about the Adirondack crabapple.
Arboretum Is 16-Time Gold Medal Winner
By Don Comis
October 18, 2001
A flowering crabapple called
Adirondack, introduced by the
Arboretum, has won a top award from the
Horticultural Society. Adirondack was awarded the societys 2002 Gold
Medal Plant Award. Its the latest of 16 Gold Medal winners introduced by
the 446-acre arboretum over the years.
Pennsylvania nurseryman J. Franklin Styer began the award program in that
state in 1978 to alert homeowners to superior new woody plants that they might
otherwise overlook. Since then, similar programs have spread to many states,
with Georgia being one of the first.
Adirondack is a near-perfect crabapple. Its a narrow, upright tree
that eventually reaches 18 to 20 feet, with excellent disease resistance and
abundant white flowers in spring. The fruits are small, orange-red and persist
into late autumn.
The late arboretum scientist Don Egolf developed most of the 16 winners,
including Adirondack, five viburnum varieties, and six crape myrtles. Egolf
began the arboretums crape myrtle program in 1959. He also developed
Chickasaw and Pocomoke, two recent introductions and the first and second,
respectively, in a new series of miniature hybrid crape myrtles. Other recent
arboretum introductions include two disease-tolerant American elm trees, Valley
Forge and New Harmony; the Betsy Ross lilac; and two new red maples, New World
and Red Rocket.
Arboretum researchers are also developing new hemlock, alder and hackberry
In honor of Egolfs work, the arboretums Margaret R. Pooler has
named her newest release, a Chinese redbud, after him. The Don Egolf redbud
will be available in garden centers by 2003. Adirondack is already in
And consumers can look for Star of Bethlehem varieties with new colors and
growth habits, thanks to arboretum researcher Robert J. Griesbach, who has
patent applications filed for the new varieties he is developing. Three Star of
Bethlehem varieties developed at the arboretum went on sale this past spring:
Chesapeake Blaze, Chesapeake Sunburst and Chesapeake Sunset.
The arboretum, based in Washington, D.C., is operated by the
Agricultural Research Service, the
U.S. Department of Agricultures chief
scientific research agency.