Stephen Vinisky, Oregon

An Evergreen Azalea With a Strong Daffodil Connection

May 16, 2014

Category: General

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Benjamin Yoe Morrison was a founding member of the American Daffodil Society. His enthusiasm and influence led to the creation of the Washington Daffodil Society. He received the A. D. S. Gold Medal and the RHS awarded him the Peter Barr cup in 1963. B. Y. was a director of the US National Arboretum, he was also Chief of the Division of Plant Exploration and Introduction, editor of National Horticultural Magazine, and a prolific hybridizer of azalea, daffodils, other bulbs, and iris.

Ben Morrison hybridized 454 Azaleas at the USDA Plant Introduction Station in Glenn Dale, Maryland. The Glenn Dale Azalea hybrids were his effort to combine the large and colorful southern Indicas with more northern hardy plants.

The Evergreen Azalea ‘Ben Morrison’ pictured below is derived from those hybrids.

Evergreen Azalea 'Ben Morrison'

Evergreen Azalea ‘Ben Morrison’

Azalea Ben Morrison Close Up

Azalea Ben Morrison Close-Up

4 Responses to An Evergreen Azalea With a Strong Daffodil Connection

  1. Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee
    Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee
    May 16, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    What a coincidence, Steve.  I was on a bus tour of the U. S. National Arboretum today and while driving by the azalea collection David Ellis of the American Horticultural Society mentioned Ben Morrison and his numerous azalea hybrids in the collection, as well as his ADS connection.

  2. Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi
    Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi
    May 17, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Steve,do you grow this  azalea? B.Y.Morrison was my first “authority” on Daffodils,  because of the article in the 1966 AHS Yearbook, in which he described how he grew most daffodils in  Zone 10. It is and always hard to find the Glen Dales and Back Acres in commerce.

    Becky, on my first visit to the Arboretum(l987 convention) I got off the tour bus at the Azalea Garden, named for Frederick Lee, and explored it plant by plant. We are proud of B.Y. as an adopted Mississippian.


    Loyce McKenzie




  3. Stephen Vinisky, Oregon
    Stephen Vinisky, Oregon
    May 18, 2014 at 6:12 am


    Yes, I have three plants of Azalea ‘Ben Morrison’ growing here. All raised from cuttings taken at best friend, Dick Cavender’s superb garden. The above photos are of 25+ year old plants in Dick’s garden.


  4. Don Caton, Pennsylvania
    May 18, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Mr. Morrison lived on Carroll Ave, Takoma Park, MD.  His yard backed on to Sherman Ave where I lived until 1953. I vaguely remember it.  I do know that he had a large collection of azalea in the yard, sheltered by a few tall white oaks.  There were daffodils, as his discards were thrown over the fence.  In the spring I would wander down, and “take” a few flowers for  our house.  Takoma Park was also known as Azalea City due to the plantings in private yards and public spaces.   I do not know if that “tradition” is still there.

    Don Caton