9-20-2018 Virtual Visit to the Yard of Martha & Roger Willoughby

Each time that we visit the yard of our Chapter Treasurer Martha Willoughby, we are inspired by her ever diminishing areas of turf grass, her beautiful beds of native wildflowers, her use of attractive native grasses, her shoreline plantings that protect the Indian River Lagoon, and her ability to select the right plant for the right place.  Martha does not use commercial fertilizers but does “recycle” plant material.  Only the small, functional areas of turf grass are irrigated.

helianthus - salvia - monarda

This functional turf grass area in the back yard is surrounded by a graceful bed of wildflowers, including …

Beach dune sunflower (Helianthus debilis) …

helianthus debilis

Fall-flowering dotted bee balm (Monarda punctata) …

monarda punctata2

and the very red-flowered tropical sage (Salvia coccinea) …

salvia coccinea

Well-placed shrubs include sun-loving necklace pod …

sophora tomentosa3

sophora tomentosa4

sophora tomentosa

…. the white-flowered native lantana commonly known as wild sage (Lantana involcrata) …

lantana involucrata

… Florida privet (Forestiera segregta), which Martha described as the very first plant to recover from the devastation of hurricane Irma …

forestiera segregata

Martha’s yard demonstrates the need to select the right plant for the right place, so that supplemental irrigation, fertilization, and pesticide application are unnecessary to a beautiful and inviting landscape.

Simpson’s Stopper – Chapter Namesake

Simpson’s stopper (Myrcianthes fragrans) is the Eugenia chapter namesake.  Once upon a time when our Chapter began, its botanical name was Eugenia dicrana.  Botanical names sometimes change.

Nakedwood stopper also is a common name for this plant.  Its bark, shown above and below, often exfoliates (like that of crepe myrtle) …

myrcianthes fragrans for exfoliating trunk copy

Twinberry stopper is yet another common name for this plant since its red fruits, beloved by wildlife, are borne in pairs …

myrcianthes frgarans fruit 2 copy

Indian River County once was home to the National Champion (largest known) Simpson’s stopper when our Chapter was first organized.  The large tree once stood where the Indian River Mall is now located.

Simpson’s stopper is widely available in the nursery trade and makes an excellent landscape plant.  You can see it growing in the wild in hammocks on protected conservation lands.

!!myrcianthes-fragrans-flowers