2023 Convention (Richmond, VA) and 2023 Virtual Flower Show

Virginia is for Gesneriad Lovers

July 3 to July 8, 2023

The African Violet Society of Richmond and the National Capital Area Chapter of The Gesneriad Society hosted The Gesneriad Society’s 66th Annual Convention “Virginia is for Gesneriad Lovers” at the Westin Richmond Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. The Local Convention Co-Chairs,  Sharon Long, Bill Schmidt, and Barbara Stewart, along with many other volunteers in the area welcomed the 129 convention registrants.

The convention was a great success based on the enthusiasm shown by all the attendees whether they were just socializing and talking plants with other attendees, enjoying time together on several well-planned trips, listening and learning at judging school or during the various lectures, programs and meetings held all week, participating in or just enjoying the flower show, plant sale, and auctions. The annual meeting/dinner was well attended where Leonard Re was honored with an Award of Appreciation this year.

The flower show displayed 185 high-quality entries from 36 exhibitors. A list of all awarded entries as well as the Flower Show images will soon be available on this website. Congratulations to all the winners and everyone who exhibited to help make a well-rounded show.

  • Sweepstakes in Horticulture – awarded to Dave Zaitlin with 5 blue ribbons and 4 red ribbons
  • Sweepstakes Runner-Up in Horticulture –  awarded to Barb Borleske and Kitty Hedgepeth, with 5 blue ribbons each
  • Best in Horticulture – awarded to Dave Zaitlin for his Sinningia Collection
  • Runner-Up to Best in Horticulture – awarded to Eileen McGrath for her Multi-Genera Collection
  • Sweepstakes in Artistic – awarded to Barbara Stewart with 3 blue ribbons and 1 red ribbon
  • Sweepstakes Runner-Up in Artistic – awarded to Mel Grice with 3 blue ribbons
  • Best in Artistic – awarded to Judy Zinni for her design “Love Charm”
  • Runner-Up to Best Artistic – awarded to Ginny Heatter for her challenge class design “Love Letters”
  • Best in Arts – awarded to Brandon Erikson for his Sinningia Seedling CrossStitch Throw Pillow
  • Runner-Up to Best in Arts – awarded to Dale Martens for her close-up color print of Seemannia purpurascens pistil and yellow nectary
  • Best in Educational/Commercial – awarded to Gary Hunter for his commercial display “Miniature Achimenes and Kohlerias
  • Multi-Division Sweepstakes – awarded to Mel Grice with 3 blue ribbons

The featured speakers/lectures at convention were

  • Terri Vicenzi (Indiana) – “Smithiantha: The Queen of the Rhizomatous Gesneriads”
  • Prasanna NS (India) – “Gesneriad Explorations and Evolutionary Insights from the Indian Subcontinent”
  • Tim Alderton (North Carolina) – “Not Just Houseplants”
  • John L. Clark (NJ/Florida) – “Updates on the Classification of Neotropical Gesneriads”

Downloads of all of the featured lectures as well as other convention programs will soon be available to enjoy at your leisure complimentary to convention registrants and also will be available at a nominal cost to all others in The Gesneriad Society Shop.

Thank you again to the chairpersons, workers, and volunteers; to those who provided sale and auction items; to those who entered or helped with the flower show; and to all who attended and helped in any way to make our 2023 Convention a success. The Richmond Convention may be over, but wonderful memories remain.

In 2024 we hope to see old friends and new gather in Missouri from July 1 to July 6 at the Hilton Frontenac Hotel to enjoy “Gesneriads Meet in St. Louis”.