Searching for Underutilized Ornamental Plants

A segment of the US horticultural industry focuses solely on producing new varieties of ornamental plants. The new flowers, trees and shrubs being developed are beautiful, but adaptability testing is often an afterthought. Species that thrive in a greenhouse may end up being poorly suited for nurseries.

This is why consumers need accurate and impartial information about new ornamental plants in order to make economic and environmental choices. A collaborative research project “SERA-027” studied and rated new ornamental plant varieties. They were able to identify several superior plants that are currently being underutilized. The factors they looked at include cold hardiness, heat tolerance, growth rate, environmental adaptation limits, and other qualities.

SERA-027 was funded in part  through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Read more about the project here!

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