About Us

Knight Hollow Nursery, Inc, (KHN) is a plant tissue culture laboratory located in Middleton, Wisconsin.  We are an industry leader in woody plant tissue culture. KHN was founded by Deborah McCown in 1981 and is now run and operated by her daughter Elizabeth (Dunham) Erickson. KHN is a contract-based wholesale propagator and holds an extensive inventory of cultured plants. 

We offer isolation into sterile culture and scale-up cloning to growers of unique, high- value plant specimens. We also offer holding of plant genetics in sterile culture. KHN specializes in wholesale propagation of patented and unpatented woody ornamental plants and previously difficult-to-multiply specimens.

We maintain a large lab that rotates millions of micro cuttings at any one time and an indoor rooting room with a capacity of 100,000 rooted microcuttings. We also hold two small greenhouses which lets us further harden off our plant product. Our plugs are rooted and acclimated cultured cuttings, making tissue-cultured plants more accessible to a wide range of clients.

Woman holding plant for Nursery magazine cover.

Strength in Numbers

See how Knight Hollow has stayed true to its values as it diversifies and grows with its second generation.
Nursery Management, March 2024
Plant in vial


Elizabeth M. Dunham – President


Elizabeth (Liz) grew up being part of the lab. She has watched its growth as she grew and now succeeds in advancing the company into the future.  Originally studying art, she soon realized her strengths were closer to home. She started full time work at KHN after graduating from UW-Madison with a BFA in 2003. From dish washing to now running the business, she knows all the roles at the company. She loves plants but people are her passion. She enjoys meeting the customers and finding how KHN can fill their propagation needs. She also excels in running her teams at KHN.   

Deborah D. McCown – Past President and Advisor


Deb started the lab with the help of her husband’s development of WPM (Woody Plant Medium) at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Starting with Rhododendron and Kalmia KHN has widely expanded its cultured plants to what we offer today. KHN was one of the first woody tissue culture labs and has maintained its place as an industry leader. She is still at the business every day.

Brent McCown – Consultant


Brent is a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who assists with special research projects and consults on new technologies.

Nathan Erickson – CFO


Nathan has a background of 20+ years of risk analysis in the insurance industry. He met Liz in 2019 and has been part of the team at the nursery ever since. He holds a full-time underwriting job but helps as CFO (and anywhere else needed) during weekends and evenings.

William Utech – Head Technician


Coming from a background of biology and aquatic plant and aquarium maintenance, Will has been with KHN since 2020. He runs scheduling for the lab and is integral in the advancement of new plants into sterile culture.

Please contact us for an up to date plant list or contract-based orders.

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