Panayoti Kelaidis: No end of Novelty out of Africa

Date: 7:30pm-9:30pm, Feb 28, 2019

Note Date Change

ex Africa semper aliquid novi  Pliny the Elder (No end of novelty out of Africa)

Four decades ago Kniphofia was the only South African perennial that was grown in much of North America. Today Denver Botanic Gardens has not one but two gardens featuring South African plants, and plants from the veldt and coppies of South Africa are featured in most of the gardens here. Many have been grown in British Columbia successfully as well over the decades: in this talk, Panayoti will recap four decades of his personal research which have included six trips to all parts of South Africa.

Panayoti Kelaidis represents Denver Botanic Gardens in educational, professional and promotional endeavors as an expert in horticulture, science and art. He also acts as a liaison to botanical societies, professional horticulture organizations and green industry members. Kelaidis has worked at the Gardens for 30 years in many capacities. Most recently, he was the Curator of Plant Collections, where he supervised the curatorial staff and directed inventory, maintenance, interpretation and integrity for over 15,000 kinds of living plants. His far-reaching knowledge of horticulture in the mountainous and dry climate of Colorado has aided Plant Select®, a plant introduction program where Panayoti has helped discover and name numerous plants, as well as disseminate nearly 10 million plants. He designed the plantings for the world-renowned Rock Alpine Garden and helped implement Wildflower Treasures, South African Plaza and the Romantic Gardens among many other gardens at Denver Botanic Gardens.

Kelaidis helped plan and stage over 12 regional, national and international gardening conferences in Denver. He is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Rock Garden Society as well as the American Penstemon Society, and serves on many professional horticulture society boards. He is also the recipient of the Award of Excellence from National Garden Clubs and the 2000 Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal from Swarthmore College. He has delivered speeches in over 70 cities throughout the world on a wide range of horticultural topics and has published over 100 gardening works.