Pollen free grasses developed in Tifton - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pollen free grasses developed in Tifton

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

TIFTON, GA (WALB) –Spring is often considered the most popular time to head outdoors and work in the yard..but it can be difficult for those suffering from certain allergies.

The University of Georgia recently released two types of ornamental grasses. Not only are the grasses drought tolerant, and disease resistant but they also don't produce pollen.

These grasses were developed by Wayne Hanna, a plant breeder and professor with UGA. He says it took 8 years before the two new grasses hit the shelves.

For some people, spring landscaping can bring on a bad case of allergies. That's because you'll find pollen in just about everything these days from grasses to trees.

But you wont find any pollen in these. "At least when you are around these, you wont suffer because they don't produce any pollen," said Wayne Hanna, UGA professor and plant breeder.

These ornamental grasses were developed by Wayne Hanna, a plant breeder and professor at UGA in Tifton."Princess Caroline and Princess Molly those are the two that are disease resistance and on the market now," said Hanna.

In just one month, they'll grow from a seedling to a full sized plant. He began developing the grasses almost 8 years ago, and he says the final product can't be found anywhere else."There is nothing else out there like it that has the color, the pollen sterility and the seed sterility," he said.

By crossing three different types of grass, Hanna was able to develop a grass that is non-invasive, drought resistant, disease resistant, and pollen free.

"Most of the ornamental grasses out there are not sterile, they will produce pollen and seed," he said.

The grasses are patented and licensed through the UGA research foundation.

Next up he says he plans to release a grass with a white zebra stripe going down the red part of the leaf.

You can purchase Princess Molly and Princess Caroline at almost any nursery.

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