sealPurdue News

November 26, 2002

Event gives consumers a chance to pick their poinsettia

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – To have a voice in what poinsettias will be in stores next year, White River Gardens in Indianapolis will showcase the varieties used in Purdue University poinsettia research.

From Dec. 6 to Christmas, White River Gardens' Hilbert Conservatory will house 112 poinsettia cultivars, including 24 new cultivars that haven't yet hit the market. This is the second year for the event.

"Visitors to the conservatory are able to vote on which cultivar they most prefer, and this, in turn, helps growers and breeders decide which cultivars to market," said Allen Hammer, Purdue professor of horticulture.

White River Gardens shares the same entrance as the Indianapolis Zoo and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. There is no entrance fee for members and children under 1 year of age. For youth 12 and younger, the cost is $3; adult admission is $5, and senior citizen is $4. More information is available on the Web.

To see the poinsettias develop from a seed to a beautiful flowering plant, you can check out the National Poinsettia Cultivar Trials Web site. The site has a link to PoinsettiaCam, a live camera in Purdue's poinsettia trial greenhouse.

White River Gardens will acquire the poinsettias from Purdue after the university's annual Poinsettia Day on Tuesday (12/3) at the horticulture greenhouses on the Purdue campus. Purdue's Poinsettia Day is part of the National Poinsettia Cultivar Trials, which are held to help growers and breeders learn about the poinsettia varieties that are being marketed or soon to be marketed.

The cultivars will be on display along with production information for each variety, Hammer said. To compare how aesthetically pleasing each cultivar is in an outside versus inside environment, poinsettias are displayed under natural and artificial light.

The poinsettias also are raised and displayed at North Carolina State University and the University of Florida. This allows growers and breeders to compare the growth and development of each cultivar in three different climate regions.

Writer: Michelle Betz, (765) 494-8402,

Source: Allen Hammer, (765) 494-1335,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

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