LSU Hilltop Arboretum Annual Symposium Jan. 25

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

BATON ROUGE - The Friends of Hilltop Arboretum group will hold its annual symposium, “Magnolias, Azaleas, Southern Native Plants: Bartram’s Trail of Discovery” Saturday, Jan. 25 from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the LSU Design Building auditorium.

Why are gardeners of today fascinated by John and William Bartram’s travels through Louisiana and the Deep South over 200 years ago?

John Bartram and his son, William, were naturalists whose work still gives us a glimpse of Southern wilderness in the late eighteenth-century.

During their famous travels through our region, John Bartram discovered and collected native plants, and created a nursery that supplied seeds and plants for the colonies and a trans-Atlantic market transforming English gardens with American trees and shrubs.

In 1775, William Bartram traveled through Lake Pontchartrain, the Amite River and Bayou Manchac to the Mississippi River, through Baton Rouge near today’s LSU Hilltop Arboretum and across the river to Pointe Coupee.

He described the landscape of the time in his world-renowned book, “Travels,” published in 1791. Because the landscape has changed since the Bartram’s travels, the native plant heritage of the South is one of interest and relevance to all gardeners of today.

Participants will also have the chance to shop items from the Hilltop Garden Book and Nature Shop during the hospitality break and to purchase plants. Speakers will be on hand for book signings, and refreshments will be provided.

Registration is required and available by emailing, visiting or by phone at 225-767-6916.