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OT: Lloyd Austin

From: Sharon McAllister <73372.1745@compuserve.com>

Message text written by Bill Shear:
Austin was also a pioneer in
popularizing arils and arilbreds.  I think he was one of the unrecognized
giants of the iris world who was never truly appreciated.  I remember his
catalogs from the early 1960s and wish I still had them.  It would be fun
to read a good biographical essay on Austin.  If I remember correctly, he
was also a successful breeder of pines and prominent in forestry circles.
There's an excellent article about him in the 1986 ASI YB [I can say that
because I was the editor but not the author <G>]. Yes, he wrote his thesis
on Luther Burbank's work and became acquainted with him during the 1920s. 
Austin's first reported hybridizing efforts involved fruit trees, but for
15 years he directed the Institute of Forest Genetics so became better
known for his work with pine trees.

Then, as the story goes, he decided that 150 years was a bit too long to
wait to fully evaluate a mature tree and looked around for a challenge
involving plants with a life cycle short enough to effectively evaluate and
line breed.  We are fortunate indeed that he chose the oncos and regelias
[no one called them "arils" in those days].

Sharon McAllister

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