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Community Leaders: Allan Armitage

by Gardening123 Staff

Dr. Armitage is internationally known as a writer, speaker, and researcher. He has written more than 250 articles and papers in journals, such as Fine Gardening, Horticulture Magazine, American Nurseryman, Greenhouse Grower, Grower Talks, Plant

Physiology, and the journals of the American Society of Horticultural Science. He writes a monthly column about new crops and new trends in floriculture for Greenhouse Grower magazine.

He has written six books and co-authored 10 book chapters. He is best known for Herbaceous Perennial Plants: A Treatise on Their Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes, a standard reference for gardeners, professionals, and students. In 1997, the American Horticultural Society designated it as one of the 75 most important horticultural books written in the last 75 years. And in 1999, Choice, the publication of current reviews for academic libraries, selected it as one of the top three percent of academic books reviewed in 1998. Another of Armitage’s publications, Allan Armitage on Perennials, a guidebook to perennials throughout North America, won the prestigious Garden Communications Award from the Garden Writers Association of America.

As a teacher and speaker, Dr. Armitage has lectured in the United States, Canada, Colombia, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. He has visited research centers and production centers throughout the world and is constantly studying annuals, perennials, cut flowers, and greenhouse crops in various climates. He teaches courses in Greenhouse Production, Greenhouse Crop Management, and Herbaceous Plant Identification and Use. He is a highly engaging teacher, and his courses fill rapidly.

His research is multi-faceted. His interest in new crops for the garden, greenhouse, and field has taken him to gardens all over the world. His New Crop Program is well known and has resulted in numerous introductions to the Ornamental trade. He has been responsible for introducing a half dozen plants to greenhouse and garden trade, such as Verbena ‘Homestead Purple,’ Sweet Potato ‘Margaurita,’ the Sunlover and Solar Series of Coleus, Tibouchina ‘Athens Blue,’ Plectranthus ‘Athens Gem,’ and Dicentra ‘Athens Yellow.’ He also conducts investigations on commercial cut flower production, which has led to the development of a professional growers organization with more than 800 members. Dr. Armitage also is in charge of the University of Georgia Horticulture Gardens where he produces annual guidelines for annuals and perennials suitable for heat and humidity. Growers and seed breeders around the world support the gardens, and flower breeders, retailers, landscapers, growers, and gardeners visit it.

His awards include The Kiplinger Chair at Ohio State University, the Alex Laurie Award for outstanding research in horticulture, Outstanding Teacher Award from the Professional Greenhouse Growers of Georgia, Futura Award for outstanding teaching and research from the Professional Plant Growers Association, the Golden Trowel Award for his book Allan Armitage on Perennials from the Garden Writers Association of America, the Education Media Award for his book Specialty Cut Flowers from the Professional Plant Growers Association, Teacher of the Year from the Georgia Green Industry Association, and the Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for Exceptional Service in American Horticulture. He was recognized as one of the best teachers in the nation when he received the distinguished National Educator Award from the American Horticultural Society and The Medal of Honor, the highest award possible from the Garden Club of America. A special award, The Allan Armitage Leadership Award, has been established by the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers to be presented to the individual who exemplifies outstanding leadership in the specialty cut flower industry. Dr. Armitage also was an advisor for the Garden Book Club of America, and he has consulted for Scholastic Books, publisher of the Magic School Bus series on science books for children.

He recently completed the first of two CD-ROMs for plant professionals and gardeners. The first, The Photographic Encyclopedia of Herbaceous Plants, includes approximately 7,200 photos of cultivars and species of annuals, perennials, bulbs, ferns, and cut flowers. The second CD-ROM is a multimedia version of his Herbaceous Perennial Plants book. It allows gardeners and designers to quickly search by flower, color, height, climatic zone, and sun/shade tolerance for every entry in the book, and then access associated text and photos.


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