Crop Vignette: Petunia

This first appeared as “EHC Corner: Petunia, the worthless tobacco” in the IR-4 Newsletter 50(1):14. Plant Information Modern petunia varieties we know and love are derived from two petunia species discovered in South America during the mid-1700’s through early 1800’s. The Latin name Petunia originated from one of the native Tupi-Guarani words ‘petun’ meaning ‘worthless […]

Crop Vignette: Holiday Greenery

This first appeared as “EHC Corner: Holiday Greenery” in the IR-4 Newsletter 49(4):13. Plant Information The smell of cedar, pine and other evergreens are synonymous with the winter holidays. Whether wreaths or boughs hung inside or out, this greenery visually signals the start of the US holiday season and its aroma brings back childhood memories […]

Crop Vignette: Aster and Sneezeweed

This first appeared as “Spotlight on Ornamentals: Spring Forward for Fall” in the IR-4 Newsletter 48(2):8. It is currently late spring, so it seems a little unusual to be talking about fall color but growers are already producing plants for fall color. Autumn in most parts of the United States brings spectacular color to foliage […]

Crop Vignette: Orchid

This first appeared as “Spotlight on OrnHort: The Exotic Orchid” in the IR-4 Newsletter 48(3):8. Orchids have been regarded as one of the most prized flowering plants, especially the large flowering tropical species. During the Victorian era, plant collectors explored tropical zones and brought back to Europe many different species. Many of the Latin species […]

Crop Vignette: Rose

This first appeared as "Spotlight on Ornamentals: A rose by any other name" in the IR-4 Newsletter 48(1):8. Plant Information A dozen long-stemmed roses is the modern epitome for giving a gift on Valentine's Day to one's sweetheart. The tradition of giving flowers as presents may have arisen in the early 18th century when King [...]

Crop Vignette: Enkianthus

This first appeared as “Spotlight on Ornamentals: An up and Coming Landscape Plant – Enkianthus” in the IR-4 Newsletter 47(1):9. Plant Information Enkianthus species naturally occur in southeast Asia and were introduced into England by botanist Charles Maries in the late 1800’s on a plant collection trip to Japan, China and Taiwan where he discovered […]

Crop Vignette: Rhododendron

This first appeared as “Spotlight on Ornamentals: A Thousand and One Arabian Rose Trees?” in the IR-4 Newsletter 46(4):4. Plant Information Throughout the world there are more than 1,000 known species of Rhododendron, or “rose trees” as directly translated from ancient Greek. Commonly known in cultivation as azaleas, Rhododendron species are grouped with ericaceous plants […]

Crop Vignette: Geraniums and Pelargoniums

This first appeared as “Spotlight on Ornamentals: Geraniums? Pelargoniums? What’s the difference?” in the IR-4 Newsletter 45(1):5. Plant Information Geraniums and pelargoniums are often confused with each other. And it is very easy to do since the flower is widely grown as a bedding plant and in containers which are known as ‘geranium’, but its […]