South Florida Palm Society


The South Florida Palm Society is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to disseminate information about and encourage interest in palms and the use of these plants.  The South Florida Palm Society uses its funds to help support local botanical gardens, individual scientific research expeditions or projects, conservation and planting projects and educational efforts.

General meetings are held on the first Monday of every even month: February, April, June, August and October. Meetings begin at 7:00 pm at Fairchild Botanic Tropical Garden. Details including the invited guest speaker are announced by email prior to the meeting. The meetings are open to the public. See Events tab for more details.

Photos taken at the fall outing at Patch of Heaven and Walton House are now posted to the website under the scrapbook tab.

Upcoming Activities:

*** Please mark your calendar for the SFPS Holiday Party, on Monday, December 2, 2019, at 7 pm at Fairchild. As usual, the Holiday Party will be "pot luck", so please bring a covered dish.  Please RSVP to SFPS Secretary Lou Sguros:  Let him know what you will be bringing.  This is important so we can (hopefully) avoid too many of one item.  The party is free to  SFPS members and guests pay $10.00 .

*** Just in time for the holidays, the SFPS t-shirts will be sold at the holiday party for only $5.00. They come in two styles and various sizes, but the supply is limited. You can click on the image for a large photo.

**** Low Membership Rates for New Members under 40: The SFPS is offering memberships for $1.00 per year for anyone under the age of 40 years old! Signup is in person at an SFPS event, such as a meeting, holiday party or garden tour, with proof of age.



Recent Web Enhancements

Do you like challenging palms? We have some great suggestions on germinating seeds, caring for rare palms and disease/pests information. Our local South Florida experts have provided some excellent advice. Latest postings include Sabinaria magnifica and Licuala 'Mapu'. Click on the Resources tab then on Horticulture or click here.

Calling all Palm Nerds: Click here to try our new palm quiz, "Who am I?" which is stll a work in progress. The answers for the extra credit questions will be posted in late August. I would very much like to add to this quiz, so please send any questions at or click here. Photos of palms to accompany the questions will also help to improve this quiz.

Business Card Postings: SFPS members can post their business cards for a ridiculously low price of $50/year, plus include their phone number and website address. The cards will be posted in a separate webpage. Cards need to be scanned and sent as attachments along with the website address to or click here. Only quality scans will be accepted. Lou will respond with the address to send the checks. The order of the cards depends on the date of receipt of payment, if you act now, your card will be at the top of the page. The initial posting will be delayed until we have sufficient cards for a page, likely either in December 2019 or January 2020.

Multi-year signups/renewals: We are now offering discounts for multi-year sign ups and renewals, which you can pay with your credit card. Click on the "Join" tab for printable fill in forms or electronic payments using your credit card or Paypal account. Donations are also greatly appreciated.



Past Events (for meetings prior to 2018, click here)

October 7, 2019: The meeting began with an auction of approximately 15 donated palms, including an Attalea cohune, rare species of Pinanga palm, Chambeyronia macrocarpa, Carpoxylon macrosperma, a rare Royal palm (Roystonia lenia) and a single leaf Copernicia rigida (have to think long term). Many thanks to Nature's Tapestry, Botanic Wholesale and Armando Reyes. We had another great presentation by Dr. Laz Priegues, as he toured us around the Reunion island. The island is quite spectacular, with waterfalls, many native palms and most unexpectedly the creole style architecture of some estates, reflecting the mixed cultural heritage. The forest of Acanthophoenix palms and the numerous red Latan palms, endemic to the island were quite beautiful. The red color is exhibited in the juvenile palms. Also the Dictyosperma album palm (hurricane palm) is native to Reunion. The government is encouraging conservation, with thousands of Latan palms planted along the highways. Conservation of Acanthophoenix and Dictyosperma palms is difficult due to the consumption of palms as food (heart of palm).

The Reunion Island has been selected by the International Palm Society (IPS) as the location of their next Biennual Conference May 22-30, 2020 with incredible pre/post side trips to the Mauritius island and Madagascar. See link ( So, Laz's presentation will give potential attendees a glimple of what they might experience and for the rest of us, there's always next time. Also, the devastation of native populations of palms is severe in Reunion.


September 28, 2019: Fall Garden Tour visited the Patch of Heaven and then the Walton House. Each were just incredibly beautiful locations. Perhaps the most stunning part was the Koi pond at Patch of Heaven, surrounded by numerous waterfalls. It really lived up to its namesake! See scrapbook page.

August 5, 2019: Andrew Street, Assistant Palm Curator at Montgomery Botanical Center, presented a program entitled "Landscaping with Rare Palms." A group of 42 members and guests viewed photos of palms in the ground at MBC and Andrew's home. The program included advice on dealing with plant pests and tips on coaxing the best growth from one's palms. Among the most basic requirements for most palm species is abundant water! Prior to the presentation of the program, attendees took part in some lively bidding on a nice array of palms, one of which looked suspiciously like an orchid. Once again a much-desired Copernicia fallaensis was the featured raffle plant, and the winner of the drawing was Pat Richards.

June 3, 2019: Dr. Chad Husby lead us through an amazing travelogue as he and Brett Jestrow of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden explored the markets, nurseries and gardens of Thailand in search of promising new introductions for South Florida horticulture. The presentation took us to the incredible Nong Nooch tropical botanical garden and the Ao Phang Nga National Park in the south of Thailand, then more plants north of Bangkok. Not exactly sure what was most incredible - the images of the coco de mer with its massive fruit at Nong Nooch, or the trees growing out of the massive limestone outcrops, seen during a boat tour of Phang Nga park.

Dr. Chad Husby is Botanical Horticulturist at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. His main focus is finding, cultivating, and propagating new plants to enhance horticulture and botanical collections. He focuses on plant groups that have not received adequate attention, from conifers and ferns to foliage, flowering trees and unusual fruits. Chad also enjoys educating students and the public about plant exploration, horticulture and botany. His scientific research ranges from plant ecophysiology and horticulture to conservation and systematics.

A lively auction and raffle for a Copernicia giga proceeded Dr. Husby's presentation. The auction included a donated Zamia pygmaea, a very rare cycad.

May 4, 2019: See Scrapbook for selected photos of the awesome tour of Fairchild Garden followed by tours of two private gardens. It was jointly organized with the Tropical Flowering Tree Society (TFTS) and the Palm Beach Palm and Cycad Society (PBPCS). This is part of the scrapbook page as shown in the above tabs.

April 1, 2019: A palm auction began the meeting, with many enthusiastic bidders, particularly on several of the donated palms, such as Attalea butyracea. Then via a slide show entitled "A Trip to Falla - So Near and Yet So Far," we joined the intrepid exploits of Elvis Cruz and companion on their recent adventure to the natural habitat of Cuba's prized and much-coveted endemic palm, Copernicia fallaensis. Along the way, we learned about Copernicias and some of the perils that come with palm exploring, including swarms of mosquitos which attacked our explorers. They had time to recuperate in Camagüey, Cienfuegos, the Bay of Pigs and Havana, rich in history and architecture, before returning home. The meeting ended with a raffle of a 3 gallon Copernicia fallaensis donated by Ellis Brown! Thanks to Montgomery Botanical Garden, Pinecrest Garden and many others for the palm donations.

Copernicia fallaensis - absolutely a garden stunner!

Feb 4, 2019 Lord Howe Island off the east coast of Australia is home to unique endemic fauna and flora. Dr. Laz Prieguez gave us an appreciation of this as he toured the island and climbed one of its mountains with a group lead by an expert botanist. This is the home of Kentia palms (Howea forsteriana and belmoreana).

Lord Howe Island

December 3, 2018 Holiday Party. A great holiday party was enjoyed by all. The party included a fantastic buffet, with some really outstanding dishes contributed by members and guests. Those board members whose terms were expiring were re-elected. A very successful silent auction was held. Then came the highlight of the night, the plant auction, with enthusiastic bidding for some of the hard to find palms. Many thanks to the various growers listed below who generously donated palms to the auction including a rare Attalea palm, dwarf betel nut palm, Licuala peltata var. sumawongii, Copernicia (various species), fairly good size sealing wax palms and Phoenicophorium borsigianum. There was something for everyone as approximately 70 donated palms found new homes. See link for more images: 2018 Holiday Party Thanks to: Nature’s Tapestry, Plant Creations, St Germain, Redland Nursery, Botanics Wholesale, Action Theory, Searle Brothers, Scott Cohen, and Montgomery Botanical Garden.



The photo above was taken at the IPS Conference in Colombia. Andrew Street and Saul Hoyos with specimen of Ceroxylon quindiuense. Saul is the Colombian palm expert who discovered Sabinaria magnifica.


For prior meeting summaries, click here.