Join TFTS to learn more about our history

Welcoming Beginners, Experienced Gardeners, & Scholars. TFTS Welcomes Everyone Dedicated to the Promotion, Propagation & Preservation of Tropical Flowering Trees and Large Scale Tropical Flora. Be it in Your Backyard or in Public Parks & Gardens. Join TFTS!

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~100 Continuous Years of the RPF

For Nearly 100 Continuous Years the RPF or Royal Poinciana Fiesta has Entertained and Enthralled Residents & Visitors in Miami. TFTS is Proud to Host the RPF. Join us for the 2023 Edition! Promising to be bigger and better than ever!

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TFTS has been a Leader in New Introductions & Hybrids

Join TFTS, one of the Foremost Plant Societies in South Florida that has Led the Way in Domestic Tropical Plant Introductions, Hybrids and Grafting Techniques. Photo is Cassia javanica; a TFTS introduction into the nursery trade. Join TFTS!

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Healthy Respect for the Power of Plants:

The Incredible Ways that Plants Engage Us!

By Dr. Jeffrey S. Block

Monday, March 13th, 2023, @ 7 PM

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Corbin Building

Dr. Jeff Block is an anesthesiologist who is trained in both pain management and addiction medicine. Although medicine was Jeff’s vocation, plants and horticulture

have been his avocation. He is widely recognized as an expert on bromeliads, aroids, and other plant families, and Jeff is both a Master Gardener and now a course educator for the Ag-Extension Office. Perhaps because of his work trying to help people optimize their health, Jeff also extensively studied how to provide optimum growing conditions for his plants, many of which have won horticultural awards. His home also became Block Botanical Garden, and it is now an institutional member of the American Public Garden Association. In recent years, his interest in nurturing plants and people were combined with his historical interest in natural medicine. Dr. Block is widely recognized as an expert on Cannabis, and was formerly the Florida Medical Association’s “Designated Expert on Botanical Medicine.” He is fascinated by how people interact with plants and how plants can sometimes become major influencers of human behavior. His talk promises to be an interesting exploration of how we not only influence plants, but how they influence our behavior as well.

Free and Open To The Public

Free Parking in Fairchild’s South Parking Lot


February 2023

Continuing TFTS Spring Themes on Seeds and Seedlings Leading Scholar Dr. Rao Discussed the Importance of Flowering Tree Seed Banks

Dr. Rao discussed the role of germplasm repositories in plant conservation, protection, and improvement

This was an outstanding opportunity for growers and hobbyists to hear from an approachable expert.  Many networks and important industry-government links were forged.  

Dr. Madhurgiri Nageswara-Rao (Rao) is a leading widely published scholar in Ornamental Horticulture. He joined the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Subtropical Horticulture Research Station in Miami, Florida as a Geneticist. His research focuses on Subtropical and Tropical Ornamental Genetic Resource Management. Before joining USDA ARS, Dr. Rao worked with USDA APHIS on regulatory sciences at Linden, NJ. He has worked in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries and with various Universities (the University of Florida, the University of Tennessee, and New Mexico State University). Dr. Rao has diverse expertise in working with population genetics, conservation biology, ecological assessment, regulatory science, and genomics of various ornamental plants (e.g., coreopsis, bamboo, palms, daylily, lagerstroemia, and sandal), fruit crops (e.g., citrus, grapes, pineapple, mango, avocado, and papaya), other crop-wild relative plants and various forest wildlife species. Dr. Rao’s research contributions have been published in several reputed and peer-reviewed international journal articles. He has also contributed various book chapters, co-edited international books, and made > 100 scientific presentations at various national and international scientific meetings. Dr. Rao’s outreach activities include conducting trainings, workshops, interacting with farmers, and responding to stakeholder needs.

Some of Dr. Madhugiri Nageswara-Rao, work can be found here @


January 2023

Tips and Tricks for Success in

Growing Flowering Tree Seedlings

Craig Morell
Craig Morell offered AMAZING insights from many years of growing flowering trees from seed,

and he brought samples of success and failure as demonstrations!

Craig demonstrated with his informative and hilarious presentation that sometimes it’s the elemental things that trip us up as the parents to our seedlings.  Craig was able to draw upon his extensive knowledge and experience as a professional grower, director of a heritage garden and hobbyist to offer those in attendance helpful hints and secrets to the successful raising of seedlings.  Debunking myths and inaccurate “common knowledge”, Craig contributed to the advancement and promulgation of successful seed germination techniques and gave TFTS members just the kind of talk that typifies TFTS general meetings.

Bio: Craig Morell
Craig is a lifelong horticulturist, starting his love of plants in the 1970s, growing orchids on the windowsills of his parents’ home in Milwaukee. After reading David Fairchild’s book “Garden Islands of the Great East” as a teenager, Craig decided to pursue horticulture as a career.

Following the trail of a career in horticulture, Craig attended the University of Florida-Gainesville, working in nurseries along the path to an education in ornamental horticulture, as well as apprenticing with a master orchid hybridizer in Gainesville.

After graduation, Craig worked at the Florida Dept. of Agriculture at Chapman Field; a small orchid company in West Palm Beach; 10 years as Horticulturist at the Boca Raton Resort in Boca Raton; and 11 years as Horticulturist at Pinecrest Gardens in Miami.
Currently the Director of The Kampong, Craig calls flowering trees, palms, orchids, bromeliads, gingers and heliconias his favored groups. He lives in South Miami, and is occasionally seen in public.



Thank you for making the TFTS Holiday Party of 2022 one to remember!
On SATURDAY – morning
DECEMBER 10th 2022 
✨We began with a guided walking tour of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens.
✨Followed by an Amazing potluck lunch
We celebrated the 5th Anniversary of TFTS founder’s Larry Schokman passing with a celebratory      Ceylon Tea Brewing
After lunch we hosted a plant auction with some amazing plant material at even more amazing prices! 


​**Congratulations to the old and new Board of Directors
Cindy Bobson, Jessica Cabrera, Paul Gehrke, Frank Janezek, Adam Pollak, Michael Wallace, and Jorge Zaldivar.
The new officers are Robert Bobson, Lenny Goldstein, Steve Pearson and Marcia Toth.
If you would like to participate please contact us.  Its your society so please volunteer!

October 2022 Membership Meeting: 

Thank you to everyone who attended the October Commemoration on the Fifth Anniversary of Larry Schokman’s Passing.  The meeting was expertly presided over by past TFTS PRESIDENT & FOUNDING TFTS member Steven Pearson who first presented  “Favorite Under Utilized Flowering Trees for SoFL”& then lead the attendees into a touching but joyful “REMEMBRANCE OF THE 5TH ANNIVERSARY PASSING OF FOUNDING TFTS LARRY SCHOKMAN”

Steve Pearson fell in love with flowering trees in the 1970s when he started visiting Fairchild Garden. He was then a founding member of the Tropical Flowering Tree Society and has served as its president on three different occasions. After he finished his career as an attorney, Steve worked as the Director of UM’s Gifford Arboretum for seven years where he improved both the educational aspects and species diversity of the Arboretum. He loves the color and beauty of flowering trees, and he presented a program about the best species for our area, including many that deserve to be planted much more frequently.

At the end of his presentation, Steve lead the audience into a remembrance of Larry Schokman, who was a very important part of our Society before he died five years ago. Steve and Larry were close friends, and they worked closely together on many projects over decades, including the Royal Poinciana Fiesta. Many members and friends brought their favorite recollections of Larry to the meeting to share as we remembered Larry, who was also a founding member and past president of the Tropical Flowering Tree Society. Attendees showed their support for Larry Schokman and joined friends old and new in recalling our fond memories of his time at TFTS, The Kampong, his organized trips, his Color Conferences, his origins as a path setting tea estate planter, and his irreplaceable contributions to tropical horticulture from the New & Old World Tropics across several continents. 

Special upcoming event: Oct 22, 2022- Join us for a Garden tour, potluck picnic, and plant auction @ White Fences Equestrian Center and Arboretum in Loxahatchee, FL for members only. Please consider joining to attend this and other great exclusive events.

And don’t forget the Christmas Party!  Save the Date December 12, 2022,  Details forthcoming via our email list! –

Wonderful September Meeting

Great September Meeting!
We should all thank the wonderful speaker Ann Wiley for her presentation  “How to Make Your Yard Your Bird Feeder.”  So many options among our diverse color palette of Tropical Flowering Trees to bringing birds into our yards!

And a big thank you to our president Adam for conducting the meeting and bloom table. Many thanks to Mike for a great job with the refreshments. And Marcia for arranging the evening and welcoming attendees old and new.   Thank you to the members that renewed at the meeting which is more wonderful news!

Looking forward to great news season with Steve, Marcia and Lenny joining the board.

Please join us at our October Meeting where we will learn more about “Favorite Flowering Trees for South Florida,” including many that deserve greater use!  And on the 5TH Anniversary of Larry Schokman’s passing we will sponsor a Remembrance Celebration.  Please    Hope to see you all there at this momentous October meeting.


The 85th Royal Poinciana Fiesta

was a roaring success please join us Next Year in 2023 

for the 86th Fiesta!

Stay updated @

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Lots of new


exciting RPF events planned!


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