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AFE Trustees Get a Dose of Flower Power at UC Davis

While at the University of California, Davis in conjunction with their February board meeting, the AFE Board of Trustees learned a little something about flower power from the dozen or so presentations they heard from innovative industry educators.

One presentation came from Professor Heiner Lieth, Ph.D., who teaches the widely popular course titled Application of the Art and Science of the Beauty and Perfection of Flowers, or “Flower Power” as the course is fondly called. With 350 students enrolled in the class this spring, every seat in the hall is filled.

The course encourages students to develop an interest in floriculture in a fun way and learn about many facets of flowers, including how flowers are produced, how to handle them and common flower names. Students make flower arrangements for one class session, and certain other sessions involve additional floral activities and tackling dilemmas like choosing between a free pot mum or paying $5 for an orchid.


“The students are taught about you and your industry and they have asked me to give you a message:You are doing a terrible job at getting flowers into their hands.”
– UC Davis Professor Heiner Lieth

But the students have a clear message to send to the floriculture industry: they say the industry is doing a terrible job overall of getting flowers into the hands of young people.

“This was part of a group discussion that was aimed at having the students identify the barriers to using flowers and to suggest how the industry might make changes that would be to their benefit,” Lieth said.

AFE is in discussions with Lieth to do a scientific survey in the near future addressing this issue.

Department of Entomology Professor and Chair Mike Parrella, Ph.D., organized the visit and told Trustees he wrote his first research grant ever to AFE.

“AFE set my world on fire and let me get started in my career and get my foot in the door,” he said. “I look at my success in the industry as being a direct result of AFE.”

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