July 2018
Show Stopping Newcomers By Jasmina Dolce

With hundreds of new varieties making their official debut at the 2018 California Spring Trials, it can be overwhelming to evaluate them all. That’s why we put together a list of some of our favorites that deserve your attention.

Award Winners

Before bringing new genetics to the market, plants are tested and trialed at various levels in multiple locations. And sometimes, they receive awards before even hitting the market! Breeders made sure to announce their award winners that were on display this year.

  1. Selecta One has simplified its calibrachoa offerings. MiniFamous Uno is a new subseries bred for earliness and more compact containers. ‘MiniFamous Uno Double Pinktastic’ is a Fleuroselect winner and features heavily contrasted double flowers and a half trailing habit.
  2. Bred by Benary, Success! is now an umbrella brand for three petunia lines. Success! HD has a tighter habit and is bred for high-density production. Rose Star earned a Fleuroselect Gold Medal for its unique star pattern and performance in pots, beds and hanging baskets.
  3. American Takii has expanded its South Pacific canna line with three new colors. ‘South Pacific Orange’ joins ‘South Pacific Scarlet’ as an All-America Selections winner. It boasts a compact habit and is well suited for both landscape and container use.
  4. Cosmos ‘Apricot Lemonade’ is a stunning new color in Thompson & Morgan’s lineup. Its apricot flowers with contrasting pink eye earned this variety a Fleuroselect award for its novel appeal. It’s perfect for patio pots, borders or as a cut flower.
  5. Super Hero is a new series of marigold bred by Benary. Eight colors are available; ‘Super Hero Spry’ earned an All-America Selections award for its uniform and stable color pattern, earliness to bloom and no deadheading required.

    Landscape Performance

    Each year, we see new plants in every application — from baskets to mixed combinations to beds and borders. One category that is increasingly important to end consumers is the landscape. These plants are sure to make a long-lasting statement in the landscape.

    1. Tophat is a new interspecific begonia series from Syngenta Flowers that features huge flowers (up to 20 percent larger than comparable varieties). They do well in sun or shade and are available in three colors. ‘Tophat White’ is the only white in this class.
    2. Plug Connection introduced hamelia ‘Lime Sizzler’, a heat-loving tropical shrub that presents striking color. It isn’t limited to Southern markets; in the North, it can be used as a summer annual for high-impact landscapes.
    3. Salvia ‘Vibe Ignition Purple’ from PlantHaven International is a brand-new small-leafed variety bred for vibrant, deep purple flowers on compact plants for an outstanding show. As an added bonus, it is a pollinator magnet in the garden.
    4. Garvinea gerbera — from Florist Holland — offers sun-loving color, great weather tolerance and low maintenance. New to the series for 2018 is ‘Garvinea Sweet Sunset’, a stunning yellow and red bicolor variety.

Premium Petunias

Petunias are one of the most popular plant categories in the annuals segment. They are easy to care for and extremely versatile. And they are available in so many eye-catching colors. Breeders are bringing even more unique petunias to the market, and these beauties have premium value.
1. Sakata has introduced the next generation of its popular SuperCals: SuperCal Premium. This new line features five unique colors with large flowers and exceptional cool tolerance, making them perfect for fall presentations.

2. ‘Sweetunia Fiona Flash’ is the newest addition to Dümmen Orange’s Super Hero collection of eye-catching petunias. It presents fiery tones and a semi-upright habit that will look great in hanging baskets.

3. Selecta One’s ‘Headliner Night Sky’ has been a favorite since its introduction two years ago. This year, Starry Sky Burgundy has been added to the series. It boasts burgundy and yellow colors with a new pattern of stars and spots.

4. Westhoff continues to add fresh and unique colors to its Crazytunia line of petunias. There is a demand for interesting patterns for custom combinations, and ‘Crazytunia Cosmic Purple’ fits right in with its velvety black and neon purple blooms.

Perennial Appeal

Many breeders continue to focus on bringing
new perennials to the market. Perennials are great shoulder-season plants as they can be easily utilized
in fall presentations. And of course, many consumers appreciate plants that keep coming back year after year.

1. Copper Sun is a new addition to Dümmen Orange’sSpin Top gaillardia series. It is a fluted type that loves the heat and will bloom all summer long in the landscape.

2. ‘Madrid Lavish Pink’, bred by Green Fuse Botanicals, is the first multi-bracted lavender. It is hardy to Zone 7 and reaches 12 to 18 inches in the garden. Additional colors are in the pipeline.

3. ‘Dolce Spearmint’ is a new heuchera from Walters Gardens that features metallic, silver-green foliage that contrasts beautifully with the prolific pink flowers that bloom early- to mid-summer. It likes both sun and shade and is hardy to Zones 4 through 9.

4. Darwin Perennials’ new coreopsis ‘Golden Stardust’ is easy to grow and exhibits excellent heat and mildew tolerance. Hardy to Zones 5a through 9b, it produces abundant star-shaped flowers through the season.

5. Brought to the market from Concept Plants, Plug Connection had the new ‘Vivid Bright Light’ dianthus on display with electric pink flowers on a compact plant. It reblooms from spring to fall and is great for mass plantings and borders.

The Perfect Gift

Consumers are increasingly using plants to beautify their indoor spaces, so it’s important we remind them that live goods make the perfect gift for any occasion. These varieties have the ultimate gift appeal.

  1. ‘Senetti Magic Salmon’ is a new pericallis from Suntory Flowers. It is perfect for
    early spring sales and Easter promotions with its salmon pink and powder blue flowers.
  2. PAC’s ‘Pinkerbell’ regal hybrid is packed with loads of blooms on a compact plant. Plants flower nonstop through the summer months.
  3. We got a sneak peek of the calibrachoa trees from Hishtil last year, but they have finally made their official debut. These grafted plants have incredible novel appeal.
  4. ‘Pretty Little Pink Splash’ is a new standalone variety from Syngenta Flowers that is perfect for premium branded quart programs. It presents eye-catching bicolor flowers for an incredible pop of color.

    Designer Containers

    Container gardening is nothing new, but consumers are continuously looking for new varieties to add to their mixes. Whether in baskets or patio containers, they want plants that will play well with others and make a statement.

    1. Bred by Terra Nova Nurseries, artemisia ‘Makana Silver’ presents a soft, billowy silver mound that adds a nice texture to combination planters. It is a fast- growing plant and needs good drainage.
    2. Tattoo is a new series of bold, multicolored vinca from PanAmerican Seed. Each petal offers an inked or airbrushed appearance with soft brush strokes of black. Four colors are currently available.
    3. ‘Superbells Doublette Love Swept’ is a new double calibrachoa from Proven Winners. It features bright pink flowers with novel picotee edging. It is more compact than standard Superbells varieties and is early to flower.
    4. Danziger introduced a new series of verbena; Vanessa is bred for mildew resistance and for non-flushing color. It is early flowering with a semi-trailing habit, perfect for baskets.









Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at [email protected]


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