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Marie selby botanical gardens Volume 35 number 2 summer 2008

Gongora boracayanesis – A Contribution to Plant Conservation Rubiaceae, The Coffee Family Selby Wins Big Selby Gardens Receives Major Rare Book Collection

special article Exploring for Botanical Gold in Venezuela’s Lost World


tropical dispatch

Dear Friends of the Gardens, Spring at Selby Gardens—the Orchid Ball, Plant & Garden Festival, the Asian Cultural Festival, Journey to Bhutan Dinner and our Garden Music Series—has been an unprecedented success. We set new attendance records, brought home awards from the World Orchid Conference and other shows, and earned acclaim in other arenas. We’re extremely grateful for your support during our busiest season of the year. It has been great to see so many of you at the Gardens’ programs and events. As summer approaches, there is still plenty to enjoy at the Gardens. Our annual Mother’s Day Brunch will move indoors to take advantage of air conditioning and the terrific view from the Great Room by the Bay. On the evening of July 4, we will offer festive music, all-American food, and the best seat in town for Sarasota’s annual fireworks display. Our summer classes are always popular and there is a pull-out section in the Tropical Dispatch with a list of classes and other activities you may enjoy. And as always, the grounds offer new surprises every day—orchids and bromeliads abloom in the oak trees, fragrantly flowering palm trees, butterflies wafting by on balmy breezes. If you are in Sarasota, please drop by for a dose of nature’s best medicine—a little time outdoors on a summer day in paradise.    We continue to be very grateful for the ongoing support from our Gardens’ members and our wonderful volunteers.  You  truly make the Gardens grow!  In the next issue of the Tropical Dispatch, there will be a report on our Selby Travelers April trip to Thailand and Bhutan.  A lecture and slide show about the journey is also planned and you, our valued members and volunteers, will receive advance notification of this program.    All of us at Selby look forward to seeing you in the Gardens soon.  Best wishes,

M. Jessica Ventimiglia Interim Executive Director and CEO The Tropical Dispatch is a publication of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Please send address changes to Carol Montgomery, Membership Manager, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236. printed on E-mail: Telephone: 941.366.5731, ext. 266 recycled paper 2

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Board of Trustees Michael Saunders – Chair Janice L. Holly – Vice Chair Pete Biegel-Secretary C. Martin Cooper – Treasurer E. Boyer Chrisman Bill Gamble Steve Hazeltine Nora Johnson Thomas B. Luzier, Esq. Dr. Elaine Marieb Susan L. McLeod David R. Staats Dr. Laurey Stryker Carlyle Luer, MD – Trustee Emeritus Thomas B. Luzier, Esquire Barbara Frey – Associates President (ex-officio) Interim Chief Executive Officer Jessica Ventimiglia Development Jean Sells Education Donna Krabill Events and Facilities Dan Johnson Finance and Administration Bill Lewis Horticulture Mike McLaughlin Marketing and Communications and Dispatch Editor Debby Steele Membership Carol Montgomery Research and Conservation David Benzing, Ph.D. Stig Dalström Bruce Holst Wesley E. Higgins, Ph.D. Harry Luther Volunteers Emily Lane Mission Statement The mission of The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is to understand and conserve tropical plants – with emphasis on epiphytes and their natural habitats – through programs of research, education and horticultural display that promote appreciation of plant life and provide enjoyment for all who visit the Gardens. Program Sponsors Selby Gardens programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Division of Historical Resources, Division of Cultural Affairs, Sarasota County Arts Council and Tourist Development Council.

Cover photo: Gongora boracayanesis. Photograph by Stig Dalström. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

anabel rial


The fern, Pterizonium reniforme, previously only known from high elevations, was found at an unusually low altitude along the Uey river.

A beautiful liana collected along the river banks (Norantea guianensis).

Bruce Holst collects plants along the river.

Exploring for Botanical Gold in Venezuela’s Lost World


by Bruce K. Holst, Director of Plant Collections


The typically quiet port on the Aymara River is bustling with gold fever.

The Tropical Dispatch  Summer 2008

elby Gardens recently joined forces with Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program and the La Salle Foundation of Venezuela to conduct an intensive biological and ecological survey of a southern Venezuelan river system threatened by gold and copper mining operations. This river system drains the Sierra de Lema, a mountain range that forms the northern flank of the “Lost World.” The Lost World was made famous by Arthur Conan Doyle in the late 1800s and is known for its spectacular table mountains, for Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, and for thousands of plants found nowhere else on earth. With illegal gold mining rampant in the area and a proposed 2,400-foot deep open-pit gold and copper mine in the final stages of permitting, a team of 25 biologists from many different countries was assembled to conduct an assessment continued on next page 3

waters to ply their nets and would come up with a wide array of fishes (upon some of which we would later dine), and would occasionally even net a stingray or electric eel. The limnologists sampled fish tissues to be analyzed later for mercury contamination, a byproduct of the illegal miners. The kitchen was always open and the food good and filling. Our paramedic, Sol, earned her keep tending to numerous scrapes and cuts, and she also doctored one of our guides through a sting from a Tityus scorpion, known to be highly venomous. His evacuation by river in the middle of the night was a sobering experience, and the treatment that he received, including an unusual injection of scorpion antivenom, may have saved his life. Only one other evacuation was required, this one by helicopter, when another scientist slipped on some rocks and dislocated his shoulder. We established two additional light camps, one at the furthest navigable point on the upper Uey an hour upstream from base camp, and another in a narrow canyon several thousand feet higher in the Sierra de Lema and only reached by helicopter. Late one stormy night at the upper Uey camp where five of us were working for several days, we noticed that our boat, previously tied far down on the rocky shore, was clanking about the shrubbery adjacent to our camp. Realizing we were about to be flooded

bruce holst

of the region’s flora and fauna. I was invited to join Venezuelan botanists Angel Fernandez and Reina Gonto to conduct the botanical portion of the inventory. Other disciplines represented were herpetology, ornithology, mammalogy, entomology, limnology, geology, ichthyology, and the study of aquatic invertebrates. The support staff included cooks, a paramedic, local guides, security personnel, a coordinator of logistics, and a film team who captured our work for a future documentary. My route took me from Sarasota to Caracas and then by a domestic carrier to Puerto Ordaz situated along the immense Orinoco River. Another day of travel by car took us to the infamous Kilometer 88 gold mining region, which is the last place to purchase supplies before venturing into the heart of the Lost World. Near Km 88, we stayed one more night at the “Brisas del Cuyuní” gold mining camp operated by Gold Reserve, Inc., the company proposing the large open pit mine. Obtaining a permit from the Venezuelan Government for such a large project is not a simple matter. Many years of planning, enacting social and medical improvements in the community, and conducting environmental studies are required. To further compliance in the environmental arena of their operations, Brisas del Cuyuní entered into an agreement with Conservation International in 2006 to collaborate on environmental issues, including our

recent inventory. Our main target area was in and around the junction of the Uey and Cuyuní rivers, the area that will be affected by the proposed mine and which is being degraded by numerous illegal miners. There are no roads in the area, so our transportation was by river using four large dugout style canoes and in part via helicopter to establish a forward camp in the foothills of the Sierra de Lema. Our base camp was situated on a high bank, which in this area is critical to avoid the effects of the wildly fluctuating river levels. With approximately 23-feet of rainfall per year (compared with about 4-feet per year in Florida), the Cuyuní basin is one of the wettest in South America. Even though we were there in the “dry season,” it rained on average three times a day. The wet season must be a truly aquatic experience. Arriving at the muddy, makeshift port to begin our journey, we were surprised to find dozens of boats loading and unloading provisions. We learned that normally only one or two boats would be at the port on any single day, but gold fever was raging in the area, fueled by a new find high up the Cuyuní and by rapidly rising international gold prices. After arriving at base camp an hour upstream from the port and claiming our sleeping berths, we began work. Boats would depart and arrive at all times of day, well before dawn for the birders and late at night for the mammalogists. The ichthyologists impressed me with their willingness to jump into the murkiest of

edward lohnes

Botanical Gold continued

Ichthyologists inventory a muddy creek. 4

Carlos Lasso holds an electric eel. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

simÓn ortiz

out, we quickly packed camp and headed downriver through heavy rain and swollen water, crashing through tree branches now at river level and with every headlamp turned on to help our captain navigate his way downstream to base camp. If there was any time that we were going to tip over on the trip, I was sure this was it, but our skilled pilot brought us safely back to the base camp. For 16 days we kept up a frantic pace. Botanically speaking, we found the area very rich in plant life and collected over 800 samples. One interesting discovery was the presence of several species, thought to be restricted to higher elevations of the table mountains, two thousand feet lower than previously recorded. Distribution information such as this will become increasingly helpful in our knowledge of how plants might be able to adapt to the effects of climate change. With literally thousands of specimens in hand, it was finally time to break camp and for me to head back to Caracas to prepare the plant specimens. Our results will be tallied and published later this year along with our conservation recommendations to the government. It is feasible that the

The scientific team.

upper Uey River can be added to the adjacent Canaima National Park or at least provide a sizeable buffer between the mining area and the park. While in Caracas, I learned that we had received a grant from the Wonken Foundation of Venezuela to support the next two years of work in the Sierra de Lema, including funds for more helicopter time into areas never before visited by biologists. We are, without a doubt, looking forward to that! Visit the “Research” area of the Selby

Gardens website to see an online slide show from the expedition and links to related information.  Acknowledgments. I wish to thank the staff of Brisas del Cuyuní for their excellent logistical support, Conservation International and the Fundación La Salle for inviting me to participate and for all that they do in the name of conservation, and especially Selby volunteer Marge Schmiel for her financial support.

A Children’s Rainforest at Selby Gardens Completes Collaboration with Ringling College of Art and Design


elby Gardens recently completed a collaboration with the Ringling College of Art and Design. Jennifer Mumford Brady, Director, Ringling College Design Center, appointed Marcos Roman, a fourth year student majoring in Graphic and Interactive Communication, to work with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on a design project for the The Tropical Dispatch  Summer 2008

Gardens’ new Children’s Rainforest. The Children’s Rainforest is a new initiative designed by renowned EDAW, Incorporated. Construction will be completed by Willis Smith Construction. Work is projected to begin in late 2008. Roman focused on a logo design. He developed presentation materials to be used for fundraising and other promotional

purposes. In addition, Ringling College illustration faculty member Don Brandes created a signature illustration which depicts the numerous recreational and educational components that have been designed to create enjoyment for children of all ages. The Ringling College Design Center Internship class provides students an opportunity to work on “real world” projects. This course gives students the chance to work on all phases of a project from the initial meeting with the client to final presentation and implementation. You will be able to view this new concept in the Children’s Rainforest Room upstairs in the Scully Room in the Payne Mansion. If you would like further information on the Children’s Rainforest or would like to set an appointment to view the renderings, please contact Susan McLeod at or Jessica Ventimiglia at (941) 366-5731.  5

A Contribution to Plant Conservation

stig dalstrÖm


Gongora boracayanesis

by Stig Dalström, Curator Orchid Identification Center

n May, 2003, a group of botanists from Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the University of Florida, and Lankester Botanical Garden of the University of Costa Rica gathered in the Boracayán Wildlife Refuge. This reserve is privately owned and lovingly managed by Ann Patton and John Bender. It covers 5,000 acres of original rainforest mixed with secondary forest and is situated on a ledge of the Fila Costeña Norte in southern Costa Rica, with a magnificent view of the Pacific beaches and coral reefs threethousand feet below. We were invited by the generous owners of Boracayán to do an inventory survey of the epiphytic plants in the reserve, including orchids, bromeliads and gesneriads. This promised to be a very exciting project since this area is well known for its biodiversity, but is also poorly explored scientifically. After a week of strenuous fieldwork, trudging up and down slippery trails, carrying large sacks filled with plants, and carefully avoiding highly-venomous pit vipers we assembled an impressive first-round pile of specimens, both living and preserved. It was then time to return to our institutions and begin the slow and meticulous work of identifying our finds.

stig dalstrÖm

stig dalstrÖm

Gongora boracayanesis

John Bender on lookout.

Bothrops species


The following year, a small orchid seedling was discovered growing among the pseudobulbs of a Lycaste orchid in the collection at Selby Gardens. Since the Lycaste originated in Boracayán,

so did the seedling of what appeared to be a different species. Our orchid horticulturist, Angel Lara, replanted the seedling in a wooden basket because he suspected it to be a Gongora (which has pendent inflorescences). The plant finally flowered in 2006, and flowers were identified by the Orchid Identification Center (OIC). After much searching in available literature, it was concluded that our Gongora represented a species that was known in cultivation under a misapplied name and that it actually did not have a valid scientific name. An international collaboration was then initiated between Selby Gardens’ orchid specialists and Rudolf Jenny, a Swiss taxonomist who specializes in Gongora studies and who became very enthusiastic about finally naming the Costa Rican species. The name of choice was Gongora boracayanensis, after the area of origin, and in honor of Ann Patton and John Bender’s passion for orchid conservation in Costa Rica. The official name was published in our flagship scientific journal Selbyana 28(2): 2007. Only a few days after the publication, the OIC received an email message from an excited German botanist contracted by the Panamanian government to do a rapid assessment of the flora in an area soon to be flooded by a hydroelectric power station dam. The botanist, Stefan Laube, was very pleased to find a name for a plant he had recently collected but suspected never would be properly identified, since Gongora orchids are notoriously difficult to understand and classify taxonomically. He suddenly and serendipitously had a positive identification and a scientific name, and he could add a species new to Panama as well as to the list of threatened plants and animals in the area. This is a wonderful example of how Selby Gardens’ staff contributes to international projects and conservation-oriented efforts worldwide. With your help we can do more!  Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Hoffmania bullata

Hydnophytum mesleyanum


Lindenia rivalis

Hamelia nodosa

Manettia cordifolia ‘John Esley’

Rubiaceae | The Coffee Family


by Harry E. Luther, Curator, Living Collections; Director, Bromeliad Identification Center Photography by Dr. Phil Nelson

he Rubiaceae, one of the most species rich (over 6,000) of tropical plant families includes a number of consumer commodities: Coffee, Gardenia, Quinine, Pentas, Ixora and Noni. Many additional members can be found at Selby Gardens, including a few ant epiphytes (i.e. Myrmecodia and Hydnophytum), and hemi-epiphytic shrubs (Hillia). A number of uncommon ornamental genera are also present. Species of Hoffmania are beautiful understory

sub-shrubs. Manettia are mostly-herbaceous, twining plants, including Manettia cordifolia, a Selby membership-distribution plant in 2007. Lindenia rivalis is a rheophytic shrub from Belize that is surprisingly successful as a conventional landscape specimen. The genus Hamelia, with a species native to Florida, includes at least a dozen or more tropical species such as the Mexican Hamelia nodosa. 

Rainforest Masks 2008 of the Borucan Indians of Costa Rica Rainforest Masks Exhibition


ainforest Masks 2008” celebrated the fourth in a series of exhibitions in the Museum of Botany & the Arts at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in March and April, 2008. The success of these exhibits at the Gardens has allowed Lauren Jawer of Mariposa Indigenous Art to help with the purchase of a twelve-acre farm within the Borucan reserve. This property is in the name of the Borucan people and is designated for the sustainable growing of balsa wood and other natural resources upon which the artisans are so dependent. Rainforest Masks 2009 is scheduled to open at the Gardens in March, 2009. 

The Tropical Dispatch  Summer 2008


Selby Wins Big Mike McLaughlin, Director of Horticulture


he Selby Gardens Horticulture Department had another spectacular year on the orchid show circuit! Display House Horticulturist Jennie Ness designed our “Worldwide Orchids” exhibit, which won an American Orchid Society award for

The Most Outstanding Orchid Exhibit, many First Place ribbons, and a Best in Show Trophy for an Educational Exhibit at the World Orchid Conference. Loyal and talented volunteers Joan Irwin, Richard Cardozo, and Karen Stewart helped to set up our exhibit at five shows around the State: Manatee, Sarasota, Miami, Englewood, and Orlando. Orchid Collection Horticulturist Angel Lara and his skilled crew of volunteers grew the spectacular orchid specimens that won 11 trophies and 48 ribbons! Participation in these orchid shows not only allows us to publicize Selby Gardens and display our fascinating specimens to a wider audience, but it also helps us to further our mission of educating the public about epiphytes and the crucial role of plants in our world. None of this would have been possible without the continued generous support of the Marie Selby Gardens Associates, a volunteer service organization that entirely funded our participation in this year’s orchid shows. Thank you, Associates!  continued on page 9 8

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

2008 Plant Show Awards Manatee Orchid Festival (Oct 27-28, 2007) Trophies • Most Meritorious Species Trophy for Bulbophyllum hashimotoi ‘Interlaken’ • All Other Genera Trophy for Bulbophyllum hashimotoi ‘Interlaken’ • Most Meritorious Specimen Plant in Flower Trophy for Bulbophyllum hashimotoi ‘Interlaken’ First Place Ribbons • Bulbophyllum hashimotoi ‘Interlaken’ CHM/ AOS (Genera other than above) • Oncidium pardothyrsus (Oncidium species and hybrids) Third Place Ribbon • Pleurothallis loranthophyllum (Genera other than above) Sarasota Orchid Society Show (January 4-6, 2008) Trophies • AOS Show Trophy for the Most Outstanding Orchid Exhibit • Most Outstanding Plant of Miscellaneous Genera Award for Bulbophyllum blumei • Best Oncidium of Show Trophy for Oncidium hyphaematicum • Best Miniature of Show Trophy for Cadetia ceratostyloides First Place Ribbons • Educational Exhibit • Angraecum eburneum (Angraecum species) • Bulbophyllum blumei (Bulbophyllum species) • Cattleya trianae (Cattleya 5” flowers species) • Dendrobium Roy Tokunago (Dendrobium hybrid) • Epidendrum ciliare (Epidendrum species) • Holcoglossum wangii (Genera other than above) • Maxillaria splendens ‘Selby’ CBR/CCE/AOS (Maxillaria species) • Myoxanthus exasperatus (Pleurothallis species) • Oncidium hyphaematicum (Oncidium species) • Paphiopedilum spicerianum ‘Marshall’ (Paphiopedilum species) • Prosthechea garciana (Prosthechea species)  • Psychillis krugii (Broughtonia species)

Second Place Ribbons • Cadetia ceratostyloides (Genera other than above) • Dendrobium goldschmidtianum (Dendrobium species other than above) • Pleurothallis powelli (Pleurothallis species)   Third Place Ribbons • Paphiopedilum venustum ‘album’ Marie Selby (Paphiopedilum species) • Platystele stenostachya (Pleurothallis species) World Orchid Conference (Miami, January 23-27, 2008) Trophies • Best in Show Trophy for Educational Exhibit 100 square feet, “Worldwide Orchids” • Best in Class Trophy – Cymbidiinae for Ansellia africana ‘Yellow Fountain’ • Bronze Medal for Maxillaria porphyrostele First Place Ribbons • Ansellia africana ‘Yellow Fountain’ (Ansellia species and hybrids) • Ida nana (Lycaste species large flowered greater than 7.5 cm) • Tuberolabium kotoense (Aerides species and   hybrids) Second Place Ribbons • Dendrobium jonesii (Dendrobium species, Dendrocoryne section) • Maxillaria porphyrostele (Maxillaria species and hybrids) • Myrmecolaelia fuchsii (Schomburgkia and Myrmecophila hybrids) Third Place Ribbons • Encyclia angustifolia (Encyclia species) • Pleurothallis racemiflora (Pleurothallidinae-any other species) Englewood Area Orchid Show (March 21-22, 2008) Trophies • Best Cymbidium of Show – for Cymbidium madidum • Best other than Genera – for Bulbophyllum purpureorhachis


he Board of Trustees of Marie Selby Gardens’ Selby Botanical Gardens is Board of Directors pleased to announce the selection Announces CEO of Kittleman & Associates, LLC, Search Committee as the search firm for identifying a

CEO for the Gardens. Kittleman & Associates, LLC, is the nation’s first executive search firm dedicated exclusively to serving nonprofit organizations and institutions. Kittleman’s team will work along with the Selby Gardens search committee chaired by Trustee Thomas Luzier, a shareholder with the law firm of Dunlap & Moran, P.A. According to Luzier, “A talented group has been assembled to present to the Board of Directors of Selby Gardens the most qualified candidates to lead the Gardens to the next level of success.” The Search Committee plans to conclude its work and name a new CEO by the third quarter of this year. Luzier went on to say, “We are very excited about the potential candidates we will attract, and initial interest in the position has been great. As an The Tropical Dispatch  Summer 2008

First Place Ribbons • Open Class Exhibit • Ascocentrum ampullaceum (Ascocentrum species) • Bulbophyllum purpureorhachis (Bulbophyllum and Cirrhopetalum -species and hybrids) • Cleisostoma teretifolium (Ascocentrum species other than above class) • Cymbidium madidum (Cymbidium species) • Galeandra minax (Cymbidium allied Genera) • Maxillaria coccinea (Maxillaria species) • Schombodiacrium Raspberry (Cattleya hybrids other than class) Second Place Ribbons • Encyclia alata (Encyclia species) • Eria pubescens (Genera other than above species) • Renanthera coccinea (Renanthera species) • Trigonidium egertonianum (Maxillarieae tribe) Third Place Ribbons • Chelyorchis ampliata (Oncidium species and hybrids) • Ornithocephalus bicornis (Maxillarieae tribe) Central Florida Orchid Society Show (Orlando, April 5-6, 2008) Trophies • Best Cymbidium of Show – for Cymbidium madidum First Place Ribbons • Best Educational Exhibit • Coelogyne nitida (Other Orchid Species not included above) • Cymbidium madidum (Cymbidium Alliance / species) Second Place Ribbons • Aeranthes Grandiose (Other Vanda Alliance species and hybrids, Angraecoid) • Dendrobium signatum (Dendrobium species other section) • Encyclia bractescens (Encyclia species) • Encyclia edithiana (Encyclia species)

institution on the cusp of several significant initiatives, this search presents a great opportunity to add further depth to the Gardens’ already qualified, dynamic staff and to enhance the growth and sustainability of the institution.” The Search Committee consists of the following members: Thomas Luzier, Chair - Dunlap & Moran, P.A. Peter L. Biegel, Trustee, Senior Vice President/Senior Banking Officer - Northern Trust Bank of Florida Ilene Denton, Managing Editor - Sarasota Magazine Nora Johnson, Trustee - Associate with Michael Saunders & Company Charles Murphy, President - The Bank of Commerce Laurey Stryker, Trustee, former President–USF-Sarasota/Manatee Michael Saunders, Chair of the Board of Trustees and CEO– Michael Saunders & Company, serves as an ex officio on this committee. For further information contact Thomas Luzier at (941) 309-1336 or email  9

Gardening with the Future in Mind by Lisa Wade, Grounds Manager



oo often as gardeners, we forget that part of our job is planning for the future of the plants we care for. We are pressured by a culture of instant gratification. Landscape companies are under the gun to produce spectacular displays overnight. We often forget that part of why we garden is the pleasure of watching a little seedling mature into a magnificent specimen that our children’s children will enjoy in years to come.

Selby Gardens’ Horticulture Team

This revelation came to me while reading an article titled “A Thousand Years” in the horticulture trade journal Greenhouse Grower. The author, Dr. Will Carlson, was impressed when he toured the 265-acre Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. The Arboretum was established in 1883 and has a thousand year lease with the city of Boston for one dollar a year and the option to renew for another thousand years at the end of that period. The manager, Thomas Ward, is in charge of thousands of specimens. He knows where every tree is located and when it became part of the collection. Thomas said, “There is still a lot of work to be done, and I only have 13 gardeners, but every night when I go home I can sleep

well because I know we have 760 years to make the garden perfect.” The Arboretum houses an extensive bonsai collection. The oldest bonsai tree in the collection is more than 240 years old. When training their bonsai, the gardeners sketch what they want a tree to look like in five years and trim and wire branches accordingly. “Talk about longrange planning,” remarked Dr. Carlson. It’s estimated that over the lifetime of one of the older bonsai trees, a succession of six to ten different gardeners will be responsible for keeping it healthy and growing. Here at Selby, we plan our gardens carefully, and when placing plants in the gardens we have to consider their maximum growth potential. Many times people ask why some of our plant material is planted away from paths and spaced far apart. We have to explain that those little plants will some day, with a great deal of care and patience, be towering trees or massive specimens. The Selby Gardens Horticulture Department owes a huge debt to the gardeners that have preceded us. When the large banyans that sit in front of the Selby House were originally planted, I’m sure these trees didn’t look like much. Marie Selby had an appreciation for what magnificent specimens that they would become. Mrs. Selby’s Gardener, Grover Yancey, planted and tended these trees most of his adult life. He was still working here in the early 1990’s. When we as gardeners plant a garden, we need to think not only about the garden’s appearance in the short term but also what it will look like when it reaches maturity. Long-range planning is critical in botanical garden display. Here at Selby Gardens, our horticulture staff is dedicated to the care of our collections and producing superior displays, and our successors will continue to do so. 

Create your Legacy- Become a Selby Gardens Legacy Society Member


here are many creative and flexible ways to make a planned gift to the Gardens. Tax laws can help you accomplish multiple goals with your assets and enable you to give more. Jean Sells, Director of Development at the Gardens, would be pleased to meet with you, answer questions and share details of how your legacy gift can benefit both you and the Gardens. For information please contact Jean at (941) 366-5731, ext. 227.  10

Linda Bush Nominated as President of the Selby Gardens Associates


he drives a red Mustang convertible and participates in Jazzercise religiously, but she doesn’t own a computer (she plans to buy one soon). Her Tennessee drawl is thick, but there’s no molasses in this lady’s delivery—she’s quick, to the point, and calls it like she sees it. “Cute as a bug!” is a frequent comment when someone mentions Selby Gardens Associates Board member Linda Bush. A relatively new member (her first meeting was the October, 2006, Tea), Linda jumped right into the fray by helping with the Taste of the Tropics fundraiser in Spring, 2007. “Next thing I knew, I was asked to be on the Board,” says Linda. She brought with her an infectious energy and a can-do attitude that has had her involved in activities from the recent Journey to Bhutan dinner to a working pizza lunch and brainstorming session to help chart the group’s future. The Associates have recently undergone a year-long re-examination of their raison d’etre and organizational structure. The result is a renewed sense of purpose and a buzz of excitement and interest that continues to build. Linda Bush has been nominated for the position of President on the 2008/2009 Associates Board. The full slate of nominees was presented at the April meeting and will be voted on at the group’s Annual Meeting on May 12, 11:30 a.m., in the Great Room by the Bay. Attendees will also hear about next year’s program schedule. To RSVP or for more information, call Nicole Duke at (941) 378-2214 by May 7.  Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Selby Gardens Receives Major Rare Book Collection A remarkable addition to Selby’s Research Library


he R.H. Gore and Lorena Gore Family Trust has donated the Gore Orchidology Collection of books to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. This gift of 216 rare orchid books is a remarkable addition to Selby’s research library. The new collection includes the Imperial Edition of Reichenbachia (18881894), one of 100 copies signed by the author Henry Conrad Frederick Sander. Reichenbachia features life-sized orchid illustrations painted by seven different artists and accompanied by descriptions in both English and German. The Selby Research Library is a specialized botanical library focusing on tropical plants, especially epiphytes. The library houses approximately 7,000 volumes, including a rare book collection dating to the late 1700s, 14,000 issues of scientific journals, 2,500 microfiches of early botanical references and herbaria, a photographic slide collection, an illustration file, a map file, and the Gardens’ historical archives. This collection’s strengths include plant systematics, floristics, horticulture, morphology, Laeliocattleya Phoebe ecology, economic botany, and evolution. Robert H. Gore, who started life on a Kentucky tobacco farm, rose to become a publisher, patron, patriarch, and one of Florida’s wealthiest men. A Broward County-based real estate developer, Gore was also owner of the Fort Lauderdale News and served as governor of Puerto Rico (1933-1934). R.H. Gore’s legacy lives on through R. H. Gore Sr. his Gore Family Memorial Foundation Trust and the Gore Orchidology Collection. 

Annual Fund Giving now Online


he Gardens is pleased to announce that Selby members and friends can now make donations online. Go to our website and click on Get Involved, then click on Annual Appeal, and lastly, click on Click Here to Donate. The process is very simple, and you will receive an immediate electronic acknowledgment

followed by a hard copy from the Development Office. Annual Appeal donors help us maintain the Gardens and provide support for Selby’s future sustainability. If you have questions, please contact Jean Sells, Director of Development, (941) 366-5731, ext. 227. 

27th annual Orchid Ball

In the Pink


Adrienne Vittadini, guest of Honor Billy and Nora Johnson The Tropical Dispatch  Summer 2008

arie Selby Botanical Gardens once again hosted the ultimate event of Sarasota’s black tie season, the Orchid Ball, on Saturday, April 5, 2008. Nora Johnson chaired the event for the second year in a row. Despite wet and windy weather, everyone enjoyed the evening. It began with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at 6:30 p.m. followed by a sumptuous catered dinner by Michael’s On East, live auction, and dancing under the stars to the music of Mainstream. The Orchid Ball provides substantial revenue towards the pursuit of Selby Gardens’ vital mission: to understand and conserve tropical plants—with emphasis on epiphytes and their natural habitats— through programs of research, education and horticultural display that promote appreciation of plant life and provide enjoyment for all who visit the Gardens. Many thanks to our Sponsors, Patrons, the Selby Staff, and the Orchid Ball Committee.  11

Selby Gardens Recognizes More than

400 Volunteers

Gorgeous setting for the Selby Stars to celebrate hours of volunteer service.


arie Selby Botanical Gardens recognized more than 400 volunteers who contributed nearly 40,000 hours of time during 2007 at a reception and ceremony on Monday evening, April 7, in the Great Room by the Bay. Themed “Celebrate Selby’s Stars,” the

event featured Academy Awards décor, red carpet entry and centerpieces built on film reels. Five volunteers, all of whom report to the Center for Tropical Plant Science and Conservation, received special thanks for volunteering at least 500 hours during 2007: Dr. Philip Nelson–501 hours; Susan “Su” Potter– 519 hours; Zita Kasza–565 hours; Mary Jane Fabik–704 hours; and Priscilla “Pep” Ruddiman– 1,041 hours. For the first time, more than 150 Gardens volunteers received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. This special recognition, which includes a pin, a certificate, and a letter of thanks on White House stationery, is awarded to volunteers who donate at least 100 hours of their time (50 hours for youth volunteers) to assist a not-for-profit organization (see below for a list of those who received this special recognition). 

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Inc.

President’s Volunteer Service Award Winners | January 1 to December 31, 2007 Gold Award Criteria: Ages 5-14

100+ hours Ages 15-25 250+ hours Ages 26 and above 500+ hours


Mary Jane Fabik Taylor Johnson Zita Kasza Foster Krabill Alicia Miller

Rebecca Miller Philip Nelson Susan Potter Priscilla “Pep” Ruddiman

Silver Award Criteria: Ages 5-14

75-99 hours Ages 15-25 175-249 hours Ages 26 and above 250-499 hours

Frederic Bigio Richard Cardozo Sharon Carpenter Patricia Case Louis Colombo Ella Deprez Nicole Duke Ann Esworthy Patricia Evans Barbara Feinberg Sharon Rae Giles Jean Glynn Kay Hale Ruth Hartman Heather Hill Joan Irwin


Ted Kellogg Sue King Ken Lucas Pat MacLeod Judith McChesney Joanne Miller Don Nardone Robert Normandie Dan Reskow Susan Scully Victoria Shea Robert Valoppi Robin Valverde Jetty Zarfos Wolfe Zucker

Bronze Award Ages 5-14 50-74 hours Ages 15-25 100-174 hours Ages 26 and above 100-249 hours

Marge Albrecht Pic Bailey Joyce Baker Florence Bennett Jacqueline Berns Kay Bruns Edward Carl Mary Caro Tony Castellano Gloria Cervoni Bob Chase Carol Collier Fern Costello Richard Cowan Joyce De Maria Leland Desmon Theda Donovan Jill Drake Bettie Dzury James Edmundson Barbara Ekster Helene Ennis Elaine Foster Joe Fouraker Josephine Franz Carolyn Georgopolis Phyllis Gibson Tom Giles Alan Goldberg Frank Golder Marilyn Gulliford Maureen Hager

Brian Hayden Vernon Headley Linda Heller Kathy Higgins Diane Hochman Billie Hultin Janice Iversen Vivienne Jefferies Jeffrey Jones Marie Jones Carol Kast Jeanne Katzenstein Elly Keeffe Joseph Kelly Phyllis Kelly James Kennedy Keith Kirschnick Robert La Roe Tony Lagunovich Linda Lestock Nancy Levine Sally Lynch Jean Maier Gretchen Mandell Sue Martindale Doris McColgan Melissa McDowell Hannah McKenrick Bruce McLean Margaret McLellan Joseph Meola Monty Miller

Evelyn Mink Eleanor H. Moone Cathy Nemeth Ginny O’Doherty Marjorie Pflaum Wendy Poelke Thomas Rabone Judy Reskow Marilyn Rheingold Monica Rierson Robert Ripley Judy Robertson Wesley Rouse Louanne Roy Nancy Rutledge Terri Schlosberg Pamela Scothorn W. W. Scothorn Carol Seiersen Rose Marie Sette Barbara Shafer-Hockett Joan Shaver Anne Spindel Barbara Stafford Karen Stewart Laurie Stoner Rosanna Strauss Terri Tumlin Eleanor Watson Paul Welty Peter Wilson James Wolfson Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

There’s a Place for You at Selby Gardens by Emily Lane, Volunteer Manager


hat makes you tick? Whether it is working with scientists and conservationists, teaching children about the natural world, getting dirt under your fingernails, or playing a role in a fun event, there is a place for everyone on the Selby Gardens volunteer corps. Gardens volunteers enjoy special benefits including free admission to the Gardens, discounts in Gardens shops and on memberships, and special learning opportunities. We also keep you informed of what is happening at one of Sarasota’s most exciting and dynamic nonprofit organizations. If you would like to learn more about volunteering, or if you are interested in becoming better informed about the Gardens’ mission and activities, please join us at a volunteer orientation on one of these dates: • Thursday, June 19, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Scully Conference Room, upstairs in the Mansion • Friday, July 18, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Scully Conference Room, upstairs in the Mansion • Monday, August 25, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Scully Conference Room, upstairs in the Mansion • Tuesday, September 16, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Scully Conference Room, upstairs in the Mansion • Saturday, October 11, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Scully Conference Room, upstairs in the Mansion • Wednesday, November 12, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Scully Conference Room, upstairs in the Mansion Please RSVP to Emily Lane at (941) 366-5731 ext. 267 or e-mail Attendees should dress comfortably, as the orientation includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the Gardens.


ave you visited the tea tasting room at Selby Gardens yet? Everyday starting at noon in the Payne Mansion, you can sample a variety of premium loose-leaf teas provided by Local Coffee + Tea.  You will find a selection of teas and accessories as well as learn about where the teas come from, how they are processed, and the many health benefits associated with the world’s second most popular beverage after water.  Be sure to try Selby Select, a celebration of rooibos and ripe, juicy oranges.  Gorgeous in the cup and in the tin, this naturally caffeine-free blend requires no added sugar and is very special hot or iced.   The tea tasting room has been a very popular spot and offers one more unique experience to enjoy at the Gardens.  Learn more at or call (941)366-5731 

The Tropical Dispatch  Summer 2008

Don’t Forget to Use Your Reciprocal Benefits!


s a Member of the Gardens, you can visit Selby any day—but are you using your reciprocal benefits? Summer vacations are a great opportunity to see some of the more than 200 gardens across the United States that participate in the American Horticultural Society’s reciprocal admission program. For a full list, visit http:// Selby’s Membership department has arranged additional reciprocal privileges at other attractions in Florida for our Members. Mark your calendars to visit the following attractions: • Southwest Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg – May • MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry), Tampa – August and February • Florida Aquarium, Tampa – October and November • GWIZ (Gulfcoast Wonder & Imagination Zone), Sarasota – April • Historic Bok Sanctuary, Lake Wales – 50% off admission year-round 

Celebrate Mother’s Day in the Gardens


he Gardens will host the third annual Mother’s Day Brunch on May 11, 2008. The brunch will be held in the Great Room overlooking Sarasota Bay. There will be three seatings, at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Michael’s On East will cater the brunch. Tickets for the event can be purchased at Selby Gardens Welcome Center, located at 900 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, Florida, or online at The Brunch tickets are $45.00 for non-member adults and $35.00 for adults who are members. Youth tickets – ages 6-12 are $18.00 and children under the age of 5 dine free. Banyan Treasures and The Garden Shop will offer numerous specials especially chosen for Moms from May 7 through May 13. Stop in and shop early! 


debby steele

Asian Cultural Festival at the Gardens


Lion Dance by Tang Martial Arts Center Taiko Drummers

2008 Plant and Garden Festival

Collector’s Choice Plant Fair sally gulmy photography

elby Gardens hosted the third annual Asian Cultural Festival on February 24 and 25. The Sarasota Ikebana International, Bonsai, and Sumi-e Societies brought the sights, sounds and smells of the Orient to our visitors. The festivities began on Saturday the 24th with opening ceremonies at 10:00 a.m., including performances by taiko drummers, a lion dance by the Tang Martial Arts Center, displays of ikebana flower arrangements, bonsai and sumi-e ink paintings. Guests enjoyed demonstrations on origami paper folding, bonsai cultivation, Chinese brush painting, and dined on Asian food from area restaurants.


ow, record-breaking crowds attended Selby’s 2008 Plant and Garden Festival. The festival was held on March 8 and 9 and offered thousands of unique tropical plants from numerous vendors, as well as select exquisite Selby Gardens plants. This year’s event was packed with unique horticulture displays and demonstrations on how to transplant and care for your plants. “The wind howled all day on Saturday, but our faithful Members shopped anyway,” said Mike McLaughlin, Director of Horticulture. “The weather was much better on Sunday, and we were thrilled with the strong turnout. With more vendors this year than in recent years, and even stronger attendance, we have the momentum for the best-ever Plant and Garden Festival in 2009!  I’m looking forward to it.” 

Selby Gardens Associates Host Dinner to Honor


Bhutan’s Consul General, Sangey Rinchen

n conjunction with the third annual Asian Cultural Festival on February 23, the Selby Gardens Associates hosted a dinner to honor Bhutan’s Consul General to the United Nations, Sangey Rinchen. Martha This visit from a high Bhutanese official is one outcome of a relationship Masciaformed thanks to the efforts of several Gardens supporters, including Preston Strickler, Scott, Executive Director of World Foundation for Environment and Linda Development, who is coordinating Bhutan’s activities as the featured nation at Bush, Pat the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. In June, 2007, Dr. Ugyen Tshewang, Edmonds then-Program Director for the Bhutan National Biodiversity Centre, visited the Gardens to study Selby’s facilities, forge a link between Selby and the Biodiversity Centre, and investigate potential collaborations between the two institutions. The Gardens also organized a trip to Bhutan in April which allowed a small group of visitors to enter the mountainous, ecologically-rich nation situated between China and India. Bhutan, which has become a hot ecotourism destination, has adopted a constitution mandating that 60% of its land area must be forested. The constitution has frequently been cited for its emphasis on the pursuit of “Gross National Happiness.” Michael’s On East provided attendees with delicious Asian food. The Ikebana Society designed centerpieces for the tables, and the Associates created a gorgeous ambience for the evening. Kudos to the Associates on a wonderful, entertaining, and educational L to R: Martha Mascia-Strickler, Jessica Ventimiglia, Michael Saunders, Phintsho Zonmon, Sangey Rinchen, Barbara Frey, Pat Edmonds, Linda Bush evening.  14

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Summer Camp Lookout 2008

8 Certified Teachers - 20 Students per class M Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For Nature Lovers ages: 6 to 11 Bring lunch, afternoon snack provided. Member Tuition: $200

Non-Member: $215

Each session is filled with information, crafts, inside and outside activities, and special guests! Student presentation each Friday at 3:00 p.m. Session 1: Director’s Camp

Session 3: GREEN Kids

(Limited to 10 students) June 2-6 Ages: 8-12 NEW! Member: $950 Non-Member: $990

June 16-20, 2008 Ages 6-11 NEW! Member $200 Non-Member $215

(proceeds benefit the Center for Environmental Education)

This rare opportunity allows only 10 students to spend the week with Selby’s Education Director, Donna Krabill, for an incredible week in the Gardens. Students will receive hands-on experiences in research and horticulture, work with the poison dart frogs, and get involved in great creative projects. Meet special guests and enjoy this highly personalized educational experience. Don’t tell the kids, but FCAT science standards are imbedded in this immersion experience. Session 2: Art of Nature June 9-13, 2008 Ages 6-11 Member $200 Non-Member $215

Children will create a portfolio of wonderful pieces inspired by nature, including nature printing, natural sculptures, wreathes, painting and other great arts and craft activities.

Please use separate Registration Form for each student.

Are you a member? Yes _____ No______

Turn your kids GREEN, and they will be the envy of the neighborhood with the new skills and knowledge they develop through fun activities, games and projects during this week of GREEN fun! They can even participate in a coastal clean up along our bayfront. Topics include gardening, water, energy, recycling, composting and much more! Session 4: Planet of Plants June 23 -27, 2008 Ages 6-11 NEW! Member $200 Non-Member $215

Travel the world at Selby Gardens to explore crazy plants from around the globe. Kids will examine orchids, carnivorous plants, and other really cool plants to gain a better understanding of the important role of plants to the planet. Students will use microscopes and plant presses, visit the greenhouses and research center, use the potting bench, and get good and dirty!

Session 5: Writer’s Workshop

June 30–July 3, 2008 (4 days only) Ages 8-11 NEW! Limited to 15 students per class. Member $200 Non-Member $215

Using the Gardens as inspiration, campers will practice descriptive writing, creating poetry and short stories. Students will also illustrate their work through various forms of media.


To register contact: Donna Krabill 811 South Palm Ave. Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-5731 ext. 237 FAX 366-9807 or register online at Tuition due at registration. Full refund within 7 days of the beginning of camp minus $25 administrative fee. Confirmation package to follow. Forms also available at

Member Price

Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4 Session 5

June 2-6 June 9-13 June 16-20 June 23-27 June 30 – July 3

Student Name_________________________________________ Age_____ M___ F_ ___ Parent Name ______________________________________________________________ Address_________________________________City_______________ Zip____________ Phone #1_____________________________Phone #2_____________________________ Email:_ __________________________________________________________________ Payment method: 1. Check Number: _______________ 2. MC/VISA/AE/Disc. # ___________________________________exp. _____________ List allergies:_______________________________________________________________ Medical Issues:_____________________________________________________________ Emergency Contact: ___________________________Phone:________________________ The Tropical Dispatch  Summer 2008

Non-Member Price

Director’s Camp Art of Nature GREEN Kids Planet of Plants Writer’s Workshop total due

T-shirt Size n Child Small n Child Medium n Child Large n Adult Small n Adult Medium Office use only Access: __________________ # __________________ Fee processed _____________ Info mailed ______________ Forms received____________


Shop in the

Gardens! Gift Cards are Available Online and in the Shops!


he Garden Shop, a plant lover’s paradise, offers some of Sarasota’s finest orchids, bromeliads, and tropical plants. Our world class plant experts will

assist you with best-in-bloom purchase recommendations and ongoing, quality care consultation. The Shop features traditional and contemporary containers and garden accessories. Banyan Treasures offers a creative mix of inspired home décor, jewelry, and gift ideas based on the fusion of art and nature. The versatile Selby Gardens gift card can be applied

900 South Palm Sarasota, Flo Avenue rida 34236 www.selby.o rg - 941.3 66.5731

toward purchases at the Garden Shop and Banyan Treasures, community classes, special events or membership. A free decorative gift card box is provided for each card purchase of $25 or more.  These gift cards make great corporate incentive and hospitality gifts, wedding party gifts, client gifts, and more!  For volume purchase discounts please

Gift Card

call (941) 366-5731, ext. 235. Store hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. Call (941) 366-5731, ext. 242 for the Garden Shop and extension 258 for Banyan Treasures for further information. 

Tropical Dispatches are printed on 30% post-consumer recycled paper with soy-based ink.

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

PAID Permit No. 509 Manasota, Florida

811 South Palm Avenue Sarasota, Florida 34236

Tropical Dispatch May 2008  

May 2008 Tropical Dispatch Edition

Tropical Dispatch May 2008  

May 2008 Tropical Dispatch Edition