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Magnolia Day at the University of Florida NFREC in Quincy!!!

Join us Saturday morning, February 18, to learn about, see and celebrate magnolias! Members of the Magnolia Family are prized worldwide for their flowers and have become some of the most widely planted trees. Since 2000, Environmental Horticulture Professor Gary Knox has planted more than 120 species and cultivars of Magnolia at the University of Florida/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy (NFREC). The purpose of the Magnolia Garden is to evaluate new magnolias and compare them to “standards” in the industry. Many of these magnolias are expected to be in full bloom.
Sponsored by Gardening Friends of the Big Bend (GFBB) and Magnolia Society International, the February 18 program includes special guest speakers Andrew Bunting and John Tobe along with NFREC’s Gary Knox. GFBB and NFREC are very honored to host Andrew Bunting. Andrew is Curator of Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia and President of Magnolia Society International. As part of the American Public Gardens Association, he is also leading a continent-wide effort to coordinate and organize 16 gardens into the national collection of Magnolia species. Andrew will speak on magnolias for the home garden, based on his extensive knowledge of these magnificent ornamentals from working at Scott Arboretum as well as from viewing magnolias during his travels.
As a professional botanist, speaker John Tobe is often in the “woods” and knows our native plants intimately. John will speak about the various magnolias native to our area, and how to incorporate them into our gardens and landscapes. Incidentally, John and his family are the creators of Tobe Botanical Garden in Quitman, Georgia. This beautiful garden features magnolias, many of which were shared with Gary Knox to help create NFREC’s Magnolia Garden. Finally, Gary Knox will report on the best performing magnolias in the Magnolia Garden at NFREC, based on 10 years of data and observations.
Following the presentations and a break, participants will board trolleys to ride to the Magnolia Garden. NFREC’s Gary Knox and GFBB Volunteer Jill Williams will provide a tour highlighting the best performing magnolias.
Upon returning from the Magnolia Garden Tour, GFBB will host a plant sale featuring several magnolias, as well as other seasonal plants. Proceeds are used by GFBB to support ornamental horticulture research and extension at NFREC.
Join us February 18 to learn more about magnolias! Pre-registration is $5 for GFBB members and $10 for non-members; registration at the door is $10 for GFBB members and $15 for non-members. To register and for additional information, please go to