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Jessica Lubell, Assistant Professor of Horticulture

Education  |   Honors | Teaching Program | Current Projects | Recent Publications | In the Press

Ph.D.  2008,  University of Connecticut

M.S.   2004,  University of Connecticut 

B.A.   1999,  University of Rochester 


The University of Connecticut Provost’s Commission on the Status of Women and
The Women’s Center.  Outstanding Academic Achievement Award. (2008).

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HORT 2560W,  Written Communications in Horticulture

HORT 3660/SAPL 660,   Nursery Production

SAPL 740,   Landscape Construction
SAPL 120, Introduction to Plant Science


Novel native shrubs as replacements for invasive plants


There is increased interest in using native plant alternatives to invasive species for landscaping.  While some native plants are commonly used, others with ornamental potential have yet to be developed. My research is focused on the identification and development of novel native species as landscape plants to broaden the palette of native plants available to consumers. Some ornamental native species that I am interested in are Comptonia peregrina (Sweetfern), Corylus cornuta (Beaked filbert), Leucothoe racemosa (Sweetbells), Myrica gale (Sweetgale), Prunus pumila var. depressa (Eastern sandcherry), Rhus copallina (Shining sumac) and Spirea tomentosa (Steeplebush). These species exhibit wide adaptability in natural settings making them prime candidates for development as native landscape plant alternatives for difficult sites. I am evaluating these plants for t heir adaptability to different landscape sites and conducting research to optimize crop production protocols for these species.

Landscape Use for Northeast United States Native Shrubs
Connecticut Native Shrubs for Beautiful Landscapes

Connecticut Native Trees for Beautiful Landscape
Native Shrubs: Guide to Landscape Uses 

Enhancing green roof technology

Green roof modules, units containing special growing media and plants, are a new crop for several large nurseries in the state. My research has focused on fertility trials to optimizing green roof module production. Studies to evaluate the use of organic fertilizers for maintaining established green roofs are also underway.

I am also interested in identifying plants that are capable of growing in artificial green roof turf and withstanding the variable weather patterns in Connecticut.

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Lubell JD, KJ Barker and GC Elliott. 2013. Comparison of organic and synthetic fertilizers for sedum green roof maintenance. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 31(4): XX-XX

Lubell JD, 2013. Variations on a theme. Nursery Management 29(7):67-70.  Article link.

Lubell JD. 2013. Native or not? Nursery Management 29(4):42-44  Article link.

Cartabiano JA and JD Lubell. 2013. Propagation of four underused native species from softwood cuttings. HortScience. 48(8):1-3.

Lubell JD. 2013. Evaluating landscape performance of six native shrubs as alternatives to invasive exotics. HortTechnology. 23(1):119-125.

Brand MH, Lubell JD, Lehrer JM (2012) Fecundity of winged euonymus cultivars and their ability to invade different natural environments. HortScience. 47(8): 1029-1033

Barker KJ, Lubell JD (2012) Effects of species proportions and fertility on sedum green roof modules. HortTechnology. 22(2): 196-200


Lubell JD (2012) Propagating sweet fern. American Nurseryman. April: 26-29


Lehrer JM, Brand MH, Lubell JD (2012) Layers of intrigue: Physocarpus and powdery mildew. American Nurseryman. February: 12-14, 16, 25


Lubell JD (2011) From the wild to the landscape: Developing adaptable native shrubs for the green industry. Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association Magazine.


Lubell JD, Brand MH Lehrer JM (2011) Susceptibility of eastern ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius (L.) Maxim.) cultivars to powdery mildew. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 29(3): 105-107

Lubell, J.D. and M.H. Brand. 2011. Propagation medium influences success of sweet fern [Comptonis peregrina (L.) Coult.] rhizome cuttings. Propagation of Ornamental Plants. Submitted. 11(1): 47-49

Lubell J.D. and M.H. Brand. 2010. Germination, growth and survival of Berberis thunbergii DC. (Berberidaceae) and Berberis thunbergii var. atropurpurea in five natural environments. Biological Invasions. 13: 135-141

Lubell JD (2010) Sweet fern rhizome cutting success is influenced by propagation medium. Combined Proceedings of the International Plant Propagators Society. 60: 384-385

Lubell J.D., M.H. Brand and J.M. Lehrer. 2009. Amplified fragment length polymorphism and parentage analysis of a feral barberry (Berberis thunbergii DC.) population to determine the contribution of an ornamental landscape genotype. HortScience. 44(2): 392-395.

Lehrer, J.M, M.H. Brand and J.D. Lubell. 2008. Induction of tetraploidy in meristematically active seeds of Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii var. atropurpurea) through exposure to colchicines and oryzalin. Scientia Horticulturae. 119: 67-71.  Article link

Lubell, J.D.
, M.H. Brand and J.M. Lehrer. Detecting the influence of Berberis thunbergii var. atropurpurea in invasive populations of Berberis thunbergii DC. (Berberidaceae) using AFLP.   American Journal of Botany. 95(6): 1-7.

Article link

Lubell, J.D., M.H. Brand and J.M. Lehrer. 2008. AFLP identification of Berberis thunbergii cultivars, inter-specific hybrids, and their parental species. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology.  83(1): 55-63   Article link

Lehrer, J.M, M.H. Brand and J.D. Lubell. 2006. Seedling populations produced by colored-leaf genotypes of Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii DC.) contain seedlings with green leaf phenotype. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 24(3): 133-6.

Lehrer, J.M, M.H. Brand and J.D. Lubell. 2006. Four cultivars of Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii DC.) demonstrate differential reproductive potentials under landscape conditions. HortScience. 41(3): 762-7.

Lehrer J.M., Brand M.H and J.D. Lubell. 2006. Tackling a thorny issue. American Nurseryman. 8(204): 30-36.

Lubell, J.D. and M.H. Brand. 2005. Division size and timing influence propagation of four species of Epimedium L. HortScience. 40(5): 1444-7.

Lubell, J.D., D.M. Thompson and M.H. Brand. 2005. Foliar sprays of benzyladenine increase bud and propagule production in Epimedium × rubrum Morren. and Helleborus × hybridus L. Propagation of Ornamental Plants. 5(1): 19-22.   Article link


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Developing Alternatives To Invasive Plants. UConn Today 09/08/2010

lubell picture
  Jessica Lubell
Assistant Professor
University of Connecticut

1390 Storrs Rd., Unit 4163
Department of Plant Science
Agricultural Biotechnology Lab
Storrs, Connecticut 0626

Telephone: (860) 486-1487
fax: (860) 486-0682
email: jessica.lubell@uconn.edu 
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