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Crotons at Sunken Gardens

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by Phil Stager, Oct 21, 2009.

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  1. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Here's a series of pics taken late this afternoon at Sunken Gardens here in St. Pete. Most of these were probably planted in the '40s or early '50s by the orginal owners, the Turner family. I doubt if any of these have received fertilizer in the past 30 years. The gardens were protected from freezes with a small army of smudge pots or grove heaters, but that's not to say they were not defoliated more than afew times.

    First is a big old Andreamum
    Next a Nestor with several sports on it.
    Last two are of Dr. Tang or what's left of it, one cluster 12 ft in the air and a few small branches by a railing. (...and if it is a Dr Tang)
     

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    donroberth likes this.
  2. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Continuing the tour we have-
    Golden Glow (with the heebie jeebies) and a tall Wootens Beauty
    Something about 8 ft up reaching for light
    Another Andreanum
     

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  3. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Last set of pics...

    First two are of Col. Gilbert Cutler in almost full sun. They are more colorful than the pics would indicate (cloudy and late in day), ergo the erroneous name of 'Almost Edison' a few years back.

    and a few old crotons whose names escape me.

    Sunken Gardens is worth a stop if you're in the area - and esp. if you are a member of another botanical garden since you'll get in for free. There's a nice old Joe Friday by the flamingo pond but the pic was too fuzzy to post. Lots of sports on the numerous Mammi and Yellow Excurrens. Nothing else too exciting as far as crotons.
     

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  4. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Phil,

    SG is a must for south Floridians after the December 12th tour of your garden.

    Ray
     
  5. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b

    Very nice Golden Glow and Wooten's Beauty ! Got to get a Golden Glow for my yard. :cool:
     
  6. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Ray-

    Yes, worth a quick stop esp if you're a member of another botanical garden which will get you in free if you have your membership card with you.

    Another quick stop is the Kopsick Palm Arboretum - the largest free palm arboretum in N. America.

    Either one is about a ten minute drive from my place.
     
  7. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    Phil,

    This is a garden I've heard alot about, and a must see when I get over that way someday. Thanks for sharing.

    Has there been any croton plantings from the society there of late?



    Jeff
     
  8. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,422
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    Phil - Comparing the plant you know for certain as Col. Gilbert Cutler and the picture below and the one on page 99 called "Big Red". What would say the one in the photo is?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Sunken Gardens reminds me of the old Parrot Jungle (Pinecrest Gardens).
     
  10. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Jeff-

    Most of the crotons donated by the society some years ago have disappeared with a change in management a few years back. Although the current head botanist has about 30 varieties at his house, he has not used them in any new plnatings other than a few common varieties.

    Ricky-
    Tough call for the following reasons:
    The pic on p90 of the book does not show the backsides of the leaves.
    Take away the newer green leaves on the pic immediatedely under (Gov. Martinez) and it looks a lot like the one above it.
    Some of the leaves on the ones in my yard have a flaming red underside like yours, and then others do not - aughhh....
    Light and other conditions can make the same croton look quite different not to mention the change in colors as leaves mature........
    Aughhhhhhhhhh.... so I hesitate to make even an uniformed SWAG on this one.
    The only thing for sure (and obvious to the most casual observer) is that you have one great looking croton there.
    Onward through the fog....
     
  11. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Sunken Gardens has the largest croton specimen of W.W. Coles anywhere in the world I'd guess.
     
  12. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    OK, I'll bite - which one is W.W. Coles. There's also one there called Thomas Hitchcock which is blacked out and butt-ugly.
     
  13. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    South Florida, USA

    Phil,

    That's funny....in a way and sad at the same time. I'm growing Thomas Hitchcock that originally came from Bob Halgrim's yard. It's got a nice long leaf about 18", maybe 3" wide and very nice colors. I consider it to be a pretty rare croton, at least in our area. The one in the garden probably looks horrible due to neglect over the years?

    Ray,

    If W.W. Coles is that plentyfull, why is it so hard to find here? Need to get some cuttings down this way. Can you post a pic. of it sometime for our viewers?
     
  14. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Mongo want to see! *******:rolleyes:
     
  15. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Phil,

    W.W. Coles is the semi oak, splotchy orange leaf intertwined with the big Rex (near the NW corner of the park).

    Jeff,

    It's not plentiful at all. It's the only one I've ever seen.

    Ray
     
  16. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    How did the Crotons do at the Sunken Gardens last winter. Were any lost? :confused:
     
  17. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Moose - all the crotons survived; now we'll see how they do in this current cold snap.
     
  18. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    We need a good photo of croton W.W. Coles at Sunken Gardens. It's near the huge Rex turning left into the garden as you exit the main walkway from the building. I may try and go there and get a photo one of these days. Reasoner's sold this plant but I'm unaware if they may have added their own name on an already identified cultivar.
     
  19. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Could this be an appropriate venue for a croton tour / meeting for this upcoming summer season? :rolleyes:

    We need a Croton get together on the west coast. I have never been to the Sunken Gardens & would love to see some large old cultivars. Just a thought. ;)
     
  20. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Great idea Ron. I can get in touch with them and set something up. How does July sound?

    I need to post a photo of the W.W. Coles.
     
  21. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    3,133
    Location:
    St. Pete FL
    That is a great idea Moose!!
     
  22. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Saturday, July 2nd is Independence Day weekend. July 9th is the next Saturday after a for day work week and people may be tuckered out so soon after Independence Day. That would leave July 16th, 23rd and 30th left.

    Any ideas as to which date? Us east coasters need to make travel plans. :)
     
  23. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Moose -

    My place is available before or after the tour at Sunken Gardens; about a 15 min drive at most. Palm nuts may consider visiting the Kopsick Palm Arboretum - largest free palmetum in Western Hemisphere. Check with Sunken Gardens to make sure no other events are booked - like weddings - on whatever date you pick. SG does have an admission charge for those not a meber of another botanical garden; if nfot a member, then go for the group rate. Bill O'Grady is a good contact person at SG.
     
  24. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Thanks Phil. :)

    I am a bit burn't out from organizing the recent event. Perhaps some west coast people can make this happen. A tour of the gardens and then perhaps a follow up auction at your place sounds good. :cool:

    Some of us east coasters are eager to visit our west coast bretheren this summer.

     
  25. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Phil - is the Governor Martinez still at Sunken Gardens ? A pretty elusive croton based upon my search for background info relative to Marie's current thread.
     
  26. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    To the best of mu knowledge, there never was one there. The "Almost Edisons" in full sun turned out to be Col Gilbert Cutler - close but no cigar.
     
  27. Kipjanet

    Kipjanet Active Member

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Zone 10 Miami Springs, Fl
    Phil
    A west coast trip would be fun. My Grandmother lived in Indian Rocks beach in the 70's and took me to Sunken Gardens as a child. I would love to revisit this garden as it is a fond memory from my childhood, Thanks for the post
     

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