Leading Horticulturist Says Replace National Flower


DOYLESTOWN, PA--(Marketwire - June 30, 2009) - As we approach the July 4th Independence Day Holiday, one of the nation's best known horticulturists recommends replacing the rose as America's national flower with the sunflower. The reasons, according to George Ball, chairman, W. Atlee Burpee & Co., the nation's leading home gardening company, based here in Bucks County, are obvious, and for patriotic reasons the sunflower should be elevated to America's top flower.


The rose was named number one flower in the 1980s, by President Reagan, as the result of efforts by a "huge lobby which has since disappeared into the Colombian Jungle" states Mr. Ball, in a blog posted earlier this month (June 15), titled, The Rose Blows, on In addition to being a leader in the home gardening industry, Mr. Ball is past president of The American Horticultural Society in Washington, D.C.


"The rose is an unworthy national symbol," Mr. Ball says. "Strictly on patriotic grounds, the U.S. should have nothing to do with the rose as its national symbol," he states. Roses are "all foreign from breeding to production to wholesale distribution," Mr. Ball explains, and "the lion's share of their profits go abroad."


Mr. Ball says we should go native, and his choice is the Sunflower. "Now is the time for the sunflower to step up and kick some serious rose butt," he concludes in his blog. Originating in eastern Colorado, the sunflower has been an enormous blessing to the world economy, he adds, "rivaling the rose in importance abroad."


ABOUT BURPEE: W. Atlee Burpee & Co. was founded in 1876 and is based in Warminster, Pennsylvania. Today, Burpee is the largest, most progressive seed company in the United States, offering seeds, garden plants and gardening supplies through the Burpee website at, direct-mail catalogs, and via its 15,000 retail garden center customers throughout the country. The company leads the industry in vegetable and flower introductions, and is credited for introducing the world to numerous ornamental and edible breakthrough varieties. Burpee's historic Fordhook Farm offers 8 specialty gardens containing more than 3,000 different species of unique ornamental and edible garden gems.


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