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Nature in my Miami Neighborhood

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

During the shelter-in-place, Sutro Stewards with partnership from Handson Bay Area created Nature in you Neighborhood a virtual volunteering experience where we challenge volunteers to go out into their backyard and neighborhoods to see what plants they can find near them! Below is one submission from our project with the youth from Handson Tomorrow. We hope you enjoy their discoveries!

By: Brittney Moreau

Hi, my name is Brittney Moreau. Strangely I'm from Miami, so it's weird that I'm telling you about plants in Miami. I'm part of HandsOnTomorrow and have just started volunteering with Sutro Stewards. When my dad planted this beautiful flower in our Miami garden, I couldn't help but wonder more about it. It had been growing in our garden for almost a year now and always kept its deep pink color. While researching it, I discovered its name. The Siam Tulip (Curcuma Alismatifola).

Despite its name, the Siam Tulip is actually not a tulip. It's related to the ginger family, including turmeric. Native to Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, the Siam Tulip is purely ornamental despite being able to grow in the wild. It serves both as an indoors plant and an outdoors plant. It comes in pinks and purples, and its beauty is why it's just for decoration. Siam Tulip is poisonous if ingested, so all animals steer clear, including humans. 

The Siam Tulip is one tough plant, growing and reblooming from spring through late fall. It can grow up to two feet in height, and is a great addition for a patio plant. It needs a regular amount of water, but will still thrive if minimal. Unknown when it was brought to the States, this exotic flower is mostly found in the Southern states such Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, but grows in some parts of California, like San Bernardino and Antioch. It even has its own festival in its homeland of Thailand, called the Siam Tulip Festival. If you want a nice, decorative plant that doesn't require a ton of effort to manage, consider the Siam Tulip.

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