Good Points

Good Points

North Carolina State University

Trial location: North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C. (Trial is part of the National Poinsettia Trial Program in cooperation with Purdue University, University of Florida and Homewood Nursery and Garden Center).
Trial managers: John Dole and Ingram McCall
Plant date: Aug. 3 for low vigor cultivars and Aug. 17 for all cultivars (some cultivars were planted at both times).
Weather conditions for the season: Excellent weather conditions; among the best in years. No hurricanes and lots of sun.


Best In Show/Best New Variety
‘Ice Punch’ scored the highest in consumer marketing studies. It is an easy-to-grow cultivar with good axillary shoot development and uniformity. Most novel color pattern since ‘Cortez Burgundy.’

Best Old Variety
‘Prestige Maroon,’ released last year, offers uniform, sturdy growth, excellent breaking and great color.

Top Performers
Rounding out the top three in consumer preferences along with ‘Prestige Maroon’ were ‘Metro Red’ and ‘Premium Picasso.’ This year, ‘Metro Red’ was the No. 1 red. Both performed well in the grower trials, also. For a bright red, ‘Red Dragon’ did very well. ‘Christmas Star’ is another favorite. The dark red bracts are on the small side but nicely arranged in a star pattern on uniform, well-branched plants.

The Ohio State University

Trial location: Howlett greenhouses (OSU campus); Bostdorff Greenhouse Acres (Bowling Green, Ohio); A.J. Rahn Greenhouses (Cincinnati, Ohio); Dill’s Greenhouse (Groveport, Ohio); Barco and Sons, Inc. (Medina, Ohio)
Trial managers: Dr. Claudio Pasian and Stephanie Burns (Department of Horticulture and Crio Science, OSU), and Dr., Steve Carver at OFA.
Plant date: First week of August
Weather conditions for the season: Generally warmer and sunnier than normal at the beginning and end of the season. Very cold with overcast skies and rain during portions of September and October.

Best In Show/Best New Variety
Best In Show was ‘Sonora White Glitter,’ a marble on red jingle type, and Best New Variety was ‘Premium Picasso,’ with fine, deep pink spots on white reminiscent of ‘Monet Twilight.’

Best Old Variety
‘Orion Red,’ an early red.

Top Performers
As rated by 242 consumers, most of whom bought poinsettias at a sale held in conjunction with the trial:
Top 5 scored on 1 to 5 scale:
1. ‘Sonora White Glitter’
2. ‘Premium Picasso’
3. ‘Christmas Carol’
4. ‘Premium Red’
5. ‘Orion Red’
Top 5 based on number of times selected as a favorite:
1. ‘Sonora White Glitter’
2. ‘Premium Picasso’
3. ‘Peppermint Twist (1124),’ a Winter Rose type with peppermint coloration.
4. ‘Avantgarde Red,’ an oak-leaf type with deep red color.
5. ‘Chianti Red,’ an oak-leaf deep red.

Penn State University

Trial location: Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses, Zionsville, Pa.
Plant date: Third week in July
Weather conditions for the season: Very good, with plenty of sunshine and a warm fall.

Best New Variety
‘Early Prestige’ was judged the best new variety because of the overall quality of the plant and flower/bract presentation, V-shaped branching structure and Prestige-type strength of stems.

Best Old Variety
Ecke’s ‘Freedom Red’ still gets top grades for flower size and flower power. Its contrast between dark foliage and red, red flowers makes a great show. Oglevee ‘Festival Red’ received votes in habit, bract presentation and size. Stem strength and structure put this variety in the top five reds, also.

Top Performers
Selecta First Class’ ‘Cinnamon Candy’ offers strong stems and structure. Fischer USA had, in addition to ‘Hot Pink,’ three other Cortez varieties in the top 25: ‘Cortez Electric Fire,’ ‘Cortez Burgundy’ and ‘Cortez Red.’ The strength of Prestige is bred into ‘Prestige Maroon,’ giving this Ecke family a good complement.

Tennessee State University

Trial location: Tennessee State University, Nashville
Trial manager: Chris Catanzaro
Plant date: Aug. 2 and 3
Weather conditions for the season: Seemed unusually cloudy early- to mid-season. Plants were much smaller than last year’s.

Best In Show
‘Sonora White Glitter’ was the most popular novelty type.

Best New Variety
‘Ecke 15-02,’ a traditional red with upright habit and prominent cyathia.

Best Old Variety
‘Cortez Electric Fire’ was the most popular red.

Top 5 Performers
‘Novia Red,’ ‘Festival Rose,’ ‘Nutcracker White,’ ‘Metro Red’ and ‘Pink Cadillac.’    

Kansas State University (KSU)

Trial location: Manhattan, Kan.
Trial manager: Kimberly Williams
Plant date: Aug. 2 for most cultivars
Weather conditions for the season: Overcast; the crop was one of the shortest ever. Several growers who visited the Open House agreed that their crops were very short this year, and they were pushing height to make specs.

Best in Show/Best New Variety
Fischer’s ‘Red Dragon’ ranked highest out of 10 red cultivars on the Open House consumer preferences survey (85 respondents). Ecke’s ‘Prestige Maroon’ generated lots of interest, with 25 percent of consumers selecting it as their favorite red out of 10 cultivars (which probably reflects a local interest in all things purplish–the university’s colors).

Best Old Variety
Fischer’s ‘Cortez Electric Fire,’ with its bright orange bracts, was second in the red category. ‘Early Joy Red’ was also ranked highly by consumers. Several growers who visited liked Ecke’s ‘Prestige Red’ as the primary cultivar they currently produce, and they didn’t note substantial differences with ‘Prestige Early Red 12-05.’ Ecke’s ‘Enduring Pink’ and Fischer’s ‘Mars Pink’ were the two most popular non-red cultivars (out of 10 non-reds in Consumer Preferences Survey).

Top Performers
In addition to the above, Dömmen’s ‘Earlyglory Red’ and ‘Euroglory Red’ were both strong performers. Fischer’s ‘Sonora White Glitter’ and Dömmen’s ‘Premium Miro’ were very popular novelty poinsettias.

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph

Trial Location: Department of Plant Agriculture Greenhouses, Vineland Research Station, University of Guelph, Vineland Station, ON, Canada
Trial Manager: Wayne Brown
Plant Date: Aug.10 and 11
Weather conditions for the season:  September–30 percent less light compared with previous five year average and cooler temperatures than normal; October–below average hours of sunlight; November–mild conditions and above average sunshine hours; December–mild, sunny and no snow.

Best in Show/Best New Variety
Red: Ecke’s ‘Prestige Early Red.’ Five to six days earlier than ‘Prestige,’ it has a similar strong plant habit and a slightly brighter red bract color. The bracts seem to display somewhat better above the foliage. Selecta First Class’ ‘Christmas Star Bright.’ This mid-season, strong upright poinsettia breaks with star-like bracts with clear bright color that retained is freshness and with good strong cyathia development. It was one of the varieties that simply stood out among the 45 different reds in the trial. ‘Ecke 134.’ This is a new, very early orange-red with numerous large, showy cyathia. It is shippable in 6.5 weeks. It’s vigorous, with very upright, strong stems and is well-suited for larger container sizes and retail growers. The bracts and cyathia retain their freshness. White: Dömmen’s ‘Arctic White.’ A late white with very white bracts, this poinsettia does not become creamy/brown or yellow like some other whites. The plant habit is compact with small, mid-green leaves and medium-sized smooth, white bracts. Pink: Both ‘Mars Pink’ and ‘Mars Lipstick Pink’ from Fischer were new to the trial this year and are both excellent cultivars. Smooth, flat, clear pink bracts sit on vigorous, well-branched plants. Novelty: Dömmen’s ‘Premium Van Gogh.’ This plant was a standout, as was ‘Cinnamon Star’ from Fischer, a novel color with dark green foliage.

Top Performers
‘Max Red’ from Ecke, as well as ‘Olympus,’ ‘Whitestar,’ ‘Sonora White Glitter’ and ‘Novia’ from Fischer, were just some of the standouts.

Pleasant View Gardens

Trial location: Pleasant View’s facility in Pembroke, NH.
Trial managers: Lee Nye and Aleksi Yosifov
Plant date: July 20 and 21
Weather conditions for the season: July and the beginning of August were hot and sunny. The rest of August and September were warm and sunny. October had warmer than normal temperatures with some clouds and rain. November’s temperatures were warmer than normal and mostly sunny.

Best in Show/New Varieties
In reds, ‘Success Red’ from Ecke is a vigorous grower with medium green leaves and a bright red color. It has a 9.5-week response time. Oglevee’s ‘Festival Red’ is a medium to vigorous grower with an 8-week response time. ‘Enduring Red’ from Ecke is a compact to medium grower that offers bright red bracts and a full canopy, with an 8-week response time. In the white category, ‘Enduring White’ from Ecke scored well, as did ‘White Christmas’ from Selecta First Class. ‘Premium Marble 2006’ from Dömmen did well in the novelty category, as did ‘Christmas Time Crazy Marble,’ ‘Golden Christmas’ and ‘Cinnamon Candy’ from Selecta First Class.

Best in Show/Old Varieties
As for the popular reds, Dömmen’s ‘Premium Red,’ a compact grower with dark leaves and a full canopy was a favorite. The vigorous grower ‘Euroglory’ from Dömmen also stood out, as did Ecke’s ‘Prestige Red,’ a medium grower with dark green leaves and an 8.5-week response time. ‘Christmas Star’ from Selecta First Class and ‘Novia’ from Fischer also were standouts in the red category. In whites, ‘Nutcracker White’ from Oglevee proved an excellent performer, along with ‘Whitestar’ from Fischer and Dömmen’s ‘Arctic White.’ ‘Coco 2000 Hot Pink’ from Dömmen proved itself in the pink category. Oglevee’s vigorous grower, ‘Nutcracker Pink,’ also did well, as did ‘Mars Pink’ and ‘Flirt’ from Fischer. Novelty standouts included Fischer’s ‘Marblestar,’ ‘Mars Marble,’ ‘Silverstar Marble,’ and ‘Puebla.’ From Dömmen, ‘Avantgarde Red’ and ‘Premium Picasso’ scored high, and Ecke’s ‘Monet Twilight’ also impressed. ‘Cortez Burgundy’ and ‘Sonora White Glitter’ from Fischer were also excellent performers.

Top Performers
‘White Christmas’ from Selecta First Class, ‘Sonora White Glitter’ from Fischer and ‘Coco 2000 Hot Pink,’ ‘Premium Picasso’ and ‘Avantgarde Red’ from Dömmen were the top performers.