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Orlando S. Pride

Orlando S. Pride

Noted Horticulturalist

Jan. 28, 1905 - Oct. 25, 1983

Orlando S. "Lanny" Pride had spent a lifetime studying, growing and experimenting with plants. In over a half century, he grew over 20,000 holly seedlings to produce 25 worthy of being named. The American Horticulture Society has listed 11 of the strains in its Holly Handbook, and the crossing of two of the best hollies produced a new group known as the Grace hybrids, recognized as perhaps the hardiest in the country. Pride hollies are also featured at the Ohio Agricultural Experimental Station at Wooster, a pioneer in the field. Mr. Pride also specialized in azaleas and rhododendrons. By various authorities, Pride hybrid azaleas are rated among the hardiest in the world, 50 Pride azaleas are listed, and Pride rhododendrons are acknowledged world wide. He specialized in hardy strains which will thrive and flower in northern climates.
For his work as a breeder of super hardy American Hollies, Orlando S. Pride received prestigious awards during the 70's and 80's from various organizations, including:

The American Horticultural Society for giving something to horticulture that is "immeasurably important and different."

The American Holly Society for producing Grace Ilex Opaca Intraspecific Cultivars that are "universally acknowledged to be the hardiest American Hollies in commerce."

Distinguished Alumni of Penn State University for his achievements as a plant breeder and efforts to provide "rare plants of quality to the eastern United States."

The 1976 Pennsylvania Nurseryman of the Year.

In 1976 Orlando Pride was named Nurseryman of the Year by the Pennsylvania Nurseryman's association. He had also served as consultant to the Shade Tree Commission of Bulter.

Orlando Pride was a charter member and past president of the Holly Society of America, an international group; a past president of the Great Lakes chapter of the American Rhododendron Society; a past director of the Pennsylvania Nurserymen's Association and a former member of the American Horticultural Society, the International Plant propagation Society and the Royal Horticultural Society of England.

He was frequently called up to judge flower and plant shows in areas of expertise.

A 1928 graduate of Penn State University School of landscape architecture, Mr. Pride formerly operated his nursery on Weckerly Road. At the beginning of his career, unable to devote full time to his nursery he practiced landscape architecture and planted estates. From 1935 to 1940 he was superintendent of Raccoon Creek State park, working with a CCC Camp; and resigned to become a landscape architect with the General State Authority.

In 1942-44, he was a horticulturist for Beaver County Housing Authority, and later worked on war production at American Bantam Car. In 1948 he became superintendent of North Cemetery, with its notable collection of 70-year-old hybrid rhododendrons.

145 Weckerly Road, Butler, PA 16002
(724) 283-0962