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University of Minnesota

Department of Horticultural Science
The University of Minnesota Department of Horticultural Science's primary mission is to discover, interpret, and transfer new knowledge to improve the quality of life of Minnesotans and the world at large.

Research is at the heart of advancing the horticultural understanding that will improve upon our practices for the next generation. Our researchers produce knowledge on a wide range of plant species, including the traditional horticultural plants, fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The department also conducts research on Minnesota’s native plant populations, including exotic species with invasive potential. Minnesota’s interesting climate—which in a single year can produce temperatures ranging from -50 to 100° F—offers researchers and students a special opportunity to study plant life in extreme conditions. The stable climate of Alderman Hall offers others the opportunity to research plant life on a more fundamental level in laboratories furnished with the latest technology.

Plant Breeding and Genetics
The special demands of our climate, with its hot summers and extreme winter cold, drive industry and public demand for University-developed cultivars and germplasm. We take this demand seriously and maintain breeding and genetics programs in apples, grapes, flowers, woody landscape plants, tomatoes, dry beans, and turf and ornamental grasses. Our research programs will continue to utilize emerging technologies to develop plants that can withstand climatic extremes, while requiring low inputs of water, nutrients, and pesticides.