Back in October I attended Boktoberfest at Bok Tower Gardens where I purchased some Florida native plants. All but one have made it through what I hope is the worst of our winter.
(You can read about the original purchase here.)
Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, is still holding onto its leaves and berries though it is showing some effect from the cold. I have been surprised with the leaves continuing to stay on the plant as everything I've read says this plant is deciduous. I'm hoping for new leaves and flowers in the spring.
The Beautyberry and a Wild Coffee, Psychotria nervosa, were planted in the shady area of the garden near each other and where the soil stays dry. I saw these planted together at Bok Tower and thought they made a great combo. The Wild Coffee, however, has not fared well this winter. It has lost all its leaves, so no photo of it; too depressing. I do hope it will return with warmer weather, but it isn't the winter interest for which I've been striving.
Needle Palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix, is doing quite well through the cold and even appears to have grown a little. I really like the fan shaped leaves and the way it seems happy in the shady part of the garden. It hasn't yet been tested by the soggy soil but I'm optimistic from what I've read about it's natural habitat.
The little Simpson's Stopper, Myrcianthes fragrans, lost a few leaves but is growing new ones so I'm hoping that is all in the natural, native way of things.
These plants are placed in the toughest part of the garden. It is partly shady and sometimes quite wet. If we have a wet spring, they will get a chance to show whether they have what it takes.
I'm hoping these will be a spot of life in this area during the winter. All the pinecone gingers and canna lilies go underground until spring and leave quite a blank spot.
Once winter is over (just a few more weeks) I'm hoping these natives will become established and healthy. I would like to see this trouble spot become an attractive natural and native habitat.