Home' The River Weekly News : RWN 072415 Contents THE RIVER - JULY 24, 2015
by Gerri Reaves
Frangipani... the very word evokes
the romance and beauty of the
tropics. Most people know fran-
gipani as the flower used to make leis,
Hawaiian flower necklaces.
Even gardeners committed to “native
plants only” might find it difficult to shun
or replace this native of tropical and
subtropical America and the Caribbean.
The tubular flowers emit what is arguably
the most heavenly fragrance of South
Florida’s imported blooming trees.
Many species of plumeria exist, and it
has long been a popular landscape tree in
the state’s subtropical clime.
This broad-crowned tree usually grows
to about 15 to 20 feet high and can be
almost as wide as tall.
The five-petaled flowers are tubular,
funneled, and two to four inches across.
Common species in this area are P. obtu-
sa, which have white flowers with yellow
centers, P. rubra, with pink or red, and
P. alba, with white.
The stocky branches are smooth,
rounded, and silvery gray-green. Flowers
appear in clusters on the branch tips.
The coarse, narrow leaves can be up
to 20 inches long. They fall during winter,
but frangipani’s attractive bark and net-
work of branches make this no mere bar-
ren tree to hide in the back corner.
The twin seed pods are forked and up
to a foot long. But if you want to propa-
gate frangipani, cuttings are the way to
Remove a lower branch, clean away
leaves and flower stalks, and chop into
foot-long sections. Beware of the white
sap, which can irritate the skin.
Leave the cuttings in a shady spot for
a few weeks to heal. Then use them to
start new trees in potting soil.
Plant a cutting in full to partial sun
where it will have plenty of room to
spread a canopy but is protected from
cold northern wind.
Frangipanis require regular fertilization,
are susceptible to pests and creates yard
work with shedding leaves, so if mainte-
nance is a primary concern, plant native
flowering trees that tend to be no- or low-
Because frangipani is so cold-sensitive,
some people prefer to grow it in contain-
ers that can be brought inside a garage or
lanai during cold snaps.
Florida, My Eden by Frederic B. Stesau,
Plant Smart explores the diverse
flora of South Florida.
Even when bare during the winter, the
gray-green branches have an aesthetic
Frangipani is a popular non-native flowering tree
The funnel-shaped fragrant flowers are
used to make Hawaiian leis
photos by Gerri Reaves
by Cynthia A.
1976) was some-
thing of a legend
as a fisherman
in the waters off
Fort Myers in
the 1950s and
Reproduced for you here are chap-
ters from his unfinished Fisherman’s
Paradise, an account of his fishing
adventures that are often hilarious
and always instructional. It is pre-
sented by Williams’ daughter, Cynthia
Williams, a freelance writer and editor
living in Bokeelia on Pine Island.
Chapter XII Part I
I recently read an article about
Tripletails that says this fish is “the darnd-
est hunk of fine fishing you ever saw.”
Some call Tripletails spade fish, but if
it’s a spade fish, it’s a lot different than
any other spade fish I ever caught. The
name “Tripletail” comes from the big
dorsal and anal fins that extend back
along their posteriors, making them look
like they have three tails. From the steam
they generate once they’re hooked, I
wouldn’t swear they don’t have three.
In the Fort Myers area, it’s a top-water
loafer around pilings and buoys in the
bays and channels all the way from Boca
Grande Pass to the north to San Carlos
Pass to the south. When they’re in, you
can spot them swimming languidly on
their sides, sucking at crustaceans on
barnacle-laden pilings. They’re not easily
frightened; they will sometimes come up
to your boat. But once you latch onto
one, watch out – he’ll take you right out
of your boat. Moreover, he’s not choosy
about what he eats. He’ll take shrimp,
pinfish, mullet or even artificial lures,
especially the “popping” kind.
The first time I heard of tripletail
in these waters was when Captain
Crumpler, skipper of the Kenzie Brothers
Ferries for over a quarter of a century,
suggested one July day that I could catch
a mess of tripletails at the #3 marker
before you get to the Sanibel slip. Skip
had seen me at the slip so often, he kinda
looked upon me as one of the ferry line
family and decided to let me in on some
of its secrets.
As I anchored about 30 feet from
the #3 marker and the boat swung and
settled with the tide, I saw a bunch of
high-backed, flat-looking fish swimming
around and occasionally munching at the
crustaceans on the marker. I had passed
that marker 100s of times and never
paid any attention to it. It never occurred
to me that there might be fish there. So
I had a warm, agreeable feeling at the
thought that I had discovered a fishing
spot that wouldn’t be forever crowded like
the pilings around the ferry slip.
I put on a small leader and hook, no
larger than the type I use for pinfish.
That, I soon discovered, was a mistake.
To be continued next week...
Lake Kennedy Senior Center
Divas Across The
The Lake Kennedy Center invites
you to come experience the amaz-
ing talents of the 3 Divas – Ellie
Mendolusky, Anita Tate and Betty
Dentzau. This new show, presented
on Friday, July 31, features the best
song and dance moves throughout the
decades. Be ready for an unforgettable
evening of music, dance and entertain-
ment. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the
show starts at 7 p.m.
Cost to attend the Divias Across The
Decades performance is $5 per person.
Dessert and beverages will be served.
Lake Kennedy Senior Center is lo-
cated at 400 Santa Barbara Boulevard
in Cape Coral. For more information,
A Sanibel Ferry brochure
photo courtesy of State University Libraries of Florida
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