The LSU Agricultural Center and Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association initiated an ornamental plant promtion, marketing, and recommendation program in 1996. Called `Louisiana Select', this program is intended to actively promote outstanding ornamental plants to Louisiana's gardening consumers. In addition, it provides county agents and industry professionals information on plants that should be recommended. The selection committee consists of an extension horticulturist, two county agents, a landscape contractor, a wholesale greenhouse grower, a wholesale woody ornamental producer, and two representatives from retail garden centers. Plants are usually promoted in the spring and fall of each year. Plants previously named as Louisiana Select recipients include `New Orleans Red' (Red Ruffle) coleus, mayhaw, `Henry's Garnet' virginia sweetspire, `Homestead Purple' perennial verbena, `Telstar' dianthus, bald cypress, `New Gold' lantana, `Confetti' lantana, `Trailing Purple' lantana, `Dallas Red' lantana, `Silver Mound' lantana, `Lady in Red' salvia, `New Wonder' scaevola, `Goldsturm' rudbeckia, and `Foxy' fox-glove. A theme (“Fall is for Planting Native Trees”) has also been promoted. Point of purchase signs promoting the Louisiana Select program and individual plants are made available to garden centers. Significant sales increases ranging from 300% to 2500% have been reported for seelcted plants with annual bedding plants and perennial flowers enjoying the greater sales volume increases.
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