Poster Title

The Kentucky State University Sunflower Project: Celebrating KSU’s 130th Anniversary

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution

Kentucky State University

KY House District #

56

KY Senate District #

7

Department

Agriculture, Food Science, Environmental Systems

Abstract

Agricultural Science

The Kentucky State University Sunflower Project: Celebrating KSU’s 130th Anniversary MEGAN GEARHART*, SRIJANA THAPA MAGAR, JACOB VINCENT, KIRK W. POMPER, JEREMIAH LOWE, and SHERI CRABTREE, Land Grant Program, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY 40601.

The Kentucky State University (KSU) Sunflower Project celebrates KSU’s 130th anniversary and gives continued support for small farmers and gardeners. The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a beautiful and versatile flowering plant that can be grown for food or for ornamental purposes. Sunflowers grown for seed can be classified as either an oil type or confection (non-oil) type, each with its own distinct market. Ornamental sunflowers can be dwarf or tall for cut flower or container production; these flowers have great variation in color and form. Sunflowers grow well in a variety of soil types and can be used to smother weeds in cover crop systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate a range of ornamental sunflowers grown in Kentucky for cut flower consumer preference. Seven sunflower cultivars were grown in one gallon pots in the Kentucky State University Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm greenhouses including the selections: ‘Infared Mix’, ‘Sunny Smile’, ‘Procut Red’, ‘Choco Sun’, ‘Fun N Sun Hybrid’, ‘Evening Sun Mix’, and ‘Premium Light Yellow’. Vases were numbered in a blind labeling system, flowers from each variety were placed in vases, and participants rated each selection for color, size, shape, and overall appearance on a 1 (being poor) to 5 (being excellent) scale. Demographic information was also collected from participants. There were significant differences in preference for color, size, shape, and overall appearance for the selections. Choco Sun had the most desirable color, size, shape, and overall appearance compared to the other selections. Infared Mix, Fun N Sun Hybrid, and Premium Light Yellow were poorly ranked in color and overall appearance.

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The Kentucky State University Sunflower Project: Celebrating KSU’s 130th Anniversary

Agricultural Science

The Kentucky State University Sunflower Project: Celebrating KSU’s 130th Anniversary MEGAN GEARHART*, SRIJANA THAPA MAGAR, JACOB VINCENT, KIRK W. POMPER, JEREMIAH LOWE, and SHERI CRABTREE, Land Grant Program, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY 40601.

The Kentucky State University (KSU) Sunflower Project celebrates KSU’s 130th anniversary and gives continued support for small farmers and gardeners. The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a beautiful and versatile flowering plant that can be grown for food or for ornamental purposes. Sunflowers grown for seed can be classified as either an oil type or confection (non-oil) type, each with its own distinct market. Ornamental sunflowers can be dwarf or tall for cut flower or container production; these flowers have great variation in color and form. Sunflowers grow well in a variety of soil types and can be used to smother weeds in cover crop systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate a range of ornamental sunflowers grown in Kentucky for cut flower consumer preference. Seven sunflower cultivars were grown in one gallon pots in the Kentucky State University Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm greenhouses including the selections: ‘Infared Mix’, ‘Sunny Smile’, ‘Procut Red’, ‘Choco Sun’, ‘Fun N Sun Hybrid’, ‘Evening Sun Mix’, and ‘Premium Light Yellow’. Vases were numbered in a blind labeling system, flowers from each variety were placed in vases, and participants rated each selection for color, size, shape, and overall appearance on a 1 (being poor) to 5 (being excellent) scale. Demographic information was also collected from participants. There were significant differences in preference for color, size, shape, and overall appearance for the selections. Choco Sun had the most desirable color, size, shape, and overall appearance compared to the other selections. Infared Mix, Fun N Sun Hybrid, and Premium Light Yellow were poorly ranked in color and overall appearance.