Reminder: Botanical Treasures of South India topic of Sept. 16 Floretum meeting

Purple-rumped sunbird on an Indian Mimosa tree.

“Botanical Treasures of South India: A Journey to the Land of Spices” is the topic of the Sept. 16 meeting of the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club.

From the Floretum announcement:

The beauty of South India is unique and its vibrant cultures, steeped in ancient traditions provide fascinating dance, clothing, art, music, festivals and amazing cuisine. Many spices and herbs originate in South India and the food is superb. Colorful birds, wild elephants, giant squirrels, and tigers or leopards are also a big attraction.

Kerala, in southwest India, is a land full of fertile forests, sweeping grasslands, life-saving medicinal plants, spice gardens, and tea plantations. The entire Western Ghats bio-geographic region is a major genetic ocean with an enormous biodiversity including 7,402 species of flowering plants and 1,814 species of non-flowering plants of which 56 genera and 2,100 species are endemic. Cardamom, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, and cloves originate in this region. Tea, ginger, cumin, nutmeg, and many other herbs and spices flourish in the South India’s mountains, the Western Ghats and their allure has changed the course of world history.

Kelley McHenry and Randall Hitchin will share their experiences and insight on this fascinating region. McHenry is a librarian and South Asia specialist who regularly organizes small group tours to India. Hitchin is a botanist with decades of experience in the field and the former curator of the UW Botanic Gardens. In September 2020, the two will lead a small group to explore the botanical riches of Kerala, India. For more information, contact Kelley McHenry at

The meeting will be in the Brackett Room, 3rd floor of City Hall, 121 5th Ave. N., Edmonds. Social hour begins at 10 a.m. followed by club business, and the presentation will begin at 11:15 a.m. All are welcome.

For more information about Floretum and how to join the club, visit

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