Monthly meetings/programs are held at 7 p.m on first Tuesday of the month at
Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando, FL 32803
Tarpaper - December 2016 Edition
December 6th:         Program and Potluck
Dick Deuerling's Boy Scout Troops and Their Trek through Florida's Wilderness

A panel style presentation featuring:
Sam Stack, Tim Deuerling, Jim Werba, and Mike Palvisack.
      Many Tarflower members knew Dick Deuerling as an early member of the Florida Native Plant Society and their local guide to edible native plants. Our panel, however, knew him during their years as young men growing to maturity.  They learned to experience, respect and love the native Florida environment through their involvement with the local Boy Scouts' Troop 76, led by Dick Deuerling.
Come join us and hear their stories!
Extended Biographies
A friendly reminder that December 6th happens to be our Holiday Potluck meeting. Please remember to bring a dish or two. We had a lot of dessert items last year so please consider side dishes and main course items as they will be much welcomed. 
All Questions are Good Questions             By Amanda Martin
  What can I expect to see blooming this winter?
      Daylight savings is here and we are all feeling the pinch of not having enough daylight after the workday. Thankfully temperatures have begun to drop, taking humidity with it. Grasses are beginning to turn brown, elm trees are shedding their leaves, oaks are shedding their acorns, it seems the fall bloom will soon give way to the gentle dormancy of winter. The FL native Poinsettia heterophylla turned color and bloomed in September/October, so where can we expect to see color and life in our native landscapes aside from the holiday Mexican poinsettia? Fortunately, our temperate state always has something up her sleeve.  
First and foremost, keep your eyes on Bejaria racemosa, the Tarflower chapter’s namesake. Endemic to the pine flatwoods and scrub ecosystems of peninsular and North Florida, this beautiful flower coats the back of its petals with a little something sticky, catching flies and other insects, as well as its common name.
Erythrina herbacea, or Coral bean as it is commonly known, will start to shed its leaves as the bloom spikes begin to emerge. A simple yet attractive green leafed plant for most of the year yields gorgeous red tubular blooms on a terminal spike-like raceme. Erythrina offers a stark, red, interesting-looking blossom to an otherwise browning landscape. I recommend this plant for any landscape, having 7 planted under the shade of a cherry laurel tree in my own. I have these planted somewhat close to a public sidewalk where birds, snakes, cats, dogs and children amble by, so I am concerned that the seeds of Erythrina are toxic when ingested. To prevent this from being a problem I make sure to cut all of the blooms off after I’ve enjoyed them in the landscape and bring them into my kitchen for another day or so, thus inhibiting seed production for the year.

Firebush is a medium to large shrub that gives all year long. Hamelia patens is easily spotted in the landscape with characteristically reddish-orange petioles that fade to green on the leaf. The bloom spike is also reddish-orange with tubular orange-to-yellow flowers attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to nectar all year long. Once pollinated, the flowers turn into berries that change color as they ripen. Birds can forage throughout the winter on delicious, black berries provided by this now-common shrub. 

Psychotria nervosa (Wild coffee) is another shade loving plant with glossy green leaves for a tropical look in the landscape. Small white flowers bloom all year long with bright red berries for birds to forage on throughout the winter. Gallberry, Ilex glabra, blooms in the summertime but retains its dark fruits through the winter season. It’s not as showy, but a good stable food source for birds.

Blue Porterweed, Scorpion tail and Pennyroyal are all low growing shrubs that flower around the calendar. These three plants are a valuable source of nectar once the fall blooms fade. They are less widely known by their botanical names, listed in the same order, Stachytarpeta jamaicensis, Heliotropium angiospermum, and Piloblephis rigida. Follow the link on Piloblephis for an edible application of this non-mint.
       As always, there are plants we are looking to cultivate and those that pop up on their own. Flowers turn to seed, seeds disperse and the vegetative process gains new ground. The best way to diminish a seed bank is to keep the flower from setting seed. The easiest method I’ve found is to pull the weeds that are blooming in your yard right now. If they are still vegetative, you may want to keep them low, for sure, but you still have time. By focusing only on what’s blooming, I never feel like I have to weed the entire yard. I meander through, pulling the flowers that are the most obvious. The flowering plants get tossed on the compost pile and the next generation of seeds never get sown. Here are 3 to keep your eyes on. 
The non-native Ceaser weed, Urena lobata, commonly pops up in any area with disturbed soil. Take a close look at the leaf shape and the small hibiscus like flowers, and then scan any area for bigger bushes. You will be surprised how often it is growing along the roads, through old fences, maybe in the back areas of your garden right now! Fortunately, there are some medicinal properties to this plant but since it is a category 1 invasive species for Florida it’s not worth cultivating.
I’m often asked about the non-native Momordica charantia, commonly known as wild balsam apple or bitter melon, or just that stinky, sticky vine on the back fence you can’t get rid of. Looking for more information on this member of the cucurbit family I found this interesting journal article. Still not a reason to let it re-seed.
For all you barefoot loving Floridians, winter is the blooming season of the Sandspur, Cenchrus incertus, often inserting its spines into the center of your foot. The good news: it’s larval food for branded skippers and perhaps satyrs. Small songbirds will also forage on the seeds. The bad news: They really hurt when stepping on them, or hours later when you find out they’ve hitched a ride on your shoestrings and jeans.
Take a look at what's blooming this winter and let me know what you saw!
Backyard Biodiversity Day Follow-up         By Cayce Salvino and Amanda Martin
          The 4th annual Backyard Biodiversity Day on October 15 was a huge success. While we don't have an accurate counting system to verify the attendance numbers mentioned in the last newsletter, we do know we hosted more people throughout the day than last year. Our fall blooming plants were a huge hit, indicated by steady sales all day long.
        This year we offered a little something special to those who wanted to join the Tarflower chapter - a free wildflower with a membership! With the help of our fantastic sales team we managed to gain 14 new members - be sure to welcome them!
        The children's tent, hosted by Keep Winter Park Beautiful, was also full of activity throughout the day. They ran art activities  before and after the youth nature walk. Our young patrons were also very apt at finding caterpillars feasting on the larval host plants (like the picture of the Gulf Fritillary, Dione vanillae
(picture on the right) for sale and dragging their parents over to look. It is always encouraging to see the interest in planting natives grow by leaps and bounds, especially in children.
Overall, it was a great day of educational events and plant selling!

Can't wait for next year!
     We would like to extend our gratitude to our wonderful group of volunteers.
Whether they helped unload and set-up tents/plants, sell plants, give talks, lead hikes, or even welcomed our visitors -
everyone contributed. 
Without all of your help this event would not be possible and would certainly not be as successful. 
(in no particular order) Catherine Bowman, Jim Erwin, Mike Duffy, Ceci Catron, Chuck Roux, Cayce Salvino, Ron Blair, Jackie Rolly, Marge Holt, John Hall, Dena Wild, Nancy Tyree, Amanda Martin, Mark Kateli, Christine Warren, Julie/Mike Becker, Pete Dunkelberg, Frank Winzig, Mary Keim and Randy Snyder, Mary Maxwell, Lyrae Williams, Sandy Bauerschmidt, Cindy Brown, Teresa Chin, Peg Lantz, Walter Taylor, Karin Taylor, Bob Stamps, Loretta Satterthwaite, Jackie Sward, Eugene Stoccardo, and Deborah Green (this may not be a complete list).
And finally, a big Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about this event .
Word of Mouth was still our best marketing strategy!
GrowVember                       by Amanda Martin and Carlos Santos
GrowVember turned out to be a beautiful weekend weather-wise. Last year we encountered some rain and cloudiness, though our spirits ran high. I would like to give a shout-out to our Secretary Cayce - We first met her at GrowVember last year. This year, temperatures fell, the rain passed in the night and Saturday was a shiny day.Photo by amanda martin
      We had a loyal crew show up for setting up the tent and unloading a trailer full of plants. Then came the fun part.... organizing the rows, what goes where, what species is that? Where are the stakes and signs, and is that correct?
      For those who cannot come out during these moments, I completely understand. For those who can but maybe don't feel comfortable, I will attest to it being a great opportunity to learn the name and look of each each genus and species. Having them all lined up together is better than any flashcard I made in college.
      Speaking of college, during the GrowVember event we were lucky enough to be joined by a UCF student Carlos Santos, who reached each out the Tarflower Chapter for a class project. The project aimed to educate students about fund raising and each student was tasked to give a short presentation, pretending their classmates are very wealthy donors. Carlos chose the Florida Native Plant Society. He did some event volunteering with us and agreed to let us publish his thoughts. Below are his class journal entries for GrowVember.
What specific tasks did you perform?
As a volunteer I assisted with loading/unloading all Native Plants that are for sale. Other tasks included were arranging literature for the FNPS booth and spreading news on the details of proper maintenance to plants. Guests inquiring about which plants are better suited for their new home garden (shade, full-sun, partial-sun) were attended to by volunteers, I also attended, then provided the service of carting off numerous plants to each purchaser’s vehicle (insuring a much more personalized experience).

What did you find particularly rewarding?
The most rewarding experience is being in the moment, learning and sharing what we’ve learned in our lives, with all individuals who show an interest in our quest for creating sustainable environments necessary for all life in Florida.

What did you discover that was unexpected?
I did not expect the President of our local Tarflower chapter to be present in providing an educational speech on the importance, and benefits, of native plants. I also did not expect to see evidence of FNPS’s physical efforts in protecting endangered animals like the gopher tortoises residing on the Mead Gardens premises.

How did the organization benefit from your efforts?
The benefit FNPS has gained from my volunteer efforts is that they now have an additional comrade. My presence and efforts provide ease on labor and a relatively calming vibe for all to work peacefully throughout the day.
     We Thank All of our comrades: Carlos Santos, Jim Erwin, Mike Duffy, Lyrae Williams, Ceci Catron, Nancy Tyree, John Hall, Chuck Roux, Cayce Salvino, Ron Blair, Jackie Rolly, Jackie Sward, Marc Godts, April (works with Marc), and I'm sure there were a few more.
... if I left you off, don't think we didn't notice Friday or Saturday. It's all about camaraderie. 
December Field Trip                             By Pete Dunkelberg
Pete has not been able to finalize the location of the field trip at this time.
Please come to our December meeting for more details!
In Memory of Bill Partington
   An intimate, family-only celebration of life was held at Leu Gardens over the weekend. Bill Partington spent so much of his life adventuring into natural Florida and infecting others with his sense of awe and wonder. The images and eco-reminders of the calamity calendar gains his dry sense of humor legendary status. His family has requested donations be made to Audubon Corkscrew Sanctuary in continued efforts to protect and preserve these lands for future generations.
Only in Florida: A photographic look at endemic plants of Florida
Presented by: Paul Rebmann
January 3, 2017

 As both an outlet to showcase his nature photography and an educational resource, Paul has created the Wild Florida Photo website at Select images are available for purchase online in various formats at
This program will feature mostly plants, and a few animals, that are endemic to Florida as seen through the photography of Paul Rebmann with information about each, including where they are found and how are they different from their more wide-ranging relatives. Florida ranks as the fourth highest state in the number of endemic species – those plants and animals naturally occurring only within a specific geographic area. Early botanists exploring Florida such as Alvan Wentworth Chapman and John Kunkel Small noted the high number of endemic species in the state. Some of the species that will be covered include Orange County's own Deeringothamnus rugelii pulchellus (pretty false pawpaw), other endangered species such as Nemastylis floridana (celestial lily), Warea amplexifolia (clasping Warea), panhandle endemic Harperocallis flava (Harper's beauty) and many more. A year-long exhibit of Only in Florida images by Paul Rebmann at the Lyonia Gallery in DeLand will continue through January (2017). Lyonia Gallery is part of the Lyonia Environmental Center, located at 2150 Eustace Ave. next to the Deltona Public Library and at the entrance to the Lyonia Preserve. After that the exhibit will travel around the state, with the next showing at the Kimbell Center Art Gallery at Jonathan Dickinson State Park Feb. 13 through March 4.

     Paul Rebmann has been a resident of Florida for over thirty years and has spent much of that time learning about, exploring and photographing nature. A Florida Master Naturalist, he is also a longtime member of both the Florida Native Plant Society and the Audubon Society, providing opportunities to learn from many of our experts about the various ecosystems, and the plants and animals that inhabit them. Employed full-time as a Director of Information Systems in Ormond Beach, Paul is also a part-time nature photographer with images published in several field guides, periodicals including The Palmetto and Backpacker magazine, and utilized in exhibits at Weedon Island Preserve and Lyonia Environmental Center. A number of images have won awards in the Orange Audubon Society's Kit; Sidney Chertok Nature Photography Contest. Paul is a volunteer on the FNPS web team, assisting with the implementation of the society's web sites, work for which he was honored with a Silver Palmetto award in 2007 and is active in the Pawpaw Chapter, including having served in several chapter positions.
From all of us at the Tarflower Chapter - Have a safe and happy holiday season.
See you next year :)
Want to Become a Member?
      Included in Membership
  • The Tarpaper - our monthly newsletter!
  • The Palmetto, our quarterly magazine, is filled with educational information on native plants, gardening, conservation of native habitats, and more.
  • Sabal Minor, our bi-monthly newsletter that will keep you up to date on FNPS news and activities
  • Annual Conference discount (Held in May of each year)
  • Native plant gardening and landscaping tips from your chapter volunteers!
For more information regarding membership visit
or call (321) 271-6702.
Volunteer Hours 
In an ongoing effort to capture all the work that FNPS Tarflower Chapter members do and how they contribute to our surrounding community we are working to gather volunteer information.

If you have volunteered at any of our Tarflower Chapter Events this year please take a moment to report your hours. There are currently 2 options available for hour reporting.  

Click Here. It will take you to an online survey form.

  2) Look for a Volunteer Hour Recording sheet at the sign in table at the monthly meetings.

To help at one of the upcoming events, contact Jim Erwin at 407-454-3882 or email
To contribute to the Tarpaper, contact Cayce Salvino, email
To participate in our workdays at Mead Garden, contact Catherine Bowman at 407-761-7109 or 
For general questions and inquiries about Tarflower happenings, contact Amanda Martin at 352-219-5381 or email.
See the events calendar for details of upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

Whether you have an hour or a day, and no matter your skills, Tarflower Chapter has a place for you!
Copyright © 2016 FNPS Tarflower Chapter, All rights reserved.

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