Dr. Jessica Lubell from the University of Connecticut is on a quest to show nurserymen that native plants offer market opportunity.
(April 2015) On a self-described mission to promote native shrubs, Dr. Jessica Lubell, Dept. Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Connecticut goes by Native Plant Gal on Facebook. Her research is geared to testing native plants for landscape performance and adaptability to commercial production. Plants destined for commercial trade must be able to be propagated successfully, grow in containers and be deer resistant, not to mention look good in the landscape. Jessica’s applied research program in native plants seeks to bring underused native shrubs into greater acceptance. Through rigorous testing of plants in landscape conditions outside of the natives’ eco niche, she is able to see which plants have what it takes to be landscape winners.
In an article (http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/48/8/1018.abstract) in the August 2013 issue of HortScience, Jessica wrote that Corylus cornuta and Viburnum acerifolium could be commercially propagated by nurseries seeking to add native shrubs to their plant assortment. All four species she evaluated in propagation trials could be viable commercial crops for nurseries that specialize in native plants. The other two species were Ceanothus americanus and Lonicera canadensis.