Holiday cheer

N.C. State’s Poinsettia Open House will feature colorful holiday blooms

Media Contact: Dr. John Dole, or 919.515.3537 or 919.809.3916

Enjoy the beauty of the holiday season at the 2010 Poinsettia Open House Sunday, Dec. 5, 1-5 p.m. at the Ruby C. McSwain Center, JC Raulston Arboretum, 4415 Beryl Road in Raleigh. The event is free and open to the public, as well as interested growers.

The McSwain Center will be decked with 98 poinsettia cultivars, including 32 new varieties. Researchers in the Horticultural Science Department in N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences test these cultivars for the floriculture industry.

Poinsettias, a favorite Christmas flower, come in many different colors. The bright flowers are indigenous to Mexico and Central America. What colors will be on display in the open house poinsettias? “Every color under the sun,” according to Dr. John Dole of the Horticultural Science Department.

A nine-foot tree created with poinsettias is a favorite attraction of the open house. Dole says that some families come each year to take their holiday card photo in front to the tree. Light refreshments also will be served.

In addition to viewing the poinsettias, visitors to the open house will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite cultivars, Dole said. The votes will help growers decide which cultivars to market for the next holiday season.

For information, contact Dole at or 919.515.3537.

-Written by Natalie Hampton,

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