Camellias are still ONLINE to order!

They can be collected from the Market Place during our Holiday Sale:: Friday, December 4th from 9am to 4pm and Saturday, December 5th from 9am to 1pm.

Shop Online!

If you have problems with the online shop, please email Liz with your order. Email She will send you an invoice via Paypal

Camellia japonicas & Hybrids – generally Mid to Late Season (November – March)

Adolphe Audusson

Camellia japonica ‘Adolphe Audusson Variegated’

April Dawn

Camellia japonica ‘April Dawn’

Camellia japonica 'Black Tie'

Camellia japonica ‘Black Tie’

Brushfield's Yellow

Camellia japonica ‘Brushfield’s Yellow’

Cinnamon Cindy

Camellia japonica hybrid ‘Cinnamon Cindy’


Camellia japonica ‘Debutante’

Donnan's Dream

Camellia japonica ‘Donnan’s Dream’

Finlandia variegated

Camellia japonica ‘Finlandia variegated’

Camellia japonica 'Gunsmoke'

Camellia japonica ‘Gunsmoke’

Helen Bower var

Camellia japonica ‘Helen Bower Variegated’

Camellia japonica 'Irrational Exuberance'

Camellia japonica ‘Irrational Exuberance’

KAtsuyo Nomura

Camellia japonica ‘Katsuyo Nomura’

Kramers Supreme

Camellia japonica ‘Kramer’s Supreme’

La Peppermint

Camellia japonica ‘La Peppermint’

Camellia japonica 'Little Babe Variegated'

Camellia japonica ‘Little Babe Variegated’

Mockingbird's Blush

Camellia japonica ‘Mockingbird’s Blush’

Camellia japonica 'Moonlight Bay'

Camellia japonica ‘Moonlight Bay’

Camellia japonica 'Mrs Jimmy Davis Pink'

Camellia japonica ‘Mrs Jimmy Davis Pink’

Camellia japonica 'Mrs Katherine M Howell'

Camellia japonica ‘Mrs Katherine M Howell’

Camellia japonica 'Paulette Goddard Variegated'

Camellia japonica ‘Paulette Goddard Variegated’

Camellia hybrid 'Pink Icicle'

Camellia hybrid ‘Pink Icicle’

Camellia japonica 'Pink Perfection'

Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfection’

Camellia japonica 'Professor Sargent'

Camellia japonica ‘Professor Sargent’

Camellia japonica 'Purple Dawn'

Camellia japonica ‘Purple Dawn’

Camellia japonica 'Satsuma Kurenai'

Camellia japonica ‘Satsuma Kurenai’

Camellia japonica 'Sawada's Mahogany'

Camellia japonica ‘Sawada’s Mahogany’

Camellia japonica 'Sea Foam'

Camellia japonica ‘Sea Foam’

Camellia japonica 'Southern Secret'

Camellia japonica ‘Southern Secret’

Camellia japonica 'Spellbound'

Camellia japonica ‘Spellbound’

Camellia japonica 'Sweetie Pie'

Camellia japonica ‘Sweetie Pie’

Camellia hybrid 'Taylor's Perfection'

Camellia hybrid ‘Taylor’s Perfection’

Camellia japonica 'Vernon E Howell'

Camellia japonica ‘Vernon E Howell’

Camellia sasanquas & similar Hybrids – generally Early to Mid Season (October – December)

Camellia sasanqua 'Brandy's Temper'  Early season bloomer with upright open growth.  A Tom Dodd Jr Introduction

Camellia sasanqua ‘Brandy’s Temper’

Camellia x williamsii 'Cile Mitchell'

Camellia x williamsii ‘Cile Mitchell’

Camellia x vernalis 'Curly Egao'

Camellia x vernalis ‘Curly Egao’

Camellia sasanqua hybrid 'Dream Quilt'

Camellia sasanqua hybrid ‘Dream Quilt’

Camellia sasanqua hybrid 'Dream Team'

Camellia sasanqua hybrid ‘Dream Team’

Camellia sasanqua x 'Dream Weaver'

Camellia sasanqua x ‘Dream Weaver’

Camellia x vernalis 'Egao Three Seasons'

Camellia x vernalis ‘Egao Three Seasons'[/caption

[caption id="attachment_3388" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Fragrant Fairies Camellia sasanqua hybrid ‘Fragrant Fairies’

Camellia sasanqua 'Isabel Simone'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Isabel Simone’

Camellia sasanqua 'October Magic Dawn' TM

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic Dawn’ TM

Camellia sasanqua 'Pink Snow'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Pink Snow’

Camellia sasanqua 'Snow Flurry'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Snow Flurry’

Camellia sasanqua 'Snow on the Mountain' aka  'Mine-No- Yuki'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Snow on the Mountain’ aka ‘Mine-No- Yuki’

Camellia sasanqua 'Sparkling Burgundy'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Sparkling Burgundy’

Camellia sasanqua 'Strawberry Limeade' hybrid

Camellia sasanqua ‘Strawberry Limeade’ hybrid

Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide Candle'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide Candle’

Friday, December 4th, 9am to 4pm AND Saturday, December 5th, 9am -1pm at the Botanical Center

Prepare for the Holiday Season!

Poinsettias: Fabulous varieties to choose from! NOW AVAILABLE for pre-buying online here

Winter-Blooming Camellias NOW AVAILABLE for pre-ordering online here

Selection of House Plants & Herbs – ideal for gifts

Satsumas, Satsuma Vinegar, Local Honey, Garlic, Kindling, AND MORE

Fresh wreaths, greenery and more from the Mobile County Master Gardeners – Pre-order by November 14th – Order form in PDF is here (opens in new tab)

Many varieties of Poinsettias to choose from!

Many varieties of Poinsettias to choose from!

Saturday, November 21st from 9am to 12 noon.

Our November Spotlight is on Camellias! Always a welcome sight in our cooler months.
We will have a selection of Camellia sasanquas – the earlier bloomers, and Camellia japonicas – that will take us into Spring. Some are available for pre-order online (members get a 10% discount with code for online orders only) SHOP ONLINE HERE

We will also have other great plants to plant now and enjoy next year in your yard. Including Spring Blooming Bulbs – that you can also pre-order online.

Camellia sasanqua 'Brandy's Temper'  Early season bloomer with upright open growth.  A Tom Dodd Jr Introduction

Camellia sasanqua ‘Brandy’s Temper’ Early season bloomer with upright open growth. A Tom Dodd Jr Introduction

It was with great sadness and shock that we learned of the sudden passing of Carolyn Saunders on the morning of Tuesday, October 27th.

Carolyn was a long-time member and volunteer at the Gardens. She played a key role in many of the Gardens’ improvements and projects over the past few years, alongside her husband Andrew, our Board President. All of her who have known and worked with her over the years will sorely miss her sweet nature, hard work and advice – in the words of a friend, she was a kind and beautiful soul. She has left us far too soon.

Our hearts and prayers go out to Andrew and their family in their time of loss and grief.

To honor Carolyn’s life, her family has planned an outdoor service at the Mobile Botanical Gardens on Saturday, October 31st, at 10.00 am. -reception and visitation will follow in the Botanical Center. They welcome all of you who would like to attend, and invite you to share stories and memories of Carolyn during the service. You may wish to share your thoughts and memories in writing, and may send correspondence to

Carolyn’s family also invites you to bring a single flower to add to a growing bouquet of love and remembrance.

Seating will be limited, so, in Carolyn’s own words, ‘wear comfortable shoes’.

There will be directed parking and shuttles available from the parking area. Overflow parking, if needed, will be at the Mobile Museum of Art.

Carolyn’s obituary can be found here. This will open in a new tab.

Out of respect to the family, the Gardens will be closed to public visitors for the day.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Mobile Botanical Gardens in Carolyn’s name.
Donations can be made via the button below – we will notify the family of all contributions and will pass on any words that you wish to share

You may also mail checks to Mobile Botanical Gardens, 5151 Museum Drive, Mobile, AL 36608
or drop by the Office from Wednesdays to Sundays, from 9am to 4pm.

Hold the Dates!
Friday & Saturday, October 23rd & 24th! from 9am to 4pm featuring:

Aromi Native Azalea Hybrids! Maarten van der Geissen will be sending EXCLUSIVE OFFERINGS of plants for sale! We won’t know what we are getting until nearer the date – but it will include many of those featured – here – see the slide show!

For background information of the collection see the video of Maarten’s talk on the Aromi Collection here.

A large selection of ReBloom Mobile Plants! You can have color and interest in your yard 12 months of the year in this area! Come and shop for trees, shrubs, perennials, herbs and annuals for fall and winter – AND plant now for color next year!

Shop AND eat – we have arranged visits from food trucks both days! The Hungry Owl will be at the MBG on Friday 23rd! And Smokin’ Gingos on Saturday 24th!

The Plein Air Painters of the South will have some completed works of their visits to the Gardens for sale! And they will be creating new art both days!

Here are links to a list of what we have ordered so far! We will be updating this as more are ordered.

Fall Plant Sale List Excel xps sortable (will open in Excel)

FALL Plant sale 2015(1) PDF File

Starting on September 19th 2015, the Gardens will be open from 9am to 4pm from Wednesdays through Sundays. The gates will be locked at 4pm.

We will be closed to visitors on MONDAYS and TUESDAYS. Call the office on 251 342 055 for appointments outside of the opening hours.

Tuesday, September 15 is the date of our Annual Membership Meeting.

Please come! It promises to be a delight for the senses. The theme for our meeting will be IMAGES of MBG. There’s so much beauty to celebrate at our Gardens, and the Petal Pushers will be serving their homemade treats.

My first message to begin our Garden’s year in October, 2014 was done “By the Numbers”. Members seemed to like the format; many said it was a good start. So, I’ll try it again for this September 2015 message to close our year. Here we go:

The number of proposed new Directors for the Board who will be introduced and voted on by you.

The number of long-serving Directors now leaving the Board who have served two 3-year terms and will be recognized for their contributions.

The number of recently established staff-leadership positions that are now ably filled.
Come meet: Clint Burdette, Assistant Director & Horticultural Manager
Brad Chambers, Manager of Facilities & Construction

The number of dollars allocated to Mobile Botanical Gardens for infrastructure improvements through the efforts of our champion, City Council President Gina Gregory. These funds are part of the 3-year, city-wide infrastructure investment program initiated by Mayor Stimpson. Come hear our plans for making this investment count at MBG.

The number of monthly Focused Plant Sales which will take place between now and the end of 2015. Come hear how these sales (including the October Fall Plant Sale) are designed to better fulfill our mission at MBG(and how the new program increases revenue).

The percentage in increased Facilities Rental revenues we are realizing since remodeling our Botanical Center this year(and since adopting new management regimes).

The total amount of matching funds raised for the completion of our Butterfly / Pollinator Garden. Ultimately the challenge benefactor contributed $8,000 this year and our members and friends contributed a like amount. The construction will be completed this Fall.

Almost 19,000
The number of dollars allocated this year by the Gulf Coast Herb Society to complete renovations and enhancements to one of the most beautiful and visible gardens in our collection. Work included new lattice and fencing, drainage improvements, irrigation, lighting, paths, and signage.

The number of dollars raised this year mainly through the efforts of local nurseryman, MBG leader, and Azalea guru, Maarten van der Giessen for the expansion of our Rhododendron Garden. The expansion will house the unique Aromi Collection of cultivars. Some work is accomplished, but much remains to be done. (And additional funds will be needed).

The occasions of property damage and general set-backs that an institution such as ours experiences during the year from fire, flood, windstorm, lightening, the indifference of some, and the petty vandalism of others. Not whining nor complaining, just saying for the sake of balanced reporting.

The numbers of volunteers who come back year after year to support the Gardens by contributing their time and treasure. Without your contributions, the Mobile Botanical Gardens could not exist. Come to the Annual Meeting to celebrate what you accomplish for the community.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Gardens soon,
Andrew Saunders

Notes by Bill Finch

You’ve got to feed the young’uns if you want the adults (and they often need very different plants)

The young eat the leaves, the adults sip from flowers. Often, these are different plants. But adults spend much of their time looking for a place to lay their eggs, so providing a place for caterpillars to forage is sure to attract adults butterflies in good numbers.

What good does it do to have a “butterfly flowers” if no butterflies are around to partake?

Time your flowers to take advantage of the butterfly outbreak: Flowers in spring are nice, but the big butterfly season begins in late summer and in autumn.

Many butterfly plants you read about in books don’t live very well in our climate — buddleia, for example — but even if they do, they often aren’t blooming during the peak butterfly season.

Spring butterflies (before April 15) tend to be a little specialized (Falcate orangetips) and may focus on one type of plant that isn’t necessarily all that showy, like mustards. So your vegetable garden may attract more butterflies than a conventional butterfly garden.

American Summer butterflies (April 15 through June 15) become more widespread and diverse, and the common “butterfly plants” are often in full bloom, but I see fewer butterflies in gardens, maybe because the butterflies that are around are dispersing and have plenty to chew on elsewhere

Gulf Summer butterflies (June 14 through August 15) – this is when the big butterflies becomes really noticeable, particularly swallowtails. This is a great time to have butterfly attractants in the garden, but sadly, few of us do (the butterfly plants from Boston have long since quit blooming!)

Hurricane Summer and Fall butterflies (Aug 15 through Nov. 1) – this is the really big season for butterflies, and the time when you want to have plenty of flowers and foliage for them to feed on.

Fiery Skipper caterpillars are hosted by various grasses, such as Bermuda Grass, Crab grass and St Augustine grass

Fiery Skipper caterpillars are hosted by various grasses, such as Bermuda Grass, Crab grass and St Augustine grass

Some of the best butterfly plants are NOT “flowers.”

They’re often trees and shrubs and vines, some of which don’t produce conspicuous flowers at all.
Oaks, hickories, hackberries, red bay trees, sassafras, spicebush, black cberries, sweetbay magnolia, tulip poplar, white cedars, red cedars, paw paws, passionflowers,: These are among the very best butterfly host plants, but all of them are shrubs, trees or big-climbing vines that butterflies choose to lay their eggs and caterpillars will eat.

Butterflies have a dirty secret: They love mud almost as much as they love cow patties and rotten fruit.

Many people worry about providing water to butterflies. But truthfully, butterflies seem to like to drink from mudholes. Wouldn’t hurt to have a little wallow in your yard. Butterflies are attracted to rotting vegetables and fruits almost as much as flies are.

Plants with clusters of small flowers are often the most attractive to mature butterflies

With only a few exceptions, butterflies have short tongues, and that means they don’t like “deep” flowers (the kind of flowers that moths love). Butterfly flowers: Tend to be small and in clusters. Doesn’t mean they aren’t showy: they often are. Composites like wild sunflowers, black-eyed susans, eupatoriums, and others make good butterfly flowers, because each “flower” is actually dozens or hundreds of flowers packed together

Other good nectar plants for adult butterflies include:
Composite flowers including tickseeds, sunflowers, aster, eupatorium, mistflower, goldenrods, and many others.
Many legumes

Feeding Butterflies post

Gulf Fritillary feasting on Lantana. Photo by Patricia Pierce

Some Host Plants for Butterfly Larva

Plants in the citrus/rue family (Rutaceae): Giant Swallowtail and Schaus Swallowtail

Carrot family (including parsley, dill, Queen Anne’ Lace etc) Eastern Black Swallowtail

Laurel family (including Spicebush – Lindera benzoin, Tulip Tree – Liriodendron tulipifera, Sweet Bay – Magnolia viriniana, etc): Spicebush and Palamedea Swallowtails

Pawpaws (Asimina species): Zebra Swallowtail

Pipevines ( Aristolochia species): Pipevine Swallowtail

Passionflowers (Passiflora species): Gulf Fritillary and Zebra Longwing

Blueberries: Hairstreak butterflies

Pea family : Many Sulfur butterflies (Cloudless sulfurs need partridge pea, Southern Dogfacemay prefer swamp lead plant –Amorpha)

Mistletoe: Giant Purple Hairstreak

Sorrels and docks: Copper butterflies

False nettle, American ramie (Boehmeria) :Red Admirals, Commas, Question Marks

Willows: Viceroy

Asclepias (milkweed species):Monarch Butterfly

Hackberries (Celtis species): Emperor Butterfly

Thistles: Painted Lady

Figwort (false foxglove) and acanthaceae (ruellia, justicia, thunbergia, acanthus): Buckeye and Checkerspot butterflies

Asters (New England aster): Pearl Crescent

Crotons: Goatwing butterflies

Bamboo cane: Southern Pearly Eye and Creole Pearly Eye

White cedars (Junipers): Hessel’s Hairstreak

Red cedars: Juniper Hairstreak

Spring mustards: Falcate Orangetip

Resource Pages for more details

The Butterfly Site LIst of Butterflies in Alabama

University of Florida Search on Butterfly

Butterfly food post

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly. Photo by Patricia Pierce

Butterfly food post

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Photo by Patricia Pierce

Butterfly food post

Fiery Skipper on Buddleia. Photo by Patricia Pierce

Butterfly food Post

Red Admiral Butterfly. Photo by Patricia Pierce

Butterfly food post

Long Tailed Skipper. Photo by Patricia Pierce

It is with great sadness that we say our last goodbye to Elizabeth Tolbert. who died on August 18th, 2015 at the age of 94.

Ms Elizabeth volunteered at the Greenhouse for 19 plus years after her retirement – being the 4th volunteer to join the weekly Tuesday mornings. Her specialty was cuttings – she very precisely cut and placed cuttings in the right pots with the right pruners and the right stick for making holes! If her tools were missing, then she had the younger, more agile volunteers hunting them down! – and filling pots and watering. And we did it gladly!

She hated leaving space in a pot of cuttings – many a time we had to ask that she at least leave a few leaves on a “momma” plant so we could still see what it was! If you have ever bought a MBG propagated plant over the past years, then it was sure to have Elizabeth’s hand in its production!

In her own words from a newspaper article in 2003, “We do cuttings and then look at them later to see if they lived” – no doubt said with her playful smile and a twinkle in her eyes! Thousands lived – a fitting legacy of flowers!

For the past year or so when she has been unable to come to help we have missed her wonderful wry sense of humor! We will always remember her funny stories, her reflections on life, her festive Christmas sweaters, and her work and dedication to the MBG greenhouse.

Elizabeth always sat in the same place near the main door to the greenhouse – if she was away for some reason, others were allowed to sit there, with the words “You can be Elizabeth today”. Over the past year since she was unable to come to help, that chair has usually been empty. It will always be Elizabeth’s place, but if you come to help and hear those words, please be aware that although you may work in that spot, you will never be able to replace her!

Elizabeth’s family have asked that memorials be given to the Mobile Botanical Gardens in lieu of flowers. We are honored to have the privilege of honoring her life and longtime help at the Greenhouse.

– from Liz Duthie on behalf of the Greenhouse Crew.

Elizabeth Tolbert – Obituary

Elizabeth Tolbert post

Elizabeth taking cuttings of a Cuphea in 2003