MEDIA ADVISORY: UNH to unveil 12-foot-high "poinsettia tree" at LOB

Legislative leaders to present joint declaration recognizing UNH Environmental Horticulture students

Sharon Keeler
, UNH Media Relations, 603-862-1566
Paul Fisher, UNH associate professor of plant biology and Cooperative Extension, 603-862-4525

November 25, 2003

A press conference will be held to unveil a 12-foot-high "poinsettia tree " and to promote the horticulture industry in New Hampshire – poinsettia is the most popular potted flowering plant in the U.S., with more than $250 million in annual sales. The press conference will also highlight the working relationship among members of the horticulture industry, the University of New Hampshire horticulture program, the Cooperative Extension, and members of the state legislature.

Where: N.H. Legislative Office Building, Concord, N.H.

When: Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2003, at 10 a.m.

Details: Speakers include Ann Weaver Hart, president of the University of New Hampshire; state Sen. Thomas R. Eaton, president of the N.H. Senate; state Rep. Michael Whalley, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives and surrogate for House Speaker Gene G. Chandler; and, Rick Simpson, president of the N.H. Plant Growers Association. Sen. Eaton and Rep. Whalley will present a declaration to a UNH student who is part of the class responsible for growing the poinsettia plants.

Background: A 12-foot-high “tree” with 40 varieties of potted poinsettia and 175 plants will be displayed in the N.H. Legislative Office Building through the holiday season. These cultivars, grown by UNH students and staff, show a range of colors including red, pink, white and purple. UNH is a leader in poinsettia research and its Cooperative Extension provides services to growers in New Hampshire to improve crop quality and increase profit.

Sponsors of the display include the UNH Anna and Raymond Tuttle Environmental Horticulture Fund and the N.H. Plant Growers Association. A press packet of information about the project and UNH partnerships with the horticulture industry, and a fact sheet on poinsettias for the homeowner, will be available at the event. Flowers will also be provided.