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Florida strap airplant
Catopsis floribunda

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A somewhat rare epiphyte in hammocks and swamps.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Epiphytic herb with light green leaves.

Dimensions: About 6-12 inches in height; more when in flower.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland north to Broward and Collier counties; West Indies, southern Mexico and Central America. Very rare north of the Miami River. In Broward County, know only from Fern Forest Nature Center.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Swamps and moist forests.

Soils: Epiphytic; grows on the trunks and branches of trees and shrubs.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows on nutrient poor substrate.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: Low; requires moist substrate and high humidity and is intolerant of long periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Light shade.

Flower Color: Yellow.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy inflorescence.

Flowering Season: Fall.

Fruit: Green to brown capsule with hairy, wind dispersed seeds.

Wildlife and Ecology: Water is held in the "tank" at the base of the leaves, which insects and sometimes small vertebrates will utilize.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Catopsis floribunda available from:

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