2016 Trials


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2016 Pennsylvania
Poinsettia Trial

Registration Form


Wednesday November 2, 2016

Shady Maple Smorgasbord

129 Toddy Drive, Lancaster PA 17519 

Participating Poinsettia breeders include: 

Ball Horticultural / Selecta   
Beekenkamp Plants
Dummen Orange / Ecke Ranch 
Syngenta Flowers, Inc

In the lecture hall the breeder representatives will in turn be presenting discussions on how their poinsettias best represent “Today’s Poinsettias”.  A large area will again be set up for examination, evaluation, and note taking on all cultivars with both shaded and natural season examples available. 

The 2016 Trial will be held in the banquet facilities of Shady Maple Smorgasbord, Lancaster, Pa.  Wednesday November 2, 2016. Doors will open at 7:30 am; speaker program begins at 10 am. 

Lunch will be held in the famous Shady Maple Smorgasbord room. Plants, speakers, and sponsor representatives will all be available throughout the day. Recertification core & category credits will be given for attendees. 

Take time for this opportunity to see and compare all poinsettia cultivars, side by side and then discuss them with knowledgeable people who will be able to answer your questions at the largest Poinsettia Trial in the Northeast United States.  

Cost for entire day’s program is $30.00 for first person and $10.00 for each additional person from the same company.

For more information contact trial manager:
Warren Goll wqg1@ msn.com

You can download a registration form for the 2016 Poinsettia Trial by clicking here. Once downloaded fill out the form as indicated. Print out the form and then mail it back to the address indicated.  

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

The Winners of the 2015 Poinsettia Judging

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

Christmas Ribbons

Titan Pink

Christmas Feelings Red


RF 218 NN
Dummen Orange

Pallas Red


SK 105


Ecke Ranch Walkthrough


Early Twilight
Ecke Ranch


2015 Cultivar Lists

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


Dr. James Harbage

Dr. James (Jim) Harbage leads the Floriculture Division at Longwood Gardens. He was Associate Professor of Horticulture at South Dakota State University for six years before joining Longwood Gardens in 2000. His team at Longwood is responsible for acquisition and production of seasonal plants as well as acquisition of the permanent additions to Longwood Gardens’ conservatory collections each year. His team manages the conservatories, production greenhouses and outdoor container production areas. His team also leads the design of seasonal displays. He received his BSc and MSc in Horticulture from University of Maryland – College Park, and PhD in Horticulture from University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Dr. Harbage will be speaking at the 2015 Poinsettia Trial here at Zionsville and the three areas that he is will be covering with his talk are as follows.  

Turning the ordinary into extraordinary – go big or go home

At Longwood, the scale of the conservatories often makes it necessary to use very large plants to make a strong display impact.

•   This portion will focus on:  Longwood’s production of poinsettia standards using an ancient super-high vigor cultivar for the four-foot rootstock and T-budding of middle aged cultivars to produce a 5’-6’ diameter head; Longwood’s process of producing 6’ diameter hanging baskets in custom-made frames;  and the production of 36”-42” single stem and triple stem plants that result in bracts that are 24” from tip-to-tip. 

Mini  and micro standards

       Longwood also uses less resource and labor intensive techniques to expand ways of displaying poinsettias in forms that are unique

•   This portion will focus on growing poinsettia standards of intermediate size (30”-48”), on their own roots and very small standards using ‘Winter Rose’ and similar cultivars. 

Poinsettias aren’t the only Euphorbia worth growing Longwood depends on incorporating some new or unusual plants into all of their displays to encourage visitors to return often.

•   This portion will focus on how Euphorbia leucocephala and Euphorbia fulgens cultivars are fit into the summer-fall production period to broaden their Christmas pallet.

Rick Yates

Rick Yates who is currently the Technical Support Manager at Griffin Greenhouse Supplies Inc will be bringing his expertise as a speaker to our upcoming Poinsettia Trial on November 12, 2015. Rick will be presenting a talk on IPM for root zone diseases that emphasizes a holistic approarch to minimizing root diseases. He will also cover the microbials with a quick review of standard chemistry at the end of the talk.

Rick earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from the University of Maryland and operated Cornerstone Greenhouses in Myersville, Maryland from 1986-91. Rick has been with Griffin since 1999 when Griffin purchased D&L Grower Supplies in Leola, Pennsylvania where he managed the plant department and grower technical support.

Rick writes regularly for the Griffin Gazette and has authored many articles in greenhouse trade magazines. He is a regular speaker on Griffin's educational programs and speaks at grower conferences across North America. His industry service includes collaboration with extension specialists across the country, a contribution for which he is highly respected.

Check out a couple of articles by Rick Yates

Ian Phelps

Our Very Own Poinsettia Wrangler...Ian Phelps

With the 2015 Poinsettia Trial growing season fast approaching we thought it appropriate to give credit to the person who works with the trial poinsettias from the moment they are stuck right through until they are displayed on tables for the trial itself. Ian Phelps is a grower here at Dan Schantz and he is the go to person for all of the trial poinsettias that we will grow over the next several months and he does an admirable job making sure that all of the poinsettias are doing well and that come the trial in November they will all best represent what each variety is capable of. Ian has a remarkable skill when it comes to the many varieties of poinesettias that we grow on our trial tables and that is that he able to take you straight to any variety that you might need to look at. That sounds like it would be a simple task but if you've ever seen tables filled with many varieties of red poinsettias you will know that the task is not as easy as you might think.

Ian is dedicated to making sure that each cultivar that is submitted by the many breeders that participate in the trial is given the best possible conditions under which to thrive and show off the best characteristics of that particular variety. The 2014 Poinsettia Trial was proof that Ian was able to bring the hundreds of poinsettias under his care to a wonderful conclusion as all the attendees of the trial were treated to some really great poinsettias displays over the course of the day. The 2015 trial cuttings will be arriving around the end of June and the first week in July so the cycle is just about ready to start again and Ian is ready to step into the challenge of  bringing an equally beautiful crop of trial poinsettias to fruition just in time for the November 12 Poinsettia Trial later this year. Hoping to see you there. Be sure to sign up as soon as the forms are finalized and loaded up to this website.     

Dr. James Faust and Poinsettias at Clemson University


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


Photo Progress

Photo Progress

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

The Truth About Poinsettias

We here at Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses are just beginning to get into the “spirit” of Christmas as the poinsettias continue to be stuck in the greenhouse at an ever increasing pace. It seemed like a good time to dispel a commonly held misconception about the toxicity of poinsettias that appears to have started way back in 1919 when the tragic death of a child was attributed to the child ingesting poinsettia leaves. The American Society of Florists did extensive research into the matter and eventually the report of the child’s death by poinsettia leaf ingestion was show to be nothing more than hearsay. 

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

Click here for the rest of this article

Joel Roberts Poinsett

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

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

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

For the rest of this article click here

Joel Roberts Poinsett

Fun Facts about Poinsettias

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

Michael Foster

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

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

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

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

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

Warren Goll

Trial Manager of the 2015
Poinsettia Trial

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


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

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

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

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

Sparkling Punch
Paul Ecke Ranch

Premium RF 043 NN
Dummen NA

Titan Pink

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

The Winners of the 2014 Poinsettia Judging

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

Titan White

Charon Red

Saxonia Christmas Hot Pink
PAC Worldwide

Photo Progress 2015

Autumn Leaves
Ecke Ranch

Christmas Joy Pink


Harlequin Red


Jinglebell Rock
Ecke Ranch


Pallas Red


Pink Candy


Prima Donna
Dummen Orange


Prima Vera
Dummen Orange


Red Soul
Ecke Ranch


Titan Pink


Titan White





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