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John L. Fiala

Reverend John L. Fiala (1924–1990) was a parish priest, high school principal, college professor of psychology and education, and, in his spare time, leading plant breeder. At Falconskeape, his 120-acre garden in northwestern Ohio, he pursued two great loves, lilacs and crabapples. He wrote reference works on both plant groups and established separate international societies to unite likeminded enthusiasts. Ever searching to improve lilacs, Fiala introduced 78 new cultivars in the 1980s. Many of these are still highly sought after, while others are little known. Among his best-known lilac legacies are 'Lark Song', 'Wedgwood Blue', and 'Yankee Doodle'. In 1980 Fiala was awarded the Thomas Roland Medal by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for his hybridizing achievements.

Books by John L. Fiala