Delphinium, lisianthus, celosia, and rudbeckia are not familiar words to most Virginia farmers. However, for a group of growers experimenting with cut flower production, these flowers and others represent a new source of revenue.
“Virginia consumers buy millions of dollars of fresh-cut flowers each year, but more than 90 percent of them are grown outside the state,” says Andy Hankins, Extension specialist in alternative agriculture at Virginia State University (VSU). “Standard cut flowers, such as roses, chrysanthemums, and carnations can be grown outside the U.S. and shipped in because they last a long time after cutting. However, there are more than 200 other species of flowers regularly sold in floral markets that do not have a long enough shelf life to ship long distances. Virginia growers have an opportunity to fill this demand.” Read the full story in Solutions.