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Richard G. Hawke

Richard Hawke
Plant Evaluation Manager
(847) 835-8251
Curriculum Vitae: 
Research Interests: 
  • Ornamental plant evaluation
  • Invasive species testing of wild-collected and ornamental plants
  • Evaluation of native and cultivated plants for green roofs

My main research is the comparative evaluation of ornamental plants, predominantly herbaceous perennials, to determine the best garden plants for the Upper Midwest and areas with similar climatic conditions. The herbaceous plants under evaluation are grown outdoors in side-by-side trials for a minimum of four years; vines and shrubs are evaluated for a minimum of six years. Plants are monitored regularly to assess their ornamental traits; cultural adaptability to the soil and environmental conditions of the test site; disease and pest problems; and winter injury.

Among the 30 genera currently under evaluation are Andropogon (bluestem), Athyrium (lady fern), Brunnera (Siberian bugloss), Buddleja (butterfly bush), Calamintha (calamint), Clematis (clematis), Dryopteris (wood fern), Filipendula (meadow sweet), Gentiana (gentian), Geum (avens), Hamamelis (witch hazel), Heliopsis (heliopsis), Hydrangea paniculata (panicle hydrangea), Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea), Hydrangea serrata (Japanese hydrangea), Lavandula (lavender), Lespedeza (bush clover), Molinia (purple moor grass), Opuntia (prickly pear), Panicum (switch grass), Perovskia (Russian sage), Persicaria (smartweed), Ratibida (Mexican hat plant), Rodgersia (rodgersia), Rosa (English shrub roses), Schizachyrium (little bluestem), Stokesia (Stokes’ aster), Vernonia (ironweed), Weigela (weigela), and Yucca (yucca).

Plant Evaluation Program
Plant Evaluation Notes podcast

Selected Publications: 

 2013. Battle of the grasses, Fine GardeningNovember/December, No. 154: 48-55. 

 2013. Catmint. Fine GardeningAugust, No. 152: 56-62.

 2013. Which Ligularia will make your shade shine? Fine GardeningMarch/April, No. 150: 44-49.

 2012. Big Blooming Clematis, Fine GardeningAugust, No. 146: 44-51.

 2012. Geraniums, The best of the best, Fine GardeningJune, No. 145: 38-45.

 2012. Phlox paniculata, Nursery Management, 28(1):67-69.

 2012. If you’re not growing Geums, you’re missing out, Fine GardeningApril, No. 144: 46-51.

 2011. A Comparative Study of Phlox paniculata Cultivars, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 35.

 2011. Hydrangeas, Fine GardeningSeptember/October, No. 141: 32-37.

 2011. Bugbanes for American Gardens, The American Gardener 90 (4):26-31.

 2011. Meadow Rues, Fine GardeningMay/June,No. 139: 30-35.

 2011. Tradescantia, Nursery Management, 27(2):66-71.

 2010. A Comparative Study of Tradescantia Cultivars, Perennial Plants, Autumn, pp. 53-62.

 2010. Veronica spp., Nursery Management, 26(11):50-54.

 2010. A Comparative Study of Tradescantia Cultivars, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 34.

 2010. Sizing up Stonecrops, The American Gardener 89(5):18-23.

 2010. Stachys spp., NMPro, July, Vol. 26, No. 7, p.10.

 2010. Comparative Studies of Veronica and Veronicastrum, Perennial Plants, Spring, pp. 6-22.

 2010. American Beauties: Baptisias, The American Gardener 89(2):24-29.

 2010. Comparative Studies of Veronica and Veronicastrum, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 33.

 2009. A Comparative Study of Platycodon grandiflorus Cultivars, Perennial Plants, Fall, pp. 36-42.

 2009. A Heavy-blooming Clematis, Fine Gardening, December, No. 130, p. 23

 2009. Platycodon grandiflorus is a good companion to other summer-blooming perennials, NMPro, August, pp. 53-57.

 2009. A Comparative Study of Platycodon grandiflorus Cultivars, Plant Evaluation Notes, No. 32.

 2009. A Performance Appraisal of Hardy Bellflowers, Perennial Plants, Winter, pp. 11-23.

 2008. A Performance Appraisal of Hardy Bellflowers, Plant Evaluation Notes, No. 31.

 2008. Bold Rodgersias. Chicagoland Gardening, November/December, pp.12-13.

 2008. Trial Rates Shasta Daisy Cultivars, NMPro, May 2008, pp. 34-38.

 2008. 20 Great Plants Worth Knowing and Growing. Quarterly Northwest, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 54-57 and p. 123.

 2008. Carefree Cranesbills. The American Gardener, May/June, Vol. 87, No. 3, pp. 16-21.

 2008. Flowering Perennials for Sun, Midwest Regional Report, Fine Gardening, May/June, No. 121, p. 62.

 2008. A Report on Leucanthemum ×superbum and Related Daisies, Perennial Plants, Winter, pp. 7-22.

 2007. A Report on Leucanthemum ×superbum and Related Daisies, Plant Evaluation Notes, No. 30.

 2007. Versatile Switch Grass, Chicagoland Gardening, November/December 2007, pp.10-11.

 2007. Trial Rates Catmint Cultivars, Nursery Management & Production, November, pp.42-46.

 2007. Bugbanes: Made for Shade, Chicagoland Gardening, September/October 2007, pp.16-17.

 2007. Thalictrum: a study of Meadow Rue, Perennial Plants, Spring, pp. 9-21.

 2007. Lofty Balloon Flower, Chicagoland Gardening, July/August, pp.16-17.

 2007. A Comparative Study of Cultivated Catmints, Plant Evaluation Notes, No. 29.

 2007. Geranium macrorrhizum (Bigroot Geranium), Horticulture, Vol. 104, No. 4, p. A8.

 2007. Comparative Evaluation of Commercially Available Tradescantia Cultivars, Perennial Plants, Winter, pp. 17-25.

 2007. Spiky Speedwells, Chicagoland Gardening, May/June, pp.24-25.

 2007. Lady’s Mantles are the Perfect Foil, Chicagoland Gardening, March/April, pp.16-17.

 2007. An Evaluation Report of Meadow Rues, Plant Evaluation Notes, No. 28.

 2007. A Tale of Two Vines, Chicagoland Gardening, January/February, p. 11.

 2006. Hardy Euphorbias, Chicagoland Gardening, November/December, p. 9.

 2006. Autumn’s Asters, Chicagoland Gardening, September/October, p. 15.

 2006. Shasta Daisies Brighten Midsummer Gardens, Chicagoland Gardening, July/August, pp. 16-17.

 2006. A Kindle of Catmints, Chicagoland Gardening, May/June, pp. 17-18.

 2006. ‘Gold Heart’ Bleeding Heart, Horticulture, May, Volume 103, Number 4, p. A3.

 2006. Evaluation of Stachys, Perennial Plants, Number 2, pp. 54-62.

 2006. Stachys Thrive in the Midwest, NMPro, April, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp.34-39.

 2006. Extolling the Virtues of Bellflowers, Chicagoland Gardening, March/April, pp. 18-19.

 2006. Proven Perennials, Chicagoland Gardening, January/February, p. 10.

 2005. A Comparative Study of Cultivated Stachys, Plant Evaluation Notes, No. 27.

 2005. A Garden Study of Sundrops and Evening Primroses, Perennial Plants, Number 3, pp. 47-57.

 2005. The Glow of Winterberry, Chicagoland Gardening, November/December, pp. 10-11.

 2005. Oenothera (Sundrops and Evening Primroses), Chicagoland Gardening, September/October, pp. 18-19.

 2005. Capable Coreopsis, Chicagoland Gardening, July/August, pp. 20-21.

 2005. Evaluation of Alchemilla mollis, Perennial Plants, Number 2, pp. 32-38.

 2005. Herbaceous Clematis, Chicagoland Gardening, May/June, pp. 26-27.

 2005. Saruma henryi: A fetching woodland perennial, Fine Gardening, May/June, No. 103, p. 18.

 2005. A Look at Lady’s-mantles, Nursery Management & Production, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp.84-86.

 2005. A Wealth of Meadow Rues, Chicagoland Gardening, March/April, pp. 20-21.

 2005. A Garden Study of Sundrops and Evening Primroses, Plant Evaluation Notes, No. 26.

 2005. Hot Perennials, American Nurseryman, February 15, Issue 4, Volume 201, pp. 34-39.

 2005. Clematis ‘Evisix’: a noteworthy nonvining clematis, Fine Gardening, January-February, No. 101, p. 24.

 2005. Lamium Earns Its Stripes, Chicagoland Gardening, January/February, p. 10.

 2004. Hardy Geraniums for Northern Gardens, Perennial Plants, Fall, pp. 7-34.

 2004. An Evaluation Study of Alchemilla, Plant Evaluation Notes, No. 24.

 2004. Summersweet Clethra, Chicagoland Gardening, November/December, pp. 14-15.

 2004. Plant Evaluations at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Proceedings of the 2002 Perennial Plant Association Symposium, pp. 25-26.

 2004. Leucanthemum ´superbum ‘Becky’: 2003 Perennial Plant of the Year. Proceedings of the 2002 Perennial Plant Association Symposium, pp. 27-28.

 2004. Fall-blooming Anemones, Chicagoland Gardening, September/October, pp. 14-15.

 2004. Hardy Geraniums for Northern Gardens, Plant Evaluation Notes, No. 22.

 2004. Blazing Stars Brighten the Midsummer Garden, Chicagoland Gardening, July/August, p. 13.

 2004. Echinacea tennesseensis, Field Notes. American Nurseryman, June 1, Issue 11, Volume 199, p. 86.

 2004. Hardy Geraniums, Chicagoland Gardening, May/June, p. 20.

 2004. An Evaluation Study of Coral Bells. Perennial Plants, Spring, pp. 20-32.

 2004. False Indigos Test True in Perennial Beds. Chicagoland Gardening, March/April, p. 14.

 2004. Garden-Worthy Artemisias. Chicagoland Gardening, January/February, p. 12.

 2003. An Evaluation Study of Coral Bells, Plant Evaluation Notes, No. 21.

 2003. Lamb’s Ears and Betonies (Stachys), Chicagoland Gardening, November/December, pp. 14-15.

 2003. Hardy Sages, Chicagoland Gardening, September/October, pp. 14-15.

 2003. Garden-Worthy Artemisias, Perennial Plants, Spring, pp.7-19.

 2003. Monarda for the Summer Garden, Chicagoland Gardening, July/August, p. 16.

 2003. What Color is Your Yarrow? Chicagoland Gardening, May/June, p. 20.

 2003. Garden-worthy Artemisias, Plant Evaluation Notes, No. 19.

 2003. Colorful Coral Bells, Chicagoland Gardening, March/April, p. 14.

 2003. Spring-blooming Barrenworts for the Shade Garden, Chicagoland Gardening, January/February, p. 27.

 2002. Blue Star Shines in Trials in the Midwest, The American Gardener, Vol. 81, No. 5, p. 14.

 2002. An Appraisal of Pulmonaria for the Garden, Part 2, The Pulmonaria Group Newsletter, November, pp. 12-14.

 2002. Plant Evaluations at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Perennial Plants, Autumn, pp. 11-14.

 2002. Boxwoods for Northern Gardens, Chicagoland Gardening, November/December, p. 12.

 2002. Hardy Amsonia, Perennial Plants, Summer, pp. 29-41.

 2002. Pulmonaria, Perennial Plants, Spring, pp. 33-42.

 2002. Coneflowers: Anything but Ordinary, Chicagoland Gardening, September/October, p. 12.

 2002. A Flock of Phlox for the Garden, Chicagoland Gardening, July/August, p. 13.

 2002. Clematis for Northern Gardens, Chicagoland Gardening, May/June, p. 36.

 2002. An Appraisal of Pulmonaria for the Garden, Part 1, The Pulmonaria Group Newsletter, March, pp. 9-15.

 2002. Bluestars for Northern Gardens, Chicagoland Gardening, March/April, p. 41.

 2002. An Evaluation Study of Hardy Amsonia, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 18.

 2002. Garden-worthy Pulmonarias, Chicagoland Gardening, January/February, p. 11.

 2001. An Appraisal of Pulmonaria for the Garden, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 17.

 2001. Addressing Powdery Mildew on Phlox, Fine Gardening, November-December, pp. 80-81.

 2001. Autumn-blooming Toad Lilies, Chicagoland Gardening, November/December, p. 11.

 2001. Bay Laurel, Garden Talk, Vol. 16, No. 6, p. 2.

 2001. An Evaluation Study of Tricyrtis, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 16.

 2001. Tops in Toad Lilies, NMPro, September, pp. 51-54.

 2001. Goldenrods, The Gardener, Vol. 1, No. 3, p. 7.

 2001. Great Goldenrods for the Garden, Chicagoland Gardening, September/October, p. 35.

 2001. Which Goldenrods Rule, NMPro, August, pp. 59-63.

Richard Hawke and Janet Treuhaft. 2001. Chicago Botanic Garden Evaluates Goldenrod, Plant Propagator, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 11-12.

 2001. An Evaluation Report of Goldenrods for the Garden, Perennial Plants, Spring, pp. 11-24.

 2001. Grading Goldenrods, The American Gardener, Vol. 80, No. 2, p. 13.

 2001. Chicago Botanic Garden Identifies Hardy Goldenrod, American Nurseryman, Vol. 193, No. 4, pp. 12.

Jim Ault and Richard Hawke. 2000. Breeding and Evaluation of Perennials at Chicago Botanic Garden, Combined Proceedings International Plant Propagators’ Society, Vol. 50.

 2000. An Evaluation Report of Goldenrods for the Garden, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 15. 2000. A Performance Appraisal of Hardy Sages, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 14.

 1999. An Evaluation Report of Selected Phlox Species and Hybrids, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 13.

 1999. Clematis: The Queen of Vines. Flowering Vines, Brooklyn Botanic Garden Gardening Series.

 1998. Monarda and Powdery Mildew Resistance, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 12.

 1997. An Evaluation Report of Shrub Roses, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 11.

 1997. Clematis for Northern Gardens, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 10.

 1997. Climbing to the Top. American Nurseryman. Volume 186, Issue 7, pp. 44-67.

 1997. Pullman Evaluation Garden symbolizes history, Garden Talk. Volume 12, Number 6, p. 6.

 1996. A Performance report of Cultivated Blazing Stars, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 9.

 1995. Rudbeckia for Cultivated Landscapes, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 8.

 1994. Boxwoods for Northern Midwest Landscapes, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 6.] 1994. A Performance Report of Cultivated Yarrows (Achillea). Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 5.

 1994. Annual Vines, Hybrid. Volume 23, Number 2, p. 4.

 1993. Hibiscus moscheutos Cultivars and Horticultural Hybrids, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 4.

 1992. A Bamboo Performance Report, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 3.

 1991. The Evaluation and Introduction of a Unique Dwarf River Birch, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 2.

 1991. Performance Appraisal of Selected Small-leaved Rhododendrons, Plant Evaluation Notes, Issue 1.