1958 Biennial – Miami, Florida

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Date(s) - 04/17/1958 - 04/18/1958
All Day


Biennial Meeting of the Society and the Palm Conference

Your two-year old Society passed an important milestone on April 17-18, 1958.  A large group of members and their friends gathered at the Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami, Florida, to get acquainted, look at palms, photograph palms and talk palms.  Members began arriving at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, the 17th.  They registered, then went out in small groups with guides to see the large collection of palms in the Garden.  Besides seeing fine specimens, one of the chief advantages of visiting the Garden is learning how to plant palms for landscape effects, as the Fairchild Garden is noted for its unusually fine landscaping.  At noon members returned to the Garden House where picnic lunch was served on the loggia.

The biennial business meeting was called to order at 1:30 p.m.  The President, Executive Secretary, and Treasurer gave their reports, which are reproduced in this issue.  The following officers and directors were nominated and elected for the period 1958 – 1960: President, Dr. Walter H. Hodge; Vice-President, Dr. R. Bruce Ledin; Secretary, Mrs. David Fairchild: Treasurer, Mr. Frank R. May; Directors to fill existing vacancies, Mr. Nat J. De Leon, Mr. Frank R. May, and Mr. Nixon Smiley.  A short talk on proposed standards of quality for container-grown palms by Mr. T. E. Whitmore of the State Plant Board of Florida concluded formal business.

At 3 p.m. the meeting adjourned to enjoy the hospitality of Mrs. Alvin R. Jennings at her nearby estate.  In the absence of Mr. Jennings, we were greeted at the house by several hostesses, and were entranced by the large number of flowering orchids, the exotic flower and fruit arrangements, and the magnificent sweep of lawn bordered with palms seen through the picture windows.  Cool punch, cookies, and frozen lychee fruit refreshed us; then we were ready to follow our guides through the grounds.  The late Colonel Robert H. Montgomery spent twenty years energetically searching for and acquiring palms from every part of the world where they grow and developed one of the greatest private palm collections in the world.  The remainder of the afternoon was spent among splendid specimens of palms including such rarities as Bismarckia (Medemia) nobilis, Veitchia montgomeryana, and perhaps the only two specimens of the double coconut, Lodoicea maldivica, in the United States.

At 7 p.m. one hundred and seventeen of us met again at the Miami Springs Villas for dinner, more palm conversation, and an informal, beautifully illustrated talk “Palms through a Botanist’s Eye” by our president, Dr. Walter Hodge.  It was indeed a thrill to look at the color slides of palms in many of their varied forms, and to increase our understanding of their parts and the function of each in the life of the plant.

On Friday, April 18th, the Society was privileged to join with the Fairchild Tropical Garden in perhaps the first palm conference of general nature.  Brief talks were given on palm insects, diseases, history of palm introduction into Florida, propagation, germination, seed viability, culture and names.  Some of these papers will appear in this and in succeeding issues of Principes.

Lucita Hardie Wait – Executive Secretary