Dümmen Orange plant breeder receives Paul Ecke Jr. Award from San Diego Botanic Garden
Dümmen Orange senior plant breeder and manager Ruth Kobayashi, Ph.D., recently received the 2023 Paul Ecke Jr. Award of Excellence winner by San Diego Botanic Garden. The Encinitas-based nonprofit, which includes a 37-acre garden located near the famed former Paul Ecke Ranch, presented her with this prestigious honor, named after the late legendary San Diego County horticulturist, Paul Ecke Jr.
Kobayashi is a world leader in the breeding and development of cut flowers, potted plants, succulents, perennials and annuals. She joined Paul Ecke Ranch in 1995, which was acquired by Dümmen Orange in 2013.
“Our organization is proud to recognize Ruth for her significant advancements in plant science and commitment to horticulture,” said Ari Novy, Ph.D., president and CEO of San Diego Botanic Garden. “She is a true industry leader and a worthy recipient for the 2023 Paul Ecke Jr. Award of Excellence.”
Kobayashi’s current focus is on the development of new and novel New Guinea impatiens and poinsettia cultivars. Breeding flowers for nearly three decades, she has developed more than 90 poinsettia and 80 impatiens cultivars. Several of them have been nominated for various horticultural honors, including the award winning golden-colored poinsettia ‘Autumn Leaves’.