A CIELAB Color Classification Scheme for Poinsettias

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  • 1 Dept. of Plant Science, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-4067

Forty-two poinsettia cultivars were grown as a 15-cm single-plant pinched crop at 21/16.5°C (day/night) temperatures during Fall 1995 with standard commercial practices for irrigating, fertilizing, and pest control. On 7 Dec., 156 consumers rated the cultivars for their overall appeal. On 11 Dec., color coordinate (CIELAB) readings for bracts and leaves were taken with a Minolta 200b colorimeter. The colorimeter was set to illuminate C and has a 8-mm aperture. Bracts and leaves were placed on a white tile background for colorimetric readings. In 1996, a similar evaluation was conducted with 55 poinsettia cultivars. Using the L-value of leaves as a criterion, cultivars were separated into medium green-leafed and dark green-leafed groupings. For bracts among the red types, hue angle values were used to separate cultivars into cool red types (hue angle ≈20–22°) and warm red types (hue angle ≈24–25°). Based on the 1995 study, cultivars within the cool red bracts and dark green foliage group—those that were darker, duller red (lower L and chroma)—were less attractive (lower consumer ratings) than lighter, more-vivid red cultivars. For cultivars within the cool red bracts and medium green foliage group, consumers preferred the darker duller red cultivars. Perhaps dark foliage gives a more pleasing contrast with the more vivid cool reds than does the medium green foliage. In general, consumers rated red cultivars hire than non-red cultivars.

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