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Floriculture Today July 2012

Floriculture Today July 2012

Floriculture Today July 2012

Floriculture Today July 2012

Floriculture Today July 2012

Floriculture Today July 2012

Floriculture Today July 2012

Chief Editor

S. Jafar Naqvi

Consulting Editors T.V. Satyanarayanan K Dharmarajan

Contents 8 10

Editorial Cover Story Global FLoriculture Overview Trends and segments for tropical flowers

Chief Coordinator M.B. Naqvi Editorial Coordinator Syed M K

News Editor Anwar Huda General Manager Lalitha V. Rajan Layout & Design Mohd. Iqbal Faiyaz Ahmad Head Office New Delhi: +91-11-26682045 / 26681671 / 64521572 / 9891858646 Fax : +91-11-26681671 E-mail: Other Business Offices Hyderabad Mumbai Pune






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India : Rs. 1000/- for 1 Year Rs. 1950/- for 2 Years Overseas : US$ 120 for 1 Year US$ 230 for 2 Years Single Copy in India : Rs. 50/ Single Copy Cost for Overseas : US$10 Printed, published and owned by M.B. Naqvi, Printed at Everest Press, E-49/8, Okhla Industrial Area Ph-II, New Delhi - 110 020 and Published from E-11/47 A, New Colony, Hauz Rani, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi-110017 (INDIA) Editor : S. Jafar Naqvi Vol 17....... Issue 2...... July 2012

 Floriculture Today July 2012

14 Show Report Astana FlorExpo 2012 Kazakhstan charms the world with a mind-blowing show 16 Pre-Event v “Flowers Expo-Moscow, Sep 2012”

2012 v Agribio Group’s four companies to participate 20

Carnation Carnation of the Nilgiris many challenges ahead…

22 30

Lily Easy-to-grow, showy Peruvian Lily in mid-hilly regions

— M. Jawaharlal, S. Karthikeyan & M. Ganga

— Dr. M. Kannan, Dr. M. Jawaharlal and P. Ranchana

Medicinal Plants Guaiacum officinale Tree of Life — N. Deepa Devi & A. Shanthi

34 Ornamentals Beautiful and Unique Ornamental Climbers of India — Atul Batra and B.K.Banerji 40 Biotechnology Application of Biotechnology 47 News v China Professor develops way to preserve dried flowers & its color v Flower growers in Vietnam go hi-tech v Dutch Flower and Plant Exports Jump 15% on Increased Prices v NYC exhibition evokes Claude Monet’s flower garden v Valoya LED lights improve flowering in Begonias

Floriculture Today July 2012



ppropriately, the theme of this year’s “World Environment Day” on June 5 was ‘Green Economy’, which was the subject of the world’s biggest environment meeting of the decade held in the third week of June, in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. ‘Green economy’ is defied as reducing significantly the environmental risks and ecological scarcities while improving human well-being and social equity. In short, it implies adoption of a strategy for earth-friendly economic development. . A series of official functions were held in India on World Environment Day to highlight the importance of protecting the environment and arresting activities that pollute water, air and soil. Besides tree plantation ceremonies, a novel scheme was the flagging off of ‘Science Express’, a biodiversity special train from Delhi’s Safdurjung Railway station. The Department of Forests issued posters and ads urging people to harvest rain water, conserve energy, plant and nurture plants, dispose of E-waste properly, use solar power, recycle water and say ‘no’ to plastic bags – all intended to protect the planet from further environmental harm. While all these activities do help to create awareness among the people about environmental concerns like climate change as a result of global warming, no worthwhile impact is visible on the ground reality. A survey conducted by the Energy Resource Institute TERI in the national capital region quoted 50

per cent of the respondents as holding the view that the environmental quality has actually worsened, especially the quality of water, air and green cover. The majority of those surveyed attributed the main reason for environmental degradation to people’s attitude. The survey also covered Karnataka, where the key concerns are drinking water quality and availability. The respondents there, like those in National Capital Region, suggested tree plantation as the best solution to address most of the environment-related problems. Waste management, they felt, is equally important. At the root of the problem everywhere are conflicting interests of growth and development on the one side and of environmental protection on the other. The result of this dichotomy is evident all over. The growing urban centres are generating more and more waste, but civic bodies are ill-equipped to handle the waste. Industries have sprung up along rivers and lakes, and they are merrily turning their toxic waste and effluents towards these water bodies, which are also main sources of drinking water. Court injunctions have not made much of an impact on pollution of river waters. As far as forest cover is concerned, there is both good and bad news. In the first decade of this century, there was a commendable increase, with the result over 21 per cent of the country’s geographical area was estimated to have been brought under green cover. The total increase in these years, based on satellite imagery, was estimated at 3.31 million hectares. On the flip side, the latest India State of Forest Report 2011 released by the Environment Ministry shows there has been a decline in the forest cover, by 367 sq km, compared to the 2009 assessment. While 15 states have registered aggregate increase of over 500 sq km in the forest area, 12 states and Union Territories have shown a decline of 867 sq km. A heartening feature is that there is greater awareness, particularly among the youth, on the need to do much more for environmental protection. That holds the hope for the future of this planet.

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Views expressed by individuals and contributors in the magazine are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Floriculture Today editorial board. Floriculture Today does not accept any responsibility of any direct, indirect or consequential damage caused to any party due to views expressed by any one or more persons in the trade. All disputes are to be referred to Delhi Jurisdiction only. .....Editor

10 Floriculture Floriculture Today Today July July 2012 2012

Floriculture Today July 2012 11

Cover Story Since local consumption of flowers in India is growing at a phenomenal speed, consequently its overseas exports have come down drastically. Recently, CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, has brought out a useful report on global floriculture industry. The report is of extreme use for everyone related to floriculture, and India’s flower growers, traders and exporters are no exception.

Global FLoriculture Overview

Copy of the Report The flower market is very dynamic. Consumption patterns change and differentiation in market requirements forces growers to focus on one particular market segment. Bulk flowers for own use are the fastest expanding segment. However, only a few tropical flowers are suitable for this segment. Growers in developing countries generally find more opportunities in traditional segments, by answering to one or more of the trends identified in this module. More diversity in assortments all-year round Consumers in more developed EU markets, like the Netherlands and Italy, have become used to a wide assortment of products and yearround availability. Growers are nowadays able to maintain a far more continuous production. This ensures year-round availability of most products, resulting in increasing purchases of non-traditional flowers, including tropical flowers. There is a high level of interest in innovation and new species. Experiences from the past have shown that new products can acquire a rapidly growing market share, following initial introduction to the trade. In the past decade, increased demand for new and exclusive flowers, including tropical flowers, has partly substituted demand for more traditional flowers; the latter became a bit old-fashioned in the eyes of 12 Floriculture Today July 2012

Cover Story

Consumers demand environmentally friendly production Consumers have become increasingly concerned about the environment, as they realise that future generations are also entitled to a healthy environment. As a consequence, they are making more stringent demands with respect to production systems. Consumers assume that the tropical flowers they buy have been cultivated using the smallest possible amounts of crop protection agents, energy, water and fertilisers and generating the least possible waste.

Consumer label FFP faces difficult situation Fair Flowers Fair Plants, a certification

scheme focusing on environmental and social standards, has not met its targets. In February 2011, only 165 growers of the originally targeted 1,500 growers were certified FFP. The 165 growers included around 30 flower growers from developing countries. Growers seem reluctant to obtain the FFP certificate, because they have received only few requests for FFP flowers from buyers. The certification of distributors fared better; 190 wholesalers and 3,300 retailers. FFP is most successful in Northwest Europe, Scandinavia in particular. However, in several of these Northwest European countries, including Germany, the UK and Switzerland, consumers prefer Fairtrade certified flowers over FFP flowers. FFP is looking for possibilities to cooperate with MPS and the Flower Council of Holland on the future development of FFP. Not too cold! The bulk of cut flowers traded in the EU consists of highly perishable products and the international flower trade has developed logistical systems to minimise quality loss during distribution. However, the logistical systems are designed for the handling of traditional flowers. Temperatures are kept low during post-harvest and transportation, the so-called cold chain. Since most tropical

Figure 1: Segmentation of tropical flowers market; size of box indicates size of segment Exclusive

Increasing sales of mixed bouquets Many tropical flowers are exported as single stems or mono-bunches. However, exporters should also be aware that demand for tropical mix bunches (e.g. bouquets) is increasing. Traditionally, European wholesalers make up the mixed bunches. However, there is an increase in direct imports of these typical mixed bunches, often exotic flowers like Heliconia and Zingiber combined with tropical foliage species like Dracaena and Cordyline. Furthermore, according to some European specialists, there are opportunities for ready-made bouquets of tropical flowers and foliage for the supermarket channel.

Increase in purchases for own use The past decade has seen an increase in purchases of flowers for own use, like the decoration of consumers’ own houses. Although often considered an exotic product, tropical flowers are also increasingly purchased for own use. These purchases often comprise so-called impulse purchases, which are pushed by large retail chains. The latter have gained significant market share in many EU countries. In general, products sold in this market segment can be characterised as sharp-priced bulk flowers, which in the case of tropical flowers are some Orchids species and Anthurium. The growth of the own-use market segment should not be seen as a shift away from gifts and special occasions, but rather as the development of an alternative market segment for tropical flowers. Most tropical flowers are still purchased as gifts for special occasions at florists in the EU, while impulse purchases are more often seen at large retail chains.

This trend is particularly visible in the Northwest EU countries, where several retail chains like Tesco, Sainsbury, Migros, Coop Schweiz, Carrefour and Botanic France have made participation in environmental certification schemes like MPS a purchasing criterion for their suppliers. Note that interest in organic certification is still limited. More information on environmental requirements is provided in the module ‘Compliance with EU buyer requirements’. Consumers demand fair labour conditions Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their influence on labour conditions at flower farms. Reports on low salaries for local standards and dangerous working conditions (use of chemicals), have shocked consumers and resulted in consumer boycotts. Labels and certificates like Fairtrade, ETI, GlobalGAP and MPS Socially Qualified have therefore become valuable instruments to guarantee a socially responsible product and compliance with Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) standards for the farm workers. More information on social requirements is provided in the module ‘Compliance with EU buyer requirements’.


many consumers, who are often looking for some new interesting product.

For example, an institution buying tropical flower arrangements for an exhibition from a specialised florist

For example, a consumer buying relatively cheap Cymbidium Orchids at a supermarket

For example, a consumer buying a handmade bouquet with eye-catching tropical flowers as a birthday present at the florist.

For example, a consumer buying a bunch of Anthurium for Mother’s day at a florist

Own use

Special occasions

Floriculture Today July 2012 13

Cover Story flowers are very sensitive to chilling injury, care must be taken not to pre-cool or store the products below the recommended temperature. The visible effects of chilling injury are often delayed until the product is offered for retail sale. The effects can include losing flowers or foliage, failure to open, discolour or wilt. Exporters who deal with specialised importers are more likely to avoid chilling injury, because they mostly work with positive temperature distribution chains. More information on logistics for flower exporters is provided in CBI’s article ‘Tackling logistical challenges for cut flowers’. Exclusive flowers for special occasion Consumers in this segment expect a topquality product. They like to be surprised by a new product or colour. Generally, longer stems and bigger buds which are supported by strong stems, are required. In Heliconia trade, exclusive varieties, such as H. Bihai have long stems (80-100 cm). The quality of the flowers must also be immaculate in terms of chilling injury, bud damage and leaf yellowing. Flowers in this segment fetch higher prices. Vase life is not the most important issue. Buds may have opened to present the flowers at their most beautiful stage to the receiver. Bulk flowers for special occasion Price is a major purchasing criterion in this segment. However, stems are longer and buds are bigger and often more colourful than those of bulk flowers for own use, which also results in higher prices. Consumers expect high quality in terms of chilling injury, bud damage and leaf yellowing. In contrast, vase life is not always the most critical issue. In fact, buds have generally opened in order to present them at their most beautiful stage to the receiver. The bulk market for tropical flowers mainly consists of Anthurium and some Orchids (Cymbidium and Phalaenopsis). Thanks to the introduction of the so-called ‘flow packs’, Anthurium cut flowers are nowadays for sale everywhere, including supermarkets and petrol stations. Bulk flowers for own use Price is the primary purchasing criterion in this rapidly growing market segment. Price generally comes at the cost of stem length and bud size. For example, smaller Heliconia varieties like H. Jamaican Dwarf are mostly used in bouquets and frequently 14 Floriculture Today July 2012

More and more retail chains in the EU have introduced vase life guarantee. Consumers can return the flowers if they wilt within the guaranteed vase life period, which is generally 7 days. The guarantee is made possible by the high turnover rate of large retail chains and integrated supply chains, which enable swift distribution of flowers with a very consistent quality. end up in the retail chain segment. However, consumers still expect high quality in terms of vase life, colour, chilling injury, bud damage, leaf yellowing and bud opening. Vase life is particularly important in this segment, because consumers want value-for-money. They want to enjoy their flowers for a relatively long time. Vase life guarantee More and more retail chains in the EU have introduced vase life guarantee. Consumers can return the flowers if they wilt within the guaranteed vase life period, which is generally 7 days. The guarantee is made possible by the high turnover rate of large retail chains and integrated supply chains, which enable swift distribution of flowers with a very consistent quality. Exporters in developing countries which target these large retail chains must implement stringent quality controls. Exclusive flowers for own use Institutions constitute most of this relatively small segment. These institutions use the flowers for presentational purposes (e.g. lobby decoration or special events) and therefore require long stems, big buds and a high quality in terms of chilling injury, bud damage and leaf yellowing. They are prepared to pay a higher price for the flowers than in the segments for bulk flowers. A long vase life is generally not important, as flowers are thrown away after the presentation or replaced frequently. Buds have generally opened in

order to present the flowers at their most beautiful stage. The module ‘Trade structure and channels for tropical flowers’ provides more information on the differences between trade channels. The module ‘Distribution strategies for cut flowers’ provides more information on the selection of an appropriate trade channel. Segmentation by region Mature markets in Northwest Europe Consumer purchasing power is highest in this region and the market segments exclusive flowers for special occasions and bulk flowers for own use are relatively big. Consumers are willing to pay extra for exclusive and trendy flowers, such as Paphiopedilum orchids. At the same time, many supermarkets in Northwest Europe offer cheap bouquets including standard Anthurium, which are purchased by consumers to brighten up their own homes. As a consequence of the relatively large share of bulk flowers for own use, vase life guarantee is quite common in supermarkets in Northwest Europe. Similarly, a relatively large share of the flowers is sold with closed to half-open buds. However, keep in mind that flowers which have been cut too raw and do not open are usually not accepted. East European markets in development Most countries in Eastern Europe have a low consumer purchasing power. Flowers are considered luxury items and are purchased mainly for special occasions. Consequently, the market mainly consists of exclusive flowers for special occasions and bulk flowers for special occasions. In order to present the flowers at their most beautiful stage, buyers mostly purchase flowers with half open or fully open buds. In general, East European markets are slower to take up new trends than West and South European markets. Southern Europe The South European countries are welldeveloped flower markets. However, bulk flowers for own use are not as common as in Northwest Europe. Flowers are mostly purchased for special occasions. Therefore, average quality in terms of stem length, bud size, bud damage and leaf yellowing are significantly higher than in Northwest Europe. Moreover, in order to present the flowers at their most beautiful stage, buyers mostly purchase flowers with half open or fully open buds. The market share of scented flowers is estimated to be highest in this region, which also shows a preference for neutral colours. n

Floriculture Today July 2012 15

Show Report

Astana FlorExpo 2012

Kazakhstan charms the world with a mind-blowing show


rom April 25 to 27, Astana (Kazakhstan) was transformed into the magical land of flowers, overwhelming visitors and delegates beyond words, and putting the obscure nation as a bright, colourful spot in the global map. The famous exhibition center “Korme” hosted the 3rd International Exhibition of Flowers and Landscape Design. It was organized by Astana-Expo KS and GreenExpo (Moscow), with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Agency for Construction and Housing of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as the City administration of Astana. The main sponsor was LLP 3D Flowers. The opening ceremony was attended by the head of Akim of Astana Esil district Sabila Mustafina, Executive Secretary of the Republic of Kazakhstan Agency for Construction and Housing Salauat Dembay, Chairman of the Forestry Department of Agriculture Erlan Nysanbaev, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Republic of Kazakhstan, Peter Van Leeuwen, General Director of JSC “Astana-Zelenstroy” Zharkyn Zhumagulov, Head of International 16 Floriculture Today July 2012

Projects “GreenExpo” Elena Zarubin, Attache of Embassy of Germany in Economics Jan-Dieter Gosink, and Director of the Exhibition Company Astana-Expo KS Kulbagira Kalieva. Around 6000 visitors and more than 70 companies participated in the show. They came from across several countries including Kazakhstan, Germany, France, Kenya, Netherlands, Russia, Ecuador and Georgia. Among them were well-known foreign manufacturers Meilland (France), German nursery: Lorberg, Lappen, BRUNS-PFLANZEN - EXPORT GmbH & Co.KG, a German company Terracult, Grato Greenhouse (Georgia), the Dutch company Noviflora Holland BV, Enigma Flowers, Haakman Flowers BV, Royal Flowers (Ecuador), Gardaexport SA (Ecuador), Invos Flowers (Columbia), Magana Flowers (Kenya), among others. This has considerably expanded the Russian exposition, which provided: Group of companies 7 Flowers (Russia), Chekhov’s Garden, Vivaflor, Imperial Nursery, Group Gavrish Group Companies Hit of the season, Agri “Search, LLC Agro-pack, OOO IIC Rainbow, JSC Artistic crafts, LLC Tsvetogor, among others.

Show Report During the exhibition, with the support of the National Guild of Florists Russia, a festival of floristry GҮL Alemi was held. The theme of festival was “Flowers and Music.” The event was attended by six teams. In the expert committee were representatives of the National Guild of Florists: NGF Board member, Judge of the European Organization of Florists (FLORINT) Sergey Karpunin and a member of the NGF, a judge of the European Organization of Florists (FLORINT), winner of the “Moscow Spring 2005” Elena Zakharova. The competition program consisted of 3 tasks: Design Table for a musical evening, Surprise work, Bouquet for a musician. As a result of all tasks were the winners: First place-Flower Company Nicole (LLC Flora Alma-Ata) (Astana), second place - the team of Lady Fleur-Astana, and third place - at the Salon Flora - design (Temirtau). All participants received diplomas from the National Guild of Florists in Russia.

Individual prizes were provided by the German company Smithers-Oasis. Sergey Karpunin presented certificates to the placement of articles on the professional florists online magazine to Flower Company Nicole (Astana), the Salon “Flora - Design” (Temirtau). Business program “AstanaFlorExpo-2012” was also a rich and interesting. Constant interest used traditional master-classes by famous Russian florists Elena Zakharova and Sergey Karpunin. Also, Russian Florists held a demonstration of novelties seasonal assortment of German company Smithers Oasis. Intensive program for professionals, landscapers introduced the world’s leading companies: German nurseries Lorberg, Lappen Pflanzenhandel, BRUNS-PFLANZEN - EXPORT GmbH & Co.KG, company Terracult GmbH (Germany), Meilland (France), and a group of companies Gavrish (Russia). There was a

presentation of the company Noviflora Holland BV - a specialist in the export of indoor and garden plants and gardening and interior design. The exhibition gave a meeting platform to representatives of the National Guild of Florists in Russia, and flower shops leaders of Kazakhstan. It was thought that a professional organization should come to promote florist in Kazakhstan. Following the meeting, it was decided to organize the Initiative Group for the creation of the professional organization of florists in Kazakhstan. The initiative group includes: Flower Company Nicole (LLC Flora-Almaty) (Astana), House of Flowers Milana (Astana), Salon Flora Design (Temirtau), studio design company Royal Park, IE Bondarenko (Pavlodar) Ltd, Lady Fleur-Astana, (Astana), and Exhibition Company Astana-Expo KS. n

Floriculture Today July 2012 17


“Flowers Expo-Moscow, Sep 2012” “FlowersExpo’-2012”, the most picturesque event of Moscow autumn will take place from 10th to 13th of September, 2012 in the International Exhibition Center “Crocus Expo”. The international exhibition is the major event of the year for professionals whose work is connected with flowers, flower business, ornamental gardening, floristics and landscape design. The total exhibition area is 15 000 sq.m. It will be held in Pavilion No. 1, Halls 2 & 3. Professional associations and unions such as the National Guild of Florists, Association of Flower Growers and Landscapers of Russia, Association “Greenhouses of Russia”, Guild of Professionals in Landscape Industry, Eurasian Seed Union and others take an active part in preparation and holding of the exhibition. “FlowersExpo”, as comprehensive business platform for promotion of products and services on the capacious Russian market, was highly appreciated last year and received positive feedback from both participants and visitors. In 2012 “FlowersExpo” will demonstrate good dynamics of growth. The geography of participants, its theme and business program are expanding. The number of participants and the exhibition area are increasing by one third. Products of all sectors of the flower market will be presented. Cut flowers, planting stock, equipment for greenhouse complexes, selection novelties and new technical developments will be especially widely displayed. The project is actively supported by Russian participants. Companies from 20 Russian regions have already submitted their applications. They are practically all big flower complexes of Russia, growers of quality cut flowers and producers of ornamental gardening products, known players of the Russian flower market, seed companies, suppliers of products for floristics and landscape design. International participants are showing 18 Floriculture Today July 2012

considerable interest in the exhibition. Associations of flower growers of Holland and Colombia (“Bloemen Bureau Holland” and “Asocolflores”), “Proexport”, Government Department of Commerce of Colombia, and “Pro Ecuador”, Ecuadorian Institute of Export and Investment Promotion, also support the exhibition. Over 100 companies from Holland, Colombia and Ecuador will demonstrate their products in their National displays. Along with these three countries occupying a leading position on the Russian flower market French floriculturists are going to present a large national display. The world’s most famous companies, leaders in their sectors, from England, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, Turkey, Hungary, Israel, Kenya, Ethiopia, Taiwan and others will also present their products at the exhibition. Along with floricultural products, planting stock will be also widely displayed. Nurseries of Italy, Belgium, Holland, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, France and Turkey will demonstrate products, grown in accordance with the

Pre-Event most advanced technology, and adapted to different climatic zones of Russia. Russian and international companies, developers and producers of greenhouses, equipment, machinery and technologies will demonstrate new developments and technical solutions allowing to get high quality products and to save resources. Designs of international and Russian companies will be offered to the attention of the visitors in “Floristics and Design” section. There visitors will see floristic accessories, decorative packaging, floristic and interior glassware and ceramics, means for preserving cut flowers, artificial and dry flowers and plants and many other things. Along with interesting displays an intensive business program is in store for the specialists. The exhibition will become a real floristic paradise. In 2012 it will host two major Russian floristic events: “Russian Cup’2012”, traditional Russian Championship on Professional Floristics which will be held for the 13th time, and “Russian Skills’2012”, Russian Championship among Floristic Schools. Thus a big business event and at the same time a magnificent competition and show are awaiting florists and other consumers of

floricultural products. Demonstrations and master classes of the best Russian and international florists of the world will be organized non-stop during all exhibition period. Other no less important events devoted to the most urgent aspects of

the world and national flower industry are included in the exhibition business program. They are conferences, seminars, round-tables, professional competitions, consultations of the sector leading experts. n

Floriculture Today July 2012 19



Agribio Group’s four companies to participate


he Horti Fair is the biggest international trade show for technology, Innovation and Inspiration in Horticulture. It will take place in the Amsterdam RAI from 30 October to 2 November. In recent months, a number of leading floricultural companies already announced that they would be coming. Major of them are: Anthura, Corn. Bak, Gavrish, HilverdaKooij, Schoneveld Breeding, Exotic Plant, Van den Bos Flowerbulbs, Vitro Plus, Floricultura, and the rose breeders Schreurs and De Ruiter Innovations. But the biggest participation will be from the four companies of the Agribio Group. Barberet & Blanc, Bartels Stek, Fides and Lex+ have registered 20 Floriculture Today July 2012

for the Horti Fair 2012. These companies are part of the Agribio Group International Floricultural Enterprise. Each of the companies will be presenting themselves individually at the Horti Fair, said Harry Kloppenburg, CEO of the Agribio Group “The Horti Fair is the essential international horticultural platform where we are concerned,” remarked Kloppenburg. “That’s why we’re happy with the new course that the Horti Fair embarked on last year. Fides worked hard with the Horti Fair and other plant breeders last year to make a success of the floricultural hall. And now we’re taking this forward by registering all the companies in the Agribio Group.” In addition, Fides is one of the companies cooperating on the

Pre-Event HortiSeminars: the knowledge sessions being organized during the Horti Fair. Kloppenburg explained: “We believe these seminars are a good addition to the trade fair. They offer visitors knowledge, a warm welcome and the opportunity for networking. Based in the Horti Alliance – a partnership of leading suppliers to horticulture – we offer a programme geared to the needs of Dutch and international horticultural entrepreneurs.” Combination of technique and floriculture Horti Fair director Frans-Peter Dechering is elated with the registration of the companies in the Agribio Group. “Their presence demonstrates that the new course of the Horti Fair is catching on. The large number of international visitors prove as the deciding factor for these companies on when to take part in a trade fair. So the combination of technique and floriculture is bearing fruit.” The Agribio Group is not the only high-profile floricultural company that has registered for the Horti Fair. Dechering added: “Each and every one of them is a leading player in floriculture, and has chosen to go for quality and continuity at the Horti Fair. Their presence means that floriculture will have an even more prominent place at the Horti Fair. Hall 10 alone – the floricultural hall – makes the Horti Fair more than worth a visit this year.” Spotlights on innovations The most striking innovations at the Horti Fair not only have a chance of winning the Innovation Award this year. They also compete for the Press Award, which is being presented for the second time. The

prize ceremony will be held in the Amsterdam RAI on 30 October, and exhibitors who want to compete must ensure that the new products they are introducing at the fair are registered before 17 September. “The Horti Fair is the biggest international trade show for Technology, Innovation and Inspiration in Horticulture,” said FransPeter Dechering. “It is the trade fair with the most innovations in the fields of plant breeding, greenhouse technology and cultivation technique.” The Press Award was introduced last year and is conferred by a jury of representatives of the press from major horticultural titles in the Netherlands and elsewhere: Erik Titulaer from KAS, Ad van Gaalen from Glastuinbouwtechniek, Fabian Brockotter from Groenten en Fruit, Henk van Esch from Onder Glas and Peter Voskuil from the Bloemenkrant, in addition to the international jury members Heinrich Dressler from the German GB Das Magazin für Zierpflanzenbau, Linda Kaluzny-Pinon from the French Culture Legumière and Steven Vale from British journal the Commercial Greenhouse Grower. All exhibitors who register the new products they are launching at the trade fair before Monday 17 September will compete free of charge for the prestigious Innovation Award and Press Award. A jury of experts decides which innovations are the most striking and are being nominated for the Innovation Award. The reasons may be technical or environmental progress, or increased profitability, but may also include aspects like ergonomics, sustainability, economic importance and range expansion. The nominees will be announced at n the beginning of October.

Floriculture Today July 2012 21


Carnation of the


Many challenges ahead… — M. Jawaharlal, S. Karthikeyan & M. Ganga

Carnation is one of the most important cut flowers of the world, due to its excellent keeping quality, wide range of forms, ability to withstand long distance even after continuous shipping. It is highly remunerative for the growers if grown with utmost care and management.


he Nilgiris, Queen of Hills or the Blue Mountains in Tamil Nadu, is bestowed with an excellent agroclimate and is known for its rich floristic wealth of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats. Tea is the major plantation in the Nilgiris and following the crisis in the tea market during 2001, the Government of Tamil Nadu introduced an alternative venture for farmers namely growing cut flowers. Cut flower cultivation in high tech greenhouses was new to the growers and then the area under flower crops increased gradually. Considering the potential of floriculture, the Government of Tamil Nadu declared the Nilgiris district as the Agri-Export Zone for flowers. Among the flower crops, Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) has been promoted among the growers and there is a good demand for this cut flower in both domestic and international markets. The area under carnation in the Nilgiris is 1,67,000 sq.m in 2007 – 2008, which increased to 2,67,000 in the year 2008 - 09. Presently, 22 Floriculture Today July 2012

the area under carnation in greenhouses is 2, 86,700 sq.m. Parallel to the increase in area, the production of carnation has also increased steadily and the present average production is one lakh stems per day. Challenges Carnation is one of the most important cut flowers of the world, due to its excellent keeping quality, wide range of forms, ability to withstand long distance even after continuous shipping. It is highly remunerative for the growers if grown with utmost care and management. However; the growers are facing many challenges in the production of quality carnation flower, some of which are discussed below. v Inadequate availability of quality planting material v Lack of scientific production technologies v Unorganized marketing of flowers v Problems in pest and disease management

Inadequate availability of quality planting material Breeding and varietal development of carnations are done by European countries particularly in Italy, Spain, Columbia and Holland. The mother plants are purchased by paying royalty to the private breeding companies by the distributors in India and the daughter cuttings are being supplied to the growers. The growers are facing difficulties in selecting the appropriate varieties with required quality standards of planting materials. The cuttings must have three pairs of leaves with sufficient roots. The cuttings should not be left for more than 25 – 30 days in the nursery and they should also not be kept in cold storage for more than one or two days after rooting. Immediately after rooting in the nursery, cuttings must be transferred to the hardening chamber and made available to reach the growers without any damage. The most important criteria in propagating quality planting materials of carnation are the


25 days old rooted carnation cuttings

Single pinching

optimum number of cuttings that are to be made from a mother plant beyond which these would decline in vigour and genetic purity and freedom from fusarium wilt.

Marketing Channels of carnation flowers in the Nilgiris

Lack of scientific production technologies Unlike open field crops, carnation is grown under poly greenhouses, which is a low volume and high value crop requires high investment. The production of carnation flower requires utmost attention in each and every stage of the crop growth, right from procurement of planting material up to harvest and packing of flowers. The cultivation of crop needs scientific know-how mainly on the special horticultural practices viz., pinching, disbudding, and netting. Since the pinching stage decides the ultimate yield of the crop, all the scientific package of practices have to be followed for obtaining a profitable crop. Unorganized marketing of flowers Marketing of carnation flowers in the Nilgiris is done in two ways. v Direct marketing with fluctuating price v Through buyers on fixed price In India, the price of carnation flowers has been steady for the past five years and there is a good scope for this cut flower in future to emerge in a big way in future. Direct marketing is done by sending the carnation flowers to Bangalore market and sold on basis of daily market price. Fixed price marketing is done by supplying the flowers to wholesale buyers based on mutual agreement between growers and buyers. The fixed price is based on the quality and grade of flowers and the payment is done in a proper way by the wholesale buyers to the growers at fortnight intervals. The domestic market demand for carnation flowers depends on season. The demand will shoot up from August through September till February. In the direct marketing method, the price of flowers will range from Rs.2 to Rs.8 in the market and in the fixed price marketing

ice Fluctuating pr Rs. 2-6/stem

Fixed price A grade - Rs.3 -3.50/stem B grade - Rs.2 .50-3.0/stem

method; the price will remain at Rs. 3.50 throughout the year for “A� grade flowers. The time of planting or season of planting plays an important role in the marketing of flowers. Since, carnation is a crop of two years duration, planting during April 15 th to May 15 th is important since this will result in flowering from September and this is the peak season for marketing of flowers which coincides with most Indian festivals, and thus making flower selling easier. Problems in pest and disease management Though carnation is grown in protected environmental conditions, pests and diseases pose a great threat to the growers to making production of quality flowers a big challenge. Two insects namely the two spotted red spider mite and thrips and two diseases namely, Fusarium wilt and leaf spot create major losses to the crop. This has been further complicated by the increasing cost of pesticides which have risen to the tune of 30-40 per cent. During summer months, the incidence of insects inside the greenhouse is more causing economic loss to the crop. Contrastingly, the occurrence of diseases and spread of fungal pathogens is more during the winter/rainy season. These problems can be managed by regular monitoring and prophylactic control measures. Carnation is a promising cut flower crop of the future for the Nilgiris. Dissemination of scientific production technologies to the growers and persuading to adopt these technologies would help in reaping the maximum benefits from this valuable flower n crop. (Authors are from the Department of Floriculture & Landscaping, TNAU, Coimbatore)



Red spider mite in carnation

Fusarium wilt in carnation

Floriculture Today July 2012 23


Easy-to-grow, showy Peruvian Lily in mid-hilly regions — Dr. M. Kannan, Dr. M. Jawaharlal and P. Ranchana Department of Floriculture and Landscaping, Coimabtore


Harlequin Plants in flowering



Alstroemeria Alstroemeria, commonly known as Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas. It is native of South America and the genus comprises of 120 species. Flowers are showy with different markings and colors, ranging from white, golden yellow, and orange, to apricot, pink, red, purple, and lavender. It’s popular for bouquets and flower arrangements in the commercial cut flower trade.

Amanda, Aladdin, Pluto, Alaska, Baianca, Bolivia, Canaria, Diana, Friendship, Orchid, Yellow King, Yellow Crown, Yellow tiger, ButterScotch, Flamengo, Regina, Pink Jewel, Olivia, Carola, Minas, Moon Shine, Zebra etc.

Soil and climate It can be grown in all types of soil from peat sandy soil to heavy clay but needs to be properly drained. The soil pH is 5.8-6.8 is good for its growth. A cool, well drained medium rich in organic matter is suitable. It prefers cool climate with partial shade. Mid hill areas are more suitable for its growing. The ideal humidity is 70-80%.

Other mutants- Fanfare, Compas, Capitol, Harlequin, Harmony Stabrons, Result, Rosali staliro, Rosali stareza, Trident, Valiant, White wings, Yellow tiger, Zebra stazeb,

Propagation and Planting material Commercial propagation is done through division of rhizomes. The pieces of rhizomes of 2-4 cm with apical bud should be kept in a mixture consisting of farmyard manure, soil and perlite or cocopeat. Rhizomes can be stored for several months at 1-30 C and moist conditions. Rhizomes with three or more vegetative shoots are good for planting. Varieties Many varieties have been developed by breeders from time to time. They include, 24 Floriculture Today July 2012

Mutants Canaria- a mutant of Walter Fleming and Rosita- a mutant of Regina

Field preparation and planting As it is normally planted in open fields, the field should be ploughed thoroughly 3-4 times. After removing all the weeds and stone pieces it should be properly leveled. The compost can be added as mulch for 5 cm thickness. This will help in retaining moisture and keep the rhizome cool in summer. The optimum spacing between plant to plant or row to row is 40-50 cm. The growing point of rhizome is planted 7-10 cm deep. The optimum planting time in hills is SeptemberOctober or February-March and in South India it is May-June or November-December. For growing the plants in pots, rhizomes should be planted shallow with growing tip 2.5-3.0 cm deep from the surface soil which allows plant to produce more shoots and the

Yellow King

pots look filled. The size of pots should be 15-20 cm. Irrigation Optimum water requirement is 1.5-2.0 litre per plant at weekly interval to get high quality flowers. Frequent watering is not advisable as it encourages production of more blind shoots. Manure and fertilizers Alstroemeria prefers soil rich in organic matter therefore; well rotten farmyard manure (FYM) or leaf mould should be applied at 3-5 kg/m2. The recommended dose of nutrients include N (3.8-5.6%), P(0.3-0.7%), K (3.7-4.8%), Ca (0.6-1.8%) and Mg (0.2-0.4%). The mixture of NPK (20:10:20) at 2.5 g per litre is also ideal for growing this flower crop. Cultural operations Weed control: Weeds can be effectively controlled by solarization of the planting medium. Herbicidal treatment with the chemical oxyfluorfen at 1.0-1.5 litres/ha is effective when applied as pre emergent. Hoeing is required to eradicate the weeds. Care must be taken during hoeing that rhizomes should not be disturbed. Mulching: Mulching with polythene sheet or dry grass has been found beneficial in increasing the number of flowering shoots and rhizomes, as in winter it increases soil temperature and in summer it reduces soil

Lily Mutants




temperature, in addition to reduce population of weeds. Staking: Galvanized or plastic wire mesh having a square of 20x20 cm should be erected in 3 rows of 13 cm height. Bamboo sticks along with string can also be used in beds in 3 rows for supporting the plants. Pinching: Plants should be pinched at the time of repotting or to encourage new growth. The blind shoots as well as old and damaged stems are thinned out regularly throughout the year. This keeps the vegetation sufficiently open and aired. Shading: While growing plants in greenhouse by reducing the amount of solar radiation in the greenhouse, high quality flowers can be produced. Shading upto 30% is beneficial for production of flowers. Cooling: In greenhouses, the pulsator provides simple and efficient cooling which is required for good flowering. It is a special type of nozzle for overhead lines using very low volume pulses of water to lightly wet the crop which is then cooled by evaporation.


Pests Aphid: Spray of metasystox (2 ml/l) can control this insect. Whiteflies: Spraying malathion, rogor or dimethoate at 0.1%. Red spider mites: Spray of dimecron (1 ml/l) or kelthane (2 ml/l). Thrips: Monocrotophos (0.2%) can control the population of thrips

Rosita Other mutants

Diseases Damping off: Spray benomyl or thiophanate methyl at the rate of 0.2% to all bedding plants. Stem rot: Drenching the planted area with PCNB is an effective control measure. Grey mould: Spray of benomyl or chlorothalonil (0.1%) is effective in controlling the disease. Restricted watering and improved ventilation will help.


Tomato spotted wilt virus: Use of virus free-planting material is suggested for its cultivation. Harlequin

Deficiency Iron deficiency: Yellowing of youngest leaves and it can be controlled by applying 6-8 g of Fe- EDTA per m2. Manganese deficiency: Interveinal chlorosis, mainly in young leaves. It is corrected by spraying of Manganese Sulphate @ 1-2 g/ litre of water Magnesium deficiency Leaves are spotted with yellow green lines between the veins in older leaves and it can be managed by spraying Magnesium Sulphate @ 2g/ litre of water

Red Sunset

Harvest: Harvesting takes place by pulling out or by cutting, depending on the variety. Mainly harvesting takes place by pulling of the stem out of the soil. The stems are harvested twice a week during the winter and 3-4 times a week during the summer. For long distance markets flowers are harvested when the buds are about to open and started to colour. For local markets, harvesting is delayed until the first three flowers have opened. Yield: The yield varies between 180 - 300 flower stems / m2 / year and the vase life is n around 2 weeks. Flowers in vase

Floriculture Today July 2012 25

26 Floriculture Today July 2012

Floriculture Today July 2012 27


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Medicinal Plants

Guaiacum officinale

Tree of Life — N. Deepa Devi & A. Shanthi


uaiacum officinale, commonly known as Roughbark Lignum-vitae, Tree of Life and Guaiac. Guaiacum, sometimes spelled Guajacum, is a genus of flowering plants in the caltrop family Zygophyllaceae. It contains five species of slow-growing shrubs and trees. All are native to subtropical and tropical regions of the Americas. The word guaiacum originated in Maipurean. Members of the genus have a variety of uses, including as lumber for medicinal purposes and as ornamentals. Guaiacum officinale is the national flower of Jamaica, while Guaiacum sanctum is the national tree of The Bahamas. Description This small tree is very slow growing, reaching about 10m in height with a trunk diameter of 60cm. The tree is essentially evergreen throughout most of its native range. The leaves are compound, 2.5 to 3cm in length, and 2cm wide. The blue flowers have five petals which yield a bright yellow-orange fruit with red flesh and black seeds. Lignum Vitae are the heaviest and densest wood in the world and will rapidly sink to the bottom when placed in water. Species 1. Guaiacum officinale 2. Guaiacum angustifolium 3. Guaiacum coulteri 4. Guaiacum unijugum 5. Guaiacum sanctum

Uses v Gum from the wood was once used to treat syphilis. v Guaiacum resin has been used to treat a variety of medicinal conditions from coughs to arthritis. Wood chips can also be used to brew a tea. v A phenolic compound derived from the resin of Guaiacum trees is used in a common test for blood in human stool samples. v The presence of haem in the blood causes the formation of a coloured product in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. The effect of peroxidases in horseradish on guiacum was first noted in 1810 by Planche. v As a food additive Guaiacum has the E number of E314 and is classified as an antioxidant. v A widely used derivative drug is the expectorant known as guaifenesin. v The soap fragrance oil of guaiac comes from Bulnesia sarmientoi, a South American tree from the same family. v Members of the genus are grown in Florida and California as ornamental plants. v Resin obtained from the wood and bark is used in powder, pill and tincture. v Resin is applied to the tooth for a toothache, and applied externally for rheumatism. For gout, blood pressure and arteriosclerosis resin is taken orally. Guaiacum officinale L.

32 Floriculture Today July 2012

v The wood is used for fence posts, tool handles, and firewood. v Root extracts are used to treat rheumatism and sexually transmitted diseases. v Soap can be made from the root bark because it contains saponin, historically soap made in this way would be used to wash wool. v The flowers are valued by beekeepers for their consistent nectar production. v Texas Lignum-vitae is cultivated as an ornamental because of its drought tolerance, dense foliage, compact size and fragrant flowers. It is used in hedges, rock gardens and xeriscaping. Guajacum officinale L. It is a slow-growing broad leaf, evergreen tree or shrub reaching 3-12m in height. Stem is generally crooked wood intensely hard, the branches knotty and bark deeply furrowed. The dense crown of close-growing foliage gives the tree a rounded, compact, net appearance. Each leaf is composed of 2 or 3 pairs of smooth, stalkless leaflets arranged on a slender mid-rib. The leaflets are 6-13cm in length. Beautiful blue flowers grow in great profusion and almost cover the tree and remain for a long time. As the older blooms fade from deep blue to paler shades, some becoming almost white, a striking variegation of colour is produced. It can be found in lowland dry forest, woodland and thicket. It frequently grows in coastal areas.

Medicinal Plants Guaiacum angustifolium It is native to southern and western Texas in the United States and Northern Mexico. The specific name is derived from the Latin words angustus, meaning “narrow,” and folius, meaning “leaf.” Texas Lignum-vitae is a many branched shrub or small tree, reaching a height of 7m. This evergreen has a dense canopy and short lateral branches. Leaves are 1–3cm long, opposite and pinnately compound, with four to eight pairs of leaflets. The dark green, leathery, linear to linear-spatulate leaflets are 5–16mm, long and 2–3mm wide. Leaflets fold themselves at night and when exposed to hot sunlight. The small blue and purple flowers are 12–22mm in diameter. They have five sepals, five petals around 1cm in length, and ten stamens. The blooming period lasts from March until September, with flowers appearing after rain. The fruit is a flat, leathery capsule 1–2cm in diameter with one to two lobes, sometimes as many as four. Dehiscent locules contain a single shiny, bean-like seed that is usually bright red. Guaiacum coulteri It growing in upright position and spreading to pendulous and weeping. The Leaves pinnately compound, medium to deep

Guaiacum angustifolium

The word guaiacum originated in Maipurean. Members of the genus have a variety of uses, including as lumber for medicinal purposes and as ornamentals. Guaiacum officinale is the national flower of Jamaica, while Guaiacum sanctum is the national tree of The Bahamas

Floriculture Today July 2012 33

Medicinal Plants green, 6-10 oval leaflets per leaf, half inch long, nearly sessile, opposite or crowded on short spurs stems distinctly gray, stem nodes swollen, medium fine texture. Vibrantly violet blue axillary flowers, five broad petals, extended yellow anthers, flowers occur either singley or in small clusters, fruit inconspicuous, reddish brown, winged, multicarpulate capsule. Here’s a guayacan flowering intensely in late spring at a local Phoenix plant nursery. Guaiacum coulteri has been extensively harvested in its southern native range. Over exploitation for timber in conjunction with habitat loss and a slow rate of regeneration has left G. coulteri threatened.

Guaiacum coulteri

Guaiacum sanctum

of its native range. The leaves are compound, 2.5–3cm in length, and 2cm wide. The purplish blue flowers have five petals each, and yield yellow pods containing black seeds encapsulated separately in a red skin.

Authors are N Deepa Devi, Ph. D Scholar, Department of Horticulture, AC & RI, TNAU, Madurai,and A. Shanthi, Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, P. J. N. Agricultural College & Research Institute, Karaika)

Guaiacum unijugum One of the rarer and least known species of the genus Guaiacum is G. unijugum. The species was first observed and collected by T. S. Brandegee in September of 1890. It is a divaricately branched shrub growing to about 2 meters in height on coastal dunes and sandy washes. It has small pinnately compound leaves with generally one or rarely 2 pairs of leaflets. It produces 5-merous flowers with light blue petals during midsummer, maturing into a yellowish brown capsule with generally one reddish-orange arillate seed by late summer to early fall Guaiacum sanctum It is commonly known as Holywood or Holywood Lignum-vitae. It is threatened by habitat loss. This tree is one of two species which yield the valuable Lignum vitae wood, the other being Guaiacum officinale. This small tree is slow growing, reaching about 7m in height with a trunk diameter of 50cm. The tree is essentially evergreen throughout most

34 Floriculture Today July 2012

Floriculture Today July 2012 35

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Beautiful and Unique Ornamental Climbers of India — Atul Batra and B.K.Banerji


limbers are grown in premises for their special quality to cover the walls, boundaries, buildings, tree stumps, portico, roof of garage and on patios. They are also grown by putting support through the branches of tree, shrub, railing or some other support. They spread their beauty by producing beautiful flowers on one hand and on the other they protect the house from dust and other pollutant and in return they purify the air by producing oxygen. They are generally grown for beautification of the object on which they grow or to cover the ground or

for screening purpose. Ornamental climbers has played a significant role in beautification of garden, home, garage, temple, graveyard, avenues, hotels, motels and various public places. Landscape architect exploited the various uses of ornamental climbers for vertical landscaping in green buildings. These ornamental climbers may be trailing, twining, scrambling or self climbing. These climbing adaptations have been developed during the course of evolution. Climbers are grown either for their attractive foliage or for their attractive and beautiful flowers. Foliage climbers may be green or variegated. Climbers with lush green foliage are also used for screening the unpleasant looking surroundings.

In garden the structural support systems are available in the form of Pergolas, pillar and trellis are used as a support for the climbers. Selections of climbers are very important for beautifying the garden and building. Some climbers are grown in sunny locations of the garden while others like shady places. On the basis of growing in a suitable location, their biomass production, light requirement for the growth and their situation suitability, climbers are classified into use based different groups viz., light climbers, heavy climbers, climbers for sunny location,

Adenocalymma alliaecum

Allamanda cathartica

Antigonon leptopus

Artabotrys odoratissimus

Bauhinia diphylla

Beamontia grandiflora

Bignonia venusta

Campsis grandiflora

Duranta plumier

Gloriosa rothsehildiana

Ipomoea hederifolia

Ipomoea indica

Ipomoea lobata

Thunbergia alata

Thunbergia grandiflora

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Jasmine elongatum

Vallaris heynei

Quisqualis indica

Woodfordia fruiticosa

Fig.1: Some of the valuable ornamental climbers/creepers of India along with close-up view of flower 36 Floriculture Today July 2012

Ornamentals climbers for partial shade, for fragrant flowers, hedge, in door decoration, pergola and pot culture. Different climbers along with specific examples are given below: Light climbers: Clitoria ternatea, Lonicera japonica and Trachelospermum jasmionides are ideal specimen of this group. Heavy climbers: Antigonon leptopus, Bignonia magnifera, Bougainvelliasps., Clerodendron splenders, Quisqualis indica and Allamanda cathartica are heavy climbers. Climbers for sunny location: Antigonon leptopus, Adenocalymma alliaecum, Boungainvellia sps., Campis grandiflora, Clerodendron sps., Passiflora sps., Pyrostegia venusta and Quisqualis indica enjoy sunny location. Climbers for partial shade: Clerodendron splendens, Lonicera japonica, Petrea volubilis, Trachelospermum jasminoides prefer partial shade. Climbers with fragrant flowers: Jasmine grandiflorum, Jamine officinale, Trachelospermum jasminoides and Hiptage benghalenis are climbers which produce fragrance.

Climbers for hedge: Boungainvellia and Clerodendrum inerme are the ideal climbers to be used in hedge. Climbers for indoor decoration: Pothos scanders, Montana deliciosa, Philodendrum sps., Aspagus sps. are climbers which can be used for indoor decoration. Climbers for pergola: Boungainvillea, Clerodendrom splender, Petrea volubilis, Pyrostegia venusta, Pyrostegia purpurea and Quisqualis indica can be successfully grown for making pergola. Climbers for pots: Bignonia purpurea, Bougainvillea, Clematic flamnula, Clitoria ternatea are ideal climbers which can be grown in pots. Climbers for screening: Prostegia venusuta is an ideal plant for screening purpose. Description of some of the important climbers of India and their respective uses is given below: (i) Adenocalymma alliaceum: It is a beautiful climber with evergreen shiny leathery foliage and large trumpet shaped deep mauve flowers which bloom in the month from March to June (fig.1a). The leaves as well as flower when

bruised emit garlic like smell Uses: It is traditionally used as a medicinal plant. (ii) A l l a m a n d a c a t h a r t i c a : P l a n t is commonly seen as a landscape ornamental in tropical locations. It is commonly known as Golden Trumpet due to its flower shape (fig.1b). Its large flowers are very fragrant. The clusters of flowers occur at the tip of new shoots.

Uses: Use as a shrub if pruned or as a vine on a trellis. It is used as a landscape ornamental plant as it can be trained to grow up a trellis, tree or any similar kinds of support.

(iii) Antigonon leptopus: It is also known as Coral vine or Love vine. It is a fast growing vine that holds via tendrils, and is able to reach more than 8 mts in length. The flowers are borne in panicles, clusted along the rachis producing pink or white flowers (fig.1c). Blooming period is from spring to autumn.

Uses: Love vine is used to cover fences or climb trellies for screening ugly and unsightly views with thick luxuriant green foliage. Plant is a good dust absorber.

Floriculture Today July 2012 37

Ornamentals (iv) Artabotrys odoratissimus: The plant attains an average height of 12 m. It grows well in full or partial sun, and prefers the acidic soils of its native rainforest. Flower looks like a sea star in appearance, and yields a highly fragrant essential oil (fig.1d). Uses: Flowers have intoxicating fragrance. Flowers are very long lasting and hold the scent for days, if kept in water, permeating an entire room. (v) Bauhinia diphylla: Plant is known by different names viz., Mountain Ebony, Purple Orchid tree or simply Orchid tree, and ‘Kachnar’ in India and Pakistan. It attains height of up to 12 m. It blooms in late winter and often continues to bloom into early summer (fig.1e). Uses: The trailing roots, twigs, tendrils and drops of this climber are used for making temporary ropes for securing thatch, matting or fences. (vi) Beamontia grandiflora: It is one of the most impressive climbing plants which also grow well in subtropical climates. A strong growing climber which can reach up to height of 3m to 6m in full sun. The large white fragrant flowers are borne in corymbs terminal and in the leaf axils (fig.1f). Uses: The plant can form large mound without support. It can be grown in pots but will ot get very big or produce many flowers like the ones grown in the ground. (vii) Bignonia venusta: The lovely trumpetflower, is a gorgeous, ornamental, climbing plant. It is more widely known as an ornamental climber that makes a dazzling spectacle when in full flower. Flowers are reddish orange, in terminal panicled cymes, up to 5 cm long with reflexed corolla lobes (fig.1g). Uses: Ideal for covering fences and wall. It is also use to grow on fences, unsightly walls, Pergolas, or any other support. (viii) Campsis grandiflora: Chinese trumpet creeper is a showcase drop-dead, absolutely gorgeous vine, the perfect plant for that special full sun spot. Plant produces large, orange, trumpet-shaped flowers in summer (fig.1h). 38 Floriculture Today July 2012

terminal and axillary stems, blooming almost all year long (fig.1i).

Some climbers are grown in sunny locations of the garden while others like shady places. On the basis of growing in a suitable location, their biomass production, light requirement for the growth and their situation suitability, climbers are classified into use based different groups viz., light climbers, heavy climbers, climbers for sunny location, climbers for partial shade, for fragrant flowers, hedge, in door decoration, pergola and pot culture

Uses: It is more widely known as an ornamental climber.

(x) Gloriosa rothsehildiana: It is also known as the climbing lily or flame lily and is high fashion flowers. They have showy flowers, distinctive because of their pronouncedly reflexed petals, like a Turk’s cap lily (fig.1j). Uses: It is an excellent plant for landscape use and suitable for growing on trellises, pots, containers indoors and outdoors, house plant or planted in the garden. (xi) Ipomoea hederifolia: Plant is commonly known as Scarlet morning glory. It is a twining, smooth to hairy annual vine. The flowers are trumpet-shaped, the petals are initially fused to form a tube but then flare at the top, 1.5-2.5 cm diameter. The color of the flower is yellowish to orange red (fig.1k). Uses: Flowers emanate a powerfully sweet fragrance which makes it one of the most desirable vines to grow. The vine is smooth and thorn-less. (xii) Ipomoea indica: Plant is commonly known as Blue morning glory. Leaves range from heart-shaped to 3-lobed. Flowers are funnel-like, bright blue or bluish-purple, 5-8 cm long with a whitish pink central tube (fig.1l). Blooming period is from spring to autumn. Uses: It can cover a chain link fence or a building. (xiii) Ipomoea lobata: The plant grows about 1.3m to 2.4m in height depending on the soil and season. The color of the flower is reddish-orange fading to orange (fig.1m).

Uses: Plants can be allowed to scramble on the ground and will form an effective ground cover, rooting at intervals along the branches.

(ix) Duranta plumier: It can grow up to 6 m tall and can spread to an equal width. The flowers are light-blue or lavender, produced in tight clusters located on

(xiv) Jasmine elongatum: Jasmines are widely cultivated for their flowers, which are enjoyed in the garden, as house plants, and as cut flowers. The

Uses: The plant is used on the trellis, fences, as edging plants, and also in the hanging baskets. It is used as a cut flower.

Floriculture Today July 2012 39


flowers are borne in cymose clusters with a minimum of three flowers. The flowers are star shaped, around 2.5 cm in diameter. Flower color is white or yellow, though in rare instances they can be slightly reddish (fig.1n). Uses: They are suitable as ground cover on rock garden, for railing against walls or fences or for twining over trellises and pergolas.

(xv) Quisqualis indica: It is planted on a pergola to give visitors shade in the summertime, and to treat them to the intoxicating scent. The flowers are mild fragrant, tubular and their color varies from white to pink to red (fig.1o). Uses: Using the essential oil of Quisqualis indica, aromatherapy is a natural way to experience the light scent. Decoctions of the root, seed or fruit can be used as antihelmintic to expel parasitic worms or for alleviating diarrhea. (xvi) Thunbergia alata: It is a soft annual and perennial climber about grow up to a height of 1.8-2.4 m in tropical zones. It favors sun to partial shade.

40 Floriculture Today July 2012

The flowers typically are orange in color with characteristic dark spot in the centre (fig.1p).

Uses: It is used in fences, trellises, arches, arbors and pillars or a lightly shading tree. This creeper in groups is used as a ground cover or on a bank or terraces where it can trail downwards.

(xvii) Thunbergia grandiflora: The plant is generally used as a creeper that can reach to the top of large structure or even cover a good sized tree. It is commonly known as clock vine. The color of the flower is blue (fig.1q). Uses: It looks majestic trained across a roof. It is good for covering trellis, fences and pergolas (xviii)Trachelospermum jasminoides: It is an evergreen woody liana growing up to 3.0 m high. The fragrant flowers are white, 1–2 cm diameter, with a tube-like corolla opening out into five petal-like lobes (fig.1r). Uses: Valuable perfume oil is extracted

from the steam distilled or tinctured flowers and used in high end perfumery. Ideal for informal cottage garden style planting. (xix) Vallaris heynei: The plant is commonly known as woody climber and propagated by stem cuttings. The color of the flower is white (fig.1s). Flowers have mild fragrance. Uses: It can be used as a compact bush and is good for container culture. The plant is useful in the treatment of wound and sore. (xx) Woodfordia fruiticosa: Plant attains height of up to 3 mts. The colors of the flowers are bright red, in axillary cyme clusters, numerous (fig.1t). Plant has various medicinal properties. Uses: It is used to treat skin diseases, burning sensation, hemorrhage, anemia, leucorrhea, menorrhagia, diarrhea, dysentery, ulcers, diabetes, oligospermia, urinary n tract infections and jaundice. (The authors are from the Floriculture Section CSIR-NBRI, Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow)

Floriculture Today July 2012 41


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enetic engineering is the most fundamental mechanics of biotechnologies and is a recent offshoot of biotechnological research. It involves gene splicing, recombinant DNA cloning and tissue culture technology. Essentially, two components are addressed in the gene technology namely: the in vitro incorporation of the gene or DNA segment of interest into a small self-replicating chromosomes and the introduction of the recombinant minichromosomes into a host cell where it will replicate i.e., the synthesis of recombinant DNA and the gene cloning. Thus, recombinant DNA and gene cloning technologies are the most powerful tools developed in the field of biology. Genetic engineering involves manipulation of the genetic material of an organism to give an altered expression of our choice. The desired genes are identified, isolated, purified and then incorporated into another organism. This DNA of interest is referred to as donor DNA or target DNA. On the other hand, a reliable vector with established capability of self-replicating molecule of DNA or replication is identified to which the desired gene is linked. Vector therefore, acts as carrier and transports the gene into the host cell. Genetic engineering has opened the door to a range of molecular and biological opportunities which includes following: 1. Nucleotide sequence determination 2. Site-directed mutagenesis 3. Manipulation of gene sequence It ensures very high level expression of an encoded polypeptide in host organism. If used wisely genetic engineering promises to solve the problems and enhance the quality of human life. However, only future will determine the scope and final outcome of this technology. Moreover, the main development in crop 42 Floriculture Today July 2012

— Atul Batra

T i s s u e C u l t u r e

Biotechnology is seen as the most reliable technology towards efficient injection of new varieties into the production system. High plant biotechnology has been witnessing major advances towards improvement of quality of horticulture crops

improvement with the use of biotechnological researches are plant cell, tissue and organ culture, genetic engineering leading to transformation, followed by regeneration of plants to give transgenic plants with desirable traits like disease resistance, insect resistance, heat and drought tolerant and herbicide resistance. Eventually the technology may be used for enhancing photosynthetic efficiency, nitrogen fixing ability, an improved storage protein capability, and hybrid crops for food processing. The technology has inherent ability in facilitating molecular farming also. Modern biotechnology and genetic engineering in particular adds greater precision and speed in plant breeding. Transgenics have been reported in more than forty crop plants including maize, rice, soybean, cotton, potato, sugar beet and tomato. Genetic transformation of plants Biotechnologists now understand transfer of new genetic information into plant cell. A large number of chain information is involved during plant cell developments that are dependent on specific gene expression. However, the expression of these genes can be modified by various abiotic and biotic factors as shown in picture below:

Biotechnology Light

Nutrient supply Drought or acidity

Nucleus DNA-RNA


Secretion Cytoplasm




Oxygen level DNA-RNA protein Symbiotic organisms

Vacuoles Storage-organelles lysosome


Temperature Humidity Insects


Expression of three interacting plant genomes during cell development and differentiation under various abiotic and biotic factors Expression of three interacting plant genomes during cell development and differentiation under various abiotic and biotic factors Gene expression is a complicated even because plant has three genomes: 1. Nuclear genome 2. Plastid genome 3. Mitochondria genome These genomes interact with each other during cell development and differentiation to form complete plant. The nuclear genome plays an integral role in organelle biogenesis. Plastid and mitochondria genome have been complete systems but do not synthesize all the proteins. The recombinant DNA technology has opened up vistas of producing crops and forest trees with increased resistance to saline soil, diseases, insects, high temperature, drought and other environmental conditions. Biotechnological Applications on Horticultural crops Horticulture is becoming an increasingly important enterprise in many agro-based economies with increasing demand for fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, beverages and spices besides medicinal and aromatic plants. The use of biotechnology in solving many of the problems confronting the horticulturebased industries needs no emphasis. Fruits and vegetables remain significantly

very popular as important sources of vitamins and minerals as well as other essential ingredients for healthy being. However, the yields reported in many developing countries are dismal. So far the low productivity is coupled with lack of infrastructural facilities, inadequate post harvest management and over dependence in conventional items. On the other hand vegetables are essential to human diet. Various nutritional elements like calcium, phosphorus and iron are generally present in cabbage, cauliflower, beans, peas, tomato, carrot, onion whereas green leafy vegetables have high quantities of cellulose necessary for digestion and prevention of constipation. Finally, even though flowers are produced by only a small proportion of farmers they contribute to a great extent towards the gross domestic product in many economies. However, the challenge to step up productivity of fruits, vegetables and flowers is still not yet resolved. Biotechnology is seen as the most reliable technology towards efficient injection of new varieties into the production system. High plant biotechnology has been witnessing major advances towards improvement of quality of horticultural crops (Prasad, 1999). Applications of genetic engineering in horticulture Genetic engineering has unlimited scope

for application in horticulture. The goal of plant, animal and microbial genetic engineer is to improve the quality and yield of products. Several transgenic plants have been generated. Until 1980s production of transgenic plants was restricted mainly to tobacco, petunia or tomato of the family Solanaceae. However, over 25 dicot species transgenic plants have been successfully produced. Target areas for improvement are variable. However, resistance to herbicides, pests, viral infection and fungal pathogens has received a great attention. Similarly, genetic engineering towards plant lipid production has gained popularity. This involves modifications of lipids with respect to their production. Of similar importance is the target of storage proteins in which genetic engineering has helped in enabling the expression of desirable and heterologous storage protein; increasing the level of a desirable, but little expressed indigenous protein and finally suppressing the expressing of anti-nutritional proteins. Furthermore, genetic engineering has been directed towards improvement of nitrogen fixation ability in various crop plants. It may suffice to say that sooner than later, nitrogen fixing maize variety will be ushered into cultivation at this rate. n

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China Professor develops way to preserve dried flowers & its color With a passion for flowers, National Tsing Hua University Department of Life Sciences professor Li Chia-wei, has been, for the past five years, conducting research on color-retention techniques for pressed floral plants. Li said his interest in the technique had been piqued when he visited a museum in China six years ago. At the time, Li said he found that the color of vegetable specimens he had purchased in jars did not fade after half a year, prompting him and his students to analyze the chemical contents of the liquid in the jar. Li and his students later used organic acid to come up with a mixture similar to anthocyanidin, causing orchids soaked in the mixture to retain their original color for more

than three years. After testing and preserving orchids of different kinds and colors, Li and his students were greatly encouraged, and one of his students, Lin Tzu-yang, has also sought to use the mixture to preserve specimens of Japanese camellias, chrysanthemums and roses. Li said that flower specimens is made through flower-pressing techniques, involving pressing, dehydrating, and then drying. It caused flowers to lose their beauty, color and natural shape. Lin is now attempting to create flower specimens from entire flowers, with the original colors intact. Flowers soaked in his special mixture could later be sealed in clear resin, not only preserving the color of the flowers, but also decreasing the chance of the chemicals leaking

Flower growers in Vietnam go hi-tech

Many farmers in Da Lat, known as the City of Flowers, have switched to hi-tech floriculture in recent years, heralding a transformation of the agriculture sector in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. The province now has a total of 3,800 ha dedicated to hi-tech cultivation of flowers, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Nguyen Van Son, the department’s deputy director, said most hi-tech farming areas in the province were located in traditional flower villages, particularly in Da Lat, the provincial capital. The application of advanced

technology had resulted in higher productivity and value than traditional cultivation, he said. With hi-tech floriculture, farmers grow flowers in greenhouses with automatic irrigation systems. Hi-tech farming brought in average annual revenues of between VND800 million (US$38,000) and VND 1billion ($47,600) per ha, 1.6 times the earnings from traditional cultivation, Son said. Vu Thuan, who has planted chrysanthemums in a 6,000 sq.m greenhouse in Ha Dong Flower Village in Da Lat City’s Ward 8 for several years, earns around VND180 million

out. The technique has been published in Scientific American magazine, Li said, adding that the finding has already received a commendation from Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai. Li said the university has asked him to dry two orchid specimens with his mixture as a gift to Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureates Aaron Ciechanover and Ada Yonath. Li added that he hoped to establish a flower specimen museum to let others see the beauty of the flowers, preserved for eternity.

($8,570) per 1,000 sq.m. Thuan said after deducting all production costs, he earned a profit of VND90-100 million ($4,290-4,760) per 1,000 sq.m. The village has more than 400 households growing flowers on a total area of 50ha. Of this figure, 30ha are planted in greenhouses. Similarly, most farmers in Thai Phien Village in Da Lat’s Ward 12 are growing flowers in greenhouses with automatic irrigation systems. Nguyen Dinh Huong, deputy chairman of the Ward 12 People’s Committee, said Thai Phien had a total agricultural land of 430 ha, of which 300 ha are being used to grow flowers in greenhouses. Thai Phien now produced about 300 million blossoms a year, he said. Van Thanh Village in Da Lat City’s Ward 5 is famous for growing roses. Tran Thi Kim Thuy, owner of the Hoa-Thuy Flower Shop in Ward 5, said the application of hi-tech farming had improved villagers’ lives. Thuy said her family had 3,000 sq.m of land devoted to rose cultivation and earned an annual profit of no less than VND40 million ($1,900) per 1,000 sq.m. The application of hi-tech farming had been a breakthrough in agricultural production, bringing about farreaching changes in rural areas as well as the lives of farmers in Lam Dong, said Pham S, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee. Floriculture Today July 2012 49

News The average revenue from agriculture production in Lam Dong had increased from VND27 million ($1,290) per ha in 2003 to VND80 million ($3,800) at present, he said. Hi-tech farming occupied just 3 per cent of the province’s total agricultural area, but it accounted for 18-20 per cent of the total production value of the agriculture sector, he said.

Quick results Lam Dong began a programme to promote hi-tech agriculture in the province in 2004, focusing in particular on floriculture in Da Lat City and other key localities. Previously, a few companies and households were the only ones applying hi-tech floriculture in Lam Dong, but this number has increased exponentially in the last seven to eight years. Lam Dong

flowers are exported not only to neighbouring countries and territories but also to the EU and North America. Last year, 165 million blossoms worth a total of $18 million were exported from the province. These included roses, chrysanthemums, carnations, cymbidium orchids and gerberas.

Dutch Flower and Plant Exports Jump 15% on Increased Prices

Dutch flower and plant exports jumped 15 per cent in May, boosted by rising shipments to Russia and northern Europe as well as

higher wholesale prices. Exports climbed to 638 million euros ($806 million) from 552 million euros a year earlier, the Aalsmeer, Netherlands- based Dutch Agricultural Wholesale Board for Flowers and Plants wrote in a report on its website. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is the main market for flowers from the Netherlands. Flower and plant exports to the country rose 7 percent in the year’s first five months, in contrast with falling sales to

France, Italy, Spain and Greece. Plant and flower exports from the Netherlands to southern European destinations through May are difficult, the board wrote. Due to the lack of confidence in the economy, spending on flowers and plants in these countries is falling more and more. Consumers in southern Europe still buy flowers for special occasions such as weddings and funerals, the board said.

NYC exhibition evokes Claude Monet’s flower garden

Claude Monet’s beloved flower and water gardens in the north of France are world-famous. But for those unable to visit the artist’s iconic home, a trip to the Bronx over the next several months will offer a taste of Monet’s indisputably radiant living masterpiece with a riotous display of color, plant variety and landscape design. “Monet’s Garden” at the New York Botanical Garden evokes Monet’s lush garden at Giverny, the impressionist’s home from 1883 until his death in 1926. A passionate gardener has once rightly declared, “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers”. Monet found endless inspiration from his exuberant gardens. The water garden alone accounts for some 250 paintings, including a series of monumental canvases that led to his Grandes Decorations at the Musee de d’Orangeries in Paris. His flower 50 Floriculture Today July 2012

garden is featured in at least 40 works. The exhibition, which runs through Oct. 21, will feature a seasonally changing display of flora, currently a spring kaleidoscope of poppies, roses, foxgloves, irises and delphiniums inside the botanical garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservancy. It also includes two scarcely seen garden-inspired paintings, Monet’s wooden palette, rare photos of Monet in his garden and 30 photographs of Giverny by Elizabeth Murray, who has recorded Monet’s flower oasis for 25 years. These are all located at the botanical garden’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library. A facade of Monet’s pink stucco house with its bright green shutters, a historically accurate replica by Tony Award-winning set designer Scott Park, marks the start of the exhibition. From there, visitors are led down the Grand Allee, a shorter recreation of Monet’s rose-covered trellis pathway lined on both sides with thick beds of vibrant flowers. The path opens up to a replica of his famous Japanese footbridge arching over a water lily pool encircled by willow trees and flowering shrubs.

“He could stand at his doorstep, as you can in this recreation, and look down the alley to the Japanese bridge in the distance,” said the exhibition curator, Monet scholar Paul Hayes Tucker. “Since we know what flowers he planted, we can be very accurate historically,” Tucker said, “It is only a fraction of his undertaking but, nonetheless, an enormously rich and extensive fraction that will hopefully encourage people to learn more about him and if one is lucky enough to go to Giverny”. In the courtyard outside the Victorian greenhouse, two immense water basins contain a plethora of water lilies. Monet, who made a fortune during his lifetime, was constantly planting, replanting and redesigning his gardens. He would remove the water lilies in the winter so they would survive the cold and then replant them in the spring and summer. “What’s wonderful is to think of Monet literally as planting a still life because it is in the end the arrangement of those water lilies that he paints in his pictures. He is constructing his painting, at least part of his painting, as he replants the pond,” Tucker

News said, adding that the job of one of Monet’s gardeners was to dunk the lilies so that the pads would glisten. Summer months will see yellow and orange blossoms of nasturtiums, and lavenders, lilies and geraniums will fill the conservancy. In September and October, they will be replaced with chrysanthemums, salvia, sunflowers, asters, sages, dahlias and other fall flowers. Among the rare artifacts in the exhibition are two paintings of his garden executed by the artist 15 years apart. “The Artist’s Garden in Giverny,” on loan from the Yale University Art Gallery, was painted around the year 1900 and shows his flower garden with a dense arrangement of irises and decorative trees.

“Irises”, painted during World War I, is darker and moodier. On loan from a private Swiss collection and never before shown in the United States, it depicts a corner of the water garden that is replete with irises. In a nearby glass case is one of Monet’s paint-encrusted palettes, “a place where literally the hand and the eye come together and where that mysterious poetic moment of realization takes place,” Tucker said. It’s on loan from the Musee Marmottan Monet in Paris. There are also documents and personal correspondence that provide a rich sense of how the gardens were conceived and how they functioned in Monet’s life and art.

A digitalized version of one of Monet’s sketchbooks reveals his propensity to draw before he set out to paint. “We think of him almost exclusively as a painter so these sketchbooks reveal ... he would jot these pictorial ideas right in front of his motifs,” Tucker said. “They provided a kind of touchstone for when he came back to the studio and began to organize the picture.” Hopefully, he said, visitors will come away from the exhibition “with a greater sense of how complex and inventive Monet was as an individual.”

Valoya LED lights improve flowering in Begonias The use of Valoya’s full spectrum LED lights improves the quality of plants. Begonias grown under Valoya LED lights achieved better color intensity and enhanced flowering compared to the plants grown under traditional artificial lighting. Valoya studied the effects of LED lighting and High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lighting on the growth of Begonia flowers. Begonias

cultivated in greenhouses under traditional HPS lighting, have shown decrease of flower quality in the winter months when HPS lights are the dominant source of light. The decreased quality can be seen as pale color of flowers and uneven quality of the crop. To test potential benefits compared to HPS lights, Valoya cultivated four varieties of Begonias: Blitz, Carneval, Rebecca and Reina. The research was conducted in conditions similar to commercial growers’ greenhouse settings. The results of the demonstration showed that the wide spectrum of the Valoya LED lights provides improvement compared to HPS light. The improvement was seen in several ways; the plants grown under Valoya LEDs had up to 21% more flowering stems and up to 23% more buds in comparison with the HPS plants. In addition, the color intensity of the flowers and leaves was significantly stronger on the LED plants. The Begonias grown under Valoya’s

full spectrum were compact and symmetrical, which contributed to a healthy and beautiful plant. Similar results have also been seen with tulips, roses, saintpaulia, chrysanthemum and several other plant species. About Valoya Valoya is a provider of energy efficient LED grow lights. Valoya LED -lights have been developed using Valoya’s proprietary LED technology and extensive plant photobiology research. Currently, Valoya growth lights are used for a wide variety of plant species in 18 countries. Valoya’s customer base includes numerous greenhouses and research institutions all over the world. Valoya has a complete range of products to satisfy various plant lighting needs: The L-series in a T8 form factor for easy replacement of fluorescent tubes in low proximity applications. The R-series is a powerful roof light that comes in two models R200 and R400 to replace High Pressure Sodium (HPS) installations. The B-series bars are perfect for inter-lighting, mid height installations and for special cultivation spaces within residential areas. B-series come in B50/B100/B150/B200 varieties.

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Sikkim to host international flower festival The Chief Secretary of the State of Sikkim made a visit to the Saramsa Garden in Gangtok to inspect the venue for the ensuing International Flower Festival that is to be held from 23 to 28 February, 2013. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has accepted CM Pawan Chamling’s invitation to inaugurate the festival. After inspecting the condition of the infrastructure at the park such as sheds, electricity and water supply, drainage and toilets etc. the Chief Secretary chaired a meeting of the HODs of departments who are involved in the organizing of the International Flower Festival.

During the meeting the Chief Secretary stressed on the need to make the event a grand success as it would be showcasing the floriculture and tourism aspects of the State at the international level. He emphasized the need of having proper coordination between the various Departments involved in the event and also gave directives to ensure that the cost involved were kept at the minimum in order to ensure economy in expenditure. Earlier, the meeting was initiated by the Secretary, Food Security and Horticulture, Vishal Chauhan who gave a background about the earlier flower festival that was held in 2008 and urged the management committee

to make the ensuing 2013 event even better than last one. The other Secretaries who attended the meeting were Principal Secretary-cumDevelopment Commissioner, Commissionercum-Secretary, Tourism, Secretary Roads & Bridges, Secretary, PHE, Secretary IPR and other officers of the Horticulture Department.

Flowers bloom despite drought

Even as the district is facing a crisis of water, many farmers of Malur (Kolar) have been successful in floriculture, cultivating a variety of flowers. Most of the farmers are engaged in cultivating commercial flowers as dependence on rain for cultivation of traditional crops has become extremely difficult. Waiting for the rains after ploughing and sowing is a tedious process. Cultivating horticultural crops by using drip irrigation was not found to be very successful. As a consequence many farmers have turned their attention towards commercial flower cultivation using drip irrigation. Farmers of the taluk in the villages of Lakkur, Pura, Kodalli, Kudur, Jagadenahalli, Jayamangala,

Sampangere, Masthi, Chokkandahalli, Yeshwantapur, Kadathur, Baragur among others are engaged in cultivating a variety of commercial flowers. People from urban areas use the flowers cultivated in this taluk for decoration during wedding, festivals and other auspicious occasions. Dutch rose (a variety which has a comparatively mild perfume, has a great demand), aster, jasmine, crossandra, chrysanthemum, white lily and gladiolus are among the most cultivated flowers. Flowers which are used in festivities and ceremonies like jasmine and crossandra have a regular demand. Button rose and Dutch rose is cultivated in an area of 472 hectares, the maximum in the taluk. Chendu mallige (a jasmine variety with thick bud) is grown in an area of 334 hectares. Most of the cultivators bring their flowers to Bangalore and sell them here. Others give them to flower merchants. Dutch roses are packed in papers in 20 numbers each and sold in Bangalore. Each packet of 20 flowers fetches Rs 14 to 15.

Kotaladinne farmers turn to floriculture in a big way Sugar cane and chillies are generally grown in Kotaladinne taluk, Gauribidanur (Karnataka). However, farmers have now started cultivating flowers when there is shortage of water. Farmers in and around Kotaladinne village 52 Floriculture Today July 2012

are growing crossandra, as a commercial crop. As a result, Hosur hobli has been transformed into thriving flower market. Residents of Ramapura, Kudurebyalya, Hampasandra, Jalahalli, Kundihalli villages are making profits by growing crossandra on

Abdul Rauf, a farmer from Lakkur, says that he has been cultivating Dutch rose for the last three years. “I spend Rs 15,000 to 20,000 on water and fertiliser for cultivating Dutch rose in an ares of one-and-a-quarter acres of land. Every month I sell around 4,000 packets of flowers”, he said. “There is no adequate rain. Crops like tomato do not have a stable price in the market. It requires a lot of water to grow vegetables. Therefore farmers in our village grow Dutch roses in about 100 acres of land”, said Rauf. “Under the present circumstances, farmers are well aware of flowers prices in the market. There is also opportunities for selling the flowers directly even if they have to travel long distances” said Rajanna of Pura. “Malur is close to Bangalore. The farmer gets revenue everyday from flowers and get a better price compared to vegetables. The transport cost is also less. Therefore the number of farmers cultivating flowers is increasing year by year”, said Assistant Director, Horticulture, H Manjnath.

Plants talk through swaying: Study

News small portions of their land with less water. Business transactions that begin at 9 am conclude at 11 am. Every day, transactions worth Rs one lakh occur at Kotaladinne market. In addition to floriculture, a section of people have made sorting out flowers as their

profession. “Every day, they begin to sort out flowers at 7 am and by 10 am take it to the market. They are paid Rs 20 to 30 for the work. Moreover, the price is determined based on the colour and quality of flowers,” said Ashwathappa, a farmer.

“On regular days, a kg of flowers cost anywhere between Rs 300 to 400. However, during festival time a kg costs Rs 700 to 1,000,” he added. Moreover, flowers are generally grown in the summer than during rainy season.

Flower farmers in Africa see silver lining in euro crisis As key foreign exchange earning sectors take a beating from the Eurozone crisis that has brought some European countries on their knees, flower farmers are counting on this misfortune to increase exports. Players in the sector, that was initially expected to see reduced earnings from Europe markets due to the crisis, said reduced travel by Europeans has resulted in increased spending on flowers. The European sovereign debt crisis has made it difficult or impossible for some countries in the Eurozone to re-finance government debt. Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain are some of the countries widely reported to be locked up in the financial burden. “In the first quarter of this year, our industry recorded slight improvement in earnings compared to a corresponding period last year”, said Jane Ngige, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Flower Council. The sector is likely to further benefit from the crisis with volumes exported expected to significantly improve by the end of the year. “In most cases, especially when such problems occur, many cut on their holiday travel expenses”, said Ngige. “We saw it during the global financial crisis in 2008 when many cut on holidays opting to spend the little back at home. The bulk of the money was used in buying flowers. We expect the same situation to apply during this crisis, there is raw hope that the export will be steady throught the year”. Major exporter & Markets Kenya is currently the major exporter to the European Union, contributing over 35 per cent of all flower sales. The main European Union markets are Holland, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Switzerland. In the first quarter of this year, the sector earned Sh12.6 Billion, a slight improvement from Sh12 Billion earnings in the same period in 2011.

Fresh Produce Exporters Association says farmers should not celebrate soon as the crisis seems to be moving from one stage to the next. “We have not seen much decline in exports since December last year, the prices are steady and volumes exported have remained the same”, said Stephen Mbithi, the Chief Executive Officer, Fresh Produce Exporters Association. “I don’t expect much growth in the year, the crisis is ongoing and it might affect our fortune if it gets worse. When people start losing jobs, many will cut on luxury and this is the time when our industry will be hard hit”. Dr Mbithi said some flower farmers have already started cutting on their expansion strategies for fear of the worse from the crisis. “The industry continues to watch the crisis cautiously with a

good number already freezing on expansion. Farmers are not opening up additional farms for flower cultivation, they are watching the crisis with keen interest”, he said.

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