Horticultural News and Research
NEW DISEASE-RESISTANT REDBUD CLAY PRODUCT PROTECTS FRUITS position in early November, and assumed
the USBG post in December.
A DISEASE-RESISTANT selection of Chi-
AND VEGETABLES For Shimizu, the appointment means
nese redbud ( Ce rcis chinensis) will be RESEA RCHE RS F OR THE U.S. Depart- a return to the Washington area, as well
available to gardeners in the near future. ment of Agriculture in cooperation with as to the U.S. Botanic Garden where she
Developed by the Floral and Nursery Engelhard Corporation of Iselin, New previously served as the assistant execu-
Plants Unit at the U.S. National Ar- Jersey, have demonstrated that use of tive director and chief horticulturist from
boretum in Washington, D.C., the new processed kaolin—a type of clay—is ef- 1991 to 1996, and as public programs of-
cultivar is named ‘Don Egolf ’ in honor fective in protecting fruit trees, grapes, ficer from 1988 to 1991. “I had this great
of a respected plant breeder who worked and vegetable crops from many diseases, sense of coming home,” she comments.
at the arboretum for more than 30 years. insects, and even sunburn damage. The
The new redbud was recently released clay coats the plants with a film that
to commercial growers for propagation. physically obstructs pests, pathogens,
The tree has a compact, vase-shaped and harmful sunrays.
structure, abundant rosy purple flowers, Michael Glenn, who has been work-
and dark green leaves that turn yellow in ing with kaolin for several years at the
autumn. It is sterile, but is easily propa- USDA’s Appalachian Fruit Research Sta-
gated by cuttings. Most significantly, it tion in Kearneysville, West Virginia, says
has a high tolerance to Botryosphaeria kaolin effectively protects peppers—
dothidia canker, a common, lethal disease which are prone to sunscorch—by dif-
that infects native redbuds in many parts fusing ultraviolet wavelengths that can
of the United States. otherwise damage developing fruit.
Cercis chinensis ‘Don Egolf ’ is hardy in According to Glenn, kaolin film also
USDA zones 6-9, tolerates heat in AHS blocks infrared rays, which can cause un-
Zones 9–3, and is recommended for use as desirable levels of heat to build up in
a specimen, part of a mixed planting, or as fruit. Its use has resulted in a tremendous
a focal point at the edge of a wooded area. increase in the yield of apples at the re-
Wholesale growers anticipate making search station. During the drought year
the new cultivar available to retailers in of 1999 the yield increase was 18 percent. Holly Shimizu in front of the U.S. Botanic
spring 2002. Kaolin films are also useful carriers for Garden in Washington, D.C.
pesticides, providing a more even distri-
bution of chemicals than other carriers, From Ginter she brings four years of ex-
and thus reducing the active ingredient perience of managing gardens in transi-
needed by 50 percent or more. tion, which should serve her well as she
Kaolin is currently available—under prepares for the opening of the botanic
the name Surround Crop Protectant— garden’s renovated conservatory, sched-
for use against pear psylla, a serious in- uled for this coming fall.
sect pest of that fruit. New formulations
for homeowners and expanded applica- DIRR TO RETIRE
tions are anticipated in the near future.
M I C H A E L D I RR , the Un i versity of
NEW DIRECTOR FOR U.S. BOTANIC GARDEN Georgia hort i c u l t u re professor whose
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants has
HOLLY SH IM IZU was recently appoint- become the bible of trees and shrubs for
ed the new director of the U. S. Botanic countless gardeners, students, and pro-
Garden (USBG) in Washington, D.C. fessional horticulturists, is planning to
Shimizu, who for the last four years retire from his teaching duties effective
served at the managing director for Lewis this fall. Dirr, who won the American
Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Horticultural Society’s Teaching Award
Cercis chinensis ‘Don Egolf’ Virginia, began the transition to her new last year, began his academic career at
12 the American Gardener
the University of Illinois in 1972 before EXIT: GARDEN.COM received numerous awards for both its
moving to the University of Georgia’s information service and retail opera-
Athens campus in 1981. IT I S T I M E to update your “book- tions, it apparently was not able to turn
“Thirty years is a long time to do any- marked” Web sites. One of the trend-set- a sufficient profit for investors.
thing,” he says. “It’s been a great ride, a ting Internet-gardening enterprises,
great journey and there are no regrets, no Garden.com, went out of business as of RAVEN AWARDED NATIONAL MEDAL OF SCIENCE
negatives at all; I just felt it was time.” December 31, 2000. “The investment
Dirr, who will be 58 by the time he hangs community's wholesale rejection of the P ETER H. RAV EN , director of the Mis-
up his teaching hat, says he already has e-commerce space played a big role in the souri Botanical Garden and professor of
many plans for his time, including “my decision to close the doors,” re p o rt s botany at Washington University in St.
own garden. I want to be a plantsman Doug Jimerson, who headed the Gar- Louis, was one of 12 distinguished scien-
again, like I was during my sabbaticals, den.com editorial staff. tists and engineers selected by President
and I miss having time with my wife.” Garden.com originated in 1995 with Clinton to receive the National Medal of
His wife, Bonnie, to whom he’s been the mission of providing “the ultimate Science. The medal, presented to Raven
married since 1969, illustrates his Manu- destination for gardening information, at a ceremony held December 1 last year,
al. He will doubtless also find time to products and services in the gardening is the nation’s highest scientific honor.
work on new publishing projects, in- industry.” In addition to offering a wide Ra ven is re c o g n i zed as one of the
cluding updates to the CD-ROMs of plant range of plants and gardening-related world’s leading authorities on plant evo-
photographs that are popular accompa- products, the Web site included an on- lution and systematics. He has authored
niments to his Manual. line magazine, a landscape planner, a 550 books and papers and, with his col-
Dirr says he will need to find a new search engine for obtaining details on a leagues, introduced the concept of co-
home for the thousands of seedlings he’s wide variety of gardening topics, access e volution. Under Rave n’s watch, the
been growing at the university, and that to plant experts, and “chat” groups with Missouri Botanical Garden has become
his departure won’t be an abrupt one be- other gardeners. Its headquarters were an important national center for the
cause he’s serving on several committees located in Austin, Texas, with offices in study of plant diversity and conserva-
and needs to usher his final graduate stu- Northern California and Iowa. tion. Raven was the 1996 recipient of
dents through the process. “But I won’t Though many gardeners considered the American Ho rticultural So c i e t y’s
be tied to the office,” he adds. Garden.com a valuable resource, and it Liberty Hyde Bailey Award.
2001 American Horticultural Society Travel Study P r o g r am
The Great Gardens of London and the Royal
Chelsea Flower Show May 19–26, 2001
very special collection of gardens awaits your visit on this trip: Barnsley
A House, home to Rosemary Verey; Great Dixter, home garden of
Christopher Lloyd; and Sissinghurst, created by Vita Sackville-West and
Sir Harold Nicolson. Included in the public garden itinerary are the Royal
Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley and the Marchioness of Salisbury’s
Hatfield House. The timing of this program allows inclusion of one of the
spring’s great horticultural events—The Royal Chelsea Flower Show.
Leading this program for the American Horticultural Society will be AHS
Board Member Kurt Bluemel and his wife Hannah. Kurt is the founder and
owner of Kurt Bluemel Inc., one of the country’s largest suppliers of
ornamental grasses and perennials. The Bluemels' warm personalities and
love of horticulture are the perfect addition to this exceptional tour.
For complete details about the exciting 2001 schedule, visit the AHS Web site at www.ahs.org, or call the
Leonard Haertter Travel Company at (800) 942-6666.
No member dues are used to support the Travel Study Program.