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2013 PRESS RELEASES

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July 19, 2013
VT SPIRIT DAYLILY AVAILABLE AT LOCAL GARDEN CENTERS

Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686

After much testing, uncooperative weather, true-to-parent trials and lots of cooperation with growers, the VT Spirit daylily is now available at nursery and garden centers statewide. As of July 15, 2013, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Beautiful Gardens plant introduction program of the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association (VNLA) are confident that Virginia growers propagating and finishing the VT Spirit daylily for retail sale are ready to begin delivery to local garden centers across the state. 

The VT Spirit daylily was developed by Virginia plant breeder Linda Pinkham of Carrollton, VA. She donated this plant to the Beautiful Gardens to help get the program off the ground and to celebrate the undying spirit of Virginia Tech. The VT Spirit daylily is maroon and orange, just like the Virginia Tech school colors, which accounts for the tremendous build up of interest in this flower. 

Like all daylilies, the VT Spirit is a perennial that will take a year or two to reach its prime blooming potential in the home garden. Buyers should review information on the tag that comes with each plant or ask their garden center staff for planting and care instructions.

The Beautiful Gardens plant introduction program was first discussed in 2003 and initiated in 2006.  Representatives from the Virginia horticulture industry serve on the committee that is managed by program coordinator Lisa Lipsey with the Virginia Tech Department of Horticulture. Rick Baker with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services serves as marketing chairman and Doug Hensel with the Great Big Greenhouse in Richmond is President. 

Beautiful Gardens maintains three evaluation sites in Norfolk, Bedford and Blacksburg for the continuing review of new and existing plants for introduction and for the plants of distinction program. Plants considered come from individuals, university and commercial breeding programs. Program funding comes from grants, financial support of the VNLA and income from the sale of new introductions. Plants featured as Plants of Distinction and the new introductions must be grown and finished for sale by Virginia growers. 

Click here for information on participating garden centers where the VT Spirit daylily is available.

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