The Society for Ethnobotany

Fostering research and education on the past, present, and future uses of plants by people.

Economic Botany 2009

The 50th Annual Meeting

May 31-June 4, 2009

Symposium: African Ethnobotany in the Americas

Keynote Speaker: Ghillean T. Prance

Scientific Program
Registration Information | Field Trips | Housing Options | Images from Charleston


The 50th Annual Meeting of the Society for Economic Botany will be held at the College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, May 31 - June 4, 2009. John Rashford is the local arrangements chair.


Conferene Registration
Now - March 31
April 1 - June 4


     Student Member

ONE DAY - (Scientific Meeting Only)

     Per Day





Please note: Prices include breakfast & lunch each day.

Sweetgrass Harvest, 1999 - Original Lithograph © Jonathan Green

2009 Conference Program

Maps of the Conference Area (large files, print quality)
College of Charleston Campus
Charleston Peninsula

Proposed Schedule
Sat., May 30 SEB Members Day, Individuals and groups can plan their own activities.
Sun., May 31 Five field trips and the all day Council meeting. The reception and cocktails will be from 7:00pm-8:30pm in the Stern Student Center.
Mon., June 1 Symposium and contributed papers, Physicians Auditorium
Tue., June 2 Contributed papers
Wed., June 3 Contributed papers and poster session (Stern Student Center)
Thu., June 4 Contributed papers 4:00-5:00pm Business Meeting 5:30-10:30pm SEB Banquet and the Distinguished Economic Botanist address (Banquet cost is $30.00). The SEB party follows the banquet.
Fri.-Sun., June 5-7 Post meeting field trips and special meetings
Mon., June 8 Departure

Field Trips
Five field trips are being planned for Sunday May 31st.

The first (from 8.30am–1.00pm) includes a tour of Middleton Place and Drayton Hall.  Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark, is an 18th century rice plantation comprising America’s oldest landscaped gardens, Middleton Place House Museum and the Plantations Stableyards.  Built circa 1738, Drayton Hall, a National Trust Historic Site, is recognized as being one of the oldest preserved plantation houses in America.  It is open to the public and an exceptional guided tour is provided with admission.  The cost for this day-long field trip is $86.00.  In addition to transportation, it includes entrance fees for Drayton Hall and Middleton Place, garden and house tours, and lunch at Middleton Place.  

The second field trip (from 8.30am–4.00pm) is to Penn Center on St. Helena Island in Beaufort, South Carolina.  Penn Center is located on a 50-acre site of the former Penn School which was established in 1862 as an educational program for free African Americans at the beginning of the Civil War. Today, it is incorporated as a non-profit organization designed to preserve and promote Sea Island Gullah history and culture.  It describes itself as “at the heart of Gullah culture” and illustrates a distinct way of life that developed on the Sea Islands off the Southeastern coastal lowlands from South Carolina to Georgia.  The Penn Center, comprised of nineteen buildings related to and used by Penn School, was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1974 and is part of the Penn School Historic District.  These buildings include the York W. Bailey Museum and the Laura M. Towne Archives and Library, both of which were founded to interpret the history of Penn School and to share the cultural legacy of the Sea Islands. Transportation is $35.00 and does not include lunch.  Participants will be taken to local restaurants for lunch.

The third field trip (from 8.30am–1.00pm) is to the Angel Oak on Johns Island and the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island.  The Angel Oak is a massive live oak tree (Quercus virginiana) which is said to be ‘in excess of 1500 years old’ and the oldest living thing east of the Rockies.  From the Angel Oak the trip concludes with a visit to Charleston Tea Plantation, America’s only tea plantation.  The field trip will include a tour of the factory and tea fields and a visit to the tea gift shop for a taste of fresh brewed American Classic tea.  Transportation is $15.00 and the entrance fee and plantation and factory tour is $15.

The fourth field trip (from 8.30am–1.00pm) is to Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site.  In 1670, British settlers from Barbados established the first permanent settlement of the Carolinas within the boundaries of the 665-acre site.  In addition to its visitor’s center, Charleston Towne Landing  includes the Animal Forest (home to many species indigenous to the Lowcountry when the settlers arrived in 1670), the Experimental Crop Garden (with the plants that the Lord Proprietors and investors instructed the newly arrived settlers to investigate including indigo, rice, sugarcane and cotton), and walking and biking trails along the marsh or through the 80 acres of English park-style gardens featuring azaleas, camellias and old live oaks. Transportation is $10.00 and the entrance fee is $5.

The fifth field trip (from 8.30am–1.00pm) will be to the extraordinary Beidler Forest.  The swamp forest with its 1,000-year-old cypress trees is the largest stand of virgin cypress and tupelo trees in the Southeast.  A boardwalk allows visitors to walk out into the heart of this remarkable landscape.  Transportation cost is $20.00 and the entrance fee is $7.00.


Housing Options
Dormitory Rooms - Residence Hall rooms will be available on the College of Charleston campus. Meeting participants will be housed in two bedroom suites in the new Liberty Street Residence Hall. Each of the two-person bedrooms has two twin beds, a small study area in front, a small microwave and compact refrigerator, and a vanity area with a sink and under-the-counter storage with four drawers. The bedrooms are connected by a shared bathroom. The Liberty Street Residence Hall also has two community rooms for socializing, a game room, laundry rooms on the first, third, and fifth floors, and two study rooms with conference-style seating on each floor which can be used for group or individual study sessions. There is a one time $15 per person linen charge for a pillow, 2 sheets, a blanket, 4 towels and 4 wash cloths. Dorm rooms are $40 per night.

Communications - There is free internet access in each room and the cost for telephone hook-up per bedroom is $3. I strongly recommend that meeting participants take advantage of the telephone service.

College Facilities - Recreational facilities at the College of Charleston, including a gym and indoor swimming pool, will be available for a one-time charge of $35.

Official Meeting Hotel - The Francis Marion Hotel is the official meeting hotel. It is in the heart of the city and within easy walking distance to the College of Charleston venue for the SEB Meeting. The Francis Marion Hotel has offered 10 complementary room blocks. If these rooms are not booked by Monday, April 27th, then they will only be available at the normal rate. The SEB conference rates for traditional guest rooms which are normally $190-200 from Sunday through Thursday will be $149. Weekend rates (inclusive of Friday and Saturday, May 29th and 30th, and Friday and Saturday, June 5th and 6th) which are normally $200-230 will be $189. Individuals who would like the conference rates must make their reservations as early as possible as rooms are often completely booked during the Spoleto Festival. If we do not fill 10 rooms, we will be obligated to pay for any remaining rooms not filled by other guests. We should fill 10 rooms easily by housing the DEB and Symposium speakers at the Francis Marion Hotel.

Banquet Tickets are $30 and T-Shirts will be $15.


The Spoleto Festival - MAY 22 - JUNE 7, tickets now available! Participants at the annual meeting can arrive as early as May 30 and stay through June 7th--the dorms will be available this whole period even though the dates of the meeting are May31st--June 4th.

Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival - JUNE 5 - 6, a celebration of the rich Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage and provides the most extensive showcase of sweetgrass baskets in the Lowcountry area.

Program Chairperson: Dr. John Rashford

Refund Policy: Cancellation less than 30 days prior to meeting, no refund. 30 days prior to meeting 50% refund, 60 days prior to meeting full refund less 10% processing fee.