There are indications that the U.S. herbaceous perennial plant industry has grown substantially in the last decade. Government census data on perennials is sparse, very general, and collected infrequently. The objective of this research was to define characteristics of the herbaceous perennial plant industry. Questionnaires were sent to members of the Perennial Plant Association in 1990. We requested that the person who made decisions on a daily basis, the owner or active manager, respond. Of 439 surveys distributed, 147 were returned for a 33.5% response rate. The average owner or active manager had a high education level (16 years) which was combined with management experience in at least one other company. Firms sold a mean of 30 genera of perennials. Firms selling primarily perennials were younger and more likely to have less total sales than firms selling primarily other plant products. Firms marketing primarily perennials were more likely to sell products by mail and offer a wider selection of genera.
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