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plants because of their attractive foliage and their ability to survive and grow under limited indoor light ( Chen and Henny, 2008 ). Among the characteristics of foliage plants, variegation is an important trait, which provides unique visual appearance

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Variegation is referred to as the presence of discrete markings of various colors on an organ or an organism ( Marcotrigiano, 1997 ). Markings may be stripes, blotches, or streaks of white, cream, yellow, or other colors. Variegation in plants is

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Variegation is a phenotype where plants develop off-colored sectors in their vegetative or reproductive tissues that can be caused by several types of genetic changes ( Yu et al., 2007 ). In general, variegated plant tissues typically display

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Petal variegation is a distinctive trait of flowers from many angiosperm families. Variegation not only attracts pollinators but also improves the ornamental and commercial value of flowers. Tree peony ( Paeonia suffruticosa ), which belongs to the

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Variegation is a common trait in many plant species and has been studied extensively to understand modes of inheritance and molecular mechanisms ( Kirk and Tilney-Bassett 1978 ). In general, variegation is inherited in a Mendelian fashion, but

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germplasm, and R. Scott Poethig for discussions concerning cell lineage variegation. I am grateful to Richard Munson, Thomas H. Boyle, Marie Fowler, and Susan P. McGlew for allowing access to some of the photographed plants. The cost of publishing this paper

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Some consumer preference studies show that red is the most popular flower color. Most data analyses were univariate. Conjoint analysis allows simultaneous determination of attribute preferences without all alternatives being shown. Our purpose was to determine consumer preferences for geranium flower color, leaf variegation, and price simultaneously using conjoint analysis. Two-hundred and four consumers shopping at two Montgomery, Ala., garden centers in Apr. 1993 rated 25 composite geranium photographs. A lavender geranium, `Danielle', with green and white leaf variegation priced at $1.39 was most preferred. Flower color was most important in the purchase decision, followed by price. Leaf variegation was a minor consideration in the purchase decision.

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Researchers often investigate consumer preferences by examining variables consecutively, rather than simultaneously. Conjoint analysis facilitates simultaneous investigation of multiple variables. Cluster analysis facilitates development of actionable market segments. Our objective was to identify relative importance and consumer preferences for flower color, leaf variegation, and price of geraniums (Pelargonium ×hortorum L.H. Bail.) and to identify several actionable market segments. We also evaluated the desirability of a hypothetical blue geranium. Photographic images were digitized and manipulated to produce plants similar in flower area, but varying in flower color (red, lavender, pink, white, and blue), leaf variegation (plain green, dark green zone, and white zone), and price ($1.39 to $2.79). Conjoint analysis revealed that flower color was the primary consideration in the purchase decision, followed by leaf variegation and price. A cluster analysis that excluded blue geraniums yielded four actionable consumer segments. When preferences for the blue geranium were included, six consumer segments were identified.

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Abstract

A reduction in light intensity by 27%, 47%, or 73% shading significantly increased percent variegation (relative amount of nongreen area per leaf) and significantly decreased fresh and dry weight, but did not appreciably affect leaf nutrient content of Peperomia obtusifolia L. Nutrient treatments had no consistent effect on variegation or fresh and dry weight.

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Consumers in five U.S. markets evaluated photographs of geranium plants with regard to purchase likelihood. Photographic images were colored electronically to produce uniform geranium plants with five flower colors (pink, white, red, lavender, and blue) and three leaf variegation patterns (dark zone, white zone, and no zonal pattern). Photographs were mounted on cards with five selected price points ranging from ($1.39 to $2.79). We randomly generated an orthogonal array, partial-factorial design for consumers to rate a reduced number of choices. Consumers shopping in cooperating garden centers located in Dallas, Texas; Montgomery, Ala.; Athens, Ga.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Wilmington, Dela., rated 25 photographs on the basis of their likelihood to purchase the plants shown. Conjoint analysis revealed that customers in the Georgia garden center placed the highest proportion of their decision to buy on leaf variegation (29%), while customers in the Alabama outlet placed the most emphasis on price (46% of the decision). Shoppers in Texas valued flower color most highly (58% of their decision to buy). Demographic characteristics and past purchase behavior also varied widely, suggesting diverse marketing strategies for geraniums.

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