The Staircase Lupine Series was the standout new variety at Green Fuse Botanicals for California Spring Trials 2016. A breakthrough in lupine breeding, Staircase lupines require no vernalization, are hardy to Zone 3, and promise to finish early for quick delivery to garden store shelves. These cool season plants have a good bud count and are day length responsive. Propagated through tissue culture, they put on a great display with solid and bicolor hues. Liners aren’t available until the 2016-2017 season.
Green Fuse also gave growers a first look at a few experimental varieties, including a compact Lavandula dentata that finishes four weeks earlier than other varieties. An experimental Rudbeckia hirta ‘Rising Sun’ offers extended-season sale opportunities with a long bloom period. Green Fuse is also trialing a pink bicolor begonia with double flowers, as a replacement for its Beaucoup line.
Green Fuse made enhancements to the Fuchsia Windchimes Upright series, introduced in 2015, with Neon/White Improved and Red/White Improved. Both have improved habits with larger flowers than more traditional uprights and strong, vibrant colors. They’re the perfect size for patio containers.
In the petunia area, the Good and Plenty series has three new color additions. One stunner was the brilliant-pink Bubbilicious. With these new additions, Green Fuse is going after plants with a hugging habit. Green Fuse also added a new ‘QT Red,’ while giving growers a sneak peek at an experimental blue QT Petunia. The showy addition to the Blanket series, Blue Star, stands out in containers with its white star pattern, complemented by dark foliage. It has larger flowers and an earlier flowering response for early spring sales.
The Purslane ‘Hot Shot’ series received an upgrade with brighter colors, larger flowers, and more consistency across the color line. New for 2017 is ‘Hot Shot Flambeau Rose,’ a variegated foliage variety with bright-pink flowers.
‘Marineland Lavender’ is the first in a new compact lobularia series that thrives in both warm and cool weather. Another notable intro was the heat-tolerant Nemesia Momento Series, which has a compact habit that is well suited for quart production.
There are three new color additions to the Salvia Grandstand series, which debuted in 2015: Salmon, Blue Bicolor, and Red Lipstick Pink. Green Fuse has been working to refine the habits of these compact plants, to reduce stretch, and is experimenting with some new mixes. And a gorgeous addition to the Veronica Vernique series is the blue-flowered ’Shining Seas.’
Green Fuse’s Lifestyle Plants category has an influx of new intros, including two new colors to the Streptocarpus Ladyslippers series, a new Dianthus Cadence series with three colors, plus a standalone Dianthus ‘Constant Beauty.’