Tropical Treasures Magazine

Pushing the limits of tropical gardening. Growing tropical plants in non-tropical climate and indoors.
ISSN 1936-1378


Appearing quarterly










© Tropical Treasures Magazine 2007 -

Tropical Treasures Magazine

Share your treasures: authors welcomed!

If you have an experience growing tropical plants, or would like to share your tropical treasures with other readers,

About our columnists

Tatiana Anderson
Tatiana (geographer, photographer, horticulturist) has chosen plants and photography as her passion and profession. She studied those since she was 6 y.o with a help of her father Vsevolod Bondarev, a Russian scientist and explorer. She graduated from Moscow State University with MS in Earth Science.

Michael Dubinovsky
Before starting a plant nursery, Mike spent 17 years working as professional optical and lighting engineer. He designed many optical and illumination systems and created software for different engineering applications. He wrote many scientific articles and holds a number of patents. He still likes to use his computer "toys" to run things around the nursery.

Brian Severa
Brian Severa is the Tropical Treasures editor, as well as one of its writers. He lives in South Florida where he enjoys his passion for plants. An artist and nature lover at heart, he reveres the peace found in his own garden full of exotic plants, and jokes of how his greatest "work" is done while laying on a couple pillows in his swinging bench outside next to his wind chimes, surrounded by his plants! And
even though he is a bit of an eccentric, we still like him here anyway!

Alex Butova
A retired engineer and linguist, Alex always had two major passions: cats and plants. She grows many tropical species indoors in her appartment in Riga (Latvia) including those from seeds. Alex is a professional columnist, writing about plants for garden magazines.

John Mood
John Mood lives in Hilo, Hawaii. He is a Forester and Ethnobotanist via academics and a technical advisor to Lyon Arboretum, Univ. of Hawaii in Honolulu (HI) and Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Haleiwa (HI). He has been working on the Zingiberaceae family taxonomy since 1989. As author of numerous articles on the taxonomy of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) he has published over 50 new species and two genera.

Gordon Bower
Gordon is a retired federal employee who took up a second career in journalism. He now works for the Charlotte Sun as the editor of the Punta Gorda Herald in Punta Gorda, Fla. He became a certified palmophile after moving to Florida, and his yard contains a collection of more than 140 palms, many of them exotic varieties rarely found in cultivation.

Pavel Aldoshin
Pavel is a comuter engineer living in Moscow. Exotic plants have been his passion since childhood. Always fascinated by unusual forms of flora, he likes the challenge about growing it. "You never know where the next surprise awaits you", he says, "In case of success, the reward of accomplishment is the most enjoyable". Growing tropical plants is his favorite hobby that takes most of his spare time. It includes experimenting on pollination and other cultivation tricks; some of them helped him to create a collection of rare plants that amazingly do grow and thrive indoors! Some of them are not easy to grow even for experienced gardener in real tropics.

Susanna Lyle
Susanna has over 25 years of practical and academic experience with plant and soil studies. She has taught horticulture, plant science, and garden design, and has edited many scientific and educational books and journals. Born in England, she earned her doctorate with a focus on wetland plants from Exeter University and spent several years doing horticultural and ornamental work, from laboring to planning and designing gardens and woodlands. Now a full-time author, she continues doing horticultural research in her new homeland, New Zealand. The unique New Zealand climate has allowed her to experiment with the unusual temperate and subtropical species of fruit and nuts that have become her area of focus. In particular, she has become fascinated with the many health benefits of these unusual plants.

Michelle Stoffel (Healy)
Michelle has a degree in Biology and Russian language, and continuing her education in research school. She is passionate about both plants and the language and is working on translations of articles about tropical plants into English. Michelle has been in love with plants since the age of ten, when she had her first windowsill greenhouse. Since then, plants have continued to be her friends through high school, college, and soon medical school. She currently lives in Kansas, with her family and three setter dogs.

Daniel J. Gilbride
Licensed Horticultural Consultant, BA, MA, MRC. Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI. Dan's life was changed when he met one of the original organic gardeners, Ruth Stout (author of 'The No Work Garden Book' and 'How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back").  At the age of 9, she took him under her wing and taught him the basics of gardening, horticulture and how to intensely watch and "listen" to a plant.  He continued with this passion until at the age of 17, he was a guest speaker at New Mexico Stat University on asexual propagation.  In 1999, he was hit in a small vehicle by a truck, and was told he would never garden, let alone walk or work again.  In 2005, Dan continued his 'self-rehabilitation' fueled by his love of plants and nature, and moved to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.  He initially crawled out to the yard, but again inspired by wanting to do more, now walks, lectures on various plant cultures to plant groups, has a home nursery, and is on the cusp of opening 'The Garden of Croix', a combination of a botanical garden and a garden center.  Whether creeping, crawling, walking or nearly running, he now has a stock of over 7,000 tropical plants to offer to St. Croix for the 'greening' of the island.

Donna McDonald-Bailey
Donna now lives in Vancleave, Mississippi, in zone 8b/9a with mild winters around low 30's, occassionally to the mid 20's but rarely below that. Her Wild Life Habitat Garden with many tropical species is a registered Mini Wildlife Habitat. She promotes Butterfly Gardening and roots many plants to share and help get other involved in helping wildlife. She gives lectures on butterfly gardens, host and nectar plants, shares plant cuttings, live Butterflies and Sphinx Moths. After her garden and home were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she relocated from Ocean Springs, MS to Vancleave, MS just 20 miles north. With the help of family and many friends she had rebuilt her habitat even better then ever...
Donna is a winner of Garden Contest
Donna's online photo-album

William Scheick
Trained as an undergraduate in morphological biology, Bill Scheick is currently a professor of American literature at the University of Texas at Austin. A member of the Garden Writers Association, he has written over 150 gardening articles for the Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman, and Texas Gardener Magazine, where he serves as a contributing editor.

Nancy Palmer
Nancy Palmer is a Florida Master Gardener, Florida Certified Horticulture Professional, and writes a monthly gardening column in a local publication.  In addition to teaching and lecturing on garden topics, she and her husband also own  Bamboo Farm & Pottery Express in Punta Gorda, Florida that specializes in growing clumping bamboos for the homeowner and landscape trade. A lifelong gardener, she tends her own private Eden in Punta Gorda, Florida.  

Andrew Deveykin
Originally from Ukraine (born in Russian Siberia), Andrew lives now with his family in Israel and works as a Physical Designer in Intel computer production. His hobbies - cats and plants - gave him ideas about some extraordinary indoor projects, like pet entertainment centers and a pond for plants and fish in 18th floor apartment...
Galiya Okhapkina
Galiya is originally from Russia, lives in New Jersey. Her website - one of the oldest gardening sites on Web, is a comprehensive encyclopedia of indoor plants. She's an experienced expert on tropical plants and growing them indoors, growing plants for over 30 years. Galiya is an author of a number of plant articles and books.

Andrew Mazour
A professional journalist and travel writer, Andrew lives in Kiiv, Ukraine. For many years he was an editor of EKZO magazine devoted to wild exotic nature, travel and environment, somewhat a "Ukrainian version of National Geographic". Andrew travels the world with a laptop and camera. Currently is an editor of travel section of Ukrainian daily newspaper "Segodnya" ("Today"). His stories about visiting tropical countries will appear in Tropical Treasures "Travel" section.

Sadhu Govardhan
An independent thinker, organic farmer and tropical rare fruit connoisseur and researcher. He was lucky to be able to travel extensively for over twenty years which allowed him to study indigenous cultures and different life styles throughout the world. Before becoming an organic farmer and consultant, he was managing ashrams for yoga and meditation in Europe and in the States. Now, he is dedicated to researching and growing tropical food crops and promoting alternative farming methods, currently involved with consultant work and inspiring and developing educational organic role model projects in the Caribbean. His new book Oro Verde is a thought-provoking publication
that convincingly explains why locally grown and processed food is better for your health, our small-scale farmers, the environment and the local economy.

Mark Hooten
Mark has been fascinated by horticulture since childhood, with interests including tropical fruits, cacti, ethnobotany, entheogens, and variegates. Having been employed in both FL and CA by botanical gardens and specialist nurseries as horticulturist, manager, propagator, and consultant, he is happy to speak with fellow plant worshipers at the Driftwood Garden Center in Estero, where he works weekends. Mark is currently busy writing a volume on the complicated history of croton varieties.

David Stang
David has loved wildlife and the outdoors all his life. He studied ecology, wildlife management, soil and water conservation, ichthyology, and ornithology. Worked with software, teaching college, writing books and giving seminars around the world. Now retired in Maryland, David is working on a huge database website to display information about the plants and animals of our planet which now is a home to nearly two million web pages describing plants and animals, and over 180,000 photos.

Thomas Brendler
A consultant, ethnobotanist and author/translator, primarily for the pharmaceutical sector. For the last 14 years, he has developed and managed various projects for industry on the use of plants in medicine, food and cosmetics. He has been editor and author of Herb-CD, a digital encyclopedia of medicinal plants, co-author of “Physician’s Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines”, “Plant-based Ingredients for Functional Foods”, “Handbuch Phytotherapie”, “Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Indian Ocean Islands” and Licensing Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products (2008). He is a member of the senior editorial board of Natural Standard, an international research collaboration that aggregates and synthesizes data on complementary and alternative therapies. In 2006 he joined the editorial board of Phytotherapy Research. In 1997 he founded PlantaPhile, an innovative consultancy and image archive based in Berlin, Germany and London, UK focussing on the identification and data collection of medicinal plants and their uses in traditional medicines and the protection of biodiversity. He has made various field trips to ethnopharmacologically relevant regions of the world, especially Africa, Pacific islands and Balkan countries.



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