Dr. Dennis Werner, JC Raulston Distinguished Professor of Horticultural Science, is the winner of the American Horticultural Society’s Luther Burbank Award.
The award, given in odd years, recognizes extraordinary achievement in plant breeding. It is named for legendary plant breeder Luther Burbank and was first awarded in 1993. The award is among the horticultural society’s Great American Gardener awards. Werner and other award winners were honored in early June at the society’s Great American Gardeners Awards Ceremony and Banquet in Alexandria, Virginia.
Werner has been a member of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty since 1979. He has a national reputation as a plant breeder. He developed numerous peach cultivars that are now grown widely in the Southeast. More recently, his breeding efforts have focused on redbuds and butterfly bush, resulting in several introductions of each with improved characteristics and novel features.
In addition to receiving several North Carolina State University teaching awards, Werner was named a Fellow of the American Society of Horticultural Science in 2011.