July 6, 2009

Convention 2009-Its Over!

by Brian C. 

What an incredible convention! Initally I was hoping for 150+ horticulural exhibits in the flower show. I never dreamed there would be over 250! Or that I would see so many rare gesneriads like Boea hemsleyana, Conandron ramondoides, Pearcea hypocyrtiflora, Chirotopsis repanda, Chirita dielsii and a new Diastema (probably) species in flower. There were a number of spectacular Columnea, Sinningia, Streptocarpus, Kohleria, Chirita and Petrocosmea....a few giant Aeschynanthus and Alsobia as well. WOW! Our own Carol Hamelink, John Boggan as well as Nancy Kast, Tim Tuttle, Bill Price and many others showed fantastic plants.

Other highlights for me were the GHA (Gesneriad Hybridizers Association) meeting, Tim's Petrocosmea lecture and Mauro's Sinningia talk. I had no idea so many Sinningias are near extinction in their natural habitat.

It was great meeting and talking in person to so many gesneriad growers from all over the US and Canada. As we were breaking down the show, I was chatting with Dale Martens about the small Strepts. She gave me a leaf to propagate from 'HL Baby Egrets' and some flowers/pollen and suggested a cross between 'HL White Gold' and 'HL Baby Egrets'. I am giving it a shot. 'Baby Egrets' has Strept 'Nerys' as a parent I believe. Pictured is 'HL Boyish Grin' on the left, then Aeschynanathus splendidus (with a bit of Columnea 'Midget').