UF/IFAS Okeechobee County Extension Service
458 Highway 98 North
Okeechobee, FL 34972-2578
Phone: (863) 763-6469
E- mail: email@example.com
December 13, 2006
|Quick Links: Poinsettia Value Poinsettia tips Cyclamen Diamond Frost Reindeer Paws References|
Article - for release the week of
Tired of the same old holiday gifts? Scared of gift cards and shopping malls? Want something more personal than cash? Consider visiting a local nursery, florist or garden shop and give something green and growing for the holidays.
week I visited the
But Christmas is not just for trees and poinsettias. Besides “Big Red”, other plants that were being evaluated by UF were Cyclamen, a new version of an old favorite; Snowflake Euphorbia, a “weed” that’s been dressed up for the holidays; and an Australia import that looks like nothing I’ve ever seen before, Reindeer Paws.
big are holiday flower and plant sales?
I checked the latest figures from USDA, and found
that more Poinsettias are sold than any other
potted flowering plant. With 112 million
much of this is comes from the old red favorite? During
the holidays, the average
you want some tips on Poinsettia
care, we can help you
out. I’d like to point out a couple of tips that can
help select that perfect poinsettias:
· Look at the yellow center flower bud to determine freshness: For the longest lasting decoration, choose a plant that does not show yellow pollen, and be sure that it shows no evidence of molding or rotting.
· High quality plants will have un-broken stems and lots of green leaves. Abused plants have been exposed to temperature extremes or drafty conditions that shorten the shelf life of poinsettias.
These true flowers of Poinsettia, called cyathia, are in "full bloom", as indicated by the presence of the yellow pollen. This plant is at its prime, and may begin to decline from this point on. Photo Dan Culbert, UF/IFAS The cyathia of these Poinsettia flowers have begun to rot, indicating this plant has a short shelf life. Avoid purchasing plants that have this problem. Photo Dan Culbert, UF/IFAS Plants with long lateral shoots can easily be broken. Check the NSCU website for all kinds of other Poinsettia problems. Photo: © Brian Whipker, NCSU
The field day was not just for Poinsettias. UF Professor Dr. Jim Barrett also included a few other plants in his evaluations. This gave growers and consumers a chance to take a look at new and novel plants that can diversify the holiday plant pallet. Here are the new ones from this year’s field day:
Cyclamen: This old-time holiday plant provides a long-lasting splash of color to long winter nights in your home. Imagine a red, pink or white flowery pinwheel growing above a tightly clumped dark green leaved plant, and you can picture a pretty Cyclamen.
They are a bit uncommon in garden center, and more expensive than Poinsettias. It takes two years to grow full-sized Cyclamen from seed to their winter flowering splendor. While Northern gardeners may coax several years out of a Cyclamen, growing conditions in the home are not ideal for this Mediterranean beauty in our Florida Yards. Enjoy them, and then send it north with a snowbird.
new addition on display at the UF Trials was “Super
Series Compact Wine Red Cyclamen.” This
|Cyclamen plants come in a variety of sizes and flower colors. They are popular around the holidays. Photo: UF/IFAS.||This variety, Compact Wine Red Cyclamen, appears to have better characteristics for the Florida Consumer. Photo: Dan Culbert, UF/IFAS||This is a photo of Compact Wine Red Cyclamen from the plant breeder in Holland. Photo: Schoneveld Twello b.v|
According to Stuart
Euphorbia "Diamond Frost" is a new compact cultivar of this poinsettia relative. It can give a snowy look to Christmas decorations. At the UF trial, they planted it with a red poinsettia, and it looked very festive. A limited number of plants grown for sale were quickly snapped up by the public, so it may be a popular choice in the future.
|Snowflake Euphorbia (Euphorbia leucocephala) can be grown as a shrub in Florida. Photos: Dr. George Rogers, PBCC Department of Environmental Horticulture|
|"Diamond Frost" is a new dwarf cultivar of Snowflake Euphorbia is well suited for growing and selling as a holiday plant. Photo: Dan Culbert, UF/IFAS||Adding this new cultivar to a planter of other holiday plants can be a dramatic holiday gift. Photo: Dan Culbert, UF/IFAS.|
:A final trial plant that was displayed at the field day is an unusual import from
jury is still out on how they might do in humid
subtropical Florida Yards. But
it’s the flowers we want to talk about. Can you imagine
a spike of flowers that looks like a fuzzy, velvety paw,
colored in bright shades of the rainbow? Flower
buds are covered with colored hairs that give the flowers
their color, ranging
from black to yellow, orange and red.
The trialed plant was a compact species given a trade name of Kanga TM. It is a cultivar of a plant called Red and Green Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii). US growers are calling this plant Reindeer Paws because the red and green flower color is perfect for an unusual holiday plant. Keep your eye out for this one in next years holiday plant offerings.
|In the wild, Kangaroo Paws is adapted to the dry climate of Western Australia. It is the floral emblem of that state. Photo: Nature Base||
This drawing of the flower of Kangaroo Paws gives an idea of the beauty of this flower, which as also been used for the cut flower industry. Graphic: Australian National Botanic Gardens
|KangaTM is a new plant-patented hybrid of this plant. It has spectacular red & green flowers and is suited for growing as a holiday container plant. Photo: © 2005 Bodger Seeds Ltd and Bodger Botanicals Ltd.|
UPDATE, 6/2007: A landscape Hardy Kangaroo Paws for the U.S. is available from a South Carolina Nursery; click here for more information!
I’ve placed more information and lots of photos on our Okeechobee web page, http://okeechobee.ifas.ufl.edu. If you need additional information on the UF Poinsettia field day, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 863-763-6469. Local residents can stop by our office at 458 Hwy 98 North in Okeechobee, and visit our Okeechobee County Master Gardeners from to on Tuesday afternoons. Happy Holly-Days!
Trade names, where used, are given for the purpose of providing specific information. They do not constitute an endorsement or guarantee of products named, nor does it imply criticism of products not named. The Florida Cooperative Extension Service - Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information, and other services to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. Florida Cooperative Extension Service / IFAS / University of Florida. Nick Place, Dean. Last update: 12/13/2012
Anonymous. "Super Series Mini Cyclamen Wins Gold Star." Arlington Heights, Illinois: Greenhouse Product News, January 31, 2005 http://www.gpnmag.com/gpn/index.cfm?fuseaction=showNewsItem&newsItemID=8530
Bailey, Carol. Plant Profile: Snowflake Euphorbia. Stuart: Treasure Coast Newspapers. 1/17/2006. http://okeechobee.ifas.ufl.edu/News%20columns/Snowflake.euphorbia.pdf
Boden, Anne. Red and Green Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii). Canberra, Australia: Australian National Botanic Gardens, 10/06. http://www.anbg.gov.au/emblems/wa.emblem.html
Culbert, Daniel F. 2006 UF Poinsettia Field Day. Okeechobee: UF/IFAS Extension Service 12/14/06. http://okeechobee.ifas.ufl.edu/2006.Poinsettia.Field.Day.htm
and Nursery Crops Outlook [FLO-05].
Nature Base. Red and Green Kangaroo Paw. Perth: Western Australia Dept. of Environment and Conservation, 12/2006. http://www.naturebase.net/content/view/298/97/
Twello b.v. Mini Cyclamen: "Mini Winter
F1" Holland: 12/06.
Smith, P. Allen. Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost®' Allen's Garden website, 12/06. http://www.pallensmith.com/index.php?option=com_plantindex&task=view&PlantID=172
Wikpedia. Anigozanthos 12/12/06. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anigozanthos