Natalie Shirley wanted to combine her love for the holiday season with her love for Oklahoma State University. The solution was an orange poinsettia plant.
Shirley, president of OSU-Oklahoma City, purchased an order of Orange Spice poinsettias last year for the school's annual poinsettia sale.
“It was an opportunity to brand it not only for our campus, but for the OSU system,” Shirley said. “The red ones are gorgeous, but nobody else has the orange ones.”
There was just one problem — how quickly the Orange Spice variety sold out in 2012.
“Within the first day,” said Lynn Nichols, the greenhouse and grounds manager at OSU-OKC. “We had a few upset folks.”
To solve the problem this holiday season, Shirley upped the order on the orange ones from 200 to 800 plants.
It's one of many poinsettia varieties that make up the roughly 3,400 potted plants inside the John E. Kirkpatrick Horticulture Center, 400 N Portland Ave.
The sale began Monday and runs through Dec. 14. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.
Costs range from $35 for a poinsettia tree to $4 for a 4-inch single plant. Proceeds benefit OSU-OKC's horticulture students and programs.
“This is an event that kicks off the season, not only for us, but for the entire city,” Shirley said. “Because you can't walk in here and not say, ‘Oh my gosh, it's Christmas.'”