A bitter cold winter, followed by a late spring and unseasonably cool and rainy weather, seemed to catch trial managers off guard in some regions across the country. Several reported a cool summer with temperatures barely pushing into the 90s. Despite the unusual start to the season, trial managers reported that many varieties still put on a great show with stellar performance.
Greenhouse Grower asked trial managers to share which of the varieties they evaluated performed best, along with details about the weather conditions at their location.
Twenty-one trial managers responded, providing their best performers from hundreds of new (or recently new) varieties. All plants are listed in alphabetical order, as many of them were not ranked specifically.
This is a non-scientific poll, because not every location trialed every variety. However, a number of cultivars appeared on top performer lists several times. One variety, Proven Winner’s ‘Vermillionaire’ cuphea, and one series, Ball Seed’s canna Cannova series, were listed as Best of Show varieties at least three times. They also made Top Performing lists several times.
Here are the results by region:
University of Minnesota (Morris, Minn.)
Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, Mo.)
Pike Creek Horticulture Center, Gateway Technical College (Kenosha, Wis.)
C. Raker & Sons, Inc. (Litchfield, Mich.)
Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa)
Michigan State University Horticulture Demonstration Gardens (East Lansing, Mich.)
North Dakota State University Department of Plant Sciences (Fargo, N.D.)
Ohio State University, Chadwick Arboretum (Columbus, Ohio)
University of Wisconsin Display Gardens, West Madison Agricultural Research Station (Verona, Wis.)
Costa Farms (Miami, Florida)
The J.C. Raulston Arboretum, North Carolina State University (Raleigh, N.C.)
University of Georgia Trial Gardens (Athens, Ga.)
Louisiana State University (Hammond, La.)
Metrolina Greenhouses (Huntersville, N.C.)
University of Tennessee Gardens (Knoxville/Jackson, Tenn.)