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Plantgasm - I love plants too much. By Derek Powazek.

A Visit to the Fairchild Botanic Garden

I recently visited the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden recently to attend the International Aroid Society Show (more on that later). And it’s amazing.

The huge garden has been going since 1938. It’s known for its palms, cycads, and tropical trees (I was especially amazed by Kigelia africana which is not officially known as a “testicle tree,” though it should be). But I was there for the rainforest plants.

Here in San Francisco, I’m used to seeing tropical plants grown indoors, confined to pots and greenhouses. But in Miami, they thrive outdoors. Every palm tree has a Philodendron growing up it. Monstera with giant leaves are everywhere. Caladium grow outside! Tillandsia, orchids, and Anthurium fill the trees.

I love living in San Francisco, but all my favorite plants belong to the tropics.

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5 Responses

Dear Derek many thanks for sharing these drops from Paradise! I really liked them…I hope to have the chance ,in the near future, to visit this place!
Best regards from Italy!

Posted by Luca Lubatti on 28 September 2011 @ 3pm

Lovely to revisit this tropical paradise without humidity. Of course, today is pretty warm right here in the bay area so I can almost imagine I am there.
(The day we were there “The Victory Garden” crew was there with the older guy (Burl Ives look-alike) that used to do all the how-to cultivation tips was there filming an episode.

Posted by serialplantfetishist on 28 September 2011 @ 7pm

Hey! The second italian to post comments on this beautiful article! And to show my horrible english ^^” I want to tell you that I understand you when you talk about tropical plants with a sort of sadness, i hate living in Italy for different reasons, but one of these is that in winter is very cold and i can’t grow tropical plants i love. I’ll try next year with some arisaema as Tortuosum and i’ll see. Meanwhile, i’m following this beautiful blog ^^
Dave (and sorry for my english)

Posted by Davide on 29 September 2011 @ 5am

I loved the Fairchild! Did you get chased by feral iguanas too? :) One of the coolest experiences in Miami is driving under the tunnels of banyan trees in the older neighborhoods.

Posted by Steve Asbell on 29 September 2011 @ 4pm

Is this the legacy of Benjamin T. Fairchild? I used to go to the Fairchild Wildflower Preserve in Greenwich CT almost every day before work.

Posted by Chris Bird on 2 October 2011 @ 12pm


Plantgasm is where Derek Powazek chronicles his botanical antics and misadventures. More.