MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Rotunda of the State Capitol building will be a bit more colorful this holiday season with the addition of almost three dozen red poinsettia plants grown by students enrolled in horticulture classes at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville.
More than a dozen students gave up a day they were excused from class to travel to Montgomery to deliver 35 poinsettia plants to the State Capitol building, where they will be used as decoration during the Christmas holidays.
Julie Lindsey of Gov. Robert Bentley’s office, said the poinsettias help transform the rotunda, providing bright pops of color against a backdrop of white marble. Students placed four plants at the corners of the monument dedicated to Gov. Lurleen B. Wallace. The remaining plants will be placed around the live Christmas tree at the entrance to the Capitol building and in other rooms of the Capitol building.
Students in Wallace State’s Agriculture/Horticulture department began thinking about Christmas this past summer when they received the cuttings for the poinsettia plants. They grew more than 1,000 plants in three different varieties: red, white and marbled. Several times, the students said, they had to move the plants to larger containers as they grew.
The students will return to Montgomery in December to deliver more poinsettias to government offices and lawmakers.
Along with providing poinsettia plants to the State Capitol, the Agriculture and Horticulture Department is also selling poinsettia plants. The plants are offered for $10 and $12 and are sold at the Agribusiness Center on the back side of the campus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Monday through Friday when the campus is open.
While in Montgomery, the students also visited the Embassy Suites hotel to see their indoor gardens and water features. Anthony Hilliard, director of the Agriculture/Horticulture Department, said he stayed at the hotel recently while attending a conference and wanted to show his students the gardens so they could see the different job opportunities they can look for after completing their courses at Wallace State.
For more information about the Agriculture/Horticulture Department, call Anthony Hilliard at 256.352.8035 or visit www.wallacestate.edu.