I am searching for the Cheyenne Hardy Mum. Wyoming is a hard place to survive for people and plants. In 1928, Congress authorized the Cheyenne Horticultural Field Station. The mission of the station was to find, develop and propagate flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs adapted to the harsh conditions of the high plains. In 1974, the mission changed to grazing management, reclamation and water conservation.

In the period from 1928 to 1974, an amazing array of flowers, fruits and vegetables were developed at the station that were specifically intended to thrive in our harsh conditions. The Fort Laramie strawberry was developed here. According to the Gurney’s Seed Catalog, it is the “hardiest everbearer you can grow” and it “survives the worst winter without mulch.”

Another hardy plant developed at the station was the Cheyenne Hardy Mum. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, the Cheyenne Hardy Mum was named Cheyenne’s official flower in 1970. So, we should be growing some of these in Cheyenne!

Unfortunately, I can’t find the seeds anywhere. The Department of Agriculture helpfully says that the seeds are available from Huff’s Gardens in Burlington, Kansas. Sadly, it appears that Huff’s Gardens is permanently closed.

If you know where one might find these flowers, please contact me at theodore.hanlon@gmail.com. It would be a shame if we lose all that hard work and history.

By the way, the Cheyenne Department of Urban Forestry operates the High Plains Arboretum on the site. It features 60 different trees and shrubs from around the world. Many of them are fruit trees. I was just visiting, and the fruit trees are in bloom. They are beautiful in the stark and tough way that all good things in Wyoming are beautiful. The Arboretum is free and open to the public. You should visit!

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