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Horticulture"People and plant stories intertwine, greatly enlivening the history of horticulture."
—Horticulture, January 2003
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—Marty Hair, Detroit Free Press, December 15, 2002
—Joel M. Lerner, Washington Post, November 30, 2002
In the world of holly enthusiasts, the Van Lenneps were still neophytes, but they compared each of Highley's hollies with the hollies they knew and realized each was different and unlike the other. They took cuttings of the plants, one female and two males to show at the Holly Society of America's annual meeting. The holly experts at the gathering were also mystified by the cuttings. Full of new hope for the previously doomed hollies, the Van Lenneps returned to St. Michael's and propagated the cuttings. After evaluating the plants, Gus Van Lennep was most impressed with the female clone and named it 'Nellie R. Stevens' to honor the lady who originally planted the seeds of the now-famous holly in her garden at Maplehurst. He introduced it to the commercial trade in 1954.