The holiday season is also poinsettia season, and Jersey growers have been producing an abundant crop of these strikingly beautiful seasonal plants.

But is it pronounced poin-sett-EE-ah or poin-SETT-ah? Either way works, says state Agriculture Secretary Doug Fisher, who says what really matters is that it's a "a $7 million crop."

"And that is just the value of the plants themselves," he added. "Obviously, when you start sending them out into retail, and add the markups and so forth, the number actually blooms to a much higher number."

Fisher put in an appearance Friday morning at Hionis Greenhouses in Hunterdon County, a grower in business since 1985, to highlight the poinsettia-buying season.

New Jersey is the 10th biggest producer of poinsettias, growing 1.3 million plants every year.

Since the striking white, red flowers grow indoors under climate-controlled conditions, weather is seldom a factor in their production.

"We are having a crop that is on par with other previous years. So, yes, it is a good crop [this year.]"

Fisher says Jersey-grown poinsettias show up in the lobbies of many of New York's large skyscrapers.

"We ship into New York, Pennsylvania and points beyond."

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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