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The road to Novellus Breeding:
the science and art of ornamental plant breeding

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Novellus Breeding was founded in 2014 as a family venture in the small town of Tambor, Alajuela. It was born inspired by the success of our leading breeder Xenia Cascante and after the company she worked for during more than 20 years closed its operations in Costa Rica. Relying of her vast know-how, the family decided to capitalize her dream and passion to breed her own varieties at the facilities at their own land. 

We named the company as “Novellus Breeding”, from the Latin word for “new”, as innovation is the main route of our breeding. Our logo embraced the steps from seed to flower linked by the double helix, colored green for nature and purple for peace and harmony.

Xenia’s passion for ornamental breeding begun back in the late 1980s as a graduate student at Oregon State University working on Dutch iris.

Upon returning to Costa Rica, she began working as flower breeder assistant for Harris Moran. She later became the main local breeder at Clause Semenses and thereafter the General Manager and senior breeder for the British company Floranova.

Over the years she increased the value of the companies she worked for with outstanding contributions such as transforming the vinca (Catharanthus) industry with the development of the first ever Vinca F1 hybrid series, breeding the first successful yellow grandiflora petunia (Prism Sunshine), awarded both the All American Selection (bedding plant) and the Fleuroselect Gold Medal in the same year, and breeding multiple cultivars of key ornamental bedding plants including impatiens, begonia, and hibiscus.

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