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Gardens and Tonic: Pinus krempfii: The Most Unusual Pine in the World

September 10 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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In July of 2018, Scott McMahan was awarded a grant by the American Conifer Society (ACS) to travel to the Central Highlands of Dalat, Vietnam to attempt to collect seed of the only species of flat needled pine in the world, Pinus krempfii. Having made a scouting trip in April of ’18 to lay the groundwork for the trip, McMahan, Dr. Peter Zale (Longwood Gardens) and colleagues from the Vietnam Academy of Science made the return trip in December of 2018 and were able to secure seed from these nearly 2,000 year old trees which reach a height of 180 feet. To do this, the team traveled to Bidoup – Nui Ba National Park which is one of the largest preserves in Vietnam and home to 15 of the 33 known conifer species in the country.  Currently, the Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh are growing the only known specimen of this extremely rare Pine outside of Vietnam.  McMahan’s lecture will focus on photos and stories from the trail and what it took to finally collect seed of these ancient specimens. You may remember that Scott has been a popular Winter Celebration and Woody Plant Conference speaker at the Scott Arboretum!

The Gardens and Tonic Series are virtual webinars with horticulture professionals. Grab your favorite beverage and join Julie Jenney from the Scott Arboretum and a featured horticulture professional for plant-related topics, adventures, and stories – as well as design focused talks on private and public gardens. Time will be set aside to answer your questions.

Registration is free but required. Participants must have Zoom downloaded on their computer and be comfortable using it. The webinar link will be included in the confirmation email received after registering online.


More about Scott McMahan and The International Plant Exploration Program

The Atlanta Botanical Garden established the International Plant Exploration Program in 2016 with the intention of constructing a plant evaluation nursery, seed collecting trips to Southeast Asia, and the launching of a visiting scholar program. The program is managed by Scott McMahan, a Georgia native, former owner of GardenHood, and long-term collaborator of the Garden who has made more than 20 seed collecting trips to Southeast Asia with support from the Garden.

The United States and Asia share one of the world’s best-known biogeographic patterns– the close relationship between the temperate floras of eastern Asia and eastern North America. Sixty-five million years ago, two major land bridges connected Eurasia and North America; the Bering land bridge between Siberia and Alaska, and the North Atlantic land bridge linking northern Canada to Europe. Today, species long separated by thousands of miles and changing environmental conditions survive in ecosystems in similar terrain and climatic conditions, sustaining the modern descendants of these ancient plants.

Plants from Southeast Asia have always been a component of the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s collections. In keeping with the Garden’s strategic plan and collections policy, the Garden is formalizing its long-term support of plant exploration in Southeast Asia. Key relationships with Dr. Donglin Zhang at the University of Georgia and the Chenshan Botanical Garden in China are creating the institutional structure to sustain long-term collaborations between these organizations.

No other institution in the southeastern United States is focusing on the biogeographic connection between Southeast Asia and the southeastern United States at the scale of the Garden’s International Plant Exploration program. Objectives for this phase of the program’s development include the construction of a plant evaluation nursery, plant collecting trips to Southeast Asia, and the launch of a visiting scholar program.


September 10
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Virtual Meeting