Collaboration Profile Series - Richard Olsen


Our 2018-2019 Catalog of Grasses focuses on collaborations within and outside the green industry. Working with others offers our team opportunities to learn and share information. It’s where we often get new insights and innovations. In this post, we continue our collaboration profile series with Dr. Richard T. Olsen.

As the Director of the United States National Arboretum, Dr. Olsen is a recognized leader in the public garden arena. He holds advanced degrees in horticultural science from the University of Georgia and North Carolina State University and has contributed his scientific expertise and practical knowledge to the horticulture industry for many years. That fits the mission of the U.S. National Arboretum, which is to enhance the economic, environmental, and aesthetic value of ornamental and landscape plants.

Dr. Olsen and his team seek out and develop new plant selections. Our newest sedge, Carex scaposa, came to us via one of Dr. Olsen’s visits to China. He brought it back from the Kunming Botanical Garden in Yunnan Province. This Carex is native to streamsides and slopes in southern China and Vietnam. Dr. Olsen says he had never seen a clump of Carex with such a wide leaf, and the pink, showy flowers make it even better.

We’re grateful to Dr. Olsen and the U.S. National Arboretum for their contributions to the industry. To help continue their exploration and conservation efforts, $0.10 from every Carex scaposa we sell will be donated to the U.S. National Arboretum. Working with them to bring new plants to the market maximizes industry resources and gives our customers better choices.

Dr. Olsen values the collaboration as well:

“The arboretum’s process of scientific discovery directly benefits industry when we coordinate efforts. Working with Hoffman Nursery gives us a conduit for getting new and better plants into the industry. Partnerships like these keep us connected and help shape future efforts.”

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