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Online since 2013 | Last Updated 9-25-2017

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Poinsettia Trial 2017

The 2017 Pennsylvania Poinsettia Trial is booked for Wednesday November 15th, 2017. The event will be held at Shady Maple's conference and banquet facilities at 129 Toddy Drive, East Earl, PA (Lancaster County). Shady Maple’s banquet facilities are excellent, providing for good networking and program delivery, and of course the food is diverse and abundant.

The poinsettias are being grown off-site and will be delivered and set up on tables in one of their banquet rooms. Sponsor set-up starts at 7am, and the doors will open at 7:30. The speaker program “Poinsettia Progress and Management” starts at 10am and runs to 3:00 pm.

We will again have an excellent slate of speakers including experts in Nutrition, Cultural Practices, Variety selections, and Pesticide re-certification's  credits.

Contact for information is:
Sinclair Adam
Extension Educator-Horticulture & Flower Trial Director
Penn State Extension
2120 Cornwall Rd Suite 1
Lebanon, PA 17042


Warren Goll

The Winners of the 2016 Poinsettia Judging
At N. G. Heimos Greenhouses

N.G. Heimos Greenhouses in Columbia, Ill. held their annual poinsettia trials on Nov. 17. After growers visited and voted on their favorite varieties, Heimos compiled the results. Here are the official rankings with total votes in parenthesis:  

Top 5 – Overall (190)

Princettia Queen Pink

1. Princettia Queen Pink
2. Ferrara
3. Luv U Pink Splash
4. Ice Punch
5. Majoris Red

Top 5 – Red (95)


1. Ferrara
2. Majoris Red
3. Aria Red
4. Astro Red, Christmas Joy Red, Titan Red, Bouquet (Tied)


Top 5 – White (18)

Titan White

Princettia Pure White

1. Titan White, Princettia Pure White (Tied)
3. Whitestar
4. Christmas Joy White
5. Christmas Beauty North Pole 


Top 5 – Pink (51)

Princettia Queen Pink

1. Princettia Queen Pink
2. Luv U Pink Splash
3. Luv U Soft Pink, Luv U Hot Pink
4. Christmas Lights


Top 5 – Novelties (20)

Ice Punch

1. Ice Punch
2. Sonora White Glitter
3. Premium Ice Crystal
4. Marblestar
5. Marbella

The Truth About Poinsettias

It seemed like a good time to dispel a commonly held misconception about the toxicity of poinsettias that appears to have started way back in 1919 when the tragic death of a child was attributed to the child ingesting poinsettia leaves. The American Society of Florists did extensive research into the matter and eventually the report of the child’s death by poinsettia leaf ingestion was show to be nothing more than hearsay. 

The belief became so ingrained in the consciousness of people that even today the myth persists that the poinsettia plant is poisonous to children and pets so much so that a recent survey of florists found that 66% believed it to be true. The American Society of Florists joined with researchers at the Ohio State University to take an objective and scientific look at whether there was any truth to the belief that poinsettia leaf ingestion was deadly to either children or pets. Their conclusion after giving rather large doses to rats was that there was no toxicity or any other side effects from having ingested the poinsettia leaves.

Click here for the rest of this article

Joel Roberts Poinsett

Poinsett: A Revolutionary Diplomat
Joel R. Poinsett in Latin America

The name Poinsett immediately brings to mind the bright red flower that has become one of the symbols of Christmas: the Poinsettia, which received its name to honor the man who brought it to the United States from its native Mexico. Poinsett's life has all the elements of a fascinating adventure story; perhaps that is the reason it is so easy to speak of Poinsett here, close to Hollywood. Poinsett was bright, impetuous, ambitious and sometimes reckless. He translated his ideals into action disregarding the consequences. His life is so exciting that a single lecture can do no honor to him or to you, who would be overwhelmed by a plethora of names, places and events. 

Therefore, I shall restrict my scope, and deal with only two periods in the life of this extraordinary man and Mason, who left us not only a flower, but the unforgettable memory of his contribution to our neighbors to the south, and to strengthening and developing these United States of America. Joel Roberts Poinsett came from a wealthy and distinguished South Carolina family. His father, a renowned physician, wanted him to follow in his steps and sent him to study medicine in Edinburgh. However, his boundless energy and restless character would not let him complete the course. Deciding that medicine was not for him, he was attracted instead to the profession of arms. A period in the Royal Military Academy endowed him with the knowledge that would prove useful during his service in Chile. 

For the rest of this article click here

Joel Roberts Poinsett

Fun Facts about Poinsettias

  • Poinsettias are not poisonous. Scientific research from Ohio State University has shown that the poinsettia is non-toxic. All parts of the plant were tested during these studies including the leaves and the sap. Check out this article from Horticulture Update.
  • The poinsettia is originally from Mexico and was introduced to the United States by Joel Roberts Poinsett who was a botanist, a physician and the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.
  • December 12th is Poinsettia Day and was so designated because it also marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett in 1851.
  • In Mexico the Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a perennial shrub or small tree and can reach heights between 2ft and 13ft.
  • The leaves on a poinsettia are called bracts (modified or specialized leaves) Some bracts are brightly colored as in the case of the poinsettia and serve the function of attracting pollinators.
  • There are over 100 varieties of poinsettias in the marketplace and the USDA's last report says that the potted poinsettia crop for 2012 was valued at $144 million.
  • Poinsettias are the best selling potted plant in the United States and Canada and is usually sold as a Christmas plant within a six-week period that leads up to the holiday itself.

Early Twilight
Ecke Ranch


2015 Cultivar Lists

The 2015 cultivar list is now complete and what is listed on the cultivar page is what is growing in our greenhouses. The plants are out of propagation and have been assembled in the areas where they will be growing right up until they are ready for display during the trial. Many of the varieties have already started to be shaded at this point and others will be grown natural season so that it will be easy to see the difference on plant readiness using this method. You should also be checking the weekly progress pictures of the 11 varieties that we are tracking through the entire growth process from sticking to color. It is an interesting journey to watch in a series of pictures spanning the life of these 11 varieties.  


Dr. James Faust and Poinsettias at Clemson University

To see the development of these 11 varieties from sticking to color please follow the link below and follow all of the growth that will take place in these varieties as they mature.  Thumbnails and full sized images are available.


Photo Progress

Photo Progress

We will be photographically following the progress of 11 varieties of poinsettias that are a part of the trial for 2015 so that you can see them from shortly after the cuttings are stuck, through shading and eventually pictures will be posted of the finished product just prior to the trial on November 12, 2015. You will be able to observe the plants as they mature and get an idea of the various stages that it goes through until it reaches full color later this year just in time for the holidays. The first set of pictures has now been posted here on the website as of 7/17/2015 so take a look at where this all starts and follow along each week to see how the plants are doing. If you are in the industry and want to see these 11 varieties and 190 other varieties be sure to check into getting registered for the trial. Registration forms will be available shortly for those who like to make plans in advance of an event like this. The Poinsettia Trial is those in the horticultural industry only.

Michael Foster

No Pinch Poinsettias
By Michael Foster©
As featured on GPN's Culture Connection Newsletter

ZIONSVILLE, Pa. - Perhaps as a grower you have been wondering why it would benefit you to attend a poinsettia trial, and the simple answer to that question is information and experience. The poinsettia trial is the perfect place for a grower to gain information about a large variety of cultivars with only a little investment of time and money. Experimenting with new untried cultivars is something that many growers don’t have the time or the money to pursue since it would have a direct impact on the bottom line of their organization if it did not work out. 

The trial is also a great opportunity to “pick the brain” of those growers who spent the last several months growing the many cultivars on display and finding out from them what worked, what didn’t work and how they achieved the results that they did with the poinsettias. 

Members of the horticulture industry were called on to act as judges during the trial and to spotlight a few of the cultivars that really stood out from the rest as examples of best in class plants. Those judged as best were 'Da Vinci' from Syngenta, which was judged as Best Novelty poinsettia. The Best Pink poinsettia was 'Christmas Feelings Pink', the Best Red poinsettia was 'Christmas Season Red' and the Best White poinsettia was 'Candlelight White' (all three from Selecta). Best of the Greenhouse went to 'Alreddy Red' from Beekenkamp and Best of Farm was 'Premium Red' from the Dümmen.

To read the rest of this article at GPN's website click here.

Warren Goll

Trial Manager of the 2015
Poinsettia Trial

Poinsettias: Re-Marketing the Christmas Plant
By Anne Harnish Food and Family Features Editor©
Excerpted from Lancaster Farming w/permission

ZIONSVILLE, Pa. - " Poinsettias are finicky. As these traditional tropical Christmas plants start to show up at retail stores this week for the holiday season, most customers are unaware of all the pinching, chilling, lighting, drenching, spraying, sleeving and other careful techniques required to raise and sell "Christmas-perfect" versions of the plant. 

"What I always told students was, if you’re a poinsettia grower, you have a one-time million-dollar crop," said Allen Hammer, a retired Purdue floriculture professor who now provides technical support for breeder-producer Dummen NA, at a recent industry event in Zionsville, Pa. "You make half-million-dollar decisions several times a day." 

Poinsettias contribute more than $250 million to the U.S. economy at the retail level in the six weeks prior to Christmas, according to University of Illinois Extension information. But producers gathered last Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Industry Poinsettia Trial and Open House to learn about the newest varieties and to discuss challenges in poinsettia production, the slowing of sales and the need to re-market poinsettias to attract new customers. 

To read the rest of this article at the Lancaster Farming website click here.

There were so many beautiful poinsettias on display at the trial that I would have been hard pressed as a judge to decide between all the cultivars presented. The judges pressed on and came up with these cultivars that were named the best of the show.

The Winners of the 2015 Poinsettia Judging

  • Christmas Ribbons from Selecta was judged Best Novelty
  • Titan Pink from Syngenta was judged Best Pink - 2nd year!
  • Christmas Feelings from Selecta was judged Best Red
  • Whitestar from Syngenta was judged Best White
  • RF 218 NN from Dummen Orange was judged Best Future Possibility
  • Pallas Red from Beekenkamp was judged Best of Greenhouse
  • SK 105 from Selecta was named Judges Favorite

Christmas Ribbons

Titan Pink

Christmas Feelings Red


RF 218 NN
Dummen Orange

Pallas Red


SK 105


There were so many beautiful poinsettias on display at the trial that I would have been hard pressed as a judge to decide between all the cultivars presented. The judges pressed on and came up with these cultivars that were named the best of the show.

The Winners of the 2014 Poinsettia Judging

  • Sparkling Punch from Paul Ecke Ranch was judged Best Novelty
  • Titan Pink from Syngenta was judged Best Pink
  • Premium RF 043 NN from Dummen was judged Best Red/Best Overall
  • Titan White from Syngenta was judged Best White
  • Charon Red from Beekenkamp was judged Grower's Choice
  • Saxonia Christmas Hot Pink from PAC Worldwide was judged Farm Favorite

Sparkling Punch
Paul Ecke Ranch

Premium RF 043 NN
Dummen NA

Titan Pink

Titan White

Charon Red

Saxonia Christmas Hot Pink
PAC Worldwide

Photo Progress 2015

Autumn Leaves
Ecke Ranch

Christmas Joy Pink


Harlequin Red


Jinglebell Rock
Ecke Ranch


Pallas Red


Pink Candy


Prima Donna
Dummen Orange


Prima Vera
Dummen Orange


Red Soul
Ecke Ranch


Titan Pink