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Marie selby botanical gardens Volume 36 number 3 fall 2009

Annual Meeting and Members’ Day The Dr. Anne Vidaver Expedition to the Solomon Islands Plants in the Gardens Anthurium Tropical Fruit Garden Renovation

Special Article Deer Prairie Creek: The Jordyn Parcel


tropical dispatch

Dear Friends of Selby Gardens,


uring the latter half of the 19th Century, in reaction to the rapid development of industrialization, the Arts and Crafts Movement began to take hold in England. It was embraced by a growing population in the western world, creating a shift in thinking in art, science, agriculture and gardening. These influences gave rise to the appreciation and application of knowledge which contributed to an improved quality of life. This was the first time an artistic movement became a lifestyle philosophy that would influence future generations. The arts and craft movement espoused the integration of art in the physical environment. Garden design embraced naturalism as the overriding design influence. It also raised the value of scientific study, resulting in an explosion of worldwide exploration to find and identify new plant species. The desire to display plants collected around the world gave rise to a proliferation of public and private botanical gardens and arboretums. Even after two major world wars and enormous advances in technology, the role of the botanical garden has remained the same: to acquire and maintain a body of plant knowledge, display collections, and be a center for the study of plants. What has changed is that a larger population has a deeper understanding of the world around them, and this group shares a desire to learn more. With the advent of the internet, there is tremendous opportunity to disseminate information. Selby Gardens’ commitment to the understanding of epiphytes through education, horticulture, and research remains the same. The mission of The Center for Tropical Plant Science and Conservation is “to study and conserve tropical and subtropical plants, particularly epiphytes, with taxonomic focus on Orchidaceae, Bromeliaceae and Gesneriaceae and with geographic emphasis on the American tropics.” This is a valid mission within a geographic discipline. As I look to the Center’s future, it is critical to stay focused on our mission for the study of epiphytes in the tropical Americas (Neotropic ecozone). We must also have the resources to continue to publish botanical information as a result of field work and to add to the herbarium and plant collections. Our ultimate goal, to secure the financial future of Selby Gardens, will enable the Center to be a world leader in plant research. The key is not to comprise our financial security for international recognition. Through increased annual giving and contributions to endowment, there is opportunity to provide the financial resources to fulfill Selby Gardens’ mission. Once funding is raised, it will be the responsibility of board members, staff and volunteers to avoid mission drift and to manage the financial resources so that expenses never exceed income. I hope you will join us on this journey towards providing a stable foundation for Selby’s future growth. Cordially,

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Board of Trustees

Thomas B. Luzier, Esq. – Chair Nora Johnson – Vice Chair Michael Saunders – Immediate Past Chair Pete Biegel – Treasurer Dr. Laurey Stryker – Secretary Bill Gamble Steve Hazeltine Elaine Meshad Carlyle Luer, M.D. – Trustee Emeritus Sue Scully – Associates President (ex-officio)

Chief Executive Officer Thomas Buchter


Marilynn Shelley

Events and Facilities Dan Johnson

Finance and Administration Bill Lewis


Mike McLaughlin

Marketing and Communications and Dispatch Editor Debby Steele

Membership and Development Cynthia Dwyer

Research and Conservation David Benzing, Ph.D. John R. Clark, Ph.D. Bruce Holst Harry Luther


Emily Lane

Welcome Center/The Garden Shop Amy Sullivan

Mission Statement To further the understanding and appreciation of plant life, with emphasis on epiphytes, and to provide enjoyment to all who visit the Gardens.

Vision Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the leader in the study, conservation, and display of epiphytes and their canopy habitats. Our collection of epiphytes is the best in the world. Our visitors see beautiful horticultural displays and learn from our educational programs. They take away with them a better understanding and greater appreciation of the natural world and the challenges it faces.

Program Sponsors Selby Gardens programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Division of Historical Resources, Division of Cultural Affairs, and paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenue.

Thomas Buchter, CEO Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

The Tropical Dispatch is a publication of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Please send address changes to Cynthia Dwyer, Membership and Development Coordinator, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236. E-mail Telephone: (941) 366-5731, ext. 229 2

printed on recycled paper

Cover photo: Cliff along the river in the volcanic crate of Kolombangara by John R. Clark, Ph.D. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Annual Meeting and Members’ Day Saturday, November 14, 2009 We look forward to seeing all of you at the Annual Meeting and Members’ Day on November 14, 2009. Our dedicated staff and volunteers will be on hand to greet you at the Mansion Gate at 8:00 a.m. Please join your fellow members in the Great Room by the Bay for a continental breakfast and the Annual Members’ Meeting. 8:00 a.m. | Mansion Gate Check in for Members only. Proof of your current membership is required. Proceed to the Great Room by the Bay for a continental breakfast and to meet staff, volunteers, and classroom instructors. 9:00 a.m. | Annual Meeting – Tom Buchter, Chief Executive Officer, will welcome members and present an up-to-date report on the State of the Gardens. Door prizes will be given at the end of the meeting – you must be present to win. 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Greenhouse Plant Sale under the Banyan Trees for Members Only A limited selection of plants from Selby’s own greenhouses will be available for sale. Our team of horticultural experts will be available to answer your important questions. 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Begin your holiday shopping early! A 20% discount will be offered today for Members in The Garden Shop. Be sure to present your membership card. 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Plant distribution to Members only by the Banyans Come early and choose from the 13 plants specially grown for Selby Gardens members.

Gardens Friend or Family – 2 Plants Contributing Members – 3 Plants Sustaining Members – 5 Plants Sponsor level and above – 10 Plants

Quantities of certain plants are limited.

12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Volunteer Orientation Scully Room – Upstairs in the Mansion Find out how you can join the Selby Gardens Volunteer family. We have opportunities for all interests and schedules.

PLEASE NOTE: Distribution of plants will take place only on November 14, 2009 from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Rain checks, shipping, or holding of plants is not available.

1:00 p.m. Greenhouse Plant Sale will be open to non-members. Beginning December 1, 2009, there will be a $5 charge to replace lost membership cards.

The Tropical Dispatch  Fall 2009


0906 – Columnea sulfurea

0908 – Monolena primuliflora

0905 – Columnea purpurata

2009 Distribution Plants

0910 – Encyclia tampensis

0913 – Barbacenia species

0912 – Pseudodrynaria coronans


Marie Selby Botanical Gardens


0901 Anthurium andreanum Linden This is the parent of most of the cut-flower anthuriums. This species is native to very wet forests of Colombia and Ecuador, where it grows as an epiphyte. Pot in a well-drained mix, keep moist and above 50° F. Limited.

0906 Columnea sulfurea Donn. Sm. ‘Selby’ This spectacular selection, also from Belize, has red-backed foliage and bright yellow flowers. It has similar cultural requirements to the above.

0902 Anthurium jenmanii Engler This is a large “birds nest anthurium” from Trinidad that can be used in the garden in protected bright-shaded conditions.

0907 Crantzia cristata (L.) Scop. From Surinam, another viney hanging plant with reddish foliage. Gesneriads are becoming very popular locally due to their ease of culture and attractive and unusual flowers. Suitable for hanging baskets.



0903 Vriesea duvaliana E. Morren This is a small Brazilian species, easy to grow with a long-lasting red inflorescence. For pots, in bright shade, keep moist. 0904 Vriesea racinae L.B. Smith Another miniature Brazilian rainforest native. This one is grown for its form and foliage: curly leaves with red spots. Pot, keep moist and well-drained in bright shade.


0905 Columnea purpurata Hanst. Recently collected in Belize, this largeleafed epiphyte requires a shaded, protected position. Best for hanging containers, keep above 50° F.

0908 Monolena primuliflora Hook. f. This clustering herb has colorful foliage and bright flowers. Native to the rainforests of eastern Ecuador, it grows from a small caudex that allows it to survive short periods of drought. For pots, in bright shade and above 50° F.


0909 Cattleya lueddemanniana Rchb. f. This is an easily cultivated “corsage orchid” from Venezuela. For potting or mounting, in bright shade, protect from freezing. Very limited.

0910 Encyclia tampensis (Lindl.) Small This is the native “butterfly orchid.” For pots, slat baskets, or when a bit bigger, mounting on garden trees. Very limited.


0911 Belvisia species An odd epiphytic fern for baskets. Very dimorphic, narrowly elliptic leaves form on a spreading rhizome. Origin unknown. 0912 Pseudodrynaria coronans (Wall. ex Mett.) Ching This is a large and hardy epiphytic fern, widespread in tropical Asia. Mature plants have leaves a meter or more long. Several specimens of this can be found growing on trees in the Garden. Limited.


0913 Barbacenia species Potentially a very useful flowering pot plant for central and south Florida. This is an unidentified species from Rio de Janeiro state in Brazil. Cultivation: keep moist, in bright indirect light, cold hardiness untested. At one time the Vellozia family was considered closely related to the Bromeliads. Limited.

0909 – Cattleya lueddemanniana 0903 – Vriesea duvaliana

0901 – Anthurium andreanum

The Tropical Dispatch  Fall 2009


Question-Oriented Research: The Gesneriad Research Center and The Dr. Anne Vidaver Expedition to the Solomon Islands Article and photography by John R. Clark, Ph.D. Director, Gesneriad Research Center


Aeschynanthus solomonensis from Isabel Island.


s part of on-going work at the Gesneriad Research Center, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, I conducted a two-month long expedition to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, from May 2 through June 26, 2009. Dr. Anne Vidaver, an ardent supporter of research on the gesneriad plant family, generously funded this research expedition. A journey to the Solomon Islands is a major undertaking. Located northeast of Australia and east of Papua New Guinea, some 8,000 miles from Sarasota, the Solomons are practically on the other side of the globe. For centuries, explorers have struggled to travel to, document, and tame this foreboding wilderness. The Solomons have endured centuries of disease, natural disasters and wars. A brief period of peace and economic growth followed World War II but has eroded to political, economic, and social instability. As I planned for this expedition some folks asked, “Why the Solomon Islands?” Botanists can go anywhere to collect plants if desired. However, questionoriented research, the core of scientific inquiry, requires visiting areas relevant to the questions being asked, no matter how distant, dangerous, or difficult they may be to reach. Over the last seven years, I have collaborated with other members of The Gesneriad Society and Selby Gardens to develop a program to address how, when, where, and why gesneriads have evolved. At the core of this effort is the Gesneriad Research Center’s signature research project, Gesneriads of the Interface Zone, a program designed to build on my expertise in southeast Asian/Pacific gesneriads and to position the GRC as a world leader in gesneriad research.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Gesneriads of the Interface Zone – an overview Comparative study between related lineages of organisms that differ in their ability to colonize islands can provide valuable insight into how geography and certain life history traits may affect speciation. The plant family Gesneriaceae provides a unique opportunity to examine island colonization in relation to the evolution of species: although gesneriads are distributed throughout the world’s tropical forests, only one genus, Cyrtandra, has colonized the remote Pacific Islands. Cyrtandra is the most species-rich genus of Gesneriaceae (>500 species) and has the greatest range for any genus in the family, extending from the Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean to the distant Hawaiian and Marquesan Islands of the Pacific. The Interface Zone, centered on Fiji and including the Solomon Islands as well as other associated islands, has been implicated as a center of origin for the Pacific species of Cyrtandra (Clark, J.R. et al. 2008. Syst. Biol. 57:693-707). Results from evolutionary analyses suggest that Cyrtandra was well suited for island-hopping across the Pacific. Though this scenario is intriguing, the data supporting it are preliminary, and additional species sampling and analyses are required. Likewise, the other gesneriad genera from the interface zone are poorly known, and therefore similar evolutionary analyses have not been conducted. Intensive species sampling within the interface zone, principally in the Solomon Islands and Fiji, is vital to address the questions of how and why Cyrtandra dispersed throughout the Pacific while a diverse assemblage of related gesneriads did not.

The Solomon Islands – the western edge of the Interface Zone

herbarium vouchers, 30 alcohol-preserved flowers, 100 silica gel-dried leaf samples for DNA analysis, and 25 live cuttings and fruit for propagation. Of these, approximately 12 species of gesneriads were encountered including 10 species of Cyrtandra, one species of Aeschynanthus, and one species in the genus Coronanthera. We also collected other plants including the genus Psychotria (Rubiaceae; the coffee family), a species of Myrmecodia (also Rubiaceae; an “ant plant”), several species in the family Araliaceae (the Schefflera family), a few species of Begonia, and numerous orchids. Herbarium specimens and alcohol-preserved flowers will be

Cyrtandra species from Isabel Island.

The Solomon Islands are a biologically-rich part of the world representing some of the last large tracts of lowland and mountain island forest. Over 900 islands make up the Solomons, Guadalcanal being the largest. They are known as outer-arc islands, formed from the collision between two (or more) tectonic plates resulting in the upheaval of land. Unlike continents and continental islands (chunks of land broken off from continents), the Solomons are thought to be true oceanic islands that have always been separated by water from other neighboring landmasses. The Solomon Islands are hypothesized to be the western edge of the Interface Zone and have been separated from other islands and continents throughout its geological history. Plants must have colonized the Solomons by some means of dispersal. The question: how did new species form because of or following this dispersal, and how did this lead to the great diversity we see in the Solomons and other oceanic islands of the Pacific? My goal was to collect gesneriads and other plant specimens to further study this phenomenon.

A summary of collections from the Anne Vidaver Expedition to the Solomon Islands Over nearly two months, I traveled throughout the Solomon Islands in search of gesneriads. My travels took me to some of the most remote localities in the archipelago, including Guadalcanal, Fera, Isabel, Gizo, Kolombangara, New Georgia, Vangunu and Gatokai. With the assistance of my Solomon Islands and Fijian collaborators, we collected more than 200 pressed and dried The Tropical Dispatch  Fall 2009

Cyrtandra filibracteata from Kolombangara Island.


used for taxonomic identification and will be accessioned as part of Selby Gardens’ Herbarium (SEL). Live material will be propagated in the Selby Gardens greenhouses and maintained as part of the living collection. Finally, silica gel-dried leaf samples will be used for DNA extraction, amplification, and analysis.

Answering the questions Basic field observations during this expedition support the hypothesis that the Solomon Islands are the westernmost edge of the Interface Zone. Several lineages of Cyrtandra have colonized the Solomons, presumably from the west. Of these, one lineage appears most similar to other Pacific Cyrtandra, suggesting an evolutionary relationship between these. These findings also point to the Solomons as being a potential source for species that dispersed into the Pacific. However, fieldwork is only the beginning of a long and detailed process for understanding the evolution of Gesneriads of the Interface Zone. The next step will be meticulous taxonomic study of specimens collected, followed by molecular analysis of sampled tissues. The question of how, when, where and why gesneriads evolved cannot be answered after one expedition. Science has shown us that a directed course of scientific inquiry, one that unfolds over a career and beyond, is one of the best ways to uncover life’s mysteries. These efforts result in most of the life-changing discoveries of the modern world. Selby Gardens has historically supported these academic endeavors in the tradition of genuine, question-based scientific inquiry. With the development of the Gesneriad Research Center and its signature project, Gesneriads of the Interface Zone, this tradition continues.

Cliff along river in the volcanic crater of Kolombangara.

Dr. Anne Vidaver is acknowledged for making this research possible. The Solomon Islands Ministry of Forestry, staff of Kolombangara Forest Products, Ltd., and many Solomon Islanders are acknowledged for their assistance in the field. For more information on the Gesneriad Research Center, visit the GRC blog at or contact Dr. John R. Clark at or

now available

Native Bromeliads of Florida by Harry E. Luther and David H. Benzing, Ph.D.


o bromeliads ever harm their hosts? Are they parasites?  Can any of them really live on air?  How many kinds live in Florida?  Are the pretty ones easy to grow in my garden?  This is the first specialty book on Florida’s bromeliads, and it will appeal to both scientists and general readers interested in the state and its unique flora. Autographed copies of this book can be purchased at The Garden Shop for $16.95 each.


Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Selby Gardens’ Conservation Project Assistant Laurie Birch takes a reading on a global positioning system device.

A view of upper Deer Prairie Creek.

Deer Prairie Creek Preserve: The Jordyn Parcel Article and photography by Bruce K. Holst, Botanist


ou may have driven past without noticing, and you may never set foot on it, but we are fortunate to have the Jordyn Parcel of the Deer Prairie Creek Preserve added to our protected public lands. The 503-acre parcel lies just north of I-75 (where the interstate curves strongly to the east, near Venice) and protects upper Deer Prairie Creek. Although not completely pristine, the parcel includes good quality mesic and scrubby flatwood, mesic hammock, depression marshes, and wet prairie, intermixed with some areas that have been cleared or converted to pasture. Deer Prairie Creek itself is a beautiful north-to-south flowing black-water tributary of the Myakka River. The addition of the Jordyn Parcel to Deer Prairie Creek Preserve (DPCP) brings the total acreage of the preserve to 10,700 acres, some 6,400 of which are currently open to the public. The Jordyn Parcel also connects directly with the larger T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve to the north and expands the non-public portion of DPCP to the northeast. Along with Myakka River State Park further to the north, these lands provide critical habitat to more than 1,000 species of plants and some of our more charismatic and rare fauna including Florida panther, gopher tortoise, eastern indigo snake, and Florida scrub-jay. Selby Gardens is conducting a botanical inventory of the Jordyn Parcel in order to compile the up-to-date plant composition information essential for

good management practices. Through similar inventories on other environmentally sensitive lands, we have increased the documented plant list of Sarasota County by approximately 50 species. Several of these new records are of species endemic to Florida: that is, they do not grow anywhere else in the world! Though the Jordyn Parcel is currently not open to the public, you can find similar habitats at other public preserves such as Myakka River State Park, the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve, Deer Prairie Creek Preserve, or the Jelks Preserve. Information on how to access these areas is readily found on the internet. The beautiful pale meadow beauty (Rhexia mariana) is common in moist, sandy areas on the Jordyn Parcel.

Summer intern Lee Amos (left) and Laurie Birch push through the palmettos.

The Tropical Dispatch î ¤ Fall 2009


Tropical Fruit Garden Renovation


Gardens Horticulturist Michael Stultz oversees the project.

his summer the horticulture staff undertook a full renovation of the Tropical Food Garden, which included a name change: this garden will now be called the “Tropical Fruit Garden.” While the Gardens’ palette focuses on tropical fruit plants, other tropical food plants—sugarcane, beans, coffee, root and leaf crops—are also on display. Edible plants have had a long history at Selby Gardens, dating back to 1979 when Dr. Russell Seibert (former Director of Longwood Gardens) joined the staff as Curator of Tropical Horticulture. He began the development of the Tropical Food Demonstration Garden 30 years ago to showcase interesting and nutritious tropical food plants that can be successfully grown in coastal central Florida. The years had taken their toll, however, and this garden was in desperate need of renovation in order to once again teach our visitors that tropical plants can be delicious as well as a vital source of sustenance. In many ways this project was a textbook botanical garden renovation. A landscape design was drawn and illustrated by Gardens Manager Lisa Wade. Her design objectives were to simplify the garden and to showcase plants that bear the tropical fruit our visitors may have eaten but had never seen growing. A second component of the garden is a rotating display of more unusual fruit plants in ornamental containers, selected for their vigor in our local climate. These intriguing plants are explained to our visitors through illustrated signage as well as a volunteerstaffed educational cart. The budget for the project included an endowment to ensure ongoing funds for the maintenance of the garden. After design and budget were approved, the project moved into the fundraising phase. Once all funds were secured, Gardens Horticulturist Michael Stultz was appointed to lead the renovation. He started by compiling a detailed project timeline and then lined up needed supplies and contractors. The scope of the project included nearly leveling the existing exhibit (only two trees remained), installing a new irrigation system, re-laying the brick path, installing new lighting, replacing the fence, planting dozens of new specimens, and writing sign copy. Despite some inclement weather, the project proceeded smoothly and was complete within four weeks. 10

While many people had a part to play in this garden renovation, it is the many generous donors who made it all possible. With gratitude we acknowledge the following donors: gifts in memory of “Woody” Bryne; the Founders Garden Club; the Fritz family; Barbara and Julian Hansen; Irene Page; gifts in memory of Russell Seibert; a gift in memory of Erik Ross; and Whole Foods Market Sarasota. Please stop by to enjoy this refreshed garden, learn about the marvelous plants, and perhaps even sample some delectable fruit! mike mclaughlin

Old Tropical Food Garden

lisa wade

lisa wade

Mike McLaughlin, Director of Horticulture

Newly renovated Tropical Fruit Garden Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Photography by Dr. Phil Nelson

plants IN THE GARDENs Anthurium

by Harry E. Luther, Director, Mulford B. Foster Bromeliad Identification Center Curator of Living Collections

T Anthurium willifordii

Anthurium wagenerianum

Anthurium andreanum is a parent of many horticultural hybrids

Anthurium harlingianum

Anthurium regale

The Tropical Dispatch  Fall 2009

he Araceae (the Philodendron family) contains more than 2,500 species of terrestrial, epiphytic and occasionally aquatic herbs with a mostly tropical distribution. Many genera have a favored place in local horticulture but perhaps one of the most interesting is the genus Anthurium. The 800 or so species of Anthurium are widespread in Tropical America but especially abundant on the wet slopes of the northern Andes.

Anthurium friedrichstallii

The genus contains many beautiful foliage plants, some with velvety, colorfully-veined leaves. Some are popular house and patio plants. Also, many species exhibit large and luxuriant durable green foliage. Many of these, especially the “bird’s nest anthuriums,” are excellent landscape plants for a protected garden. A few can grow quite large (1–2 meters in diameter), so give them plenty of space to spread. Some species, and many hundreds of hybrids, are known for brilliant, longlasting inflorescences. Anthurium andreanum is probably the best known. This species is quite rare in cultivation and has a restricted range in nature (NW Ecuador – SW Colombia) but is the parent of a myriad of hybrids grown throughout the world. Most of the hybrids are hardy and floriferous and deserve a place in every plant collection. 11

Garden Aglow - Celebrate! This is the proclamation that shines from these vibrant flowers. When we allow the gratitude we feel for our beautiful, growing planet to move us, our spirits rise. Share your happiness with the people, creatures and places you love. Now is the time of joy.

Visions of Selby: Inspirations from a Botanical Treasury October 3 – November 29, 2009 in the Museum of Botany & the Arts


n 1993, Bonnie Gold Bell and David Sun Todd took a leap of faith, left their previous work, and moved to rural Mendocino County, California. They found themselves on a mission to create art inspired by the beauty of Mother Earth and began working with close-up photographs of Nature, first via handmade collage and later with computer software. Their work reflects thousands of images captured all over the world. Now Florida residents, Bell & Todd recognized the special beauty of Selby Gardens on their first visit. The Visions of Selby exhibit focuses on hundreds of pictures they have taken at Selby Gardens over the course of a year. This is not a traditional photographic exhibition, it is what Bell & Todd do with their photographs that makes their work so unique. Everything you see in their images is real. After photographing natural objects such as the foliage and statuary at Selby, they layer and collage the photographic materials into a variety of forms. Some

images emerge as kaleidoscopic geometric patterns that they call mandalas. Mandala is a word from India for a centered image that holds a sacred space. Another style of Bell & Todd’s images feature single photographs with symmetrical borders, while others are dreamy scenic collages featuring statuary, including the ones at Selby. These images are beautiful and complex. By capturing and re-mixing pictures of Nature, the artists have tapped into whole reservoirs of vibrant information that the viewer can enjoy on many levels. Bell & Todd’s photo-collages yield endlessly fascinating combinations of human-made and Earth-made patterns. They feel that seeing Nature’s patterns and colors reborn in new forms touches something deep in our bodies and being. As artists, they have been greatly healed and awakened by creating/encoding this art. They find this creative process a thrilling experience as they “never know until the pieces come together what

marvels they will see.” They are creating many new images for the Visions of Selby exhibit, which promises to be a feast for the eyes and spirit. For a decade, Bell & Todd’s work has been published in the form of books, calendars and notecards. Artist Laurel Burch has said of their work, “Bonnie Bell and David Todd have ways of bringing the entire universe, with all its majesty and complexity, into a very tangible and specific experience that is personal and soul touching … I am in awe of the extraordinary gifts they have for truly celebrating the richness and depth of soul and spirit. These works will become an important part of history going forward, as they capture things far beyond the physical world and make them accessible to so many, in such a beautiful form.” Come see their incredible images on display and for sale in Selby’s Museum of Botany & the Arts from October 3 to November 29, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Visit their website at www.

Please join Bonnie Bell and David Todd at their Opening Reception on Sunday, October 4, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in Selby Gardens Museum of Botany & the Arts. R.S.V.P. to (941) 366-5731 ext. 239. 12

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Home Green Home

Selby Associates Present the HGTV 2009 Green Home Architect, Michael Carlson Monday, October 19, 2009, at the Great Room on the Bay, 11:30 a.m.


he Marie Selby Gardens Associates will kick off their program year with a presentation by noted Sarasota architect Michael Carlson of Carlson Studio Architecture, a regional leader in sustainable design and LEED projects. The Carlson Studio designed the HGTV (Home & Garden TV) Green Home 2009 located in Port St. Lucie, Florida, a 2,400 square-foot LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-certified home. It is one of only four LEED Platinum Homes in Florida. LEED certification is a rigorous third-party system which HGTV – LEED Platinum Home is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. It is considered the best way to designate a building as ‘Green.’ Using sustainability as their key principal, the architects used an integrated design approach with their energy experts and construction specialists to develop a whole-systems context to create the prizewinning home.  Michael Carlson will provide a behind-the-scenes view of his firm’s involvement in the design of this year’s HGTV Green Home. Interested in attending the program or learning more about the Associates?  RSVP to Associates@ Michael Carlson or call (941) 366-5731 ext. 267.

Upcoming Associates Meetings (Great Room by the Bay) Monday, November 16 11:30 a.m. Sunday, December 5 5:00-7:00 p.m. (Holiday Party)

Carlson Studio Architects

Tea Room moves to the Carriage House at Selby Gardens.


he tea tasting room will now be housed in the Carriage House near the Payne Mansion. The added space will allow for more tea-related items as well as beverages and snacks. Tea Tasting begins at 11:00 a.m. every day. Each visitor is offered a sample of three brewed loose leaf teas at no charge.  Learn about the origin, processing, preparation and health benefits of camellia sinensis, otherwise known as tea. The Selby House Café will continue to offer sandwiches, salads, soups, ice cream, beer, wine, espresso drinks and a fabulous selection of iced and hot teas.   Be sure to ask for Selby Select, our delicious caffeine-free rooibos tea.

The Tropical Dispatch  Fall 2009

A portion of the Carriage House will be converted to a tea room with traditional afternoon tea service available to Selby members and garden visitors. Learn more at Thank you for supporting local businesses.


donna krabill

Local Teens Learn and Grow at Selby Gardens by Emily Lane, Volunteer Services Manager


Selby Explorers Welcome Breakfast attendees, L–R: Brandon Berlin, Anna Marshall, Leah Holst, Patrick Gallagher, Tasha Greenwood, Allie Mac Harris, Amber Parker, Thaís Faria, Jennifer Scheel, Jõao Faria.

hundreds of plants that have been discovered by and named for people who have worked at Selby. It’s cool to see how they’ve immortalized their names.” Social opportunities were another plus. Jõao’s sister, Thaís, volunteered in several departments. “I like working in the greenhouse, because it’s interactive with the plants. But helping out in Research is good, too, because I’ve been getting more friends!” Horticulturist Lisa Wade was delighted with her cadre of teens interested in learning about gardening and outdoor plants. “They’re ready, willing and able to do whatever we ask them to do, and they’re doing a fantastic job. It’s been an awesome and refreshing experience to work with these dedicated young people.” Other students helped with tours, children’s programs, office duties, and more. donna krabill

donna krabill

ore than 30 local teens spent the summer volunteering at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The pilot program, dubbed “Selby Explorers,” was a win-win opportunity for both the Gardens and the students. Besides earning school credit and accumulating volunteer hours for scholarships, many students enjoyed informal apprenticeships with Selby scientists and horticulturists. Selby, in turn, was able to tackle projects that normally languish when its many “snowbird” volunteers take flight to cooler climates. Cayle Sullivan, who volunteered in the Center for Tropical Plant Science and Conservation, says the experience was a double blessing for her: “I’m going into science as a career, so the binomial nomenclature is really useful for me, and it (volunteering in the research center) helps me with figuring out what I’m going to do. But I also like the office experience, because it’ll help when I’m looking for a job next summer.” Riverview Senior Jõao Faria noted, “I like looking at the plants, learning the scientific names, and working with the scientists. In the herbarium (a “library” of nearly 100,000 preserved plants used for scientific study), there’s a poster listing

Jacob Sumrow greets visitors to the Conservatory.


Selby Explorers evolved when Volunteer Manager Emily Chalker Lane noticed a tremendous increase in the number of students contacting the Gardens about summer volunteer opportunities. According to Lane, “Most summers, we’ve had four or five students volunteer, but this year, I heard from dozens who needed hours for school or for Bright Futures scholarships.” (Bright Futures is a scholarship program for graduates of Florida high schools). “We also unearthed several students interested in careers in horticulture or science.” In consultation with Selby staff and with the enthusiastic support of CEO Tom Buchter, Lane developed a program that brought the students together for social and educational opportunities as well as their regular volunteer duties. A big highlight for the teens was Botanist Bruce Holst’s lecture about one of his many scientific expeditions to a remote rainforest. Holst, who oversees the Gardens’ herbarium, is a frequent participant in expeditions and conservation work both locally and abroad. Says Holst, “Seeing the dedicated, thoughtful, and hard work of our teen volunteers first-hand gives me a little more hope for the future of our planet.” 2009 was the first year the Gardens has offered such a program, but staff members will work to refine Selby Explorers throughout the coming year.

Jennifer Scheel and Thaís Faria “dishing dirt” in the Greenhouses. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

What’s Your Pleasure?

V Selby Lights in Bloom A Tropical Holiday Celebration


n addition to a spectacular display of colorful lights, this year’s “Lights in Bloom” will feature a wider range of entertainment, from choirs and school groups to local trios and jazz quartets, and the popular model trains will be on display. The Café and Garden Shop will open nightly, and children and families will enjoy many activities designed especially for the holidays. Children 12 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $12 for non-members and $10 for members. Tickets make a wonderful holiday gift for friends, family, employees, or co-workers. “Lights in Bloom” will be open from 6:00-9:00 p.m. on the following dates: December 18-23, 26 and 27.

“Lights in Bloom” Needs You! Selby Gardens will once again present our annual “Lights in Bloom” celebration this December. Preparations are already underway, and we need volunteers to help us prepare by repairing decorations and placing them in the Gardens. Need more details? Please contact Emily Lane, or 941.366.5731, extension 267.

Back by Popular Demand

olunteering at Selby Gardens offers a tremendous range of possibilities. Whether you enjoy science or the arts, working with plants or with people, sharing your knowledge of the living world or being a lifelong learner, there’s a fulfilling opportunity for you in the Gardens. Want to learn more? Join us at one of our monthly volunteer orientation sessions. You will be treated to an interesting information session followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of this magnificent institution.

To sign up or to learn more, call Emily Chalker Lane at (941) 366-5731 ext. 267 or e-mail Upcoming Volunteer Orientations (held in the Scully Conference Room upstairs in the Mansion): • Thursday, September 17, 2009 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. • Friday, October 16, 2009 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. • Saturday, November 14, 2009 (Members’ Day) 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. • Monday, January 11, 2010 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Reggae on the Bay

November 6, 2009 – 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.


he popular Reggae on the Bay event returns to the beautiful grounds of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on Friday, November 6, 2009, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Reggae music will be featured and family fun activities include: prizes for best island attire, a bounce house for children, and Pitter Pat the face painter. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

9 ovember 6, 200


The Tropical Dispatch  Fall 2009

Tickets are $18 for non-member adults, $15 adult members, free for children 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased online at beginning October 15, or at the Selby Gardens Welcome Center, located at 900 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, Florida. Free on-site parking is limited; additional parking is available at Sarasota’s bayfront park. Bring lawn chairs or blankets; no coolers, food or beverages may be brought into the Gardens. 15

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage


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embers, don’t forget to stop by The Garden Shop for all your distribution plant potting supplies. We have a selection of soil mixes appropriate for potting all types of epiphytes.  Choose from a variety of containers: orchid terracotta pots, standard terracotta pots, decorative pots, tree fern fiber pots, and both square and octagonal slatted baskets in many different sizes.   Also in stock, a variety of mounting supplies including slatted plaques, tree fern fiber boards, driftwood, sphagnum moss, and vinyl tie tape.  The Garden Shop is always well-stocked with potting supplies for all your transplanting needs.

Begin Your Holiday Shopping Early


t’s never too early to begin your holiday shopping! Stop by The Garden Shop for a variety of botanicallyinspired giftware for the holiday season.  Hand-blown and hand painted floral glass Christmas ornaments will delight your gardening friends and bring your tree into “bloom.”  Or shop our creative mix of inspired home décor, jewelry, and gift ideas based on the fusion of art and nature.  You just may find the perfect gift for yourself!

The Garden Shop is accessible directly from South Palm Avenue without paying admission. Store hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily (closed Christmas day).  For further information please call 941-366-5731 ext 242. Tropical Dispatch is printed on 100% recycled paper, and Class/Lecture/Exhibits insert on 10% recycled paper, with vegetable-based ink.

Tropical Dispatch Fall 2009  

Tropical Dispatch Fall 2009

Tropical Dispatch Fall 2009  

Tropical Dispatch Fall 2009