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Medal of Honor

2013 The American Chestnut Foundation

Presented to The American Chestnut Foundation for outstanding dedication to the restoration of the American chestnut to our eastern woodlands.

2011 Diana Fish

For seeking the unique knowledge of expert gardeners and imparting it in each dynamic and educational issue of The Real Dirt.

2010 Peter J. Olin

For his service to horticulture and his commitment to connecting people with plants and landscapes as the Director of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

2009 Robert and Kate Bartlett

For their enhancement and preservation of horticulture through scientific endeavors, and enthusiastic support of American public gardens, historic landmarks, and civic events.

2008 Dr. Steven Still

Horticultural educator, who taught at both Kansas State & Ohio State Universities for 32 years as a professor of Landscape Horticulture. He organized the Perennial Plant Symposium which became the Perennial Plant Association, as a method to provide continuous horticultural education for nurserymen and various national and international plantsmen.

2007 Dr. James P. Folsom

Horticulturist, botanist, educator, author, leader and visionary. The director of the botanical gardens at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in California. His passion for horticultural and botanical education inspired his conception and realization of the Botanical Center, comprised of the children's garden, teaching greenhouse, library, laboratories, classrooms and offices.

2006 P. Allen Smith

An award winning garden designer, best selling book author and nationally syndicated television host. Through his commitment to public service he has created an educational program for children and hands on demonstrations, along with his passionate mission of inspiring Americans to embrace the joy of creating beautiful gardens.

2005 Dr. David Lynnwood Andrews

Outstanding in the art of bonsai, in growing worthy and unusual plants, and in bringing together an unrivaled collection of American botanical history, you have made an extraordinary contribution to the field of horticulture.

2004 Daniel J. Hinkley

The world's leading plant explorer, whose achievements as propagator, author, educator, speaker, and nurseryman have changed the face of horticulture.

2003 Wilson Nolen
For his service to horticulture as a leader in the affairs of the New York Botanical Garden and his outstanding contributions in health related fields.

2002 Dr. Neil G. Odenwald
An educator and professor of Landscape Architecture as well as the Director of the School of Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University from 1972 until his retirement in 1998.

2001 Dr. Harold M. Pellett

Presented to Dr. Harold M. Pellett, a research professor at the University of Minnesota and founder of the Landscape Plant Development Center. Dr. Pellett is best known for his research into the cold-hardiness of plants which has widely extended the range of area where many plants can be grown. 

2000 Judith D. Zuk
President and CEO of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden since 1990, and a renown leader in American public horticulture.

1999 Andre' Viette

For his vast knowledge, experience and expertise as a plantsman and as a skilled plant breeder.

1998 Dr. Allan M. Armitage
For his tremendous contribution to horticulture through teaching, research, lectures and writings.

1997 Polly Hill

Presented to Polly Hill, for her impressive contributions to American horticulture, which include the registration and introduction of seventy-nine cultivars in eleven genera, and for freely sharing her gardening wisdom and products of her breeding program with students of horticultlure throughout the world. 

1996 Marjorie Sale Arundel

For her contributions to world of plants and her dedication to spreading information about them throughout the world.

1994 Janet Meakin Poor
Distinguished horticulturist, author, landscape designer and educator, whose talents and generosity have advanced the causes of horticulture, botany and ecology in North America.

1993 Dr. Michael A. Dirr

An exceptional horticulturist who willingly shares his vast knowledge and expertise through a commitment to education, active research, enthusiastic involvement and outstanding publications.

1991 Carl A. Totemeier, Jr.

Vice President of Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden until his recent retirement; a national figure in the gardening world. A horticulturist, botanist and plantsman, he has made lasting contributions to gardening knowledge with generosity and enthusiasm.

1990 Elizabeth Scholtz
For her dedication to inspiring peoples interest in horticulture. Her remarkable knowledge and enthusiasm has introduced an enormous number of people into the fascinating world of plants and gardens.

1989 Don O. Shadow

In recognition of his many years of collecting, evaluating, introducing and distributing new woody ornamental trees and shrubs; for so generously sharing his knowledge with the public and nurserymen alike in his dedicated endeavors to better the environment in which we live.

1988 Ernesta D. Ballard

For her long and prominent career in horticulture serving the Philadelphia area and the nation's horticultural community; especially her outstanding contributions while serving as President of the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society, and for her continuing interest in the greening of Philadelphia.

1987 Dr. Norman E. Borlaug

For his undaunted research and patience in breeding a new strain of wheat, and for his continued efforts to mitigate hunger in the world.

1986 Dr. Benjamin Coleman Blackburn

For his long and distinguished career as botanist, landscape designer and horticulturist, and especially for his development and preservation of the Willowwood Arboretum.

1985 Dr. and Mrs. C.L. Lundell
For playing a leading role in almost every important activity involving plants, plant science and gardens in Texas, the Southwest and Central America during the past half century.

1984 Thomas Henry Dodd, Jr.
Nurseryman, master plantsman and naturalist, noted for his enthusiasm for cultivation, propagation and distribution of rare and unusual plants.

1983 William Flemer, III

For his intense learning, exuberant, contagious enthusiasm in sharing his knowledge and dedicated commitment to contributing to the beautification of man's environment.

1982 Dr. Mildred Mathias
To a most distinguished botanist for her dedication to horticulture and her significant contributions through her study of tropical plants.

1981 Thomas H. Everett
For his service to horticulture and a dedicated career for over half a century, culminating in the completion of his New Encyclopedia of Horticulture.

1980 Dr. John L. Creech
A world leader in plant exploration, whose introductions from all over the globe have enhanced and beautified our gardens.

1979 David M. Bates

For his extraordinary administrative ability, broad technical knowledge and commitment to the publication of Hortus III.

1978 Samuel Ayre, Jr., M.D.

For his extensive commitment to the field of horticulture in Southern California as plant collector, author and crusader.

1977 Henry Marcellus Cathey
To one who has so extensively inspired interest in and promoted horticulture in all its aspects that he has become a national image of horticulture.

1975 Harold St. John
Botanist, teacher, author of definitive studies of cultivated and natural flora; his service to horticulture is respected from New England to the Pacific Atolls.

1974 Leon Carleton Snyder

Founder of the University of Minnesota's Landscape Arboretum, horticulturist and hybridizer of azaleas and rhododendrons hardy in northern climes.

1972 Richard Alden Howard

For eminence as a botanist, horticulturist, educator, lecturer, author if definitive monographs on tropical plant material, authority on nomenclature, princeps among West Indian botanists.

1971 Henry T. Skinner

Eminent biologist and horticulturist, Director of the National Arboretum, for his outstanding contributions to horticulture: the creation of the Plant Hardiness Map and the collecting, development and propagation of azaleas and rhododendrons.

1969 David Goheen Leach

For exceptional achievements in rhododendron hybridization, as well as for expertise as a nature photographer.

1968 Grant Emerson Mitsch
For a lifetime devoted to the development of the genus narcissus.

1967 Dr. Harold B. Tukey
World ambassador of horticulture, specializing in pomology, who is revered everywhere as a most distinguished scientist, author and teacher.

1966 Henry J. Hohman

Beloved dean of nurserymen through whose generosity and unlimited knowledge, priceless horticultural treasures have been made available to arboreta, botanic gardens and plant nurseries in this country and in Europe. His influence in hybridizing and propagating will be felt for generations to come.

1965 Dr. Donald Wyman
Horticulturist of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard, whose energy, ability and contributions to horticulture are outstanding.

1964 Jan DeGraaff
For his ability and skill in producing new and outstanding plant material and for the remarkable color, vigor and disease resistance of his lilies.

1963 Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
For 136 years of outstanding service to horticulture.

1962 George Campbell Monroe
Eminent horticulturist, who by his work helped to establish the Na Laau Hawaii Arboretum for native plants.

1961 Arie F. Den Boer
Recognized as a world authority on crab apples, he has propagated, assembled and scientifically classified the most complete collection of all known species.

1960 Dr. Samuel L. Emsweller
Eminent scholar and scientist, recognized internationally as the outstanding expert in lily research and other fields of horticulture.

1959 Dr. George Sherman Avery
Research scholar and leader in horticulture and gardening in America.

1958 Ralph E. Griswold
Landscape restoration of the Athenian Agora, Athens, Greece. Landscape architect of the American military Cemetery, Anzio, Italy

1957 Frederic Huette
For the azalea and camellia gardens in Norfolk, and his many other horticultural contributions to his city and state.

1956 Henry Francis DuPont
For Winterthur where he established a botanical garden of dramatic beauty.

1955 William Hertrich
For a lifetime of research and demonstration in various fields of horticulture.

1949 Dr. and Mrs. David Fairchild
In recognition of their unusual service to horticulture.

1945 John C. Wister
For his service to horticulture.

1938 Robert Moses
Park and Highway Commissioner of New York State, creator and preserver of parks and model highways. And for his use of native plant material.

1936 Mrs. Louise Beebe Wilder
Author of many garden books and authority on rock gardens.

1931 Liberty Hyde Bailey
For his distinguished contributions to horticulture.

1929 Massachusetts Horticultural Society
For its great contribution to horticulture. Presented at its 100th Anniversary.

1923 Mrs. Francis King
Author of many garden books and organizer of the Farm and Garden Association.

1920 Charles Sprague Sargent
First professor of arboriculture of Harvard University, for his enthusiasm and knowledge in furthing the Arnold Arboreum at Harvard.

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