Skip to main content

NC State Extension


Dr. Tom Ranney, ornamentals plant breeder

Ornamentals include floriculture and nursery products, typically grown for aesthetic purposes in landscape design, gardens, and cut flowers. have been the fastest growing agricultural sector in North Carolina over the last decade. However, nurseries and greenhouses are not isolated geographically, and the movement of both propagation and finished stock occurs across the globe. Due to this movement of plant material, North Carolina is faced with the constant threat regarding the introduction of exotic or regulated pathogens into our state on infested plant material or in potting substrates.

Ornamental Resources


The Floriculture Program focuses on major flowering plants, cut flowers, nutrition, pests, greenhouse management, technology, business, and cultivation techniques. NC State floriculture research clarifies growth and flowering habits for ornamentals, identifies mechanisms and disorders interfering with production and regulation.

JC Raulston Arboretum

JC Raulston Arboretum introduces, displays, and promotes plants that diversify the American landscape, thereby benefiting our communities economically, environmentally, and aesthetically, as well as provide educational experiences to the general public, students of all ages, and the green industry.


The Horticultural Science Landscape Design Program provides innovative research and outreach in the art and science of design of landscapes using plants. Landscape horticulture addresses mastery in ornamentals, turfgrass, residential, construction, urban trees, and nursery crops.

Nursery Crops

The Nursery Crop Science website is an outreach project of the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University and is dedicated to providing current information for Extension field faculty, students, researchers, and growers of commercial horticultural products.

Ornamental Plant Breeding

The Center for Plant Breeding and Applied Plant Genomics at North Carolina State University develops new cultivars, germplasms, and parental lines. The interdepartmental research programs have faculty members providing skills in DNA-based marker technology, plant transformation, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and basic field breeding.