Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/9/2006
Publication Date: 10/14/2006
Citation: Widrlechner, M.P. 2006. Old and new trends influencing the introduction of new nursery crops [abstract]. Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference. p.39
Technical Abstract: At the 1st National New Crops Symposium in 1988, I reported on four trends influencing the introduction of new landscape plants: increased interest in, and use of, low-input plantings, edible landscaping, in vitro propagation methods, and ways to overcome limitations caused by urban conditions. The objective of this presentation is to examine how past trends fared and describe trends that are now supplanting them or are likely to in the near future. Of the trends identified in 1988, two remain relevant to the introduction of new cultivars: low-input plantings and ways to overcome urban site limitations. In contrast, interest in edible landscaping has generally declined, reducing its overall importance. And in vitro propagation methods have become integrated with other commercial propagation methods and are no longer a major driving force in cultivar release. Current trends, based on personal experience and a review of recent trade and popular gardening literature, include the rise of branding and protection of intellectual property rights, increasing awareness of invasive species and interest in native plants, extending the season of garden interest, and challenges caused by emerging pests and diseases. Within this environment, increasing numbers of new introductions are being marketed, but efforts to collect and share evaluation information on the long-term performance of these new cultivars under a wide range of garden conditions are insufficient to keep pace. This creates special challenges for growers, retailers, and consumers, and may give advantages to those organizations introducing new cultivars with well-understood branding that are supported by careful evaluation data.