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Hometown Pride Tour: Vernon hibiscus plant breeding

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 4:32 PM CDT
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VERNON, Texas (TNN) - We kicked off our Hometown Pride Tour of Vernon on Monday where a colorful plant has become the talk of the town.

Mason Brighton took an inside look at the work happening inside the greenhouse where it all started.

Taking up four acres right outside the city of Vernon is about 20,000 hearty hibiscus plants.

“These plants are adapted to any part of the united states maybe except for the tropical part of Florida,” said Dr. Dariusz Malinowski.

Countless variants of the flower are being bred here and you won’t find them anywhere else; it’s all thanks to a project spearheaded by Dr. Malinowski.

“Our goal is to create plants with new flower combination that are not on the market yet and so far we have about 30 lines with colors that are absolutely not seen yet in tropical hibiscus,” said Dr. Malinowski.

Hibiscus plants with more flowers, new colors and even ones for potted plants are all breakthroughs made in the last few years.

“All our winter hearty types are developed under extreme conditions for example in summer it is very hot here, so if they can survive here in Vernon they can survive anywhere,” said Dr. Malinowski.

Work happening here goes far beyond the greenhouse. The city of Vernon is thinking big picture by planning one day to become the Hibiscus capitol of the world.

“We are very thankful that the city of Vernon is supporting the idea and this will put us, not only Texas Agrilife, but also Vernon as a city, as a stop on the map here, everybody will stop and look at the hibiscus,” said Dr. Malinowski.

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