By Elizabeth Dowdle, Conservation Chairman, Garden Club of Palm Beach



(above left) Bay Cedar(Surinam maritima) is a beautiful Florida native coastal plant that has yellow blooms periodically throughout the year. Its flowers attract butterflies (hairstreaks, julia, great southern whites and obscure skippers) and it’s berries feed birds. Its leaves crushed are aromatic. It can be used as a small specimen tree (there’s one just inside the entrance to Pan’s Garden) or it also responds well to clipping for a bushy hedge. It loves full sun and is very tolerant of salt and wind. - Beth Dowdle

(above center) Marlberry bush, Ardisia escallonioides, Primulaceae. An excellent accent shrub, with dark green foliage and fragrant clusters of blooms and fruit. Provides significant food for birds. Plant some in your garden today! - Beth Dowdle

(above right) The 2010 Fairchild Plant of the Year, Byrsonima lucida, known as locust berry, is a Florida native shrub or small tree reaching 15 feet tall. It has an attractive multi-stemmed habit with narrow leaves opening red and changing to shiny green as they mature. Most floriferous in the spring, it produces erect clusters of flowers with bright yellow stamens and petals that change from white to pink to crimson as they age. The berry-like fruits are rosy brown when ripe. Locust berry is the larval host plant of the Florida duskywing skipper. Flowers attract native bees and butterflies, and the fruits provide food for birds. It requires full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It makes a great screening plant or native hedge and is drought tolerant once established. - Beth Dowdle