University Poinsettia Sale represents town-gown relationship at its best

What started as a hands-on learning project has evolved into a Gainesville community holiday tradition. The University of Florida Environmental Horticulture Club holds its annual Poinsettia Sale on December 9-11. More information on the sale can be found here

The sale offers an opportunity to get poinsettia varieties you will not find anywhere else. For UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, which provides the greenhouses, instructors, industry connections, and most of the students, the largest student-run poinsettia sale in the nation is a true land-grant trifecta.

Being in its 25th year, the sale has been around long enough that former club president Erin Alvarez is now a lecturer in the UF/IFAS Department of Environmental Horticulture and a faculty co-advisor for the club. Other club alumni are professionals throughout Florida agriculture.

In the greenhouse, you will see a blaze of Premium Picassos, Candy Canes, Marble Stars, and more. What you do not see is the four months students spent painstakingly collecting data on how poinsettias respond to temperature and plant growth regulators.

The work pays off in many ways. When the students finish running the registers, they will convert many of their earnings to euros as they travel through Italy to gain an international perspective on environmental horticulture.

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