UNH Hosts Floral Design Competition
Dec. 9 to Recognize New 'Cut Flower' Poinsettia
Contact: Sharon Keeler
UNH Media Relations
Decemer 4, 2003
DURHAM, N.H. -- More than 30 years after cut poinsettia became virtually
non-existent, The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
and the New Hampshire State Florists Association are bringing the
cut flower variety of this holiday plant back to life.
The two organizations are hosting a floral design competition using
"Renaissance Red" Poinsettia cut flowers Tuesday, Dec.
9, at the Whittemore Center lobby on the UNH campus. Judging begins
at 4 p.m.
'Cut Flower' Poinsettia
Eight retail florists and a student team will create their displays
using the cut poinsettia, which has compact flowers and long stems,
and looks quite different than the traditional potted varieties.
They will be competing for prize money provided by Fred C. Gloeckner
& Co., the company that is distributing the plants to greenhouse
According to Paul Fisher, UNH associate professor of plant biology
and Cooperative Extension educator, the purpose of the competition
is to recognize and feature qualities in the Renaissance Red Poinsettia
that make it a “unique, beautiful, new cut flower for holiday
use,” to educate florists and the flower buying public, and
to support the joint efforts of UNH Cooperative Extension and N.H.
State Florists Association.
“During 2000 and 2001, we researched production, post-harvest,
and marketing of this new flower product,” Fisher says. “We
found that the crops were easy and profitable to grow, had a stem
length of 24-26 inches, had excellent vase life (2-3 weeks), and
generated strong interest among florists. The limitation was low
market recognition and a need for promotion and education to generate
Participating designers in the competition include Valerie Dawes,
Cobblestone Design Co., Concord; Janet Desmarais, Manchester Flower
Studio, Manchester; Mitch Philbrick, Jacques Flower Shop, Manchester;
Diane Yeo-Churney Alluring Creations, Manchester; Jim LaMothe, Dubois
Flower Shop, Manchester; Heidi Matthews, Sweet Meadows Flower, Dover;
and Jeannie Zaconne and Jill Tammaro, both from Chalifour's Flowers,
In addition, there are three students from Brenda LaMontagne's
floral design course at the UNH Thompson School of Applied Science
who are working as a team on a design.
Prizes will include a $300 first prize for best use and display
of the Renaissance Red Poinsettia cut flowers, a $200 second prize
for best traditional holiday design, and a $100 third prize for
Flower designers will receive their stems on Dec. 8 and will have
a $100 budget to create their design. They will deliver them to
the Whittemore Center between 2 and 3 p.m. on the day of competition.
A panel of three judges, including UNH Provost and Executive Vice
President for Academic Affairs Bruce Mallory, will pick the winners.
The public is invited to attend and learn more about this new holiday
Sponsors include the Anna and Raymond Tuttle Environmental Horticulture
Fund, UNH Cooperative Extension, the N.H. State Florists Association,
Fred C. Gloeckner & Co., Paul Ecke Ranch, and Scotts Co.