Mark Smith

Breeder Mark Smith holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in horticulture from the University of Connecticut’s highly regarded program. He worked in ornamental horticulture through high school, but credits his grandfather with instilling his love of plants even earlier.

Drawing on his years of experience breeding world-famous Yoder garden mums, Mark turned his attention to perennials while working for Aris Horticulture, Inc. The results are impressive.

Dendranthema Igloo varieties are tough and reliably hardy perennial mums. The series is a breeding breakthrough for the genus with dome-shaped plant habits and long-blooming masses of flowers in lively fall colors. No pinching is needed in grower production or in the garden!

Mark also developed the Hibiscus Cordials series, which brings a new look to hardy hibiscus with bold, uniquely shaped leaves and sturdy plant habits. Cultivars in the series are Hibiscus ‘Brandy Punch’, ‘Cherry Brandy’, ‘Cinnamon Grappa’ and ‘Peppermint Schnapps’.