Fairchild Tropical Gardens now shares some local history by providing a home to one of South Florida’s oldest, largest and heaviest Staghorn ferns.
Staghorns are admired by many as they latch-on to tree trunks and hang from low branches as a botanical ornament. Once thought to be rare and difficult to grow, they are becoming much more common place in tropical climates.
Fairchild’s new show piece has a legacy and a bit of local history that came along with it as it began its life cultivated by the Matheson family. The Matheson name is synonymous with South Florida history and recognized by most locals as being attributed to Matheson Hammock Park.
The land the park resides on was donated to Miami-Dade County in the 1930’s by William J. Matheson. At the time, Matheson also owned almost all of the land on Key Biscayne. One of his son’s, Hugh L. Matheson donated much of the land that is now Crandon Park, on the Key.
One of Willam J.’s grandsons, Hardy, gifted the staghorn to Marc Terwilliger, owner of One Two Tree, Inc. while the company was providing tree care services to one of his properties.
Considered a large specimen when Terwilliger accepted it, it has doubled in size, now exceeding hundreds of pounds and over 6’ in diameter.
Terwilliger proudly cared for and displayed the giant hanging from a tree in front of his home until recently when he sold the home and
donated the historical plant to Fairchild Tropical Gardens where it can be admired for years to come.
You can visit Marc Terwilliger’s website at http://onetwotree.com/
Matheson legacy still “hanging” around…