Orlando-Area Resort Salutes State's 'Hometown' Plant With Florida Caladium Showcase

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Event at Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee features 23,000 colorful caladiums -- and a return of the Hidden Gnome Hunt, featuring The Roaming Gnome (tm)

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More than 99 percent of all of caladiums sold worldwide are grown right here in Florida

As a salute to Florida's caladium crop, Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center will feature a showcase of 23,000 caladium plants in nearly two-dozen varieties, beginning July 6 and running through Sept. 15.

The summer-long event will also feature a return of the resort's popular Hidden Gnome Hunt, featuring The Roaming Gnome (tm).

Dubbed the Florida Caladium Showcase , the event features the world's largest indoor display of this popular Florida-grown plant. Caladiums can be seen in and around the 65-acre property, including the 4.5-acre glass-covered atrium, in varieties such as Moonlight, Blizzard, Miss Muffetts, White Christmas and Brandywire.

"More than 99 percent of all of caladiums sold worldwide are grown right here in Florida," said Tim McColgan, horticulture manager. "As a Florida-themed resort, we thought it was fitting to celebrate each year's caladium crop."

The brightly colored leafy caladium plants are known for their colorful foliage and continue to be popular landscape and container plants. Because of their popularity and versatility, caladiums are used throughout Florida to add seasonal color to plant beds. The caladium, with its many colorful varieties, has also enjoyed a recent surge in popularity nationally.

Special activities include:

  • Self-guided Tours (July 6 - Sept. 15): Take a trip through the Gaylord Palms atrium to enjoy this year's hot caladium varieties.
  • Summer Hidden Gnome Hunt, featuring The Roaming Gnome (July 6 - Sept. 15), an encore to the resort's Hidden Holiday Gnome Hunt. Guests can search through the atrium for ten cleverly hidden gnomes. One player will win a weekend getaway to Gaylord Palms Best of Florida Christmas celebration in November and December. (Presented by Travelocity).

In addition, two Caladium Showcase Saturdays (July 14 and 28) will feature:

  • "Ask the Gardener" Session & Caladium Tour (2 p.m.; St. George 108): Attend an afternoon caladium information session, followed by an "ask the expert" opportunity with a Gaylord gardener. Seminar is free
  • "Relaxation in your Garden" Session (3 p.m.; St. George 108): The experts at Canyon Ranch SpaClub share secrets about spa treatments that use ingredients from your garden. Seminar is free
  • Caladium Showcase Lunch (Noon - 2:30 p.m.; Villa de Flora): Enjoy lunch at Villa de Flora before your garden seminars. Every diner will receive a caladium to take home.

The resort's caladium plants were grown locally by Bates Sons and Daughters Caladiums in Lake Placid, Florida. Lake Placid is known as the "caladium capital" of the world, where a Caladium festival is held every August to celebrate the year's crop.

The annual Florida Caladium Showcase began at Gaylord Palms Resort in 2003. The event was scaled back in 2005 after the previous summer's severe weather had threatened the Florida caladium crop. The return of this year's full-scale showcase signals a successful year for the crop.

Group Caladium Tours, perfect for day-trips for Florida-based garden clubs and Red Hat Society chapters, combine a meal at Villa de Flora or Sunset Sam's Fish Camp with a tour led by a Gaylord Palms horticulturalist. They can be arranged for groups of 20 or more by calling Melissa Gioia at 407-586-1604.

Visitors to Orlando can also experience what's new at Orlando's world-famous theme parks, including "Believe" the new killer whale show at SeaWorld Orlando, the newly refurbished "Pirates of the Caribbean" attraction at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, "Finding Nemo - The Musical" at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and "Blue Man Group" at Universal Orlando.

For more information about the Florida Caladium Showcase, guests can visit Gaylord Palms Website at http://www.gaylordpalms.com.

About Gaylord Palms
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center has gained the attention of the meeting and convention industry by providing world-class convention and leisure-focused amenities -
all in one place. The award-winning Gaylord Palms is a Gaylord Hotels-branded property owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a leading hospitality and entertainment company based in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit http://www.gaylordpalms.com or http://www.gaylordentertainment.com.

Guest Information Contact: Gaylord Palms Resort, (407) 586-0000
Media Contact: Keith Salwoski, (407) 586-0315

More about Caladiums:

  • Gaylord's display includes varieties such as Moonlight, Blizzard, White Christmas, Miss Muffetts, Gingerland, Rosebud, Red Ruffles, and Brandywire.
  • Florida Caladium Showcase plants were grown locally by Bates Sons and Daughters Caladiums in Lake Placid, Florida.
  • Lake Placid is known as the "caladium capital" of the world, where 99 percent of all caladiums are grown.
  • A Caladium festival is held every August in Lake Placid.
  • Caladiums were first grown in the Lake Placid area in the early 1940s. The industry began to expand in the 1950s and today consists of over 1,200 acres. This acreage is owned and managed by 14 families, some of which have been producing caladiums for over 40 years. Several of the families have the third generation in the business.
  • Caladiums are increasingly popular as landscape plants as their use is becoming more widely known.
  • Caladiums are a shade-loving plant from the rain forests of the Amazon basin. The plant has no pests and does not require any insecticide treatment or fertilization. The leaves are its feature and they are odor free. Potted plants as well as cut leaves make beautiful arrangements and are long lasting with proper care.
  • Caladiums are grown in large fields in Lake Placid, which, during the summer months, have been compared to the beautiful tulip fields in Holland.

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