Behind the Scenes of Unusual Poinsettia Sale at UF

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)- Poinsettia enthusiasts come from as far as Alabama to see the newest poinsettia varieties - which they can find for sale right here in Gainesville at the Horticural Greenhouses at the University of Florida. The annual poinsettia sale offers varieties difficult to find anywhere else. That's because the Environmental Horticulture Department has a partnership with growers in the industry. Growers donate plants for students to grow and trial. Growers can learn how well the plants do in the industry, and the Environmental Horticultural Club can fundraise for their club expenses.

Club Vice President and UF student, Kristina Zakarkaite, explains that the two-day sale has varieties "you wouldn't even expect in a poinsettia".

The plants are donated at a young age, so it's the club members that get these plants to a size and color that makes them ready to sell. "Early in the semester, it was all green", "but now you step in and it's like wow this is why you do the work.", explains Andrew Loufman, Treasurer of the Environmental Horticultural Club.

The color on well taken care of Poinsettias will last 2 to 3 months because the color comes from bracts which are modified leaves. The flowers are small and yellow and don't last nearly as long.