A blog dealing with Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Top Two Floral Ways to Tell it is Thanksgiving in Sarasota

Earlier in the season I posted a list of the top ten (actually eleven) ways to tell it is Fall in Sarasota Florida. Now here's a Thanksgiving-specific supplement.

Tithonia diversifolia. These giant sunflower relatives can tower twelve feet high and is sometimes called Giant Mexican Sunflower. They are ruthless nitrogen fixers, which means they grow well in poor soil and I use them to quickly screen views. Their leaves are said to make great fertilizer and have the annoying habit of hanging onto the plant when dead.  But their ability to thrive and their habit of falling over and re-rooting, combined with an ability to set viable seed means than can become invasive -- sort of a sorcerer's apprentice plant. Nevertheless they bloom reliably every year at Thanksgiving, providing glowing color on our table.

Tithonia diversifolia 
Billbergia nutans This bromeliad is known as Queen's Tears, but it must be a queen from a psychedelic era because the inflorescences feature paint-box intense red, blue, green, and yellow. This plant is so easy to grow that an alternate name is Friendship Plant. Again, it can be relied upon to bloom right around Thanksgiving.

BIllbergia nutans