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INSIDE: Returning to the Lost World of Roraima Hot Caladiums in the Gardens Ode to the Fallen Oaks Member Appreciation Day

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Tropical Dispatch • Volume 39 • Issue 3

A Message from the CEO

As an avid gardener, I look forward to each issue of Tropical Dispatch. But as Selby Gardens donors and members, my wife, Kent, and I especially look forward to the Horticulture issue. This time, we not only feature our annual celebration of plants, we also celebrate YOU, our wonderful members! If plants make a garden, then our members make this public garden possible. Those who garden are familiar with what it takes to be successful in the endeavor. In addition to having the right foundation (good soil and proper sunlight), plants require nutritional care and maintenance as well as protection from the cold, pests, drought and other threats. Donors, members and volunteers help keep Selby Gardens growing. Thanks to your support we are on a path of continual improvement in the Gardens and Conservatory. We are proud to be able to delight visitors with ever changing displays. You will learn from the stories in this issue that creating new displays and maintaining the Gardens’ appearance are ongoing responsibilities. For example, with support of loyal members and donors, our Horticulture team was able to control the white fly infestation on our beloved banyan trees. Our coastline location offers many advantages including spectacular views. But during Florida’s storm season, the downside of this setting is the risk of wind damage and tidal surges. Even a relatively minor storm, such as Tropical Storm Debby that came ashore in June, generates a significant clean-up effort. Again, through the generosity of members and donors, we were able to quickly deploy staff and volunteers who removed fallen trees, limbs and debris in time for record-setting attendance at our annual Independence Day celebration. Your support enables us to continue to conduct valuable botanical research that contributes to the world’s knowledge of tropical plants. I hope you will enjoy reading the stories about our research efforts in Roraima tepui from our Botany team. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you and your guests visit often, enjoying all the Gardens have to offer. On behalf of the board, staff and volunteers, thank you for your continued commitment to Selby Gardens. It is only through your financial support that the vision becomes reality. Cordially,

Board of Trustees Dr. Laurey Stryker, Chair Christopher N. Romine, 1st Vice Chair Cathy Layton, 2nd Vice Chair Wilson M. Jones, Secretary Stephen van C. Wilberding, Treasurer Nora Johnson, Immediate Past Chair Stephen Hazeltine Thomas B. Luzier, Esq Alica Rau Sandy Rederer Michael Saunders Emily Walsh Arthur M. Wood, Jr Carlyle Luer, MD, Trustee Emeritus Allison Archibold, Associates President (ex-Officio)


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


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 apprecation of the natural world and the challenges it faces. Contributors to this Issue Botany: Bruce Holst, Dr. A. Toscano De Brito Development: Ann Logan, Cynthia Dwyer, Emily Lane, Linda Romero Education: Jeannie Perales, Marilynn Shelley Horticulture: Mike McLaughlin, Angel Lara, Jay Parker, Lisa Wade, Maida Lara Marketing: Grace Carlson, Amanda Pasik, Barbara Kaminsky-Stern, Diane Kinney P r o g r am Spo n s o r s Selby Gardens programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and are paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenue

Thomas Buchter, CEO Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Hours & Admissions Gardens are open 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM every day except Christmas Garden Hours The Day. Please check the website for special event and weather closings. Admission Members Free, Adults $17, Children 6-11 $6, 5 & under free Find Us Online Facebook - Twitter - 2

Address Changes Mail: Membership Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236. Email: Phone: (941) 366-5731, ext. 231 Tropical Dispatch ©2012 Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Produced By Carlson Studio Marketing, Serbin Printing and The Versatility Group Celebrating 37 Years — Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

News from the Gardens International Orchid Expert Joins Selby Gardens Botany Team

Selby Gardens is pleased to welcome Antonio Luiz Vieira Toscano de Brito, better known as Toscano, as the Gardens’ new Curator for the Orchid Research Center. A native of Brazil, Toscano has an impressive academic and scientific background in orchid research. Last April, he began working at Selby on the Global Plants Initiative that was funded by the Mellon Foundation. He is currently working under a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services studying Brazil’s Pleurothallid Orchids as well as an associated individual grant from the National Geographic Society conducting field work on the same orchids. In his full-time position with Selby Gardens, Toscano will continue conducting orchid research, publishing scientific and popular articles, identifying plants, building the Gardens’ living and preserved collections as well as giving presentations.

Update on the Banyans

Tropical Storm Debby

In late June, Tropical Storm Debby moved very slowly offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, delivering nearly 12 inches of rain and persistent winds to Selby Gardens over a period of several days. The surprising result of this relatively mild storm was the toppling of six major trees, four of which were a total loss. The Gardens was closed for a day while the storm raged, and the next day faithful volunteers swooped in to help staff clean up the mess. Thanks to their help, the following day visitors could hardly tell there had been a storm at all.

In June we treated the two banyan trees (Ficus microcarpa) in front of the Selby house to control a recently introduced pest, ficus whitefly. Native to Asia, the nymph stages of this insect sucks sap from the leaves of certain species of ficus trees, including Ficus benjamina, Ficus altissima, and Ficus microcarpa. Their damage causes defoliation, branch dieback, and overall tree stress. To combat the ficus whitefly, we sprayed the trunks of our trees with a systemic insecticide. In July we noticed a new flush of dark green leaves and the welcomed return of a full canopy to our iconic banyan trees once again. This expensive treatment was made possible by the generous outpouring of support from our members, volunteers, and other donors. We appreciate your support, and so do the banyans.

Director of Botany Bruce Holst assists with the cleanup

Seymour, Our Unforgettable Corpse Flower

by Maida Lara Briefly in bloom with its staggering display and putrid smell, Seymour, the corpse flower, (Amorphophallus titanum) was nicknamed after the sadistic gardener in ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ Seymour grew 4-feet tall and was displayed in our refurbished pergola area at the west end of the Conservatory.

Gardens Horticulturists Lisa Wade and Dan Witten prepare a felled Tabebuia for bracing

The corpse flower produces a rancid stench to mimic the odor of rotten flesh, thereby attracting its natural pollinators, scavenging beetles and flies. This rare flower is native to the Indonesian rainforests and uncommon in cultivation. When Seymour produced its gigantic super stinky inflorescence this year, our visitors were amazed. The bloom lasted a week due, in large part, to our nurturing glasshouse growing team led by Greenhouse Manager Angel Lara. The corpse flower is listed as a threatened species by the World Conservation Union. The Tropical Dispatch

September-December 2012

The entire canopy of this laurel oak broke off next to the Administration Building 3

News from the Gardens 2012 Interns from Brazil

This year, the Gardens welcomed two new interns, Monica Bolson and Patrícia Barom, to work under Toscano’s supervision in Selby’s Molecular Lab. Their work involved extraction, purification, amplification, and sequencing of DNA from pleurothallid orchids. Pleurothallid orchids are a group of approximately 4,000 species of small epiphytes often found in montane regions of the neotropics. The main goal of our project is to help establish the boundaries between genera and species through DNA analysis. It is estimated that there are more than 600 pleurothallid species in Brazil, the great majority of which are found only

A New Book for Air Plant Fans

Patrícia Barom (l) and Monica Bolson in the Selby Gardens Molecular Laboratory

in the threatened Atlantic Rainforest, of which less than 6% remains. The project involves collaboration between Selby Gardens and the Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil, where Monica and Patrícia are graduate students. Patrícia’s future goal is to focus her career on conservation efforts. Monica would like to work in environmental sciences.

World authority on epiphytic plants, Dr. David Benzing’s new book, Air Plants: Epiphytes and Aerial Gardens, is a must for “air plant” fans.

Dr. Benzing is a longtime research collaborator with Selby Gardens

Dr. Benzing takes readers on a tour of epiphytes’ many taxonomic groups and explains in nontechnical language the adaptations that allow these plants to conserve water, thrive soil, and engage in unusual relationships with animals. Air Plants can be purchased at Cornell University or

“Our members are very special to us. They literally keep the Gardens growing. Together, our more than 8,000 member households comprise the largest single source of revenue needed to operate the Gardens and ensure all of our guests have an incredible experience when they visit us. Greeting our members and thanking them in person on our annual Member Appreciation Day is a highlight of the year for us.”—Ann Logan, Chief Development Officer

Annual Meeting & Member Appreciation Day Saturday, November 10, 2012

Member Appreciation Day is Selby Gardens’ way of saying “thank you” to loyal garden fans. This full day of Members-only activities, including the exclusive Plant Distribution, is a way to thank members and acknowledge how their support helps to keep Selby Gardens growing. 8:00 am

Check In

Mansion Gate - Please bring your membership card. 9:00 am

Annual Meeting - State of the Gardens Thomas Buchter, Chief Executive Officer

10:00 am - 2:30 pm

Member Plant Distribution

Come early and choose from eight plants specially grown for Selby Gardens members. 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Members Greenhouse Plant Sale under the Banyan Trees Ask horticultural experts your gardening questions. Plants from Selby’s own greenhouses will be available for purchase.

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Garden Shop Sale

Begin your holiday shopping early! A 20% discount offered to Members in The Garden Shop. 1:00 pm - 4 pm 4

Greenhouse Plant Sale opens to non-members Celebrating 37 Years — Marie Selby Botanical Gardens


Plants 2012 by Angel Lara

2012 Distribution Quantities Gardens Friend or Family – 2 Plants Contributing Members – 3 Plants Sustaining Member – 5 Plants Sponsor level and above – 10 Plants Quantities of certain plants are limited. PLEASE NOTE:

Distribution of plants will take place only on November 10, 2012, from 10:00am until 2:30pm. There are no rainchecks, and we are not able to hold or ship plants.

Psychopsis Mendenhall ‘Hildos’ Butterfly Orchid



What a score! Any plant enthusiast worth their salt would be thrilled to own the truly unique butterfly orchid. This spectacular orchid has mottled leaves and can bloom continuously if its flower spike is not cut off or removed. Care must be taken not to allow water to pool within the ridges of its flat pseudobulb.

Cryptanthus Black Mystic Earth Star bromeliaceae


This enchanting bromeliad hybrid has striking white bands across its waxy succulent black leaves, it exhibits eye-catching small white flowers gently placed in the center of its rosette. This terrestrial bromeliad thrives in containers, but can be grown as an accent plant in gardens throughout our area.

Cattleya Summer Spot



Cattleya Summer Spot is an amazing complex hybrid between Cattleya Summer Stars and Cattleya aclandiae. This orchid with its cute summer freckles is sure to stand out in any collection. Cattleyas thrive in high light conditions and must be allowed to dry out between watering.

Trigonidium egertonianum Egerton’s Trigonidium orchidaceae


This odd grass-like orchid can be found growing epiphytically throughout South America. Egerton’s Trigonidium is easy to grow and can bloom throughout the year. This unique orchid is best grown in hanging baskets to allow for better drainage.

Dioscorea elephantipes Elephant’s Foot Dioscoreaceae


Talk about a “fat bottomed plant,” this vine creates a swollen geodesic base that would grab the attention of any plant lover. The elephant’s foot is easy to grow and will not disappoint. It prefers to be grown on the dry side and water must be withheld during its winter dormant season.

Cattleya Atalanta ‘Hawaii’ orchidaceae


This primary hybrid originated from the London greenhouses of Sir Harry James Veitch, a prominent English horticulturist in the nineteenth century. Cattleya Atalanta ‘Hawaii’ is a spectacular white hybrid between two very well known cattleya species, Cattleya guttata and Cattleya warscewiczii.

Leonotis leonurus Lion’s Tail Lamiaceae


Native to South Africa, this remarkable large shrub has unique tubular orange flowers stacked in terminal whorls which attract both butterflies and birds. Lion’s tail thrives in full sun conditions and is moderately drought tolerant, making it a perfect addition to any southwest Florida landscape.

Eringyium yuccafolium Button Eryngo Apiaceae


This Southeastern native perennial will stand out in any flower garden and is sure to attract butterflies and bees. Its elaborate globular white flower heads develop a bluish cast with maturity. This plant looks and behaves like a succulent, thriving in full sun conditions and prefering to be grown on the dry side.

Photo Credits: Psychopsis Mendenhall courtesy of orchidgalore [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via flickr, Trigonidium egertonianum courtesy of Abraxas3d [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via flickr, Cattleya Summer Spot by Richard Pippen, Naples, FL, Leonotis leonurus by Pablo Adrián Otero (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

The Tropical Dispatch

September-December 2012


Yuribia Vivas

Returning to the Lost World of Roraima by Bruce K. Holst

View from the summit of Roraima-tepui


oraima-tepui, nestled on the tri-borders of Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela, is one of 50 or so “table mountains” or flat-topped sandstone mesas that rise dramatically from the lowland rainforest in South America. Rocks in the region date to two billion years old, long before animals existed on Earth. This region of the Guayana Highlands are both impressive and mysterious and home to nearly 10,000 species of plants, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. The spectacular scenery of the region fueled Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s imagination when penning the classic book “The Lost World.”

Spending 14 days on the summit in April, 2012, was the longest-known stay of anyone since the first ascent in 1884. While our plans to visit the mountain at a different time of the year didn’t work out, we were able to visit a number of new areas and added greatly to our “head count” of the plant species on the summit.

Botany Baselines and Helicopter Logistics To provide a little background, this project, officially called “Pantepui II” has goals of conducting a modern botanical inventory for comparison with historical inventories, establishing

Elisabeth safont The summit of Roraima-tepui is anything but flat 6

new baseline information to determine climate change impacts on the summit species, and conducting conservation analyses of the summit species. We would eventually publish a popular book on the plants of the summit for the thousands of guides and trekkers that visit this region every year. Our team again included Elisabet Safont, an ecologist from Barcelona beginning her PhD studies on the tepuis, and Yuribia Vivas and Shingo Nozawa, two experienced botanists from the National Herbarium in Caracas. Our logistic challenges were far fewer this year -- our camping gear arrived on time from Spain, permits were mostly

bruce holst Yuribia Vivas tests the pH of the water Celebrating 37 Years — Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

we had not explored before. While that part of the summit is relatively well known since it is more easily accessed by foot, our team was still able to find a significant number of plants never before found there, increasing the known summit flora by 40 species. bruce holst Helicopter arriving with gear

in hand, funds had been transferred to the necessary bank accounts, and the weather was cooperative. We only had one serious challenge: days before we were to leave, we learned that the helicopter company we used last year had sent its one available helicopter for repairs months ago and only informed us two days before departure. Though we would lose 4-5 days of work, we quickly reassembled our gear to do the 2-day hike. Some quick communication with wellconnected friends saved the day and we were able to fly in another company’s helicopter the next day.

Exotic Invasive Species Creeps In With extra time on the summit, and knowledge of the lay of the land and weather conditions, we were able to establish two camps, including one in the southern part of the mountain that

Unfortunately, we also found a distressing number of apparently new exotic-invasive species. Thirteen of the 40 species appear to be recent invasions, most likely brought up on visitors’ boots and clothing. These included potato, blackberries, and a number of grasses and sedges. In addition to collecting and photographing the plants, much of our work was devoted to conducting plot studies. These are 5 x 5 square meter temporary parcels which are carefully assessed for species abundance and dominance. We conducted 18 of these overall, and carefully measured environmental parameters such as pH, conductivity, and temperature of the soil and water around all of the parcels. Other accomplishments from our journey included the collection of 350 herbarium specimens, building a database of 1,600 specimen records and taking 13,000 photos – including 6,000 of the summit species that we encountered. We have documented 226 summit species and were able to photograph 200 of those on this expedition. In addition to the

invasive species, we documented significant damage by trampling, graffiti, and even found mining tools hidden away off the trail. We hope to present all our findings to the Venezuelan Parks Ministry later this year, and will continue working to publish our results. We are now setting our sights on other tepuis to explore… only 49 to go!

Location of Roraima-tepui in northern South America.

Acknowledgments: We again thank the BBVA Foundation of Spain through a grant awarded to the Botanic Institute of Barcelona for major funding. Additional funding and logistical support were provided by the Botanic Institute Foundation of Venezuela, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and Priscilla Ruddiman.

bruce holst Drosera roraimae, a carnivorous plant The Tropical Dispatch

September-December 2012

bruce holst Ferns abound in moist caves and grottos on Roraima-tepui 7

Hot Caladiums in the Gardens by Lisa Wade


any of our regular visitors may have noticed an exciting addition to our summer seasonal color. We have introduced 17 new varieties of caladiums throughout the Gardens. Caladiums are a member of the Araceae (aroid) family, a plant family that includes both the infamous Amorphophallus titanum (corpse plant) and Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum (peace lily). Caladium species originate from South and Central America and are grown for their colorful foliage rather than their flowers. Most varieties are derived from the species Caladium bicolor. Strap-leaf is derived from the species Caladium schomburgkii. There are many colorful varieties available thanks to years of hybridization. Selby Gardens’ greenhouses host a modest collection of Caladium species including the parents of many types grown today. In the past our collection has provided material for the plant breeders associated with The Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma, FL. We also maintain a collection of some of the more exotic varieties developed in Thailand. These are occasionally on display in our Tropical Conservatory. When a home gardener is looking for summer color with a tropical flair, caladiums fill the bill. With their showy exotic foliage, caladiums are wonderful used either as an accent or planted in mass. 8

Dormant in winter, caladiums in Florida are best planted in early spring for summer color. They love the heat of summer and usually last until the first blast of cold weather. Once caladiums go dormant they will rest all winter and if protected from a hard freeze, return the following summer. In areas colder than USDA plant hardiness zone 10, they can be grown as house plants, summer annuals, or dug up and overwintered after they go dormant. Caladiums grow from a tuber and can be propagated by dividing the tubers when they are dormant so that each part has a growing point or eye (similar to a potato). During their growing season, caladiums prefer moist soil (damp not soggy), but keep their tubers dry when dormant. The majority of caldiums prefer part-to-full shade, though some sun tolerant varieties are available. With the help of a generous donation from a former member of the Board of Trustees, the Horticulture team was able to plant over 2,500 caladium tubers for this year’s summer color. We purchased directly from one of the largest producers of caladium bulbs in the world: Happiness Farms. More than 98% of the world’s commercial caladium crops are grown in the area surrounding the small town of Lake Placid, FL. We hope that our vibrant displays have encouraged our visitors to try caladiums in their own gardens for summer-long exotic color.

Caladium ‘Miss Muffet’

Caladium ‘Carolyn Whorton’

Caladium ‘Red Ruffles’

Caladium ‘John Peed‘

Did You Know? More than 98% of the world’s commercial caladium crops are grown in the area surrounding the small town of Lake Placid, FL. Caladium ‘White Wing’ Celebrating 37 Years — Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Ode to Fallen Oaks by Jay Parker


ver the last few months, visitors may have noticed several large trees missing from the Selby Gardens landscape, particularly some of our older oaks. This has been the result of both selective removal and tree failure. Tree failure happens when a tree or part of a tree has broken or fallen due to structural and health issues. While no plant lover wants to remove a large tree, it is better to remove failing trees in a controlled fashion than risk the possibility of an unexpected hazard. Selby Gardens is involved in an ongoing assessment of the health and structural integrity of its trees. Three species of oaks in assessment are the live oak (Quercus virginiana), laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia) and the sand live oak (Quercus geminata). All three can do well in the landscape, but it is important to match the appropriate species to site conditions. Laurel oaks grow upright with a tight branch structure and can tolerate moist sites. Laurel oaks have a shorter life span than other oaks (only 70-80 years) and do not compartmentalize wounds well, making them more susceptible to the spread of internal decay after breakage or pruning. The sand live oak is a smaller growing tree typically found in relatively infertile, acidic, and well drained soils. Its tolerance for drought and salt make it suitable for areas that are not irrigated or closer to the shore. The live oak is the most versatile of the three. It is very longlived and, if given space, will become a large spreading shade tree. Live oaks are pest resistant, can tolerate a range of soil and moisture conditions, and compartmentalize wounds well.

Laurel oak with large cavity

Infections will generally not become evident for many years until conks, or fruiting bodies, appear, typically at the base of the trunk.

The Gardens has been assessing trees that have suffered from a number of acute and chronic stresses such as soil compaction and close proximity to hardscape, alteration of soil pH, changes in irrigation patterns, shading out from other trees, and utility pruning along the roadways. Such environmental stresses can lead to nutritional deficiencies, compromised root and branch development, and can make the tree susceptible to fungal infections that deteriorate the living tissue.

Monitoring the health of both new and old trees is a necessary step in successful cultivation. The most important part of growing any plant is to make sure the site is suitable for the species. When planting, remove any circling roots that girdle the trunk or other roots. Avoid burying the root flare or over-mulching next to the trunk and monitor the soil moisture to make sure the tree acclimates and develops a healthy root system. Regularly inspect older trees for signs of stress. Keep an eye out for chlorotic foliage, sudden die back, trunk leaning, or a crown that is not growing as vigorously as previous years. Large wounds or cracks, signs of decay and fruiting bodies would likely warrant a consultation from a licensed arborist to assess failure potential and the possibility of removal. By caring for existing plants and trees and creating a plan of succession, we can ensure the future of every garden.

Laurel oak with poor crown density

Laurel oak with conk at base

The Tropical Dispatch

September-December 2012


carlton ward, jr Miller Creek winds through sawgrass marshes near its confluence with Crystal River. Together these spring-fed waters flow into the Gulf of Mexico.

Exploring the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition Photography by Carlton Ward, Jr. Exhibit: October 4 to November 27 On January 17, four passionate Floridians kicked off a 1,000 mile expedition over a 100–day period to increase public awareness and generate support for the Florida Wildlife Corridor project. Bear biologist Joe Guthrie, conservationist Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus and photographer Carlton Ward, Jr. trekked from the Everglades National Park toward Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia. They traversed the wildlife habitats, watersheds and participating working farms and ranches which comprise the Florida Wildlife Corridor opportunity area. Selby Gardens will be the first venue to host Ward’s photography from the 10

expedition. Twenty original framed photographs celebrating Florida’s natural beauty will be on display in the Museum of Botany & the Arts from October 4 to November 27. Select Gulf Coast images will also be on display. Programming is planned to compliment the exhibit and to educate Gardens guests about land conservation. A free public opening will be held 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Thursday, October 4 and a gallery walk & talk led by Ward will be held on Wednesday, October 17 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in the Museum. Informative labels and a gallery guide will be available so that visitors may follow the foot prints of the expedition as they enjoy the stunning images from the comfort of the Museum.

carlton ward, jr A White Egret preens its breeding plumage in Shark Valley, Everglades National Park.

Celebrating 37 Years — Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Growing Garden Families by Jeannie Perales, Director of Education Few things are more enjoyable than seeing families having fun together in the Gardens. Children and adults alike take pleasure in exploring the natural Florida scenery, and the many exotic species the Gardens has to offer. It’s no wonder that Selby is one of Sarasota’s

most family-friendly destinations. Visitors tell us repeatedly that the friendly staff and volunteers ensure families feel welcome. A day in the Gardens is time spent slowing down, unwinding, and discovering natural wonders around every corner.

Families have a ball playing games on the Great Lawn

The Little Sprouts’ Club for children ages 5 and under and their favorite adult occurs on the first Tuesday of each month from September through May. Open daily, the Kids’ Corner is stocked with an assortment of gardenthemed games, books, puzzles and crafts. In the Welcome Center, families can grab a Plant Hunt worksheet to search together for garden treasures. Once completed, children win a prize! At the koi pond, little ones delight in feeding the fish followed by a hearty striking of the gong, which resonates throughout the nearby bamboo forest. Attending family-friendly events such as the Tropical 4th of July and Lights in Bloom are also great ways to experience the Gardens as a family. See for more tips on making your family Gardens visit great!

7th Annual Selby Instructors’ Summer Showcase Exhibit and Sale Visit Selby’s Museum of Botany & the Arts through September 30th to see a wide array of original art and get inspired to take a class by one of our talented art instructors.

Participate in our “Meet the Artist/Instructor” series, select Saturdays from 1 – 2:30 pm. On September 1st Olivia “Garden Gate” by Carolyn Merenda, Beginning, Intermediate, and Braida, founder and Advanced Watercolor Instructor master instructor of the Academy of Botanical Arts, will be in workshop on Fridays, November 2–16. the museum to answer any questions Daniel Perales will take photographers you may have about this impres- on a special journey on November 17th sive program. New instructor, Alice during his new class: Exposed: Behind Sciarrino will be available on Saturday, the Scenes. September 15th, to talk about her Students can sign up for these and other Stained Glass class scheduled to begin classes online by selecting “Learning in October. & Growing” from Selby’s home page Two other new instructors have joined at, or by stopping by in Selby’s teaching staff beginning this person and registering at our Welcome fall. Kevin Costello will be offering a Center desk.

“Heron” by Deborah Ross, Zen Watercolor Instructor

3-session plein air Landscape Painting The Tropical Dispatch

September-December 2012


Announcing a New Member Benefit:

The Gardens Partners Program

Your Selby Gardens membership card will now bring you even more benefits! A select group of local businesses will offer a special discount when you show your valid Gardens’ membership card. Restaurants, home and garden, retail, spa and fitness, hotels and attractions and professional services are among the businesses represented on the Gardens Partners list.

Events at

Selby Gardens

September - December 2012 October 5 - November 27 EXHIBIT: Exploring the Florida Wildlife Corridor

For a current list of Partners and discount descriptions, go to www.selby. org/membership and click on the Benefits tab.

Photography of Carlton Ward, Jr

October 7, 14, 21, 28 GartenFest Music Series

We thank our generous Gardens Partners. Welcome!

November 10 Member Appreciation Day November 29 Wine, Dine, & Pine

Coming in November

The Second Annual Marie Selby

December 15 – 23, 26 & 27 Lights in Bloom

Legacy Society Luncheon Leave A Living Legacy

Planned Giving Did you know you can make a gift to Selby Gardens that costs you nothing during your lifetime? Putting a bequest to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in your will builds our long-term financial strength and is the easiest major gift you can make. Why? It’s revocable: a bequest doesn’t take effect until your death. It’s a gift that doesn’t affect your current asset balance or cash flow. If your plans or circumstances change, you can easily revise the bequest. It’s simple: One paragraph in your will can set up your gift.

And it’s flexible: You can give us a specific asset or a share in the net residue of your estate. Your bequest can support a particular program or allow Selby Gardens to use it for the needs that are most critical when your gift is received.

We can help you take the next steps to plan a bequest. Just contact Ann Logan at (941) 366-5731 ext. 266 or alogan@ Not intended as legal, tax, or investment advice.

If you have planned a future gift to the Gardens, we’d like to recognize you. Please contact Ann Logan, (941) 366-5731 ext. 266 or email 12

Celebrating 37 Years — Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

A Star-Spangled Celebration

Tropical 4th of July was a huge success! The All-American celebration pulled in record-breaking attendance, and everyone had a blast. Delicious barbecue and picnic fare was catered by Local Coffee + Tea and Michael’s On East. Reggae band Impulse had the crowd moving to its tropical beats, and the Great Lawn was filled with face-painted kids of all ages delighting in familyfriendly activities.

Exploring Selby Gardens’ Hidden Delights:

The Chairman’s Circle

Chairman’s Circle contributors will be treated to a variety of delightful “insider” events in the coming months. This donor group supports Selby Gardens’ core activities (education, horticulture, botanical research and artistic expression in the Gardens) with annual gifts beginning at $2,500 and receives exclusive access to exceptional, mission-based events. In October, Chairman’s Circle supporters will preview an exciting photography exhibit from the recent Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition and meet photographer Carlton Ward, Jr. December brings Lights in Bloom, including a private Chairman’s Circle preview party and complimentary admission good for any evening of Selby’s popular holiday event. Next year, the Chairman’s Circle will enjoy private previews, lectures, and tours culminating in the annual Chairman’s Circle Appreciation Dinner in May. Added benefits include Member Appreciation Day upgrades and other events, with opportunities to closely interact with Selby Gardens’ leadership. The Tropical Dispatch

September-December 2012

Ann Logan, Patrice Schirer, Scott George, Gloria Moss, John Mason

Ensure that the things you value most about Selby Gardens endure by joining this community of dedicated supporters. Call Ann Logan at (941) 366-5731 ext. 266 or email to learn more about the Chairman’s Circle today.


The Selby Experience: Yolanda Woody, Volunteer

“I’m really into helping the environment,” says Yolanda Woody, a 10th grader enrolled in Riverview High School’s demanding I.B. (International Baccalaureate) program. But until she attended a Selby volunteer orientation, she thought she was just going to complete some required volunteer hours over the summer. Instead, she assisted world-class botanists with projects that will help to preserve the Earth’s biodiversity. Working in Selby Gardens’ Botany department is considered a plum volunteer position. “It’s different, but it’s fun,” says Yolanda of her duties, which include entering plant collection information into a database and scanning materials used by researchers around the globe. “This is the baseline data that’s crucial to conservation work,” said Director of Botany Bruce Holst. “It’s very detail-oriented work, and Yolanda is good at it. It’s a pleasure having her with us this summer.” More than 650 volunteers help Selby Gardens accomplish its ambitious mission of botanical research, education, and horticulture. Interested in joining them? Call Phyllis Kirtley at (941) 366-5731 ext. 227 or email

Upcoming Volunteer Orientations Wednesday, September 19

10:00 am to 1:00 pm Great Room by the Bay

Tuesday, January 15

1:00 to 4:00 pm Great Room By the Bay

Call for Volunteers Selby Gardens is looking for businesses, clubs and organizations to collectively volunteer at Lights in Bloom. If you know of an organization that would like to commit 20-30 volunteers for one evening, please contact Phyllis Kirtley at volunteer@selby. org or (941) 366-5731 ext. 227

Growing Marie’s Garden The Marie Selby Gardens Associates

For more than three decades, a small but dedicated group has made a considerable impact on the Gardens through volunteerism and fundraising. Last year, they contributed more than $20,000 and became charter supporters of Selby’s new Chairman’s Circle. Now entering their 33rd year, the Marie Selby Gardens Associates have announced programs on bonsai, chocolate, and herbal medicine along with a reprise of Wine Dine & Pine, a wine and cheese-tasting event featuring auctions of decorated trees and giftware and a garden raffle.

“Wine Dine & Pine is our major fundraising event, but we thought it would be fun to do a non-event fundraiser,” according to Associates President J. Allison Archbold. “Our area has such great cultural attractions, so we’re gathering tickets and admissions for a winner-take-all package valued at more than $1,000, and we’ll announce the winner on February 24 during the Gardens’ Plant & Garden Festival.” Archbold also noted that the group is actively recruiting new members. “The great thing is that we have a lot of fun, but even our newest members can make a significant impact. We’re very open to new ideas and energy.” Associates programs, held monthly during season, are open to all, and membership starts at just $35 for Selby Gardens members. For information, email or call Judith Hydeman at (941) 346-7414. 14

Associates Board 2012/13, front row: Carmen Baskind, J. Allison Archbold, Pat Knasiak. Rear: Maggie Minehardt, Billie Hultin, Judith Hydeman, Gil Lee, Gundi Pease, Nicole Duke

Upcoming Associate Events Monday, October 15, 11:30 am The Art of Bonsai – Kay Karioth of Sho Fu Bonsai Society Thursday, November 29, 5:30 pm 3rd Annual Wine Dine & Pine Monday, January 21, 11:30 am Selby Gardens Director of Education Jeannie Perales Celebrating 37 Years — Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

GartenFest Fall Music Series

Sundays, October 7, 14, 21, 28 1:00 – 3:00pm Gartenfest Fall Music Series is back! Each Sunday in October, sit back and relax under the shade of the banyans to hear live music from Sarasota’s favorite local entertainers. Bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerkraut, old Heidelberg pretzels, German beer, and wine will be available for purchase. Bring a lawn chair, raise your beer mug, and enjoy diverse musical and dance performances at Gartenfest! For a full schedule of performances, please visit

Wine, Dine & Pine

Presented by The Marie Selby Gardens Associates Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:30 – 7:30pm

Join the Marie Selby Gardens Associates for the 3rd Annual Wine, Dine & Pine. Guests will sample a delicious assortment of wines, cheeses, and appetizers provided by Fresh Market. This elegant event includes a silent auction featuring one-of-a kind and luxury items and uniquely decorated pine trees, all donated by local artists and businesses. Reservations are available beginning October 25 at or at the Welcome Center. Sponsorships are also available.

Rooms in Bloom

The Designer Showhouse at Selby Gardens December 15, 2012 – January 2, 2013 10:00am – 4:30pm in the Mansion

The popular “Holiday Splendor at the Payne Mansion” designer showhouse, produced annually by the Florida West Coast Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), will return to Selby Gardens this holiday season. Talented area designers transform the Museum of Botany & the Arts into a dazzling holiday spectacle. “Bromeliads will be the unifying design theme this year,” said Will Brown, ASID past president and event chair. ASID members apply fresh, vibrant wall colors, install elegant furnishing, lighting, floor treatments, and add sparkling holiday decorations in the charming Southern Colonial home.

2011 ASID Showhouse

The 2011 holiday showhouse attracted approximately 16,000 visitors - the highest visitor attendance for any Sarasota Showhouse. The display runs daily, December 15 through January 2 from 10 am to 4:30 pm, and after hours during Lights in Bloom, December 15 – 23 and 26 & 27. Entry is included in the price of admission to the Gardens. The Tropical Dispatch

September-December 2012


Non-profit Org. U.S. Postage

PAID Permit No. 509 Manasota, Florida

811 South Palm Avenue Sarasota, Florida 34236

Lights in Bloom A Sparkling Holiday Celebration

December 15 - 23, 26, & 27 Nightly from 6:00 to 9:00pm Get in the holiday spirit at the annual Lights in Bloom! Stroll through the Gardens and view life-sized garden-themed holiday lights brought to you by Lights in Bloom originator Bob McComb, also known as Mr. Illuminator. Each night, guests will enjoy live holiday music and dance performances and dine on grilled entrees, kids’ “Merry Meals” and scrumptious snacks under the banyans. Visit Kids’ Corner for interactive games, Hanukkah happenings and Kwanzaa crafts for children of all ages to enjoy. Santa and his elves will make a nightly appearance, so have your Christmas wish list ready! Tickets available December 1st at or at the Selby Gardens’ Welcome Center

Tropical Dispatch September to December 2012  

Horticulture Issue

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