Poinsettias to passports

December 20, 2015
Desirae Lee
photographer: Desirae Lee

Students in the University of Florida’s Environmental Horticulture Club saw a semester’s worth of work turn into a greenhouse full of 5,000 healthy poinsettias for the club’s annual sale — but the rewards didn’t end there. The sale also funds the group’s annual international trip.

The proceeds from more than 150 varieties of poinsettias will help pay for lodging, outings and airfare for about 25 members of the club to travel to Ireland this summer.

Club advisor and trip supervisor James Barrett, a professor in horticultural science with a specialization in poinsettias, has been affiliated with the organization since 1978. He says the international trip is highly beneficial to his students. 

“Every trip that we’ve done was purposeful and helpful because of the exposure students get. Just seeing other cultures and how they incorporate plants in agriculture or in home use is a rewarding learning experience,” he said.    

Barrett expects every part of the growing process to be student-run. 

“They start from day zero, managing each other and the plants.”

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