A collection of roughly 255-million-year-old fossils suggests that three major plant groups existed earlier than previously thought, and made it through a mass extinction that wiped out more than 90 percent of Earth’s marine species and roughly 70 percent of land vertebrates.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Division of Plant Industry has released the following pest alert:
INTRODUCTION: On August 22, 2018, from Longwood, Seminole County, Florida, Jesse Krok (DPI) collected a sample of aluminum plant (Pilea cadeirei Gagnep. & Guill.) infested with all life stages of the aphid Myzus fataunae Shinji 1924 (after Takahashi 1965). Myzus fataunae is native to Japan and Korea; this represents the first record of the species in the Western Hemisphere.
HOSTS: The species was described originally from Fatoua (Moraceae) (Shinji 1924), though subsequent collections have been from members of the Urticaceae: aluminum plant, Pilea cadierei Gagnep. & Guill.; Canadian or Japanese clearweed, Pilea pumila (hamaoi) (L.) A. Gray; and other ornamental Pilea, Boehmeria and Parietaria species (Takahashi 1965, Miyazaki 1971, Blackman & Eastop 2018).
SURVEY: A hand lens is necessary to survey for M. fataunae. Other aphids may be present on the host and potential host plants, but the target will stand out by its small size and distinct bicoloration. Myzus fataunae appears to feed on all aboveground parts of the plant, but favors new growth and petioles. Cut potentially infested plant parts and place them in a vial of alcohol. Alternatively, separate foliage from roots (to prevent soil particles from obscuring aphids) and beat it against the side of a shallow white tray; then, tap the plant material over the tray using a pencil. Inspect dislodged debris on the tray using a hand lens and, with a brush, transfer the aphids into alcohol.
FIELD SCREENING: Myzus fataunae is a minute aphid (0.9-1.0 mm). The adult, wingless forms are two-toned, with a brown head and thorax and yellow abdomen. Young immatures are entirely greenish white, while older instars develop the bicoloration. Most diagnostic characters cannot be seen without high-powered optics. When surveying on the plant, look for small, bi-colored specks.
Blackman, R. L., and V. F. Eastop. 2018. Aphids on the World’s Plants. Available at
http://www.aphidsonworldsplants.info/index.htm (Last accessed September 2018).
Miyazaki, M. 1971. A Revision of the Tribe Macrosiphini of Japan (Homoptera: Aphididae, Aphidinae). Insecta Matsumurana 31 (1): 1–247.
Shinji, O. 1924. New Aphids from Morioka. Dobutsugaku Zasshi 36 (431): 343–372.
Takahashi, R. 1965. Myzus of Japan (Aphididae). Mushi 38 (9): 43–78
AmericanHort is now accepting applications for its 2019 board of directors. The application process is open now through Feb. 22.
The board of directors are people behind the plants who share both time and talent to help the industry grow, evolve, innovate, and prepare for the best future possible.
Board of director applications are reviewed and nominated by the Leadership Committee. Nominees are then voted on by AmericanHort member businesses. Members of the board serve three-year terms and meet several times throughout the year. This group of passionate leaders are responsible for governing the direction and activities of AmericanHort, whose mission it is to serve and strengthen industry businesses
For more information, interested parties are encouraged to contact Tom Demaline, owner of Willoway Nurseries and a post chairman of the board, at firstname.lastname@example.org
To apply, click here.
As many growers and garden center retailers can attest, houseplants and tropicals are having a moment, and that excitement was apparent at the 2019 Tropical Plant International Expo.
"There is electricity in the air, and it’s an optimistic show," says Jared Hughes, owner of Groovy Plants Ranch based in Ohio. "People are excited.”
TPIE, which featured 400 exhibitors and 6,488 attendees, took place Jan. 16 - Jan. 18 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Theresa Riley, owner of Rockledge Gardens in Rockledge, Fla., served on the TPIE committee for several years, and said the 2019 show was a standout.
"I really think this year is one of the best I remember in a very long time! Lots of positive vibes and buzz," she says.
The Garden Center Group echoed this sentiment, noting that 2019 TPIE was one of the best-attended by independent garden centers that comprise the group.
"We had the largest number ever of Group Centers in attendance at TPIE this year. And, as a result, we had a record number helping to find great products to present the Cool Product Awards," Danny Summers, managing director of the Garden Center Group, noted in a press release. "We have over 30 judges (a new record), and they nominated over 70 products in their search results. And, we awarded 15 companies awards for their 'cool products.'"
Here are 20 plants and products honored at TPIE 2019 by the Cool Product Award judges, with notes from the Garden Center Group, and other noteworthy items the GIE Media Horticulture Group spotted while walking the show floor:
1. Begonia maculata, Costa Farms
2. 'String of Dolphin' Succulent, Branette Farms, Cool Product Award winner
Senecio peregrinus is actually a hybrid between Senecio rowleyanus (string of pearls succulents) and Senecio articulatus (the hot dog cactus). Its nickname was inspired by the fact that its little leaves look like dolphins leaping out from the water.
3. Brunfelsia americana 'Lady of the Night,' Butler's Foliage Cool Product Award winner
Clusters of 2-inch white flowers that are held on long slender tubes release their heady perfume at night, but a curious nose may find fragrance almost any time of day. George Butler III says the difficult-to-describe fragrance is like a "spicy gardenia."
4. Cordyline 'Singapore Twist,' exhibited by Butler's Foliage and Cordyline 'Singapore' shown by Excelsa Gardens
Two companies pointed to this plant as one of their favorites that also received attention from attendees at the show. The plant pictured below is from Butler's Foliage.
5. Medusa Flower, Greendale Nursery, Cool Product Award winner
Strophanthus preussii, produces a wild and unusual floral display that arrives from late spring to fall on this shrubby climbing vine. Clusters of cream-colored flowers bedecked with long, curly streamers and a rust-tinted throat.
6. Hollywood Hibiscus 'Rico Suave,' Ramco Farm, Cool Product Award winner
Introducing another "character" in J. Berry Nursery's Hollywood Hibiscus Series, this ultra bright gold-orange ruffled petals leads to a deep burgundy center. A constant bloomer with full body of deep green foliage.
8. Magnolia or Olive Tree Housewarming Gift & Keepsake (two sizes), The Magnolia Company, Cool Product Award winner
Each unique gift package contains a tree, along with its own set of care instructions, personalized gift card and engraved ornament. Available with magnolia and olive varieties.
9. Aechmea 'America,' Bullis Bromeliads
Attendees crowded around this plant exhibited by Bullis Bromeliads at TPIE 2019.
10. Sun Parasol Garden Crimson and Kawaii White Peppermint planter, Suntory Flowers
Sun Parasol Garden Crimson paired well with Kawaii White Peppermint in a planter at the Suntory booth. Suntory also pomoted its new compact, mite-resistant Mandevilla, Sun Parasol Mitebuster Red.
12. Folding Wooden Plant Stand, Avery Imports, Cool Product Award winner
This cleverly-designed plant stand is three panels wide, hinged. Each panel features 6 planter slots (18 total). Slots include a waterproof liner.
This special double plus variegated bloom on this drought-tolerant succulent is available bare-root.
14. European Cypress Gift Bag, Coastal Nursery, Cool Product Award winner
This new kit is ideal for Christmas gifts for hostesses, teachers, parents and more. This product is grab-and-go for the consumer, arriving to the retailer as a complete package from decorative ornaments and lights, down to the gift tag and bow. Alternate combination is available for Easter as well.
15. Illuminated Terrarium, Flori-Design, Cool Product Award Winner
Every year The Garden Center Group expects Gail Cash to reveal new creatives in her planted combinations. This year she offers a new terrariums with battery powered LED lighting.
16. New collections from LiveTrends, Cool Product Award winner
A host of new plant-container combinations were revealed with a JOY theme. Their message said, "We deliver JOY, by fusing nature, fashion, and art through unique living design." Our favorites were these planters with messages of love, as part of their 2019 collection.
Designed by Don Murray and Shibu Varughese, this fun new alternative to the hanging basket. Available in two bright colors, the kit has bird body, beak, and tail feathers plus hanging chain. The combination of bright fun look and sturdy design was a real hit with the retail judges.
18. Kokodama Collection and Rack, Sun Bulb, Cool Product Award winner
This year they have added even more combinations in Kokodama hanging planters and created two sizes of hanging displays for the retailer making this an easy YES to add to your tropicals department. A variety of plant types are available along with several sizes of Kokodama planters.
20. Naturals black and white collection, daVinci Pots
These patterns are some of the most popular in the daVinci line and speak to trends that trend analyst Christine Boland outlined in her opening keynote at TPIE.
Stay tuned for more coverage of TPIE. The 2020 show is scheduled for Jan. 22-24, 2020.
In order to comprehend and align with the latest trends, it’s essential to understand what drives consumers and what's important to them, Christine Boland, trend analyst, told an audience on the opening day of the Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE) on Jan. 16.
The choices consumers and designers make are a direct result of what’s happening in the world around them, so Boland kicked off her keynote – the third she’s delivered at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based tropical plant trade show in five years – by first talking about news and politics.
Though we have more ways to connect technologically, the world is becoming more divided by political affiliation, as people segment themselves into their own “tribes,” or surrounding themselves with others who agree with their viewpoints. Boland cited the ongoing Brexit debates as just one example. Climate change is another topic at the forefront, but young people are taking responsibility, she says, and are eager to do their part to contribute to environmental sustainability.
“Design is the voice of the sign of the times,” Boland says. There is “lots of bad news out there, but good news, too, especially when people take matters into their own hands.” Individuals are making a difference, and brands have the opportunity to lead the way, as well.
With that foundation, Boland outlined four consumer drivers that she says are behind trends – and influencing purchases – today.
Boland urged attendees to “Make generosity part of your growth strategy” and cultivate compassion for common ground and inclusivity. Understanding what’s important to your customers is key, she said.
For example, accepting all people for who they are, no matter their ethnicity, gender or age, is one driver for consumers today, and they want this to be reflected in the brands they choose to support. Companies such as Airbnb are not just incorporating diversity in their advertisements, but emphasizing that all are welcome – no matter where you are from or who you worship or love – with its #weaccept campaign and promise to help provide housing for those in need.
Barbie, the brand behind the iconic but often criticized doll for promoting unattainable beauty standards and focusing solely on outward appearance, recently launched its #MoreRoleModels campaign, highlighting women such as artist Frida Kahlo, filmmaker Patty Jenkins and snowboarding champion Chloe Kim by creating dolls in their likeness.
Taking this a step further, it’s important that brands “don’t just make people aware, but give them a way to help,” Boland says. Many have followed in TOMS footsteps – no pun intended – by incoporating one-for-one models in their companies – you purchase one pair of shoes, another pair is donated to someone in need.
For 2 weeks in 2016, IKEA invited customers of its flagship store in Norway into a display room modeled after a damaged home in Syria, with details about the conditions there on signs and price tags, but also ways they could donate to help people in crisis there.
Sync with Nature
This is perhaps one of the most exciting and meaningful trends for the horticulture industry. Boland noted that consumers are increasingly wanting to reduce and reuse waste and be part of a solution to sustain the planet. One example is how people are reclaiming what could be considered trash – such as corn leaves – and using them to create beautiful, artful patterns in design.
Beyond design, especially as we develop more sophisticated technology and feel constantly connected, people are escaping into nature. According to the National Park Service, in 2017, the number of visits to parks across the U.S. broke the previous 2016 record, with more than 330 million visits, and 16 percent of reporting parks set new visitation records. 2018 numbers are not yet available, but it is estimated that they will once again set new records.
People want to create this “escape” in their own homes and backyards, too. Houseplants are performing well for garden centers across the country, and according to our 2018 State of the Industry Report, they are now ranked third of the top five best-selling plants, along with annuals, perennials, edibles and trees and shrubs. Outside gardens are being planted with purpose, too. The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is poised to meet its goal this year, with an announcement expected in February.
A love for plants can be seen in clothing and décor design as well, with floral and foliage patterns being spotted on clothing and pottery, and not just on the TPIE show floor.
Defining who you are as a company is key to break through the clutter, and keeping it as simple as possible is important, Boland says. Garden centers and their partners can “be a guide,” providing resources and support for people who want to grow plants indoors and out.
Boland says one way to think about this is to, “Be a beacon and act like an octopus.” Create a foundation for who you are as a brand, but always consider how you can reach consumers and better understand them and what they want.
Spark the Soul
Answers to most questions are just a Google search or Siri voice request away, which is great, but this also eliminates opportunities for magic and play. What happens to surprise when everything is planned for us or answered by AI (artificial intelligence) and other technology? Boland asked.
How can you incorporate play into your business? One example of this in design trends is that irregular patterns and shapes are being used more, Boland said.
Look for more coverage from TPIE on our website and in Garden Center magazine soon.