SharathKumar M, M. Jawaharlal, M. Ganga and Surendranath R
Rapid changes are occurring in the global production and trade of cut flowers, potted and foliage plants. Floriculture industry has been experiencing a change with growing per capita expendable income. In the competitive export market of cut flow - ers and pot plants, new ornamental plants play crucial role in stabilising and expanding market share. India with varied agro- climatic conditions provides tremendous scope for diversification of novel ornamental crops, which fetch premium prices and possess a huge potential for the future global floriculture industry. In this context, introduction of potential exotic ornamental plants will enhance the genetic diversity of ornamentals. There are many promising ornamental plant species which remain un - explored and unexploited. These include Agrostemma githago (corn cockle), Eustoma grandiflorum (lisianthus), Ammi majus (lace flower), Craspeddia uniflora (billy buttons), Bromeliads nutans, Cryptanthus (earth star), Pitcairnia, Watsonia borbonica (pink watsonia), Echinacea purpurea (cone flower), Salvia leucantha (mexican bush sage), Helianthus angustifolius (swamp sun - flower), Gladiolus nana, Aconitum napellus, Guzmania conifer, Vriesea manhattan, Aechmea fasciata, Neoregelia carolinae and Passiflora. Introducing a new ornamental crop requires investigations into aspects such as seed germination, propagation prac - tices, growth characteristics, flowering behaviour, disease and pest resistance, yield potential and post-production issues and the research findings could open the door for the successful commercialisation of the potential species and hybrids.
SharathKumar M. has completed his B.Sc (Horticulture) at the age of 22 from University of Horticultural Sciences, Bagalkot. At present he is pursuing M.Sc.(Horticulture) in Floriculture and Landscape Gardening under the guidance of Dr. M. Jawaharlal, Professor and Head, Department of Floriculture and Landscaping from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. He is credited with five research publication in horticulture and has attended horticultural international conferences.