40 Under 40, Class of 2013

Kelly Norris


Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines, Iowa

Job Title

Horticulture Manager


Author of A Guide to Bearded Irises that received an American Horticultural Society Book Award; In addition to his “”day job,”” along with his family he operates Rainbow Iris Farm, a seven-acre specialty nursery and is the editor for the American Iris Society.


Favorite cuisine: “”I”m a devout fan of Latin American foods … spicy, mild, saucy or dry, I”m all over it.”” One of his favorite reads: Orchid Fever by Eric Hansen “”probably only because I”ve read it like eight times.””

Fun Facts

Depending on whom you ask: Kelly says he is either terribly one-dimensional as “”a big ol” plant geek or a renaissance man”” who is an avid patron of the performing arts and has spent a lot of time singing tenor in different choirs.

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.
Kait Barry
Susan Judd
Alex Kantor
Liz Hughes
Andrew Konicki
Kit Leider Pierri
Lauren Kirchner
Michelle Opela
Judson LeCompte

June 2021 GPN
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