Spring Outing, Feb 27, 2016
Stanley Kiem, longtime superintendent at Fairchild Tropical Garden, was one of 10 individuals hand-picked by IPS creator Dent Smith to be founding members of the Society. He is the last living member of that distinguished group. Stanley was also on the first board of directors of the South Florida Palm Society and, with his late wife, Mary, provided valuable assistance in the early years of the palm project at Zoo Miami. The SFPS decided to plant a palm in his honor of Stanley's acheivements in the palmetum at the University of Miami, his alma mater.
The palm is a rare palm from Cuba, Coccothrinax sp. 'azul'. It is relatively new introduction to South Florida, but still has not been positively identified. It is a striking palm not only for the pattern of tight webbing surrounding the trunk of, a characteristic of many species in this genus, but also for the blue-green hue of its palmate leaves.
From Steve Pearson, Director of the Gifford Arboretum at the University of Miami:
"He taught many in our community about palm horticulture. He studied botany here at UM and was later in charge of horticulture at Fairchild Garden for over 25 years. Lastly, he is a kind and honorable man who many of us feel honored to call a friend."
Leonard Goldstein, President SFPS, Stanley Kiem and Steve Pearson, Director of the Gifford Arboretum at the commemoration ceremony at University of Miami.
From the Gifford Arboretum, the group went next to John Greenleaf's home with some truly magnificent palms.
John Greenleaf to the left in white shirt.