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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 works of art on a riverfront campus offers more than 95,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.

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What’s Blooming? Petunias!



Written by Matthew Patterson, Visitor Services Associate

The Petunia derives its name from the word “petun”, from the Tupi–Guarani language of South America, meaning “tobacco”.  In fact, it is a close relative of the tobacco plant as well as cape gooseberries, tomatoes, deadly nightshades, potatoes and even chili peppers.   It was discovered in South America by the explorer James Tweedie, after whom the genus Tweedia is named, who sent specimens to the Glasgow Botanical Garden in 1831.  Due to their diversity of color and appearance and their hearty nature Petunias have become a popular bedding flower.  They can tolerate relatively harsh conditions and hot climates but grow well in low humidity and moist soil, receiving 5 to 6 hours of sunlight a day.

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Director of Art Education

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