Tropical South

May, 2004
Regional Report

Local Buzz

Eat It Fresh
My best suggestion for garden produce is one I learned from my children. Eat it fresh and on the spot. We've lately been standing under the mulberry tree and feeding our faces. We did find that crushing and rubbing a green mulberry on your hands will take off much of the stain when you finish. Surinam cherries also are ripe now. My grandson, just 2, already knows where to head in the yard, and he eats as he goes. His favorite is the Miewa kumquat that we eat from November until June.

Favorite or New Plant

Confederate Jasmine
There are miles and mountains of jasmine in our neighborhoods, spilling over fences, climbing high into the trees, and dripping blossoms onto roofs. Two of the most fragrant are actually not jasmines at all. Trachelospermum jasminoides grows as a twining evergreen vine. The white flowers, about an inch across, each have five, crinkled, white petals in a pinwheel design. T. asiaticum and Jasmine minima, are great ground covers. Both have cultivars with variegated foliage. Confederate jasmine is hardy all over Florida: no worry about frost. It has medium drought and salt tolerance. Plant in full to partial sun. All nurseries have at least the main species.

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