Green Fuse Botanicals’ Rex Begonias and First Looks; Floranova is Back

On the last day of California Spring Trials 2017, we were down a man (our scholarship winner Tyler Beasley went home Wednesday night), and the rest of the Greenhouse Grower team was road weary, but we were excited to venture over to Santa Paula to see the new varieties at Green Fuse Botanicals and to welcome Floranova and Vegetalis back to CAST.

The biggest thing at Green Fuse Botanicals this year is its new Dibs series of Rex begonia. The large plants have striking colors and massive foliage, and they look great as a standalone or combined. Some of the larger varieties of the Shadow King series have been selected for Dibs, and new varieties include Rothko, Cherry Mint, Butterscotch, and Strawberry Chocolate.

Other notable intros from Green Fuse Botanicals include the new Leah series of trailing buddleia. Kept in a hanging basket, this butterfly bush won’t spread and be invasive. A new experimental lavender in the Lavish series sports double heads and a soft pink color. We’re interested in seeing what happens with that.

Last year’s Greenhouse Grower Medal of Excellence Editor’s Choice Award winner, Lupine Staircase series, looks great and is doing well. A few growers produced it for this spring in limited quantities and shipped easily. Green Fuse is building up stock and should have more quantity of this premium item from tissue culture available for next spring.

Highlights from Floranova include the new Popstars F1 phlox series, with striking, star-shaped, bicolor blooms. This will be a great item for combos or as a standalone with its dwarf habit.
The Bright Sparks celosia series, also new, offers eye-popping color in Deep Rose, Yellow, and Scarlet, on compact plants. The new pansy F1 Freefall XL is a larger-flowered version of Freefall that makes an excellent basket and groundcover pansy. Its bright, clear colors and trailing habit will be attractive to consumers.

Other notable intros include the new, early flowering Crackle and Pop dwarf snapdragon series in a range of colors, and the Cheerleader series of African marigolds with gigantic flower heads in Orange and Yellow.

That does it for us this year. Look for full coverage online and in our June issue of Greenhouse Grower. Also keep a look out for special coverage this fall!

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