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May 3, 2018 3:04 PM CST
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Come to the Annual Gesneriad Society Convention and find out why African violets are only part of one of the most varied and vibrant families of flowering plants – Gesnericeae. There are approximately 3,400 species of gesneriads, and thousands of hybrids and intergenerics. Some of the better-known examples are African violets, Streptocarpus, Episcia, and Kohleria. All gesneriads flower, but the variety of size, color, and shape of the blossoms is extensive, and plants' foliage color can range from deep green to variegated in shades of pink, cream, and light green.

Hosted by the New England Chapter of the Gesneriad Society (, the event will also feature seminars by some of the world's top growers, hybridizers and researchers; a judged Flower Show, and sales of a wide array of plants, from the well-known African violet to much rarer species.

The Flower Show and Plant Sale are open free to the public on Friday and Saturday, however registration is required for admittance to Convention talks, meals, planned field trips, and early entry to plant sales.

"The Convention is always a wonderful experience," says the Gesneriad Society President Julie Mavety-Hudson. "The flower show gives us the opportunity to see amazing plants from all over the world, and the plant sale makes it possible to acquire some of them to grow ourselves. There are always wonderful talks and seminars, with something for everyone, including those who love adventures in the tropics, growing plants in their own homes, or those who are interested in the scientific aspects of horticulture."

Seminars will be held July 4-7, 2018. The Plant Sales Room is open in advance to Convention registrants on Thursday, July 5, from 9:00PM-11:00PM. Further information and convention registration forms see:

On Friday July 6th, Plant Sales will be open free to the public from 9:00AM to 6:00PM, with the Flower Show open from 2:30 - 6:30PM and 9:15PM-11PM. On Saturday, July 7th, both will be open from 8:30 AM to 3:00PM.

The judged Flower Show has categories for first-time/novice growers. See the website for show rules, categories and additional information. Plants for judging must be brought in Thursday between 2:30PM-6:00PM with pick up on Saturday from 3:00PM to 4:00PM.

Informally, The Gesneriad Society members will be on hand and ready to answer any questions concerning growing, showing, judging, or hybridizing gesneriads.

"The best things about Convention," says Mavity-Hudson, "are the friendly, happy people who gather from around the world, some of the most welcoming and helpful folks around."

Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center
1657 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA. 01701

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