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Local Greenhouse Capitalizes on Holiday Poinsettia Sales

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ELKINS -

Poinsettias are a Christmas staple in homes across the country, and most people imagine traditional red flowers. Mary's Greenhouse in Elkins has everything from white to pink, spotted and speckled.

Larry Gouer purchased Mary's Greenhouse in 1974 when the previous owners already had a crop of 100 poinsettias. Now Gouer has taken that business and increased it greatly.

"The business has changed from growing 100 plants to over 4,000 now," said Gouer.

Not only does Mary's Greenhouse have a large quantity, but the quality and uniqueness of its poinsettias sets it apart from the rest.

"We have all these different shades of reds and oranges. Spotted ones and speckled ones. And really we have some true burgundy colored ones," Gouer said.

All of the different varieties come from different breeders. The breeders send them to certain greenhouses that will plant them and then hold poinsettia trials.

"People can come in a look at them and judge them, pick their favorite red and pick their favorite pink. This year, we had a little over 100 varieties of poinsettias" said Gouer.

The different varieties and colors bring in regular customers, and they appreciate the choice.

"I used to always buy red because that was pretty much all you could ever get, but now because of the variety that he grows you can choose different colors," said Marilynn Cuonzo, a regular customer.

The most unique poinsettia available is a West Virginia University themed one with gold leaves and blue spots.

"One day I looked at these yellow poinsettias and thought, 'What if I put a little bit of blue one there?'  All of a sudden, I have something that's blue and gold, and it's a West Virginia themed poinsettia," Gouer said.

On Sunday, December 23, Gouer will take any leftover poinsettias to local nursing homes and hospital patients.