A focus on living botanical collections remains at the heart of the botanical garden community. As evidence: Montgomery Botanical Center’s work was selected for presentation at the two major garden conferences this summer. Dr. Chad Husby and Dr. Patrick Griffith presented a total of six presentations at these gatherings. 

The American Public Gardens Association conference was hosted by Atlanta Botanical Garden in early June. Chad presented his recent research on weed risk assessment for botanical garden collections, and Patrick contributed a talk on how MBC rethought its work in mapping living collections. Additionally, Patrick was asked to give a summary of how MBC developed hurricane response protocols for the plant collection. Along with Tracy Magellan, Chad and Patrick also participated in the NAPCC forum as part of the conference.  Longtime MBC colleague Ron Determann shared his extensive conifer and cycad collections with the MBC team.

A few days after the APGA conference, Botanic Gardens Conservation Internationalconvened the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress at the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, in Glasnevin.

Chad was again encouraged to discuss the weed risk assessment work in a session on invasive plant issues and gardens, while Patrick presented MBC’s work with bringing together conservation genetics and economics. Chad took advantage of the worldwide gathering to exchange Equisetum cuttings with other dedicated plantsmen from France, Scotland, and Finland.

At the request of the organizing committee, Dr. Andrew Vovides convened a special session dedicated to cycad collections, which brought together speakers from the Mexican National Cycad Collection, The New York Botanical Garden, Shenzhen Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, Lowveld National Botanical Garden, and MBC. Patrick contributed an overview of MBC cycad work, with recent examples in conservation and research.

The famous conservatories at Glasnevin are home to many important cycad collections, including the type collection of Ceratozamia fuscoviridis, which was studied by Dr. Stevenson, Dr. Vovides, and Dr. Osborne for a recent publication. This individual plant has been in cultivation at Glasnevin since the nineteenth century! Attendees of the cycad session were treated to a special viewing of this collection by Dr. Matthew Jebb.

“These gatherings are an excellent opportunity, both to share MBC’s work, and to make and strengthen connections with our friends and colleagues around the world. The MBC team is very grateful for the gracious hospitality and hard work of the host gardens in Atlanta and Dublin, and the great organizations that make these events happen,” stated Patrick.