The Fruit and Spice park is unique place to visit in Miami with its wide variety of specimens located on 37-acres. The parks climate is of a tropical natural which allows the growth of over 500 varieties of fruits, spices, herbs, and nuts. My favorite thing about this park is that you can sample different fruits as a guide takes you on a tram through the area. Another bonus feature is the Mango Cafe where visitors can have lunch. You can visit their website at: http://www.fruitandspicepark.org/
The Annatto or “Lipstick tree” is a unique tropical species which has a purpose that makes it fun to come across. It was nice to see it again since it reminded me of my trip to Costa Rica in 2010 (pictures below). The Central and South American natives use the seeds to make a body paint and lipstick. In our modern day, it is more common to see it on product labels from natural food companies who use the reddish or yellowish powder to dye butter and cheese. This a good alternative for buyers who want to stay away from red dyes.
Inside the fuzzy red shell are the seeds which produce the red dye.
Many are familiar with the pineapple, but did you know that it is a member of the Bromeliaceae family which has about 2,877 different species! If you are interested in growing a pineapple as a house plant, the ornamental pineapple is a more attractive chose. Just like any plant, it needs proper and tender care. Pineapples prefer a sunny location, warm weather and moderate watering.
There are so many pineapple varieties to try. If you are partial to pineapples, feel free to exercise your creativity. In Costa Rica, I learned that their spiny leaves make a nice barrier to keep pest out of the garden.
The various herbs and spices each have a unique smell that makes the tour more pleasurable. The allspice (left) and lemon grass (right) have a powerful smell which thankfully is pleasant. You are probably familiar with allspice as a ingredient in cooking recipes.
This variety of passion flower produces edible fruit. Passion flower can be found in certain teas.
The different fruits, nuts, and other plants each have distinct characteristics such as smell and texture. At each stop along the way in the tram, visitors can get a closer look at the plants.
My brother is ready to “spice” things up a bit as I bring this tour to a close. It was so much fun sharing my pictures and experience with you! I look forward to sharing with you my next blog entry. Have a great week!
Elizabeth’s Traveling Tip: Do not go by the internet prices on admission. Call to confirm the price.