Armitage Talks Sumo Petunias, Belgium Mums, Garvinea Gerbera and Hort Couture Introductions At Spring Trials

After more visits on day five of Spring Trials, there were many new varieties from several different breeders that caught my eye.

Sumo Pink Surfinia from SuntorySuntory

Suntory, the home of Million Bells calibrachoa and Surfinia petunia, has impressed everyone with its new series of Sumo petunias, big, bold and beautiful.

There are far too many petunias in the marketplace today, and eyes tend to glaze over when we see yet another series; however, I think the Sumo series has a place. The pink was quite outstanding. I also thought the upright sun diascias, because they were truly upright, were very nice. The colors were clean and plants across the series appear to be uniform.

Suntory will be introducing a variegated scaevoela — the variegation is clean and the plants caught my eye. Time will tell whether a variegated scaevola has a place. The double petunias are excellent. While they are not new, they’re very good. It’s difficult to breed a uniform series of double flower petunias, but Suntory has managed to do just that. Lastly, it is hard to not be lured under the spell of Heavenly Blue petunia, one of the most handsome petunias in the past few years.

EuroAmerican Propagators

A couple of plants definitely caused a blip on my radar. The ‘Pink Zazzle’ gomphrena is certainly interesting, with its hairy leaves and the very un-gomphrena- like flower. I look forward to seeing how it does in the landscape. If it is a good performer, it will do quite well.

Euro presented a series of Super Mints — with potential to provide good flowering, fragrance and a mounding habit. However, similar to the gomphena, the jury is out on landscape performance — will it remain compact and mounding, or will it be like a mint thug?

Plant Haven

As always, the folks at Plant Haven bring interesting plants to the market. Their three new gaillardias were brilliant — mounding, tough and vibrant. Their nemesias and diascias were also exciting and I can’t wait to get my hands on the heat tolerant diascias they are bringing in 2015.

Hort Couture salvia mannequin delft blueHort Couture

How can you not love what the people at Hort Couture are doing?  First of all, it was a PVC-free zone, and for me, that was a nice break. Some of their introductions include ‘Mannequin Mountain Blue’ salvia, a mealey-cup sage on steroids, ‘Ice Queen’ variegated geranium, one of the Glitteratti series of hybrid geraniums and ‘Stainless Steel,’ a great foliage plant (it is a Pseuderanthemum if people need to know) for all areas of the country.

Flamingo Holland

Fantastic lilies were on display, as always, but I am becoming a believer in their callas — incredible colors, excellent habits. Not everyone is buying callas, but if you are, these are indeed worth a look. I also found myself going back to check out their pot astilbes series. They aren’t knocking anyone out of the water with new colors or habits, but being American rather than European-grown could make a significant difference in forcing times.

GroLink

It was like walking into a Belgium Mum version of Disney World with great pyramids of gorgeous mums in all colors and sizes. Their new Jasmoda series, with 6 1/2 weeks response time looked like the way to go.

Athena Brazil

Athena makes no bones about trying out unusual plants like alternanthera (its ‘Little Ruby’ should be the standard to measure all alternantheras) and vines. Working with other breeders like Danziger has allowed them to offer a good line of perennials to complement their line of annuals.

Sweetheart garvinia from Florist HollandFlorist Holland

Whenever I visit Florist, I walk away with a serious case of gerbera sunburn. The colors are so vibrant, and the selection is so grand that they act like magnets to anyone walking by. Different sizes of plants and flowers are available, but the Garvinea series is still as good as it gets for the combination of beauty and performance.

Royal Van Zanten

I saw outstanding cyclamens in mini size to gallon container size. They showed a future series of spreading campanulas that is missing from the American landscape. I believe they could be a useful product in the future.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Chick Charms

April 29, 2016

Kelly Norris: Why The Plant Collector Market Is Set To Explode, And What It Means For You

In his latest column for Greenhouse Grower magazine, Kelly Norris says there are more plant collectors out there than we think, which opens the way for the gift plant market to explode.

Read More
Pennisetum Fireworks

April 28, 2016

Why Ornamental Grasses Are Great For People In Condos And Apartments

Allan Armitage says breeders need to do a better job of making growers, brokers, and garden centers aware of better ornamental grass cultivars for the increasingly shrinking garden space.

Read More
Andropogon gerardii Blackhawks (Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)

April 27, 2016

Know Your Market When Choosing Ornamental Grasses

Growers have no shortage of choices in the ornamental grass market. Narrowing down the selection comes down to finding the right plant for the right purpose.

Read More
Latest Stories
Chick Charms

April 29, 2016

Kelly Norris: Why The Plant Collector Market Is Set To …

In his latest column for Greenhouse Grower magazine, Kelly Norris says there are more plant collectors out there than we think, which opens the way for the gift plant market to explode.

Read More
Pennisetum Fireworks

April 28, 2016

Why Ornamental Grasses Are Great For People In Condos A…

Allan Armitage says breeders need to do a better job of making growers, brokers, and garden centers aware of better ornamental grass cultivars for the increasingly shrinking garden space.

Read More
Andropogon gerardii Blackhawks (Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)

April 27, 2016

Know Your Market When Choosing Ornamental Grasses

Growers have no shortage of choices in the ornamental grass market. Narrowing down the selection comes down to finding the right plant for the right purpose.

Read More
Bee on Bidens

April 25, 2016

Breeders Go The Distance To Bring New Plant Varieties T…

Breeders are meeting the demand for new varieties that perform and sell well by extending trialing to engage the grower community, using advanced technology, and encouraging international collaboration.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

April 20, 2016

Growers And Breeders Are Always Looking For A Better To…

While edibles become more diverse, there's one goal that hard-core gardeners and urban foodscapers share.

Read More
Syngenta Pentas

April 20, 2016

Syngenta Flowers Opens Its Perennial Genetics To The Ma…

California Spring Trials 2016 visitors to Syngenta Flowers found the breeder company and its employees happy and excited for the future, in the wake of the announcement of its acquisition by ChemChina. Now Syngenta Flowers is ready to move forward with its breeding efforts in geraniums, pentas, and other crops, and it is opening its perennials offerings to the whole supply chain for a better chance to get those plants to retail.     Syngenta Wants To Revolutionize Geranium Breeding The big news in this year’s trial, says Karl Trellinger, Technical Services Representative at Syngenta, is the change in Syngenta’s breeding efforts in geraniums and pentas. The Calliope geranium series, long considered a premium line in the market, is getting a makeover. Growers have told the breeder that they love the colors available in the Calliope series, but the plants are just too vigorous for smaller containers and combinations. As […]

Read More
Petunia Vista Bubblegum (Proven Winners)

April 20, 2016

Proven Winners Funds Gardening “It Couple,” Names Plant…

Since 1992, Proven Winners has been changing the gardening game, and it’s not stopping now. With new plants, improved series, and interesting retail customers, the brand aims to make planning easier for growers, and make gardening easier and more fun for consumers. At its new 2016 California Spring Trials location at Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy, Proven Winners had the space and a beautiful setting to lay all of its offerings out, from new and improved varieties in annuals, perennials, and shrubs, to marketing and retail programs. Check out the slideshow below for highlights.   Proven Winners Is Flexing Its Marketing Muscle One of the ways Proven Winners is working toward better use of its products and gardening in general, is by supporting the gardening authorities that gardeners of all ages trust on social media. Director of Marketing Marshall Dirks says while searching for influential gardeners, he came across a young […]

Read More
Scaevola 'Purple Haze' (Danziger 2016)

April 19, 2016

Allan Armitage Picks His Favorites From Proven Winners,…

From “crazy” petunias to container pentas, there was plenty that caught Allan’s eye during the final day of 2016 California Spring Trials.

Read More
CallaFornia Red

April 19, 2016

Golden State Bulb Company Shows Off New Concepts In Cal…

There’s no question that Golden State Bulb Company’s specialty is in breeding virtually any color of Calla Lily, available in about any habit — cut flower, bouquet pot, upright pot type — the list goes on. But now, the bulb specialist is focusing on making calla lilies more accessible to the masses, for use in combination planters and the landscape, with calla six-packs. Calla breeder Peter Beckman showed us the shrunken-down version of these beauties, and they’re certainly perfect for patio pots, planting along paths or at the front of the garden, or en masse for an elegant statement. This presentation makes it easy for consumers to pick up and use callas, without the intimidation they might feel from a bulb crop, says Dr. Allan Armitage.   They’re also versatile for growers to plant in early to mid-February to add to finished containers in the spring, or to sell in […]

Read More
Disney Trial Garden

April 17, 2016

Mark Your Calendars For Florida Flower Trials In May

The two-day event, which takes place in Orlando, is held in conjunction with the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and offers educational seminars, tours, and open houses.

Read More
Dianthus Paint the Town Fuchsia_CJW14 (2)

April 16, 2016

Proven Winners Focuses On A Better Consumer Garden Expe…

Excellent, long-lasting performance, and easy maintenance are at the core of Proven Winners’ introductions.

Read More

April 15, 2016

Pacific Plug & Liner Features Plenty Of New Varieti…

One of the best-merchandised spots on the California Spring Trials is always Pacific Plug & Liner (PP&L), where the greenhouse is stocked with beautiful plants and displays, and the people are dressed to the nines and graciously ready to help in any way.

Read More

April 15, 2016

American Takii Commemorates 180 Years Of Industry Commi…

American Takii, Hilverdakooij, and newcomer HMA Plants show off zombie-zone celosia, new dianthus, and hip succulents.

Read More

April 15, 2016

Ernst Benary of America Takes Plant Fashion Week To The…

Ernst Benary of America gave growers a taste of the fashion world during the new variety promenade held during California Spring Trials 2016.

Read More
Fashion Show At Benary

April 15, 2016

California Spring Trials: Dr. Allan Armitage Notes Emer…

Attractive new varieties will draw the eyes of consumers, but innovation and creativity will keep them coming back.

Read More
Delizz Strawberry packaging

April 14, 2016

ABZ Seeds’ Delizz Strawberry Makes Mouths Water At Spee…

Speedling, Inc. hosted Hem Genetics, Thompson & Morgan, ABZ Seeds, Plant Source International, and Vista Farms For California Spring Trials 2016. Here are some of the highlights of the trial.

Read More
Crazytunia Citrus Twist

April 14, 2016

Dr. Allan Armitage’s Top Picks From Floricultura And Sa…

The best new flower introductions have the power to turn a non-believer into a fan. Check out Dr. Allan Armitage’s top picks from his visit to Sakata and Floricultura, the latter of which hosted a number of breeders.

Read More
Begonia Evi Pink and Evi Bright Pink

April 14, 2016

Westhoff, Beekenkamp, PAC-Elsner And Plug Connection Pr…

Floricultura-Pacifica in Salinas opened its doors to invite California Spring Trials visitors to experience new offerings from European breeders including Westhoff Flowers, Beekenkamp, and PAC-Elsner, as well as California native The Plug Connection. While there, it was interesting to witness the ongoing and highly automated production of orchids, as well as construction of more greenhouse space happening simultaneously. As is tradition, Westhoff Flowers invited its visitors to flag their favorite combos at the entrance, and showed off its unique assortment of annuals, as well as a few concepts. The breeder is working loosely with Florist Holland to show mixes used with Westhoff Flowers — or Westflowers — annuals and Florist gerberas in the center. The combinations are bright and cheerful, and spur a happy reaction in those who have seen them, so it will be interesting to see what happens with this concept going forward. Another new idea is putting together […]

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]