203 Selection Strategies for Selecting Alternative Cut Flowers for Greenhouse Production

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1173

The cut-flower industry is continually searching for unique products to introduce to the floral industry. Our objective was to select potential species for trial as new greenhouse-grown alternative cut flowers. Hardy perennials from the Rock/Alpine Garden at the Denver Botanical Garden served as the selection pool. Plants in this collection were fitting due to their durability in Colorado conditions and their rugged unique beauty. Several trial cuts of potential species were taken, and the flowers were evaluated for flower size, stem length, stem strength, foliage, vase life, usefulness, and general aesthetic quality. Next, an informal survey of growers, retailers, researchers, and consumers was taken to determine which flowers had already been seen on the market and which flowers would be potentially successful in the trade. After assimilating the information, the following six species were selected for trial future greenhouse production: Anthyllis vulneraria, Dianthus giganteus, Diascia integerrima, Echium lusitanium, Heuchera sanguinea `Bressingham Hybrids', and Trollius yunnanensis.

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