While Golden State Bulb is a smaller stop at California Spring Trials, it’s always a treat. You not only get to see less common plants like calla lilies and eucomis, you also get to meet the passionate breeders who developed the plants you’re seeing. For plant geeks, this is a fun stop.
First up, the Aloha Lily series of pineapple lily or eucomis was introduced last year, and a new variety, the dark red Kona, joined the lineup. The team at Golden State would like to see this sweet-scented series treated much like orchids by consumers. Like orchids, Aloha Lily does well in low light and has blooms that last two to three months. Now that homeowners have grown accustomed to having orchids, it just may be time to test which other long-flowering plant they would be willing to embrace.
Golden State would like to see consumers approach callas in a new way, too. Its calla line up is bred from seed, a method that requires tremendous patience and a lot of time. The payoff is that the stock is remarkably free of disease, and so the typically fussy calla stands up well to outdoor landscapes and patio pots.
Another fun feature for plant geeks at Golden State Bulb is the post-production demonstration room. It’s a bit like stepping back into science class, with side-by-side comparisons on display for different treatments. One demo allows visitors to see how a calla from a 1.5-inch tuber fares in various size pots. Another showed how callas respond to being hit with growth amendment just when the plant reaches peak flowering prior to shipping, a counter-intuitive method the company recommends.