A new nonprofit gave away 212 free plants in only six minutes on Turlington Plaza on Wednesday.
Collegiate Plant Initiative is a student-run nonprofit focused on connecting students with plants and horticulture, said Virginia Frazier, a 20-year-old UF food and resource economics junior. Frazier and classmates from her Plants, Gardening and You class started the group in Spring 2017 with the help of Dave Clark, their professor. It became a state nonprofit in August.
At about noon, the group handed out 12 UF-grown coleus breeds, like Gator Glory and Alligator Tears. Clark sat near the potato statue and watched the plants quickly disappear.
Matthew Green, a 19-year-old UF exploratory sophomore, learned about the plant drop on social media.
“I got a purple coleus that I gave to my friend,” Green said, “so she can share it with her cousin whom she’s visiting in Tallahassee.”
Frazier said the group’s main goals are to figure out what plants people like and to show people it’s easy to care for plants.
Frazier said the next drop will be on Turlington Plaza at 11:20 a.m. on Oct. 13.
Although these plants were free and bred by Clark, the plant drop event was planned by students, Clark said.
“The best thing I can do, just like I was back at the potato, is sit back and watch these guys because they amaze me every time I see something new,” Clark said.
Students pick their coleus plants, donated by the Collegiate Plant Initiative, to take home on Wednesday.