lubell pictureJessica Lubell
Associate Professor
University of Connecticut
1390 Storrs, Rd. Unit 4163
Department of Plant Science
Agricultural Biotechnology Lab
Storrs, CT 06269-4163
Telephone: 860.486.1487
Fax: 860.486.0682


Ph.D.  2008,  University of Connecticut
M.S.    2004,  University of Connecticut 
B.A.    1999,   University of Rochester 


HORT 2560W, Written Communication in Horticulture
HORT3660/SAPL 660, Nursery Production
SAPL 120, Introduction to Plant Science

Research/Extension Projects

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 program 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.


Out of the swamp and into the parking                Optimizing nursery production of                        Shattering buttonbush fruits produce an
lot - Virginia Rose. (Rosa virginiana)                    native hazelnuts.                                                 ocean of seeds. (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Fact Sheets

Flowering Times and Progression for Southern New England Natuve Shrubs
Landscape Use for Northeast United States Native Shrubs
Connecticut Native Shrubs for Beautiful Landscapes
Native Shrubs: Guide to Landscape Uses 
Ten Tough Native Shrub Alternatives for Barberry
New England Native Shrub Replacements for Japanese Barberry & Winged Euonymus
Connecticut Native Trees for Beautiful Landscapes
Challenges to Developing the Market for Native Shrubs


Enhancing green roof module production and maintenance

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.



Lubell, JD. B Connolly and KN Jones. 2017. Ten-year persistence of native plant species on a green roof in Northeast US. Native Plants Journal 18(3): 227-234.

Lubell, JD. and MH Brand. 2017. Flower color, color stability, and flower longevity in red-flowered elepidote rhododendrons. HortTechnology 27(5):607-610.

Lubell, JD. And JA Griffith Gardner. 2017. Production of three eastern U.S. Native shrubs: Effects of auxin concentration on rooting and shade level on container plant growth. NortTechnology 27(3):375-381.

Lubell, JD. 2016. What's holding back the natuve shrub market? International Plant Propagator's Society 66:209-214.

Lubell, JD. and P. Shrestha. 2016. Optimizing container production of American fly honeysuckle (Lonicera canadensis), beaked filbert (Corylus cornuta), and maple leaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium). Native Plants Journal. 17(1):39-46.
Lubell JD. 2015. Discovering landscape adaptability in rarely-used native shrubs. Connecticut Botanical Society Newsletter. 42(1): 3-5.
Shrestha P and JD Lubell. 2015. Suitability of eight northeastern U.S. native shrubs as replacements for invasive plants in a difficult landscape site with white-tailed deer pressure. HortTechnology. 25(2): 171 – 176.
Lubell JD. 2014. Suitable substitutes. Nursery Management. 30(4): 41-43
Lubell JD. 2014. Corylus americana ‘Little Filly’. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 32(1): 49-50
Lubell JD. Barker KJ and Elliott GC. 2013. Comparison of organic and synthetic fertilizers for sedum green roof maintenance. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 31(4): 227-233
Lubell JD. 2013. On the Back Burner. Garden Center 19(8):126-134
Lubell JD. 2013. On the Back Burner. Nursery management 29(9):16-19
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 Lubell JD. 2013. Propagation of four underused native species from softwood cuttings. HortScience. 48(8):1018-1020
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 and Lehrer JM. 2011. Susceptibility of eastern ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius (L.) Maxim.) cultivars to powdery mildew. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 29(3): 105-107
Lubell, JD and Brand MH. 2011. Propagation medium influences success of sweet fern [Comptonis peregrina (L.) Coult.] rhizome cuttings. Propagation of Ornamental Plants. Submitted. 11(1): 47-49

Lubell JD and Brand MH. 2010. Germination, growth and survival of Berberis thunbergii DC. (Berberidaceae) andBerberis 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 JD, Brand MH and Lehrer JM. 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 JM, Brand MH and Lubell JD. 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 JD, Brand MH  and Lehrer JM. 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 JD, Brand MH  and Lehrer JM. 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 JM, Brand MH  and Lubell JD. 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 JM,  Brand MH and Lubell JD. 2006. Four cultivars of Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii DC.) demonstrate differential reproductive potentials under landscape conditions. HortScience. 41(3): 762-7.
Lehrer JM, Brand MH and Lubell JD. 2006. Tackling a thorny issue. American Nurseryman. 8(204): 30-36.
Lubell JD and Brand MH. 2005. Division size and timing influence propagation of four species of Epimedium L. HortScience. 40(5): 1444-7.
Lubell JD, Thompson DM and Brand MH. 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