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US (LA): Hundreds of poinsettias on display at LSU AgCenter show

With more than 2,300 poinsettia plants for sale and more than 40 new varieties for evaluation, the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden drew scores of poinsettia lovers on Dec. 1.

The poinsettia show has been presented for more than 20 years, said Jeff Kuehny, resident director at the Botanic Gardens.

The annual event provides poinsettia growers and the public with an opportunity to view some of the latest poinsettia varieties and to see the results of LSU AgCenter evaluations of the plants.

Terri Simpson, of Baton Rouge, rates new poinsettia varieties during the poinsettia show and sale at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden on Dec. 1. Photo by Rick Bogren/LSU AgCenter

The show comprised 2,300 plants that were grown during the fall in AgCenter greenhouses. The display of plants for sale were a rainbow of color, including pink, white, bicolor, burgundy and of course red. Also on display and for sale were new varieties with yellow or orange bracts.

A feature of the annual sale and show is the opportunity for visitors to rate each selected variety on a seven-point scale from “strongly do not like” to “strongly like.” The evaluations help growers select plants for production next year, Kuehny said.

Terri Simpson, of Baton Rouge, spent a few minutes rating the poinsettias.

“I come regularly,” Simpson said. “I love it. It’s like a highlight of the season.”

Autumn Leaves and Gold Rush are two new novelty poinsettias on trial this year, Kuehny said.

Buyers had the opportunity to purchase poinsettias in a variety of colors besides the traditional red during the poinsettia show and sale at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden on Dec. 1. Photo by Rick Bogren/LSU AgCenter

“The names of these varieties describe the colors with yellow, pink and orange coloring of the bracts of Autumn Leaves and a bright LSU gold bract color of Gold Rush,” Kuehny said. “They were a huge hit at the show with shoppers willing to purchase poinsettias that were far from the traditional red-colored bracts. All we need now is a poinsettia with ‘purple’ bracts, and we would be all set for an LSU Christmas.”

Louisiana has about 300 commercial poinsettia growers, Kuehny said. “They produce florist-quality plants that are sold through florists and nurseries.”

Source: LSU AgCenter (Richard Bogren)

Publication date: 12/4/2017



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