Farmer florists rise to meet blooming interest in local, American-grown cut flowers

IndustriesAssociated Press

Some cut-flower industry experts anticipate that heading into Valentine's Day, more people will eschew bouquets of imported flowers for American blooms.

U.S. Department of Agriculture numbers show that about 80 percent of cut flowers used in florists' bouquets are imported.

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But there's been a recent — if small — rebound in the number cut-flower growers in the U.S., from 5,085 in 2007 to 5,903 in 2012. The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers also boasts an all-time high of 700 members, most of which are based in the U.S.

Debra Prinzing operates a Seattle-based online directory of people who use stateside flowers. She says the shift coincides with a renewed interest in garden blooms, as well as consumers wanting to buy local.