UH Manoa flower wins first place in national competition

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Heidi Kuehnle, (808) 956-2162
College of Arts and Humanities
Posted: Oct 12, 2007

HONOLULU — ʻTropic Sunrise,‘ an anthurium bred by the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at UH Mānoa, has won the Blue Ribbon in the Society of American Florists‘ (SAF) 2007 Outstanding Varieties Competition.

The anthurium was entered into the "Other Cut Flowers" category by Green Point Nursery, one of the state‘s largest anthurium growers. Only seven of the 49 flowers in the category took home a Blue Ribbon, including ʻTropic Sunrise.‘

ʻTropic Sunrise‘ originated from a cross between two anthuriums, Anuenue and Soga Orange Obake, made by CTAHR Professor Emeritus Haruyuki Kamemoto in 1981. It was later given its name and released in 2000.

Coloration and flower size are the major attributes of ʻTropic Sunrise.‘ The orange obake, or multicolored, anthurium has a large spathe and is often over 12 inches long with a bright orange center and green perimeter. Its stems have an average length of 30 inches. As a cut flower, the flowers last for about 32 days. ʻTropic Sunrise‘ can potentially yield about 6-7 flowers per stem per year, which is considered high for a large obake.

Kamemoto teamed up with Heidi Kuehnle, Tessie Amore, John Kunisaki, Joanne Lichty and Janice Uchida of CTAHR to develop ʻTropic Sunrise‘.

The UH anthurium research program was established by Kamemoto in 1950 to develop disease resistant and novel anthurium for the flower industry. This highly successful program, presently headed by CTAHR horticulturist Heidi Kuehnle, has released more than 40 new commercial varieties since 1963, which helped anthuriums become the state‘s most valuable cut-flower crop. Cut anthuriums had a farm-gate value of $5.4 million in 2006.

ʻTropic Sunrise‘ joins the ranks of another UH product, ʻLavender Lady,‘ a 2004 SAF Blue Ribbon winner. Other UH varieties receiving ribbons in recent years are: Tropic Fire (Red Ribbon, 2004) and Kalapana (Red Ribbon, 2005).