April 23, 2013

Sara Lynn McCall, Graduate Assistant

Science Seminar Series: The Breeding and Business of the Encore Azalea

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University’s Department of Biology will host the last Science Seminar of the spring semester with The Breeding and Business of the Encore Azalea by Robert “Buddy” Lee at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, in the Student Union Theater.

Lee is a nationally known plant breeder and currently serves as director of plant innovations for PDSI, the new plant innovation company that manages the Encore Azalea and the Southern Living Plant Collection.

“When Mark Crawford of Loch Laurel Nursery told me that Buddy Lee would be traveling through Valdosta, we both agreed we had to ask him to speak on campus,” said Dr. Emily Cantonwine. “Valdosta is the Azalea City of Georgia after all. Fortunately for the VSU and Valdosta communities, Mr. Lee agreed. I think students and plant enthusiasts will find Mr. Lee’s story of how he bred azaleas to bloom more frequently very fascinating and those with an entrepreneurial spirit will have a chance to learn about the patenting process too. There are not many entrepreneurial plant breeders that have been as successful as Mr. Lee.”

Lee is one of the most respected plant breeders and horticulturalists in North America with over 30 years experience in nursery management, breeding, propagation and new plant development. He is active in numerous organizations, including the Azalea Society of America, the International Plant Propagators Society and the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association.

The event is open to all VSU students, faculty and staff and the Valdosta community.

For more information, contact Cantonwine at 333-5337 or egcantonwine@valdosta.edu.