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2012 Convention, Seattle, Washington

July 2 - July 7, 2012
Gesneriads in the Emerald City

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Members and guests from 8 countries and 25 states followed the yellow brick road to the Emerald City of Seattle to attend the 56th Annual Convention of The Gesneriad Society. The Puget Sound Chapter welcomed the 180 registrants, which included over 30 first-time convention attendees.

Many enjoyed a pre-convention trip on Monday to the Glass Museum in Tacoma followed by a trip on Tuesday to the Rhododendron Species Garden and Bonsai Collection in nearby Federal Way. The closing trip on Saturday featured a cruise on Puget Sound to Blake Island to enjoy a salmon dinner and traditional Tillicum Village stories and dances.

The Renaissance Seattle Hotel provided not only quality meeting space, rooms, and services, but also a great downtown location to explore the cuisines, sights, and sounds of the city. The host chapter's informal social on Wednesday night high on the 28th floor concluded with a bird's-eye view of Seattle's Fourth of July fireworks display.

A full convention program included four lectures: "Tissue Culture" by Steven McCulloch, "Gesneriads of South China" and "Conservation of Gesneriads of South China" by Professor Wei Yi-Gang, and "Sinningia Farming in California" by Alan LaVergne.

Three mini-lectures were given by students awarded grants to attend convention: Cassandra Coleman (University of Alabama) presented on Gasteranthus phylogeny and pollinators; Jeremy Keene (Ohio University) presented on Monopyle from Central America; and Laura Clavijo (Colombia / University of Alabama) presented on Drymonia diversity and patterns of evolution.

There also were three mini programs: a discussion on growing Streptocarpus led by Bob Counsell and Paul Lee; a hands-on workshop all about seed with Karyn Cichocki, Nancy Kast, and Dale Martens; and an overview of David Zaitlin's recent trip to Brazil to observe Sinningias. Many registrants also attended a conservation meeting/discussion (led by John R. Clark), a Growers Forum (led by Ben Paternoster), a GHA meeting (led by Dale Martens) including a presentation on gesneriad hybrids in Taiwan (by Vivian Liu), as well as judging school and other activities.

There were 210 entries from 45 exhibitors in the high-quality flower show where many entries received high scores and several new and lesser-known gesneriads were seen. The crafts entries this year were creative and well executed, and the artistic entries effectively depicted Dorothy, her friends, and her adventures in Oz.

At plant sales, as well as at the auctions and the GHA meeting (and other giveaways and shared plant material), somewhere over the rainbow in Seattle gesneriads were found, more precious than gold. All too soon it was time to return home with wonderful treasures and lasting memories.

There's no place like convention … There's no place like convention …
There's no place like convention ….




2012 Convention Links

Runner up to BIS Streptocarpus 'Heartland's Baby Kisses'
Ben Paternoster

runner up to best in show

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