Mar 20, 2015
Spring Trials 2015: Sneak Peek!By Jasmina Dolce

I can’t believe the 2015 California Spring Trials are almost here. I wasn’t able to attend the big event last year, since I was at home figuring out this whole “mom thing” with my 6-week-old son, but that makes me even more pumped about this year’s trials. Being away from my now 1-year-old for a whole week will be tough, but admiring all the gorgeous new varieties on display will provide plenty of motivation!

With Spring Trials just two months away, I wanted to share a preview of some of the new introductions attendees will see during the week-long coastal journey. I’ve been in touch with some of the breeders exhibiting at the 2015 California Spring Trials, and they were kind enough to provide a glimpse into what will be on display at some of the trial locations.

Be on the lookout for my next newsletter where I’ll share even more sneak peeks with you!

Coleus ‘Campfire’ (Ball FloraPlant)

This brightly colored coleus is easy to grow in large and small pots. It features an exciting shade of orange for sun and shade gardens. Its excellent garden performance is on par with ‘Redhead’ and ‘Wasabi’.

Salvia Grandstand series (Green Fuse Botanicals)

The new Grandstand series will start with three colors: Lavender, Purple (pictured) and Red. What makes this series different than other vegetative varieties is that Grandstand salvia is more compact (18 to 22 inches garden height), will not cycle in and out of color and will flower under short days.

Petunia ‘Hells Fruit Punch’ (Westflowers)

Plants are strongly branched with a very horizontal habit, making ‘Hells Fruit Punch’ ideal for hanging basket production. The blooms are very large and packed side by side across the entire canopy… Good luck finding any leaves on this plant!

Verbena ‘Lanai Blue Eyes’ (Syngenta Flowers)

The Lanai series continues to feature innovative colors with the addition of ‘Lanai Blue Eyes’. This blue verbena can survive under a variety of stresses with its built-in tolerance against powdery mildew. It has a mounded, trailing habit that is ideal for pot and basket programs.

Bidens BeeDance series (Suntory Flowers)

The new BeeDance series has two striking bicolors. Painted Red (pictured) has petals that are half red-orange and half yellow, becoming more red-orange over time. Red Stripe features yellow flowers with unique red stripes on each petal. Growers will love BeeDance’s manageable plant habit due to short internodes and superior branching.

Begonia ‘San Francisco’ (Benary)

Growers loved ‘Santa Cruz’, the first begonia boliviensis from seed. This year, Benary is introducing a new color that is just as easy to grow, just as sun loving and just as weather tolerant. Begonia ‘San Francisco’ has the same habit and flower form of ‘Santa Cruz’, but it presents warm pink flowers.

Gerbera ‘Garvinea Sweet Spice’ (Florist Holland)

‘Garvinea Sweet Spice’ pops up super-sized flowers in a hot pink color. Sweet Spice will start to flower in spring and flower into autumn. These robust, bee-friendly plants can be produced at relatively low temperatures, without using pesticides or growth regulators.

Echinacea ‘Sombrero Baja Burgundy’ (Darwin Perennials)

Sombrero varieties are tested to Zone 4 hardiness and feature bold, bright colors. They are well branched in containers under long or short days. New Baja Burgundy has rich deep burgundy flowers and overlapping petals.

Are you attending the 2015 Spring Trials? Which one of these new introductions are you most excited to see in person? Which plant characteristics stand out to you? Shoot me an email at jdolce@sgcmail.com, and let me know!

— Jasmina

P.S. Hopefully those of you attending already have your travel plans in order. If not, you can go to www.californiaspringtrials.com to help plan your schedule. You can also use AmericanHort’s online reservation system to book your appointments.


Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at jdolce@greatamericanpublish.com.





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