Gardeners gather to learn of Greek geophytes

Eleftherios Dariotis, aka Liberto Dario, talks about Greek gardening and more on July 15 in Sonora.

The Sierra Rock Garden Society and the Master Gardeners of Tuolumne County have teamed up to co-host a special presentation by Eleftherios Dariotis at 7 p.m. Monday, July 15, at the Tuolumne County Senior Center, 540 Greenley Road, Sonora. Dariotis presents “Greek Geophytes.”

Geophytes are those vascular plants that survive unfavorable periods of growth by dying back to reserve energy in underground storage organs such as rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs.

Dariotis (known on social media as Liberto Dario) is a horticulturist and botanist from Athens, Greece. He has studied plant production in Greece, and completed a master’s in science degree in plant biology from the University of California, Davis, and another in horticulture from the University of Reading in England. He has created two private gardens in Paiania, Greece, that contain a large variety of Lamiaceae (mint family) and other plants. He has traveled extensively around the world, especially in Greece´s diverse habitats to see and photograph the native plants, and he has worked in the agricultural and environmental public sectors in Greece. He currently leads plant tours in Greece and maintains a small bulb and seed nursery business.

Dariotis’ plant interests include everything in the family Lamiaceae, with a special attraction to salvias, along with a love for South African bulbs and Mediterranean shrubs and perennials that he is continuously introducing and promoting in Athens’ tough gardening conditions.

The public is welcome to attend this free presentation. Seating begins at 6 p.m., with refreshments served.

For additional details, contact the University of California Cooperative Extension office at 533-5695 or visit cecentralsierra.ucanr.edu.

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