IPM Essen’s Innovation Showcase, which the Central Horticultural Association (ZVG) first began as a competition in 2008, has become established as a permanent fixture at the event.
This year, 33 exhibitors submitted 76 innovative plant products in eight categories. A jury then assessed each of the entries and chose one “Plant Innovation of the Year” in seven of the categories, as well as a special prize.
• In the “Spring Flowering Plants” category, the commission voted for Primula filchnerae × P. praenitens ‘Thirtyone’ from Cultivaris. This primula has lush flowers and an extremely long flowering period for primroses, from early spring into late summer.
• In the “Bedding and Balcony Plants” category, the winner was the Begonia hyb. ‘Unbelievable First Kiss’ from Dümmen Orange. First Kiss is a compact variety that forms a contrast between dark, healthy foliage and bold, apricot-colored flowers. For a begonia, it is well branched, free-flowering, and low-maintenance.
• In the “Tub Plants” category, the award winner was Mandevilla × sanderi ‘Diamantina Jade Orange Coral’ from D.H.M. Innovation from France received the award. A new surge of color for mandevilla, the apricot-orange flowers appear at an early stage. The flower color withstands intensive sunlight.
• In the “Flowering House Plants” category, the winner was Oerstedella centradenia ‘Panama Orchid’ from Hassinger in Wiesbaden, Germany. ‘Panama Orchid’ has plentiful, long-lasting flowers. With delicate blooms, an attractive color, and bamboo-like foliage, it is a great gift plant.
• In the “Green House Plants” category, the winner was Sanseveria hybrid ‘Sansiam Kichaka’ from Suphachadiwong Orchids in Thailand. It is ideal for making interior rooms green, and it is low maintenance and wonderfully branched.
• In the “Cut Flowers” category, the Vanda Angelite from Suphachadiwong (represented by Silver Vase, Inc. in the U.S.) Orchids in Thailand was the winner. This orchid has large flowers and an exotic-looking blue flower color with a slightly marbled look.
• In the “Woody Plants” category, the jury voted for Vaccinium corymbosum BrazelBerries from zu Jeddeloh (represented by Fall Creek Nurseries in the U.S.). This blueberry has a compact growth habit and attractive foliage, and bears rich medium-large fruits. It is hardy and retains its foliage, even in a mild climate.
• Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Frisbee Hot Pink’ and ‘Caipirinha’ varieties from the Hydrangea Breeders Association received a special prize for breeding work, which culminated in a special product with cultivation success. The good branching, and compact habit, and closed-plant structure form an attractive hydrangea. The plate-shaped ‘Frisbee Hot Pink’ has large, individual flowers and a self-contained look with an attractive, intensive flower color.