So You Think You Know About Flowers

1. Where do most Valentine's Day roses sold in the U.S. come from?

A. California
B. Europe
C. Hawaii
D. South America

Answer: D.

Although a lot of flowers stem from California, Hawaii and many European nations, most Valentine's Day roses found in the U.S. are grown in South America, particularly Colombia and Ecuador. In fact, most flowers bought in the U.S. at any time of year are grown overseas.

According to the Society of American Florists, 70% of all cut flowers sold in the U.S. are imported. UPS, alone, imported nearly 7 million pounds of roses for Valentine's Day last year.

According to UPS' own survey, almost 90% of Americans think Valentine's Day flowers sold in the U.S. come from somewhere other than South American or aren't sure where they are grown.

2. About how many flowers are sold in the U.S. for Valentine's Day?

A. 15 million
B. 60 million
C. 130 million
D. 510 million

Answer: C.

According to the Society of American Florists, 130 million flowers were sold in the U.S. for Valentine's Day, 2003. UPS delivered many of these flowers to wholesalers, florists and consumers around the country.

3. To make sure roses arrive fresh, how quickly must they reach their destination?

A. 1 day
B. 2-3 days
C. 4-5 days
D. 6-7 days
E. 8-9 days
F. 10 days or more

Answer: C.

In UPS' own survey, 47% of Americans believe it takes 2-3 days for flowers to make the trip from farm to a nearby store. It actually takes roughly 4-5 days, depending on destination, season and type of flower (roses, for example, are more delicate and need to move faster).

For UPS, it takes less than 24 hours to ship fresh cut flowers from farm to Miami-based flower importers. Travel time includes U.S. Customs and Department of Agriculture clearances, since most flowers are arriving from Central and South America.

4.At what temperatures must Valentine's Day roses be kept to guarantee freshness?

A. 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above
B. 30-40 degrees
C. 20-30 degrees

Answer: B.

Roses must stay between 34 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. UPS flies them into the United States in refrigerated cargo planes, holds them in coolers on the ground as they clear U.S. Customs and the Department of Agriculture, where importers' refrigerated trucks pick them up within hours of being cleared.

5. Into which U.S. port do most Valentine's Day roses arrive?

A. Miami
B. New York City
C. Los Angeles
D. New Orleans

Answer: A.

Approximately 85% of all flowers destined for the U.S. clear customs at Miami International, because of the city's close proximity to Latin America and its special cargo handling facilities.

6. When does the rush period for wholesale Valentine's Day roses start?

A. January 2
B. January 23
C. February 1
D. February 13

Answer: B.

Valentine's Day “peak season” blooms from January 23 to February 12. This year, UPS increased its number of flights by more than 50% to handle the increased volume. This year's peak days for flower importing are February 7, 8 and 9.

7. What percentage of roses purchased for Valentine's Day are red?

A. 90 – 100%
B. 80 – 90%
C. 70 – 80%
D. 60 – 70%
E. Less than 60%

Answer: D.

About 66% of roses purchased for Valentine's Day are red, according to the Society of American Florists. Of the remaining Valentine's Day roses consumers buy, 10% are a mix of colored roses, 9% are pink, 5% are peach, 4% are yellow, 1% are white and 2% are other colors.

“The Valentine's Day peak season is a great way to illustrate what UPS can do for customers internationally,” said Steve Flowers (his real name), president, UPS Americas. “On the cargo side, we manage the entire path from producer to wholesaler, including customs clearance. On the express side we manage transportation to final delivery including tracking. And, for customers like 1-800-flowers.com, for example, we can combine those strengths for a truly unique producer-to-end-user service.”

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