By Fairlee Latawic, Awards Committee
In 1987, on its 100th anniversary, the Connecticut Horticultural Society (CT Hort) established the Gustav Mehlquist award to honor our member Dr. Gustav Mehlquist for his extraordinary contribution to horticulture. Dr. Mehlquist, who had been long recognized as one of the leading horticulturists in the United States, was a member of CT Hort, the American Rhododendron Society, The Connecticut Nurseryman’s Association and a professor of Plant Science at the University of Connecticut (UConn).
Born in Sweden, Dr. Mehlquist, earned his bachelor’s degree from UConn in 1936 and earned his doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in 1939. He was also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Biology and Plant Science in 1947 and subsequently studied orchid genetics in England. After many years of outstanding work in plant breeding, specializing in orchids, delphiniums and carnations, Dr. Mehlquist joined the staff at the UConn in 1952 where he continued his work as a horticultural researcher, plant breeder, hybridizer, educator and writer. While at UConn his interest in rhododendrons led to the development of several vigorous cold- hardy rhododendrons.
Every year CT Hort seeks nominations for this prestigious award named in honor of Dr. Gustav Mehlquist. Nominations must be received by April 30.
If you know a Connecticut resident who deserves to be honored and recognized for their significant and extraordinary contributions in horticulture or the art of gardening, please submit a nomination letter describing the background and qualifications of your nominee to Mary Anna Martell or via email to [email protected]. Or, mail the office: CT Hort Office, P.O. Box 330966, West Hartford, CT 06133-0966.