Many Southeastern Palm Society members also grow hardy citrus, so it's natural that we feature the annual Southeastern Citrus Exposition. This year the Expo is in Bolivia, North Carolina (near Wilmington), and runs Friday and Saturday, November 22-23, 2019. Visit the Expo's Facebook page for all the details and and occasional updates.
Three great attractions in the Birmingham area will host the Southeastern Palm Society’s summer meeting.
Our first stop will be at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, which offers visitors 67 acres of beauty spread throughout 25 thematic gardens. Admission and parking are free. There will be a plant sale at 9:30 am at the exit end of the parking lot, so bring your plants or your checkbook (or both!). We’ll enter the garden at 10:00 am. Lunch will be onsite at The Garden Café which offers a great menu.
After lunch we’ll visit the very palmy and tropical garden of Robert Christian, 1623 31st Street N, Birmingham AL 35234. (The nearest Interstate 20 interchange may be under construction and a small detour necessary.)
And we’ll finish the day at Warren Family Garden Center and Nursery, 1009 Old Cedar Grove Road, Leeds AL 35094 (one block off I-20). This garden center has an incredibly large selection of a wide variety of plants, and is not to be missed.
Hope to see you there!
Join us at Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden for the SPS spring meeting! Be sure to enter from the botanical garden side.
10:00 am - Annual SPS plant auction. Please bring something rare or common for the auction, which helps support the society. And if you can’t bring something, be prepared to make a bid or two!
11:00 am - Tour of the botanical garden.
12:00 pm - Lunch on our own.
1:30 pm - Reconvene at Simply Citrus Nursery, an impressive nearby nursery and citrus garden.
See you there!
Join us at the Atlanta Botanical Garden for the SPS winter meeting. Our latest get-together features horticultural consultant, author and palm expert Paul Craft. Paul will entice us right out of our late winter blues with The Palms of Cuba, which is also the title of his latest book. Visit Paul at The Palm Nut Pages.
We’ll tour the ABG, too. The garden has a historic outdoor hardy palm collection, the Fuqua Conservatory jungle, and the Orchid House to keep us in awe. And many more collections! In case of bad weather, there are plenty of indoor attractions.
The usual entrance fee of $23.95 is generously waived for SPS members and their families and guests, so mention you’re with the Southeastern Palm Society. There is a fee for parking in the garage. (This is the big city.)
The garden opens at 9 am and we’ll meet at 10 am in the Magnolia Room, located in the Gardenhouse. It’s the building that forms one side of the lovely courtyard ringed with windmill palms.
Lunch is available in the garden.
The annual SPS plant auction is postponed, and we’ll feature it at another SPS meeting soon.
Members are welcome to sell plants from their vehicles if they park on the upper parts of the outdoor parking lot.
See you there!
Many Southeastern Palm Society members also grow hardy citrus trees, so it's natural that we feature the annual Southeastern Citrus Exposition. This year the Expo is in Valdosta, Georgia and runs Friday and Saturday, November 16-17, 2018. Visit the Expo's Facebook page for all the details and and occasional updates.
The fall 2018 meeting will see the Southeastern Palm Society membership return to the home and garden of Chuck and Barbara Mooney of Midville, Georgia. Midville is in Burke County, about 45 miles south of Augusta and on the upper Coastal Plain. This part of the state evokes the Old South with its miles of gently rolling farmland and pastures, many lined with live oaks and cypress festooned with Spanish moss.
Chuck and Barbara have owned their property here for more than 30 years and have been permanent residents for about 20. Since that time, Chuck has been busy filling the landscape with palms (and more palms!) citrus, and other subtropical plants. The sheer number of palms here must be seen to be believed, but in addition, Chuck has an amazing variety as well. Present are all of the usual cold-hardy palms such as Trachycarpus fortunei, Sabal minor, Sabal palmetto and Rhapidophyllum hystrix; along with Butia odorata, B. eriospatha and Butia yatay; Butia x Syagrus; Chamaerops humilis; Brahea clara, Serenoa repens, Washingtonia filifera; Chamaedorea microspadix and C. radicalis; Phoenix spp.; and many, many more.
The meeting will begin at 9:00 am with a plant sale and brief business meeting to determine meeting locations for 2019, among other business. After that, the group will tour the Mooney property, where every palm has a story and every story is interesting.
At lunch, we’ll depart for Louisville, where there are some fast-food options. Following lunch, the group will head north to the Ogeechee River, where we will walk among some outstanding native populations of Sabal minor and Rhapidophyllum hystrix. These palms are on public land and easily accessible from a major highway. Best of all, they represent the northernmost known native population of needle palms anywhere in the world.
Please join us on Saturday, October 6, 2018 for a great day!
Join us for the Southeastern Palm Society's summer meeting in the hardy palm outpost of southeastern Tennessee. The day will begin at the garden of Jeff Stevens, followed by a visit to the garden of Rob Garren. Both men have been growing hardy palms and a wide and interesting variety of other plants for several decades. We'll end the day at the hardy palm collection at the nearby Bonny Oaks Arboretum in Chattanooga. And bring plants to sell and trade!
See you there!
Jeff Stevens, 10665 High Point Road, Apison TN 37302 (map link above)
Rob Garren, 1810 Bancroft Road, McDonald TN 37353
Bonny Oaks, 6183 Adamson Circle, Chattanooga TN 37416
Join us for the SPS winter meeting at one of the Southeast's premier palm collections at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. Both SPS members and non-members are welcome and the $5 admission fee is waived for attendees that day.
This will be an excellent opportunity to see the gardens, which boasts an excellent palm collection (which WILL survive this winter!), a very nice camellia collection which should be in full bloom, and many other treats.
We will have an innovative speaker program in case the weather is rainy or cold, and a live auction. We ask that everyone bring a plant or two to donate to the auction. We need your donations to make the auction a success.
See you in Savannah on February 17!
Many Southeastern Palm Society members also grow hardy citrus trees, so it's natural that we should feature the Southeastern Citrus Exposition. This year the annual Citrus Expo is in the Savannah, Georgia area and runs Friday and Saturday, November 17-18, 2017. Click here for full information.
Please join us for the Fall 2017 SPS meeting on Saturday, October 21. We will meet at Aquinas High School in Augusta, Georgia. Aquinas has been extensively landscaped over the past 35 years by member Joe LeVert, who has planted and maintained thousands of plants representing hundreds of species. More than 20 species of palms thrive there, along with citrus, subtropicals, plumeria, and many, many more. The meeting will start at 10:00 am. You won't want to miss this meeting!
On Saturday, July 29, 2017, SPS members will enjoy a first-ever meeting site at the Spartanburg, South Carolina garden of Rick Davis. The day begins at 10 am.
Rick’s suburban, subtropical garden includes 68 palm specimens, as well as many flowering plants. It’s safe to say that if a hardy palm can be tried with a reasonable chance of success, then Rick is providing it with a great opportunity. His list, by genus and species/cultivar: Butia (5), Chamaedorea (2), Chamaerops (2), Jubaea hybrids (3), Rhapidophyllum (1), Sabal (14), Serenoa (1), Trachycarpus (7), Washingtonia (1). After a mild winter, expect to see them at their best!
Here are more gardens for those who want to extend their horticultural visit before or after the SPS meeting, Rick recommends:
Join us for the Southeastern Palm Society’s winter meeting on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden—The Bamboo Farm—in Savannah. (Follow the link for address and directions.)
The day begins at 10:00 am. [Updated directions.] After entering the Canebrake Road gates, turn right and go to the black electronic gates (the large sign reads 'Authorized Vehicles Only') and enter the passcode 0225. Then continue and park next to the Annex. The usual $5 entrance fee is kindly waived for SPS members and guests attending the meeting.
The day will feature a visit to the spectacular country of Chile, with its horticultural and natural wonders. Hayes Jackson and Jeff Stevens, who recently toured the country, look forward to sharing their experiences and photography.
First stop: La Campana National Park, the home of one of the remaining native sites of the dazzling Chilean wine palm (Jubaea chilensis). Jubaea is the sought-after hardy palm we all think we should be able to grow in the Southeast, yet few specimens have succeeded for more than a few years—most notably Tamar Myers’ specimen at her former garden in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The Chilean voyage continues to the volcanos-and-lakes district to see monkey puzzles (Araucaria araucana), and to northern Atacama Desert where succulents are survivors in a near-rainless climate.
The day will include a tour of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden’s palm collections, which look exceptionally well so far after a mild winter.
We’ll also host the SPS annual plant auction. So bring your rare and not-so-rare plants to donate to benefit the Southeastern Palm Society. The auction offerings will include a 1-gallon Chilean wine palm sourced from Golden Gate Palms near San Francisco. All are welcome to bring plants to sell and trade as well.
Looking forward to seeing you in Savannah!
Join us at 9:00 am on Saturday, October 1, 2016, for the Southeastern Palm Society’s fall meeting. We’ll begin the day in Anniston, Alabama, at the newly-founded Longleaf Botanical Gardens, which encompasses the gardens of the Anniston Museum of Natural History, the Berman Museum of World History and extensive new plantings at Longleaf. The gardens are legendary for their hardy palms, including some very unexpected ones, and for their variety of subtropicals, too.
The day will include tours of the impressive gardens of local plant collectors Hayes Jackson and Connie Mack Dobbs. Hayes has established a respected private botanical garden on his six acres of Alabama hillside, and Connie Mack has turned a generously-sized suburban lot into a subtropical showplace.
SPS meetings are informal, enjoyable and attended by people who love both native Southern palms and subtropical plants, as well as those we’ve adopted from far-away lands. Non-members are welcome to attend, too!
- 9:00 am - Plant sale in the parking lot of Longleaf Botanical Gardens (drive past the two museums to the top of the hill)
- 10:00 am - Welcome and tour of the gardens
- Noon - Lunch (on our own at local restaurants)
- 1:00 pm - Visit the gardens of Hayes Jackson and Connie Mack Dobbs
We encourage everyone to bring something for the plant sale, and if you can't bring a plant, just bring your appetite for plant shopping. To get things rolling, here is a list of hard-to-fine plants that will be offered for sale, provided by the efforts of Hayes and local volunteers. Prices aren't available yet, but are sure to be reasonable.
- Aspidistra 'Hayes' Stars' - Speckled cast-iron plant from Thailand
- Cassia corymbosa - Golden cassia, small tree with yellow flowers
- Colocasia 'Jack's Giant' - Large elephant ear
- Colocasia 'Maui Gold' - Gold elephant ear
- Colocasia 'Maximum Gigante' - Large elephant ear
- Costus 'Phoenix' - Rare semi-hardy spiral ginger
- Cycas revoluta x panzhihuaensis - Hybrid sago
- Hedychium coronarium - White ginger lily
- Hedychium yellow - Yellow ginger lily
- Heliconia scheideana - Hardy Heliconia from Mexico
- Musella lasiocarpa - Chinese yellow banana
- Odontonema thyrsiflora - Firespike
- Podocarpus macrophyllus 'Lemon Sparkler' - Conifer with yellow new growth
- Sabal minor 'Blountstown Dwarf' - Dwarf dwarf palmetto from Florida
- Sabal minor 'Wakulla Springs Dwarf' - Dwarf dwarf palmetto from Florida
- Trachycarpus 'Bulgaria' - Bulgarian form of windmill palm with stiff leaves, hybrid?
- Verbesina olsenii - Mexican crown beard
- Zingiber mioga - Mioga ginger, hardy
- Zingiber zerumbet - Pine cone ginger
Admission to Longleaf Botanical Gardens is free.
- Longleaf Botanical Gardens [map]
- 920 Museum Drive (drive past museums to the top of the hill)
- Anniston AL 36206
- Hayes Jackson [map]
- 1300 Old Jackson Road
- Anniston AL 36206
- Connie Mack Dobbs [map]
- 2207 Ruth Court
- Oxford AL 36203
Alabama is in the Central Time Zone and the day begins at 9:00 am Central Time.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden will once again be the site of a Southeastern Palm Society meeting, and for a good many reasons. We’ll meet at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 27, 2016 at the garden’s visitor center to begin a tour of one of the Southeast’s premier garden showcases.
ABG hardly needs an introduction for SPS members. It remains home to an inspiring and long-established hardy palm collection, plus collections of rare conifers, camellias, tropical palms and jungle plants, roses, hydrangeas, magnolias, native plants, and just about any plant that will grow (or be tested) in the Southeast.
Admission to the gardens is $21.95, or free if you’re a member. Parking in the gardens is available at a reasonable cost. Lunch is available at two cafés and a restaurant.
Join us in Atlanta for a fun day of unusual plants, palms and fellowship with palm nuts.
The day begins at 10:00 am at the Coastal Georgia Botanical gardens. We'll meet at the Visitor Center for greetings and welcome, followed by a walking tour of the gardens. The CGBG is in the process of realizing its master garden plan, including its new visitor and conference center and the planting of many themed gardens. If you haven't visited for a while, you'll be surprised by the progress. Palms, mostly provided and planted by the Southeastern Palm society, remain integrated into the plan, and after a mild winter, we expect to find them in peak condition. The gardens recently introduced a very modest $5 entrance fee, which will be waived for SPS members and their guests on April 23. (The SPS board will meet at 9:00 am at the Visitor Center at the CGBG.)
After lunch on our own, we'll continue the day at The Arboretum at Armstrong Atlantic State University. The arboretum, under the direction of horticulturalist Phillip Schretter, are truly amazing. Browse "plant collections" at the link below for descriptions and photos of camellias, unusual conifers, gingers, primitive "dinosaur" plants and an international garden. Beyond what's noted on the website, there are plenty of "how is that growing here" plants.
See you there!
2 Canebrake Road, Savannah Georgia 31419
11935 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia 31419
Note: The SPS Summer Meeting is in the planning stage, but doesn't appear on the calendar yet.
Join us at 10:00 am on Saturday, February 27, 2016, for the Southeastern Palm Society’s winter meeting. The day will offer late-winter palm and subtropical therapy at outstanding palm collections at the intersection of coastal Georgia and northeastern Florida.
We’ll begin at the garden of Tom and Kay McClendon in St. Marys, Georgia. Tom and Kay have lived in St. Marys for the past 13 years, so enough time has passed for the development of a mature garden. Though Tom has been working on his doctorate degree for the past three years and hasn’t had time to devote to further developing his plantings, the garden has mature specimens of unusual palms for the area such as Arenga engleri, Phoenix roebelenii, Trachycarpus martianus, Acoelorrhaphe wrightii, and many other common palms. The garden also contains many subtropical plants and also a citrus collection.
After a tour of the garden, the annual plant auction will be held. This has become the Southeastern Palm Society’s largest single fund-raiser, so please bring a plant or two to donate. After the auction, the group will head briefly to downtown St. Marys to see some unusual palms that Tom planted in a median, including pure Washingtonia filifera and Sabal pumos.
For lunch we’ll drive to the Kingsland Chick-fil-A, and then head down I-95 to the campus of the Florida State College at Jacksonville (South Campus), a 30-minute drive from Kingsland. FSCJ has an outstanding palm collection that boasts palms not normally seen outside of central Florida, including Bismarckia nobilis, Sabal mauritiiformis and Dypsis decaryi—and this just begins to describe the many outstanding specimens there, all within a small area and all excellently labeled. For those inclined, the FSCJ is near some excellent nurseries and within a few miles of the Atlantic Ocean.
Agenda and addresses
Tom and Kay McClendon, 810 Park Street, St. Marys, Georgia 31558 [map]
9:00 am Board meeting
10:00 am The general meeting begins with welcome and announcements, garden tour, annual plant auction, and tour of palms in downtown St. Marys.
Chick-fil-A, 1369 GA-40, Kingsland GA 31548 [map] for lunch, then
Florida State College at Jacksonville (South Campus), 11901 Beach Boulevard, Jacksonville FL 32246 [map]