Unsung Heroes of the Plant World

The plant person in the early years of the 20th Century was a self-motivated person.  They loved plants and wanted to share them with other people.  Their work was not a money making endeavor.  Many of them operated out of their homes, in the evening, after finishing their day job.
  • §      Howard Kerrigan was the Azalea king, out of Hayward, CA.
  • §      Louis Gavello from Richmond, CA hybridized many dwarf Escallonias and Hebes.  He never received credit for them.  He sold his patents to the big growers and they celebrated the great discoveries as their own.
  • §     Demoto Nursery in Hayward, CA was owned by an outstanding plant person.
  • §     Peter Shelts was widely known for his magnificent tuberous begonias.
After World War II, many Japanese people emerged as leaders in the plant world.  One example is Frank Ogawa, a major wholesale plant supplier in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He went on to become the mayor of Oakland, CA.