Poinsettia Trials Open House Is Dec. 2 – 4, 2010
By Beth Potier, Media Relations
November 24, 2010
Visitors at the University of New Hampshire's Poinsettia Trials Open House Dec. 2-4, 2010, assist research by recording their favorite poinsettias from among many new varieties. Photo: David Goudreault, UNH.
The Macfarlane Greenhouses and Thompson School Horticultural Facility host the popular Poinsettia Trials Open House Thursday, Dec. 2 through Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010. Visitors to the free event, now in its fifth year, will enjoy more than 100 poinsettia varieties, assist ongoing research, and learn about growing poinsettias more sustainably.
Poinsettias on display will go far beyond the traditional red to shades of pink, apricot, and deep burgundy; variegations of red, white and pink shades; and those with names like Polar Bear, Shimmer Surprise, Picasso, Ice Punch, Orange Spice and Ruby Frost. Once again, poinsettias in Fantasy Colors™ will be on display. Visitors can also tour the greenhouses and see the 12-foot poinsettia tree in the lobby of the Whittemore Center.
With a continuing focus on sustainable horticulture, researchers from Cooperative Extension have begun exploring the use of controlled released fertilizers to produce poinsettia crops. These fertilizers have the potential to decrease the cost to growers of producing a crop as well as reducing the environmental impact of poinsettia production. Results will be displayed from previous research that investigated “cool finishing” of poinsettias to reduce the use of heating fuel. In addition, visitors to the trials will assist in research by recording their favorites from among new and different varieties; completing this survey will enter visitors into a drawing to win a poinsettia.
The Poinsettia Trials at UNH is a collaborative event to bring research to breeders, growers, and the public. Similar trials take place at universities and commercial greenhouses across the country, allowing breeders and growers to evaluate regional differences in the growth and performance of new cultivars. This valuable information provides a basis for choosing the best cultivars for a particular growing environment and market.
The Poinsettia Trials Open House is at the Macfarlane Greenhouses at 296 Mast Road, on the West edge of campus, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A broad selection of the many poinsettia varieties will be available for purchase from Thompson School students on all three days and throughout the holiday season (until Dec. 24). On Thursday and Friday metered parking is available at the UNH Visitor Center across from the greenhouses; parking on Saturday is free. The greenhouses are also served by Wildcat Transit’s free shuttle service: www.wildcattransit.com.
For more information, go to http://extension.unh.edu/. The MacFarlane Greenhouses are funded and managed by the New Hampshire Agriculture Experiment Station at UNH. Learn more about the greenhouses at http://www.colsa.unh.edu/aes/macfarlane.