College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources


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Woody plant selection introduced

A new woody plant selection, Fireflare Orange Mollis Azalea (Rhododendron x kosteranum‘FireDak’), was introduced by the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and the NDSU Research Foundation

The selection has been in development by the NDSU Woody Plant Improvement program for more than 40 years. Retired program leader Dale Herman collected the germplasm for the selection and began plant evaluations for cold hardiness and soil adaptability. Current project leader Todd West and research specialist Greg Morgenson continued the plant evaluation and prepared the selection for release.

Fireflare Orange is a compact shrub with fire-orange spring flower clusters with three to seven florets per bud. The selection prefers full sun to part shade. 

The NDSU Woody Plant Improvement Program has served the Northern Great Plains for more than 60 years, beginning germplasm trial evaluations in 1954. In 1974, NDSU purchased an 80-acre farm near Absaraka, North Dakota. Approximately 45 acres of this farm is used for evaluation, selection and breeding of woody ornamental plants.

NDSU woody plant introductions are currently being propagated for sale by commercial wholesale firms in four countries: Australia, Canada, England and the United States. The goals of the NDSU Woody Plant Improvement Program are selection, evaluation and introduction of hardy superior woody plants for the landscape industry.

Source:NDSU News

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