California-based Bodger Seeds has sold its bedding plant seed lines to German flower breeder Benary. These include well-established series, like Disco marigolds, Tempo impatiens and Wonderland alyssum (pictured), that have been on the market for decades.
The seed line acquisition spans a dozen key bedding plant crops, instantly filling out and complimenting Benary’s offerings. While Benary is primarily known for breeding in the United States, the company also is involved in distribution in Europe.
Through this acquisition, Benary improves its position as a major independent player in ornamentals, says Matthias Redlefson, Benary’s managing commercial director. “This product portfolio is made to measure for Benary,” he says. “This will strengthen our business not only in established markets, but also in growing regions.”
Redlefson says Benary will exhibit at Bodger’s Lompoc facility during next year’s Pack Trials. Starting May 1, Benary will take over the inventory, production and breeding programs in these key Bodger product lines:
- Ageratum houstonianum (Hawaii F1, Blue Blazer F1, Danube F1)
- Calendula officinalis (BonBon, Touch of Red)
- Delphinium elatum (Pacific Giants, Magic Fountains)
- Impatiens walleriana (Tempo F1, Advantage F1, Envoy F1)
- Lobelia erinus (Palace)
- Lobularia maritima (Wonderland)
- Tagetes erecta (African marigolds)–(Discovery F1, Galore F1, Gold Coins F1, Crush)
- Tagetes patula (French marigolds)–(Disco, Hero, Little Hero, Safari)
- Viola cornuta (Aero F1)
- Viola wittrockiana (pansies )–(Atlas F1)
Benary plans to intensify breeding activities in the acquired crops and continue to operate in Bodger’s Lompoc, Calif., and Quillota, Chile, facilities. “The acquired product range is very solid and has a reputation of strong performance around the world,” says Nick ten Pas, Benary’s managing technical director. “Benary will invest heavily into further breeding to continue offering excellent and exciting new products to the market.”
Regarding the sale, Bodger Seeds CEO Kim Bodger says, “We are excited about the hand over to Benary. This will ensure the efforts of the last four generations of our family business will continue in strong and independent hands.”
For the past seven years, Bodger’s most exciting new genetics have been in its vegetative division, Bodger Botanicals. These include Sweet Caroline ipomoeas, Tiny Tunia petunias and other innovative varieties from cuttings. It appears the company is shifting focus from seed to the botanicals division.