Studying the Market Potential for Specialty Cultivars of Sunflower, Helianthus annuus, Cut Flowers

Monday, July 22, 2013: 1:15 PM
Desert Salon 1-2 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Kathryn Short , Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
Tina Waliczek Cade , Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
Jayne M. Zajicek , Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
In the United States, there is a developing market for field grown specialty locally grown cut flowers. However, certain varieties and cultivars of cut flowers are not readily available in the market.  The purpose of research is to time a crop of novelty cultivar sunflowers and research the marketability of the cultivar to wholesalers, retailers, and consumers.  Helianthus annuus ‘Firecracker’ cut flowers were  grown in greenhouses on the campus of Texas State University.   Stems were harvested and shown while interviewing floral wholesalers, floral retailers, and Farmers’ Market patrons on their perceptions of the cut flower as a product.  The surveys to determine the potential market included interviewing floral wholesalers and retailers and collecting qualitative data through open-ended questions.  This was followed up with collecting quantitative survey data at Farmers’ Markets.  Results indicated whether specialty cultivar sunflowers cut flowers would be well-received in the cut flower industry.