2016 North Carolina State University Field Trials Results

The J.C. Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University is a 10-acre arboretum and botanical garden with a diverse collection of plants adapted for landscape use in the Southeast. Each year, seed and plug companies submit entries for plant performance evaluation. This year, approximately 400 samples were entered into the trials, which were planted on May 10, 2016.

Comments From Trial Manager Bernadette Clark

Growing conditions this summer were hot and humid. In the months of July and August, we experienced a prolonged period of temperatures in the 90s, coupled with high humidity. Many of those days the heat-index was in the 100s. In the month of July, our average night temperature was 72.8°F. The only night when the temperature dipped below 70°F was July 4, when the temperature was 68°F. During the first part of the growing season, we had excessive rainfall (more than 8 inches in July) but the later part of the season was drier than normal.

This summer season was challenging due to the frequent rainfall experienced during the early months of the growing period. These conditions were ideal for the development of plant pathogens. We observed a number of disease issues in several areas, in particular root-rot in the petunias (beds) and also in the calibrachoas (containers).

One of the highlights of the trials were the cannas. Short stature is the trend in current canna breeding. These are 2 to 3 inches in height and loaded with flowers. The spectrum of flower colors ranges from white, yellow, orange to red, and scarlet. You can find them with or without speckles and with either bronze or green foliage.

The vegetable entries also deserve mention. Edibles continue to enjoy an increase in home garden usage. They are easy to incorporate in the landscape and are a great addition to the garden, both visually and health-wise. This season we had great success with pepper plants ‘Gusto Green’ and ‘Paragon,’ eggplants ‘Jewel Amethyst’ and ‘Jewel Jade,’ and the trailing tomato ‘Rocola Chocolate.’ The peppers (sweet and chili types), eggplants, and tomatoes provided an abundant supply of fruit.

Best In Show

Angelonia ‘Serenita Pink’
Alternanthera ‘Purple Prince’
Artemisia ‘Quick Silver’
Begonia ‘Big Pink Green Leaf’,
Begonia ‘Megawatt Rose Green Leaf’
Begonia ‘Whopper Rose Bronze’
Begonia ‘Sprint Plus Rose’
Calibrachoa ‘MiniFamous Neo Yellow + Red Vein’
Calibrachoa ‘Aloha Hula Soft Pink’
Geranium ‘Cumbanita Rose Splash’
Lantana ‘Evita Compact Yellow’
Ornamental Pepper ‘Hot Pops’
Ornamental Pepper ‘Sedona Sun’

Top Performers

Alternanthera ‘Purple Prince’
Angelonia ‘Angelface Perfectly Pink’
Canna ‘CannaSol Happy Cleo’
Coleus ‘Coleus 13-13-9 Trial 70832’
Coleus ‘E050-002 Trial 70845’
Cyperus ‘King Tut’
Impatiens ‘Bounce Violet’
Scaevola ‘Scala Bicolor Blue 01’
Ipomoea ‘Sweet Caroline Bewitched After Midnight’
Ipomoea ‘Flora Mia Cameo’

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