US (HI): Anthuriums out of the lava

The UH anthurium variety ‘Kauai’ received a Blue Ribbon at the Society of American Florists (SAF) Outstanding Varieties Competition. Entered by CTAHR grower-cooperator Green Point Nurseries, ‘Kauai’ was praised by Floral Management, the trade magazine of the SAF, as offering "both novelty and design versatility” and “exotic touches that blend beautifully with more traditional florist flowers.” Green Point was also praised for its ‘Melemeie’ oncidium orchids, which boast “impressively large sprays” and “graceful, bright green stems … laden with abundant flowers in pure yellow.”

The win was a welcome boost for Green Point, which along with other Big Island orchid growers and other floriculture producers was hit hard by the Kilauea vent eruptions. In a recent Star-Advertiser editorial, Green Point’s president and the president of the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association (HFNA), Eric Tanouye, described the importance of the industry to the Islands’ economy and to the sense of Hawaii’s beauty and mystique, as well as the massive losses that growers experienced when their plants were inundated by lava or blighted by vog.

Mr. Tanouye, CTAHR’s 2017 Ka Lei Hano award winner, also detailed the half-century of partnership between the Association and the college, including funding scholarships, providing in-kind donations, and acting as grower-cooperators. He explained, “Our industry has been a partner with CTAHR’s research and development program of over half a century. The program has developed numerous new flower varieties through cross-breeding that have garnered international awards. … These flowers, unique to Hawaii, provide our industry with a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”

He concluded, “We have seen demand [for our flowers] steadily grow over the years. Our primary objective now is to get our farmers who lost everything back on their feet so they, too, can supply that growing demand.”

Source: University of Hawai'i

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