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About the Gesneriad Society
What has become The Gesneriad Society began with a story read by Elvin McDonald in the November, 1949, issue of Flower Grower magazine about the florist gloxinias being bred by Albert Buell in Eastford, Connecticut. 

Two years later, after he’d had some disappointing results in trying to grow gloxinias in his little lean-to greenhouse on his parents’ farm in the Panhandle of Oklahoma, he wrote a letter to the editor of Flower Grower, asking that anyone interested in forming a society, based along the lines of the American Begonia Society, should write to him. 

One of the letters was from a beautician and passionate gardener, Peggie Schulz, who lived in Minneapolis. She offered to help in any way she could, and since Peggie was a frequently published writer on the subject of gardening, Elvin invited her to be his co-editor of the new magazine, christened THE GLOXINIAN, a name inspired by The Begonian. Peggie remained as co-editor through 1961.

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The Gesneriad Society – The Chapters

Shortly after Elvin McDonald and Peggy Schulz starting publishing THE GLOXINIAN, people around the United States started organizing interest groups that met to discuss their growing successes and failures with gesneriads. Some of the first of these to take root were the Golden West Branch in San Leandro, CA in 1952 and a chapter in the Chicago area in early 1953. By the spring of that year, the Gloxinia Society of Greater Kansas City was born. 

The next decade brought a period of unprecedented growth to the society. Interests groups formed and many of them blossomed into official chapters of the American Gloxinia and Gesneriad Society. By 1968, there were about a dozen fully-fledged chapters.

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The Gesneriad Society – The First Ten Years

In 1954 the American Gloxinia Society was incorporated in the State of Missouri and bylaws were finally established. The first financial statement showed about $600 in the bank. During the 1957 International Flower Show in New York City, an information booth for the American Gloxinia Society was staffed by Paul Arnold, President Wil Mitchell, Mr, and Mrs. Bruce Thompson and Irwin Rosenblum, while Al Buell sold gloxinias upstairs. The show was visited by 150,000 people. 

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2011 Awards of Appreciation Recipients

This year’s Award of Appreciation was presented to
Jo Anne Martinez.

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About Us
Learn more about The Gesneriad Society by visiting these links:
Donate to The Gesneriad Society

The Gesneriad Society must rely on its friends and supporters to ensure the Society’s strong financial footing and to help with gesneriad research.

Your donations are tax deductible, since the Society is a tax-exempt organization with an IRS section 501(c)(3) tax status for donations.

Make your tax deductable donation now!

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