Holiday poinsettias in a deep shade of orange stole the show at the annual poinsettia sale for Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, with the unusual plants selling out in a couple of hours.
It was the first time the Orange Spice variety was available at the university's holiday poinsettia sale, a fundraiser for the horticulture program.
The 200 orange poinsettias sold for $9 each at the event, which started Nov. 29.
“Orange is unusual as a holiday color, but it is the color of our Cowboys,” said Julia Laughlin, head of the OSU-OKC horticulture department. “We are trying to catch the true OSU fan.”
Orange Spice is a trademarked plant created by the Paul Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, Calif., a poinsettia breeder for almost 100 years. The color was introduced in 2007 and is considered the only true orange poinsettia on the market.
While red is the most common poinsettia color, the plants also come in white, pink and various marble and color combinations. The fundraiser featured all those colors but only the orange ones sold out.
“We are definitely going to grow more,” said Lynn Nichols, OSU-OKC's greenhouse and gardens manager. “We had a lot of people who came in here specifically for those and we didn't have them.” He said he didn't believe any other Oklahoma City nurseries were selling orange poinsettias.
The plants arrived from California as rooted cuttings in late summer and the horticulture students spent several months caring for the plants until they were in full bloom. Orange Spice is like other poinsettias in regard to water, light requirements and duration of life, lasting about four to six weeks. The orange variety tends to be slightly smaller.
Haldor Howard, an assistant professor of horticulture, said the plants have definitely been popular with Cowboys fans.
“It just makes sense for the OSU community to pay attention to this cultivar. Maybe it will become a new tradition for the OSU community,” he said.