Palma Sola

Since its beginning, there has been much discussion of the role of fruiting plants and trees at the Palma Sola Botanical Park located at 9800 17th Avenue NW, Bradenton, Florida 34209. There was discussion, but little action, the only foregone conclusion being that there should be participation by one or more of the local Rare Fruit Societies. It was never settled whether fruiting plants should be integrated with the rest of the plantings or in an area set aside. No organization came forward to lead the effort to develop and permanently maintain a Fruit Tree Exhibit. This stagnation continued until a recent fortuitous pair of events let things move forward.

First, Palma Sola, always pressed for funding, managed to find a few dollars for clearing an area at the Park boundary that had long grown up in weeds. Long-time Palma Sola Board member and Manatee Rare Fruit Council member Julie McClure informed MRFC that this area might be available for a fruit tree display.
Second, in recent years the MRFC annual tree sale had seen sharp increases in profits, sparking debate about how these surplus funds should be utilized to further MRFC's mission. 
Manatee Rare Fruit Council decided to pursue the goal of developing and permanently maintaining an exhibit of fruiting plants and trees at Palma Sola that will become the premier display of such trees in Southwest Florida. The location near the waters of Tampa Bay is rarely subject to freezing temperatures, an environmental advantage not available further inland in the county. Palm trees growing in the planned area were mostly diseased, and most were removed, allowing full sun exposure to the area. Manatee County, which does not supply any direct funding to Palma Sola, agreed to install underground irrigation and supply treated wastewater for irrigation. 
The remaining necessary ingredient for a successful planting, the soil, required much site preparation. First, the area was somewhat poorly drained. Fill was moved in and graded so that the site was near level, with gentle drainage toward the adjacent pond and ditches. This done, the irrigation lines were installed. Attention was then turned to enhancing the soil, which was the poor sand typical of the area. More than a hundred truckloads of wood chips were brought in and spread by MRFC volunteers, to provide a weed barrier, organic content, and moisture holding capability. A shell walkway curving through the area was installed with help and funding from Bradenton Kiwanis Club.
Now, finally, the time for actual planting was here. A general planting plan was formulated. Trees, some donated and some purchased by MRFC, were obtained and planted. Permanent markers, giving botanical and common names, and name of donor, were installed near each tree. A planting of passion fruits covers the chain-link fence on the boundary.
Today, planting continues, and the enhancement and maintenance of the Exhibit area will remain MRFC's commitment and obligation for the future. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions, guidance and assistance provided by other Rare Fruit Council chapters, nurseries and individuals.

 Palma Sola Tropical Fruit Tree Park Tour

Common NameVarietyBotanical Name
AbiuSeedlingPouteria caimito
African Breadnut
Treculia africana
Atemoya48-26Annona squamosa × Annona cherimola
AtemoyaGefnerAnnona squamosa × Annona cherimola
Australian Brown Pine
Podocarpus elatus
AvocadoChoquettePersea americana
AvocadoDon GilloglyPersea americana
AvocadoHaasPersea americana
Barbados Cherry Syn: Acerola
M. emarginata
Black Sapote Syn:Choc.Pudding FruitMaherDiospyros digyna Jacq.
BlueberryEmeraldFamily: Vaccinium
BlueberryFlorida NativeVaccinium Darrowii
BlueberryPrimadonnaFamily: Vaccinium
CanistelTrompo Syn:9681Pouteria campechiana
Family: Urticaceae
CherimoyaDreamAnnona cherimola
Dragon Fruit(no sign)Hylocereus undatus
FigConadriaFicus carica
GrapeSouthern HomeVitis vinifera and Vitis labrusca
Eugenia braziliensis
GuavaIndonesian SeedlessPsidium guajava
GuavaRuby SupremePsidium guajava
Spondias tuberosa
Myrciaria cauliflora
JackfruitNS1A. heterophylla
KumquatMeiwaFortunella sp. Swingle
Lemon Grass
cymbopogon citratus
LemonSambo (sweet)Citrus Limonum
LimeKeyCitrus aurantifolia
LimeRangpurCitrus × jambhiri
LonganBig JimDimocarpus longan Lour.
LoquatBradentonEriobotrya japonica
LycheeEmperorLitchi chinensis
LycheeEmperor (no sign)Litchi chinensis
LycheeHak IpLitchi chinensis
LycheeKwai Mei Yellow RedLitchi chinensis
LycheeSweetheartLitchi chinensis
Macadamia Nut
Macadamia integrifolia
Malabar Chestnut Syn:Guyana Chestnut
Pachira aquatica
MangoBailey's MarvelMangifera indica L.
MangoCogshallMangifera indica L.
MangoDotMangifera indica L.
MangoFalangMangifera indica L.
MangoIce CreamMangifera indica L.
MangoMallikaMangifera indica L.
MangoRosigoldMangifera indica L.
Mango PickeringMangifera indica L.
Monstera Deliciosa Syn: Ceriman
Araceae/Alt: Philodendron pertusum
Moringa olefeira
MulberryDwarfMorus nigra
NoniDead TreeMorinda Citrifolia
OliveArbequinaOlea europaea
Carica Papaya
Passion Fruit
Passiflora edulis
Passion Fruit
Passiflora edulis
Passion Fruit
Passiflora edulis
Peach Tropic SnowPrunus persica
PersimmonAmericanDiospyros virginiana
PersimmonJapanese FuyuDiospyros virginiana
PineappleSmooth cayenneAnanas comosus
PineappleSpanishAnanas comosus
PlumGulf Beautyp. domestica
PlumGulf Blazep. domestica
PlumGulf Rosep. domestica
Australian Brown Pine
Podocarpus elatus
PomegranateDwarf VietnamesePunica granata
PomegranateDwarfPunica granata
PomeloHirado BuntanCitrus maxima or Citrus grandis
Pond Apple
Annona glabra
SapodillaAlanoManilkara zapota
Star Apple syn: caimito
Chrysophyllum cainito
Star FruitKariAverrhoa carambola
Star FruitFwang TungAverrhoa carambola
Star FruitSri KembangemAverrhoa carambola
Strawberry Tree Syn: Panama Berry
Muntingia calabura
Sugar AppleRedAnnona Squamosa
Surinam Cherry
Eugenia uniflora
Surinam CherryZill's Big BlackEugenia uniflora
Tamarindus indica
TangerinePonkanCitrus reticulata
White SapoteVernonCasimiroa edulis
Ylang YlangDwarfCanaga odorata

Calendar of Events - MRFC events are in green, other fruit related events are in purple