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WHERE THE GREEN THUMBS ARE

Gardeners love to gab about their hobby.

That's why we offer our annual directory of plant societies in the Tampa Bay area _ to help you make contact with people who share your passion, whether it's organic vegetable growing or bonsai trees.

Most of these groups welcome visitors to their meetings; you do not have to pay membership dues until you decide to join.

The societies listed here are those that responded to our request for submissions. There may be more, but we've included every one we could find. We didn't have space to list the dozens of local garden clubs in the Tampa Bay area, but you'll find information about their activities in our weekly garden calendar.

We have listed the societies by category, so you can easily find a group that focuses on your subject of interest _ or try a new one.

AFRICAN VIOLETS/GESNERIADS

Fantasy African Violet Club _ 2 p.m. second Saturday, Spring Hill Regional Hospital Enrichment Center, 1244 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Annual dues $18, plus $10 to join. Call (352) 799-0973.

Gulf Coast Gesneriad Society _ 7 p.m. third Thursday, 11510 124th Ter., Largo. Annual dues $12. Call 585-9061.

Tampa Bay Gesneriad Society _ 11 a.m. third Saturday except February and March, office of Dr. Robert Martinez, 402 W Martin Luther King Blvd., Tampa. Annual dues $10. Call 963-7424.

Upper Pinellas African Violet Society _ 7 p.m. first Monday, Clearwater Library east branch, 2251 Drew St., Clearwater. Annual dues $15 first year; $10 subsequent years. Call 539-7539.

BONSAI

Hukyu Bonsai Society of Tampa _ 7 p.m. second Tuesday, Tampa Electric assembly room, 22nd Street and Sligh Avenue, Tampa (June through August meetings are at various locations; call for details). Annual dues $14. Call 932-3714.

Laubsch Bonsai Club _ 7:30 p.m. third Tuesday, Rigsby Center, 605 E Second St., Safety Harbor. Annual dues $15 single; $25 couple. Call 725-1371.

Suncoast Bonsai Club _ 7 p.m. fourth Monday, Pinellas Park Library community room, 7770 52nd St. N, Pinellas Park. Annual dues $20. Call 896-9399.

BROMELIADS

Bromeliad Guild of Tampa Bay _ 7:30 p.m. third Monday, Tampa Garden Center, 2629 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa. Annual dues $25 single; $30 family. Call 885-6744 or 961-1475.

Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society _ 7:30 p.m. first Thursday, Hope Presbyterian Church, 1698 S Belcher Road, Clearwater. Annual dues $10 single; $15 family. Call 531-9312.

BUTTERFLY GARDENING

Monarch Butterfly Garden Zoo _ 2 p.m. first Sunday, home of Dr. Robin Palmer, 432 11th Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Charter membership $5. Call 894-7701.

CACTI/CARNIVOROUS PLANTS

Central Florida Cactus and Succulent Society _ 7:30 p.m. first Wednesday, Westside Conference Center, Room E, University of South Florida, off Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa. Annual dues $20. Call 634-4727 or 821-8841.

Tampa Bay Carnivorous Plant Club _ 7:30 p.m. second Wednesday, Westside Conference Center, USF campus off Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa. Annual dues $12. Call 535-0187. Web site: http://www.tbcpc.org.

FLOWERING PLANTS/PERENNIALS

American Begonia Society, West Coast branch _ 7:15 p.m. third Tuesday, Church of Christ fellowship hall, 6045 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park. Annual dues $10. Call 527-2821.

Bay Area Daylily Society _ 2 p.m. third Sunday, International Academy of Merchandising and Design, room 201, 5225 Memorial Highway, Tampa. Annual dues $5. Call 536-9948 or 443-7848.

Tampa Bay Area Camellia Society _ 7:30 p.m. second Thursday except June through August, Farm Bureau Insurance, 100 S Mulrennan Road, Valrico. Annual dues $10 single; $15 family. Call 920-2987.

FRUITS/NUTS

Rare Fruit Council International, Manatee County chapter _ 7 p.m. second Monday, Manatee County Extension Service, 1303 17th St. W, Palmetto. Annual dues $15. Call 392-8822 in Pinellas.

Rare Fruit Council International, Tampa Bay chapter _ 2 p.m. second Sunday, various locations on USF campus, Tampa. Annual dues $18. Call 654-1969 or 754-1399.

Spring Hill Rare Fruit Council _ 7 p.m. second Thursday, Hernando County Cooperative Extension Service, 19490 Oliver St., Brooksville. Annual dues $6. Call (352) 686-7848.

GREENERY/HERBS

Florida Herb Society _ 1 p.m. third Wednesday, Pinellas County Cooperative Extension Service Office, 12175 125th St., Largo. Annual dues $10 single or couple. Call 443-2328.

Tampa Bay Fern Club _ 7 p.m. fourth Thursday, Seminole Garden Center, 5800 Central Ave., Tampa. Annual dues $10 single; $11 family. Call 839-2486.

HIBISCUS

Hibiscus Web site (all chapters): http://www.trop-hibiscus.com

American Hibiscus Society, Golby Reasoner chapter _ 2 p.m. second Sunday, Trinity United Methodist Church, 3200 Manatee Ave. W, Bradenton. Annual dues $22.50 single; $25 couple. Call (941) 351-1596.

American Hibiscus Society, Suncoast Chapter _ 10 a.m. second Saturday, New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St., New Port Richey. Annual dues $20. Call (813) 862-7499.

American Hibiscus Society, Sunset Chaper _ 10 a.m. fourth Saturday (selected months, call for schedule), Largo Library, 351 East Bay Drive, Largo. Annual dues $20 single; $25 family. Call 895-8165.

IKEBANA (Japanese flower arranging)

Ikebana International, chapter 65 _ 10:30 a.m. third Monday, Largo Club Center, 151 Third St. NW, Largo. Annual dues $50. Call 584-7386 or 360-6907.

Ikebana International, chapter 115 _ second Monday morning except June through August, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 S Palm Ave., Sarasota. Annual dues $60. Call (941) 349-9584.

NATIVE PLANTS

Florida Native Plant Society, Nature Coast Chapter _ 7 p.m. second Tuesday, Concourse Nature Center, Alric Pottberg Road (off State Road 52), Pasco County. Annual dues $25 single; $30 family. Call 842-8330.

Florida Native Plant Society, Pinellas Chapter _ 7:30 p.m. first Wednesday, Pinellas County Cooperative Extension Service Office, 12175 125th St., Largo. Annual dues $30. Call 544-7341.

Florida Native Plant Society, Suncoast Chapter _ 7:30 p.m., third Wednesday, University Village Retirement Center auditorium, 12401 N 22nd St., Tampa. Annual dues $25 single; $30 family. Call 985-3372.

ORCHIDS

Florida West Coast Orchid Society _ 7:30 p.m. second Thursday, Allendale United Methodist Church, 3803 Haines Road N (corner Haines Road and 38th Avenue N), St. Petersburg. Annual dues $15 first member, $10 each additional family member. Call 596-2798.

Manatee River Orchid Society _ 7 p.m. third Monday, Trinity United Methodist Church, room 40, 3200 Manatee Ave. W, Bradenton. Annual dues $15 single; $20 couple. Call (941) 756-8547.

Orchid Lover's Club of Spring Hill _ 2:30 p.m. third Saturday, Spring Hill Regional Hospital Enrichment Center, 1244 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Annual dues $15 single, $25 family. Call (352) 688-4599.

Tampa Bay Orchid Society _ 7 p.m. third Thursday, Seminole Garden Center, 5800 Central Ave., Tampa. Annual dues $10 single; $15 couple. Call 832-4414.

Tampa Orchid Club _ 10 a.m. fourth Tuesday except December, Seminole Garden Center, 5800 Central Ave., Tampa. Annual dues $10 single; $15 couple. Call 832-4414.

ORGANIC GARDENING

Organic Matters _ 2 p.m. third Sunday September through May, Moccasin Lake Nature Park, 2750 Park Trail Lane, Clearwater. Annual dues $15 household. Call 544-0084.

PLANT EXCHANGE

Rare Plant Network _ 7:30 p.m. fourth Tuesday, Church of Christ annex, 6045 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park. No annual dues. Call 527-2821.

ROSES

Pinellas Rose Society _ 7 p.m. fourth Wednesday except June through August and December (November meeting date varies; call for details), Clearwater Library east branch, 2251 Drew St., Clearwater. Annual dues $10 for American Rose Society members; $12.50 non-members. Call 546-4986 or 345-0907.

Tampa Rose Society _ 7:30 p.m. third Tuesday, Seminole Garden Center, 5800 N Central Ave., Tampa. Annual dues $15. Call 839-5937.

West Pasco Rose Society _ 7 p.m. fourth Monday, Regency Park Civic Association Center, 10240 Regency Park Blvd., Port Richey. Annual dues $10 single; $15 family. Call (813) 863-4705.

TREES

Central Florida Palm and Cycad Society _ Meets at various locations around Central Florida. Annual dues $10. Call (941) 984-2739.

_ Compiled by PEGGY ANDERS and JEANNE MALMGREN, Times staff writers

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