Philippe Veys and Ronald van den Breevaart of Green Team Consultancy at the Proflora in Bogota, Colombia.
According to Veys, Americans are quite conservative and new varieties do not become popular easily or fast. "Four years ago, our Ecuadorian growers started to grow and export the grassheart roses to one of their main export markets; the US in low quantities. We clearly saw that Americans have to get familiar with a new variety first. Slowly but steadily the demand increases, year after year. For this reason, the "grassheart" rose is becoming an interesting crop to grow and also more Colombian growers are now considering going into production with this kind of rose."
Among the "grassheart" roses, the Red Eye is the most popular one. "With the green centre, or eye, it looks different than the standard red rose. It has a stem length of 40cm-70cm, production of average 70 -100 stems and a vaselife of up to 16 days," says Veys. At the 2014 Glazen Tulp Award this rose came second in the cut flowers category.