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B.Y. Morrison Memorial Lecture


2020 B.Y. Morrison Memorial Lecturer

John DoleJohn M. Dole, Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs, North Carolina State University, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Raleigh, NC

How the Christmas Flower Came to be

From a gangly shrub to one of the most important plants in the world, poinsettias are a case study on the forces behind crop development. The story of the poinsettia’s rise is a fascinating mix of plant exploration, horticultural research, and marketing.

John M. Dole Bio

2021 Call for Nominations

2021 B.Y. Morrison Memorial Lecture

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's principal in-house scientific agency, is seeking nominations for the 2021 B.Y. Morrison Memorial Lecture, co-sponsored by the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS). The lecture will be presented at the 2021 ASHS Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, August 05 – August 09, 2021.

Established in 1968 by ARS, the Morrison Memorial Lecture honors the memory of Benjamin Y. Morrison (1891-1966) by recognizing scientists who have made outstanding contributions to horticulture. B.Y. Morrison was the first director of USDA's National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. A scientist, plant breeder, landscape architect, plant explorer, author, and lecturer, Morrison advanced the science of botany and horticulture in the United States. His legacy to the American public includes dozens of new ornamental plants, including the Glenn Dale azaleas.

The lecture is a forum for a presentation on a scientific topic, trend, issue, or policy of the lecturer's choice. An honorarium of $2,000, a medallion, and expenses to present the lecture are part of the award.

Nominees may be outstanding senior contributors in industry, universities, or government positions. Current ARS employees are not eligible.

To nominate someone, please send a letter explaining the nominee’s contributions to horticulture and his/her current CV to

The call for nominations has now closed. 

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