“Back to Our Roots” Historical Exhibit Chronicles Founders of Selby Gardens

October 12, 2015

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is featuring the historical exhibit “Back to Our Roots” about its founders during October and November as part of the Gardens’ yearlong 40th anniversary celebration.

The exhibit pairs stories of the people who built Selby Gardens’ collection of epiphytic plants alongside beautiful displays of the tropical plants like orchids and bromeliads that they researched. “Back to Our Roots” is on display in the Gardens’ conservatory Oct. 16 – Nov. 15.

The collection notably recognizes Dr. Calaway Dodson, the Gardens’ first executive director, and Dr. Carlyle Luer, the personal physician of Marie Selby and an avid botanist. Both men helped build Selby Gardens, transforming the Bayfront property into a world-renowned botanical garden. They both took part in field expeditions and established the Gardens’ commitment to research and conservation.

“This exhibition gives us the opportunity to honor the original botanists and plant collectors who contributed to this outstanding collection, as well as a glimpse into the activities of the current staff who continue the work of our founders,” said Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens.

Others recognized for their work are: Joe Halton, the first conservatory manager; Harry Luther, director of the Gardens’ Bromeliad Identification Center; and Dr. Michael Madison, an aroid researcher who organized the world’s first research symposium on the plant family in 1980 at Selby Gardens. The exhibit also notes the work of current staff, including Bruce Holst, the director of botany who has been with the Gardens for 20 years.

“Back to Our Roots” is included with regular admission to Selby Gardens.



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