Plant introduction at Mt. Cuba Center is the collective institutional effort to identify, select, evaluate, name and commercialize plants that have characteristics that are different from and/or superior to those of other cultivated selections (cultivars) currently in the horticultural trade.
Plant introduction is important because it expands the availability of high-quality, improved plants for the gardening community. Furthermore, our plant introduction program explores the potential value of under-appreciated and under-utilized plants that can contribute to expanded diversity in the garden. Plant introductions made by Mt. Cuba Center are typically sent to the nursery industry to be propagated and distributed for sale to the gardening public.
Mt. Cuba Center began introducing named cultivars of native plants in 1988, while still a private estate. Today, as a non-profit organization, the introduction of outstanding native plants with exceptional ornamental appeal and garden adaptability continues to be among the top priorities of horticultural research at Mt. Cuba Center.
The well-known Purple Dome New England aster (Symphyotrichum (formerly Aster) novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’) and Golden Fleece autumn goldenrod (Solidago sphacelata ‘Golden Fleece’) are but two of the many cultivars of native plant species introduced by Mt. Cuba Center.