Society of American Florists honors David Clark

David Clark – photo: Society of American Florists

David Clark – photo: Society of American Florists

David Clark, Ph.D., professor in the University of Florida’s Department of Environmental Horticulture (USA) is the 2014 recipient of the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Gold Medal Award. The award honors Clark’s groundbreaking research ‘improving the quality, color and variety of coleus and for generating consumer enthusiasm for the plant.’
In a press release SAF praises Clark’s innovative work in both basic and applied plant science, and his ability to take new technologies to the consumer marketplace. “Since starting his work with coleus 11 years ago, Clark has nearly eliminated early flowering and introduced new colors, color combinations and leaf shapes. In addition, he’s made varieties more tolerant of heat, drought and sun exposure.”
Because of Clark, the University of Florida has patented 19 cultivars, trademarked nine cultivars and released 49 cultivars to the commercial floriculture industry, and cultivars bred in this program are now sold in the US, Canada, Europe and Japan. “So far, 13 of the cultivars he developed have sold 500,000 cuttings or more in the U.S. Many of the cultivars have been recognized as Best-in-Show at university bedding plant trials.