale: The day was perfect, the selection of palms fantastic, and the extras (tram tour, BBQ and music) were all outstanding. We really appreciate our hosts, Montgomery Botanical Center, for allowing us to have the event at their center, and providing the informative tram tours of their very unique collection of palms and cycads, and other tropical trees on the 100 acre estate. The bbq ribs and chicken were excellent. Photos will be posted soon!

Award-winning growers in six categories were presented blue ribbons on Sunday of the 2016 Spring Palm Show & Sale at Montgomery Botanical Garden. Judging was conducted on Friday afternoon by Dr. Larry Noblick, Cookie Graff and Claude Roatta.

Best Palmate Palm:
Licuala aurantiaca
Ellis Brown
Best Pinnate Palm:
Rhopalostylis baueri
Steve Stern

Best Native Palm:
Pseudophoenix sargentii
Albert Livingston
Most Unusual Palm:
Iguanura bicornis
Ellis Brown

Best Cycad:
Zamia tuerckheimii
Ron & Ronnie Croci
Best of Show:
Salacca dransfieldiana
Steve Stern



*** Spring 2016 Palm Show and Sale Report - CLICK HERE

For those who missed this event, SFPS will have a palm show and sale at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden on Nov 5 and 6.

February 27, 2016. Spring Outing. Two spectacular gardens were visited and a Coccothrinax palm was planted at the University of Miami in honor of Stanley Kiem, longtime superintendent of Fairchild Tropical Garden and the only living founding member of the International Palm Society.

CLICK HERE for pictures of event.

We went first to a garden located in Coconut Grove. It was a landscaping masterpiece with narrow trails made of coral rock winding through a labyrinth of waterfalls and streams, with many flowering tropical plants including palms adorned with incredible white, purple and red orchids. It was hard to believe that these 3 acres were once as flat as a pancake. Now, the property had been transformed into a series of hills, overlooking a meandering stream below. Perfectly orchestrated with even a peacock!

The second garden at the home of John Greenleaf was also very impressive with many beautiful Bailey palms, coccothrinaxes red gingers and many flowering trees, not to mention his 1932 Chevrolet, perfectly restored. The outing ended with a picnic lunch. Pictures of the commemoration ceremony and the second garden will be posted shortly.

February 1, 2016, Elvis Cruz presented his experiences during the 2015 Midterm Meeting of the International Palm Society in Madagascar.

 Artwork was auctioned off in the silent auction.  Something for everyone.  Of course, the food was equally fantastic.  

Going once, Going Twice, Sold!!!!!!!

Jeff Searles was the SFPS volunteer auctioneer and did a terrific job.


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