Field Guide Fridays – Yellow Alder

This sunshine colored lovely is locally known as “Bahama Yellow Flower” or “Yellow Alder”.  This West Indian natives scientific name is Turnera Ulmifolia but our neighbors may refer to it as “Cuban Buttercup”, “West Indian Holly”, “Sage Rose”, “Sundrops”, “Marilopez”, or the curious “Ramgoat Dashalong.”    The bright blossoms only last a day but luckily this herb blooms throughout the year here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Bees and butterflies are frequent visitors to this sun loving shrub.  Here is what Micki from Big Coppit Key, FL writes:
“This plant is also known as “Yellow Alder” and “Sage Rose.” It is tenacious and grows just about anywhere: full sun, shade, dry or moist soil, acidic to alkaline; rich, average, or poor soil; and in the cracks of a sidewalk. It is very drought tolerant.
It does not appear to have many pests, or is not bothered by the ocassional nibble.
It can be grown from seeds and cuttings, but does not transplant well. It does not like having it’s feet tickled. The most effective way to transplant is to start it in a peat pot and, if you are going to plant it into the ground, put it in the spot you want it in and leave it alone. I tried to transplant a 2′ tall specimen keeping a generous amount of dirt around the root ball, but it went into transplant shock and died anyway.
I have learned it is very comfortable in containers and does not mind becoming root bound. In pots they can be moved around as they grow taller. My oldest Alder plant is about four years old and about 4 1/2 feet high and it has been moved around the garden as the seasons change.
They make beautiful background plants. They can get leggy and may require some staking, so trim the side growth by 1/3 to 1/2 to encourage it to get bushy.
On the down side, most nurseries in Florida do not offer them because they regard them to be weeds and crowd out other plants. I treat mine the same way as mints and ruella (Texas petunia): I pull volunteer plants and keep it contained.
On the up-side, this plant , according to Pub, has the potential to treat MRSA.
I hope this information helped fellow gardners decide if they want this “gypsy” in their garden.”
Information taken from daves garden
Another detailed account on this plants characteristics may be read on ntsavanna

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