URI hosts poinsettia events Dec. 4 and 6

Media Contact: Todd McLeish 874-7892

97 varieties, many unusual colors available

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 26, 2003 — The University of Rhode Island is hosting the 10th Annual Poinsettia Variety Trials Open House on Thursday, Dec. 4 from noon to 3 p.m. at the URI Greenhouses on the Kingston Campus.

In past years this exclusive event has been open only to local growers and retailers as a preview of interesting new varieties developed by the four largest international plant wholesalers. This year, however, the greenhouse doors will be open to the general public, giving everyone in the community a chance to view close to 100 varieties of poinsettias, more than 50 of which are variations on the conventional red.

“We have every poinsettia color combination imaginable including pinks, whites, purples, yellows, variegated, and speckled varieties,” said David Wallace, the URI plant protection specialist who is coordinating the Open House. “We have reds tinged with green, reds edged with white, standards, dwarfs, and a variety that looks like a rose in bloom.”

Though visitors to the Open House will only be able to see the poinsettias and ask questions, two days later the entire stock of plants will be for sale. The University’s third annual Poinsettia Day Sale will be held Saturday, Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This one-stop shopping opportunity will also feature orchids, houseplants, handcrafted wreaths, bows, holiday crafts, and food and refreshments for sale. In addition, the event will feature an ongoing “Holiday Table Landscaping” workshop from 9 to 11 a.m. when visitors can learn creative decorating ideas for the home. Canned goods will also be collected for local food banks.

“The Poinsettia Day Sale provides the public with the unique opportunity to choose between buying the familiar red poinsettia or being more daring and going with newly introduced, less traditional varieties,” said Marcia Morreira, director of the URI Cooperative Extension Education Center. “Our Master Gardeners raised all the poinsettias themselves and will be on hand to answer plant care questions, share holiday decorating hints, and entertain your children while you shop. It will be a fun experience for the whole family.”

Poinsettia Day is sponsored by the URI Master Gardener Association, the URI Cooperative Extension Education Center, the Department of Plant Sciences, the College of the Environment and Life Sciences, and the URI Plant Science Club.

The URI Greenhouses are located at Upper College and Flagg Roads on the Kingston Campus. For more information, call 874-2900.