Monday, September 28, 2020

A Show of Flora & Fauna’s Free Spirit

Tacca chantrieri or “bat flower,” a showy houseplant with flowers resembling a bat in flight, exhibited by Lindy Kowalczyk.

Tacca chantrieri or “bat flower,” a showy houseplant with flowers resembling a bat in flight, exhibited by Lindy Kowalczyk.

By Maria Lamb

Florida’s “Flora and Fauna” was the theme of the Calusa Garden Club’s recent March exhibit at the Marco Island Center for the Arts. It has been written that Florida’s flora is what caught the eye of Ponce de Leon and the Spanish explorers when they claimed Florida for Spain in 1512. They named the region “Florida” which means “full of flowers” in Spanish.

Fun with Flora and Fauna was a very successful two-day event that featured something for everyone. Donna Kay, a master gardener and club member remarked,  ”We had an excellent selection of horticulture and most of the plants are native to this area. These are plants that grow effortlessly in our yards.”

Club member Connie Lowery added, “It was less stressful and more free spirited this year and shows the public everything that we love about gardening.”

In this non-juried show, members were free to express themselves through their exhibits and floral designs. The Tommie Barfield Elementary School Junior Gardeners also had their own display table showing off their floral creations.

Susan LaGrotta brought her mom, Lena Perrotta Molinari and nephew, Anthony Molinari to view the exhibits.  She brought a potted sansevieria laurentii, which started out as a cutting from her grandmother Amelia Perrotta’s window garden in Brooklyn.  The sansevieria laurentii is a succulent and is often called a “snake plant” or “mother-in-law’s tongue.”

Lindy Kowalczyk shared an unusual, showy houseplant often referred to as “bat flower” (tacca chantrieri). This exotic plant has flowers that resemble a bat in flight. Its leaves are deep purple and ruffled, with long hanging filaments.

To learn more about Calusa Garden Club, please visit the club’s website, calusa.org and Facebook page, Calusa Garden Club.

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