Ever wonder if that unusual flower that sprang up in your yard is a new variety that might be worth millions? Even though plant-breeding companies spend thousands of dollars to develop new varieties each year, some new varieties are discovered by chance. 'Purple Majesty' ornamental millet (see photo), a 2003 All-America Selections award-winning plant, was found growing in an agricultural field trial at the University of Nebraska. Some discoveries are even made by home gardeners.
To help gardeners like you evaluate a potential new variety, one of the largest plant-breeding companies, Ball Horticultural, has announced a new program called Ball Discoveries. Through this program, the company will work with you and your new plant to determine its uniqueness and potential to be bred and introduced into the floriculture trade. They will grow it in trials, and if it's deemed a worthy plant, they will work with you on a licensing agreement.
To find out more about the Ball Discoveries program, go to their Web site at: http://www.balldiscoveries.com.
Article published on February 28, 2005.