The “Florida Cranberry” and Native Trees Along the Trail

This is why I love being a member of a federated garden club! The knowledge we obtain from each other is amazing. I was born and reared in Central Florida and until yesterday’s garden club meeting had never heard of the Florida Cranberry plant, Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa). According to the University of Florida, “most Florida Cracker homesteads grew it.” Part of the cranberry red flower is edible and used in jams, sauces and teas. The leaves can be cooked or added raw to salads. It’s an annual, planted in April or May and harvested in October or November. Since it’s only hardy in zones 9 - 10 I am even more amazed I never recognized it as a Central Florida landscape staple. For more information about this lovely shrub see UF/IFAS publication “Roselle, Hibiscus sabdariffa L. or visit 

During the same meeting, Senior Forester and ISA arborist, Dave Holley from Callahan, delighted us with his witty slide presentation detailing some of the vital services his agency provides landowners. It was both educational and entertaining for the 16 members and 4 guests who attended. We were all dumbfounded to learn about the Champion Loblloly Pine which grows unknowingly in our midst on resident Tony Lopez’s property off Buccaneer Trail. Who knew Amelia Island is home to the country’s tallest Loblolly Pine tree? It is estimated to be 250 - 300 years old, stands 110 feet tall and is 15.5 feet around. For more information about the American Forests National Big Tree Program visit 

Continue to look for these and other amazing sights “along the trail we blaze.”

Beverly Williams
President, The Bartram Garden Club

The Bartram Garden Club Meeting 11-10-2016

Display by Kathleen Lunman