Cut flowers are flowers that are produced and sold for ornamental purposes. They are hugely popular in the United States and around the world. According to the USDA Floriculture and Nursery Crops Yearbook Summary, two-thirds of all cut flowers are imported. There are an estimated 90,000 floriculture workers producing more than $1 million worth of plants each year in the United States.
According to USDA statistics, tulips are the number one cut flower produced and sold in the United States. Most tulips are produced in Holland, with about 3 billion bulbs produced annually. There are 109 species of tulips classified into 15 divisions including the Triumph, Parrot, and Rembrandt varieties. Tulip flowers come in red, yellow, orange and bi-colors, and they hardy enough to last up to seven days in a vase. Cut tulips are widely available for purchase during spring and early summer. Common tulip cultivars include Zorro, Shakespeare and Red Bird.
Lilies are the third most produced and sold cut flower in the United States, with approximately 109,823 lilies sold each year. There are several thousand species of these fragrant, herbaceous perennials. . Common lily names include the Tiger lily and the Stargazer lily. This flower is grown in a variety of colors including, white, red, pink and bi-colors. Cut lilies are widely available for purchase year-round.
Orchids are the ninth most produced and sold cut flower in the United States. In 2006, the average sale of cut orchids in the United States was approximately $130,000. They are a tropical flower, and most are grown in the warm, mild weather of Hawaii and California. Some common orchid names include Bamboo, Bee, Frog and Ghost.