URI, City of Providence host ‘Wonderful World of Poinsettias’ exhibit at Roger Williams Park Botanical Center through Jan. 3

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – November 24, 2009 – A one-of-a-kind exhibit of hundreds of poinsettias is on display for the holiday season through Jan. 3 at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center. The exhibit is sponsored by the University of Rhode Island, the City of Providence, and the URI Master Gardener Association.

“The Wonderful World of Poinsettias” exhibit features 195 poinsettias of 65 varieties in a stunning display in the lush, tropical atmosphere of the Botanical Center.

The poinsettias are not the ordinary run-of-the-mill plants available in every big box store during the holidays, according to Master Gardener Francine McVay, who coordinated the growing of the plants. The poinsettias on display have varying shades of red, white, pink and green; some have combinations of these colors giving them a “paint-splashed” or “tie-dyed” appearance, while others feature curly leaves or other unusual textural features.

All of the plants were part of the National Poinsettia Trial. Seedlings were provided to the URI Master Gardeners by three commercial poinsettia growers – Ecke, Syngenta and Dummen/Red Fox – and 90 volunteer gardeners cared for them and collected data about them throughout the growing season.

The exhibit also features an educational poster presentation outlining details about the plants, including their history, the myths that surround them, their intricate growing process, and their botanical “peculiarities.”

The exhibit opened on Nov. 21 and continues through Sunday, Jan. 3. The Botanical Center is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it is open on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is $3 for those aged 13 and over, $1 for children aged 6-12, and free to those aged 5 and under.

For more information, contact Jo-Ann Bouley, URI’s educational program manager at the Botanical Center, at 785-9450, extension 250, or jbouley@uri.edu.