For over 40 years Father John L. Fiala (1924-1990) worked as a scholar and plant breeder to enrich the horticultural world. His two great interests were Lilacs and Flowering Crabapples. Working in Ohio, Father Fiala developed Lilac hybrids that set new standards with their improved disease resistant foliage, superb floral features, and outstanding form. His Flowering Crabapple introductions are among the finest choices for the garden, with outstanding flowers and fruit, excellent disease resistance, and pleasing growth habits.
All of Father Fiala's remarkable horticultural achievements were accomplished in addition to his professional life as a Parish Priest, High School Principal, and College Professor. In his later years, he wrote two internationally acclaimed books: Lilacs-The Genus Syringa and Flowering Crabapples-The Genus Malus.