Meet Suntory’s Breeders

Meet Suntory's Breeders

Dr. Yasuyuki Murakami, breeder of Million Bells

You could consider Yasuyuki Murakami the father of the entire calibrachoa genus for global commercial flower production. “I still can’t forget the first impression of Million Bells (calibrachoas), when I discovered them for the first time,” he says. Their ability to produce endless blooms attracted me to this plant and my desire was to make this a better plant for garden use, which consumers would love. That was the time the company started a new project which included flowers. We were short of staff but I started to study Million Bells as one of the new projects and my goal was to make it into a commercial product.”

He was encouraged by Suntory’s success with Surfinia petunias bred by Shinzo Tuda. “Originally, the calibrachoa was late flowering with the flowers closing easily and a high susceptibility to disease,” Murakami says. “Calibrachoa species has a large number of types and I began crossing them to make improvements. Calibrachoa was a new garden plant and had fewer colors at first, so I felt sure of myself it would be classified as a new category and am still convinced that is now well established.”

Today, the Million Bells color range spans reds, blues, oranges and yellows and the splashy, popular terra cotta colors. “They are incomparable plants because Million Bells are selected and cultivated under the tough and very harsh environment in Japan,” he says. “Even in such an environment, it shows excellent garden performance, disease and heat tolerance. As a pioneer of the species brought to consumers world wide, I would like to complete the plants that can fulfill the merit of all the dealers, growers and not least, the gardeners. I will go on to develop calibrachoas further to attract more interest from growers and consumers. Please look out for what is coming in the future.”


Dr. Kiyoshi Miyazaki, breeder of Senetti cinerarias

Already a huge hit in the United Kingdom, the Senetti cinerarias are versatile plants that offer gorgeous color in cool-weather landscapes and containers. “The big differences between ordinary cineraria and Senettis are reblooming, numerous blooms, excellent weather tolerance, particularly low temperatures outside, and of luxury appearance,” Kiyoshi Miyazaki says. “When flowering is finished, cut back the plant and it will grow back and rebloom.”

Senettis are interspecific hybrids with a smaller leaf and slightly silver grey foliage, longer flower stems and slim, tapered petals. “Senetti grows bigger and has a better branching habit to fill bigger containers,” Miyazaki says. “It’s unique reblooming, weather tolerance and bloom count, plus its gorgeous look of strong, deep colors have been very much appreciated. Senetti wins the hearts and minds of consumers and is starting to spread around the world.”


Tomoya Misato, breeder of Sun Parasol Mandevillas

Sun Parasol mandevillas have been a tropical delight in the Suntory Collection. Breeder Tomoya Misato has been breeding plants for vigor, earliness and unique colors. He had previously worked on the Surfinia petunia and Million Bells calibrachoa lines.

“The plant caught my attention with the possibility to develop flowers that can evoke a tropical image for pot plants,” he says about the Sun Parasol mandevillas. “We’ve created mandevillas with unprecedented vigor by cross breeding and produced a novelty plant that has never been in the market place before.”

The Sun Parasol series includes many types or subseries, including Pretty, Giant and the Original group. “Consumers can enjoy growing tropical flowers, with vines climbing up a trellis or filling out hanging baskets or pots,” Misato says. “I would like to develop this new collection further and create the advantages of the Sun Parasols and keep recommending this species to consumers.”

Leave a Reply

4 comments on “Meet Suntory’s Breeders

  1. Hello:
    Please could you tell me who your distributors are in Cardiff, South Wales, UK – for the Senetti Deep Blue Plants.
    many thanks
    Philip

  2. Hello:
    Please could you tell me who your distributors are in Cardiff, South Wales, UK – for the Senetti Deep Blue Plants.
    many thanks
    Philip

More From Varieties...

February 10, 2016

Poinsettia Production On The Decline

Poinsettia production is on the decline in several of the top 15 poinsettia-producing states.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

February 8, 2016

Why Succulents Have Become The Hippest Plants On The Market

Allan Armitage says succulents used to be relegated to the far end of the display bench, but their adaptability, decorative value, and low maintenance requirements have now made them a staple.

Read More

February 4, 2016

Poinsettia Growers Discuss Their Recent Trials And Triumphs

Growers from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and North Carolina describer their experiences trialing everyone’s favorite holiday season flora.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 10, 2016

Poinsettia Production On The Decline

Poinsettia production is on the decline in several of the top 15 poinsettia-producing states.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

February 8, 2016

Why Succulents Have Become The Hippest Plants On The Ma…

Allan Armitage says succulents used to be relegated to the far end of the display bench, but their adaptability, decorative value, and low maintenance requirements have now made them a staple.

Read More

February 4, 2016

Poinsettia Growers Discuss Their Recent Trials And Triu…

Growers from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and North Carolina describer their experiences trialing everyone’s favorite holiday season flora.

Read More
Rhododendron ‘Dandy Man’ (Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs)

February 2, 2016

Spring Meadow Nursery Partnering With Proven Winners Eu…

The expansion creates a cohesive brand for what is now a global market, immediately introducing more than 24 shrubs to the European market, with the potential for 125 or more in the future.

Read More

February 1, 2016

12 New Poinsettias For Holiday Growing

Poinsettias are still a consumer favorite during the holidays for home décor and gift giving. For greenhouse growers looking to get a jumpstart on purchasing young plants for the 2016 poinsettia growing season, there is no shortage of great varieties to choose from. Here are 12 new varieties to keep in mind for holiday product offerings.

Read More

January 27, 2016

Costa Farms’ Season Premier Provides Sneak Peek A…

Costa Farms presented the 2016 Season Premier at its 2-acre Trial Gardens in Miami, FL, in the third week of January. The event showcases varieties from breeders of all sizes to growers and major retail buyers, providing a look at what genetics are coming to the market and how they’ll perform in retail settings and in the landscape, when consumers bring them home. The mild winter climate in South Florida allows Costa Farms’ Research and Development Department to simulate the spring growing conditions of various regions in the country. Because each group of visitors to Costa Farms’ Trial Gardens wants to see what the new plants look like in the environments that matter to them, Season Premier offers several areas within the Trial Gardens that highlight different ways to look at the wealth of new varieties. The New Product Showcase offers a way for retailers to see how plants will […]

Read More

January 26, 2016

Beekenkamp And Danziger Partner To Distribute Poinsetti…

Danziger is continuing to expand its portfolio of products to the U.S. market with the addition of poinsettia cuttings of Beekenkamp’s varieties.

Read More

January 24, 2016

Positive Consumer Experiences Help Advance The Orchid C…

HGTV HOME Plant Collection plans to expand its Fresh Style product line through a partnership with Green Circle Growers (Oberlin, Ohio), which will supply decorative orchids, tropical plants, and indoor garden combinations. Greenhouse Grower asked Maxwell Sherer about Green Circle's orchid program, the latest trends he’s seeing, and where he thinks orchid growing is headed in the future.

Read More
Sansevieria in Corner of home

January 21, 2016

Tropical And Indoor Foliage Plants Emerge As A Lifestyl…

Consumers are incorporating houseplants into their everyday lives, which is driving the trends toward smaller-size plants and unique products that appeal to a younger demographic.

Read More
Pollinator-Conference-NC State

January 20, 2016

How To Promote Pollinator-Friendly Plants This Spring

Following last year’s launch of the National Pollinator Garden Network, groups like the National Garden Bureau and others remind growers that offering pollinator-friendly plants is a great way to keep up with consumer demand.

Read More
Caladium Painted Frog Series (Plants Nouveau)

January 17, 2016

16 New Foliage Plants To Round Out The Garden

Every garden needs a good mix of flowering and foliage plants for an attention-grabbing show of thrillers, fillers, and spillers. These new foliage varieties will not only act as a lush backdrop for colorful blooms, they can also stand on their own with their noteworthy textures and colors.

Read More
California Coast

January 13, 2016

Mark Your Calendars For The 2016 California Spring Tri…

It’s time to think about registering for the 2016 California Spring Trials. You won’t want to miss any stops along the way, so use this quick reference to help with planning for your trip.

Read More
David Roberts Bailey Nuseries Feature Image

January 12, 2016

Bailey Nurseries’ David Roberts Says New, Novel Varieti…

Roberts was recently hired by Bailey Nurseries to be the General Manager and Breeder for Plant Introductions, Inc., which Bailey acquired last year.

Read More
Kelly Norris - feature

January 11, 2016

Kelly Norris: Questioning The Purpose Of New Plants

Norris asks if the time has come to rethink new plant introductions, or how we market them to consumers.

Read More
Weeks Roses Miss Congeniality

January 11, 2016

Weeks Roses Introduces New Lineup Of Roses For 2016

Weeks breeds and grows a wide range of rose bushes, all of which are field tested for many factors.

Read More
CAST2015_Floranova_Vegetalis_Ageratum Cloud Nine Blue

January 8, 2016

Floranova Opening New Chile-Based Research Station, For…

Floranova has announced it is building a new research station in Chile that will open in mid-2016. As a result, the company will not participate in the 2016 California Spring Trials, but says it will be back in 2017.

Read More
Streptocarpus 'Yellow Blue Eye' (Green Fuse Botanicals)

January 5, 2016

15 Flowering Foliage And Tropical Plants For The Home A…

Tropical and foliage plants are the ultimate lifestyle plants because they enrich the environment and provide mood-boosting benefits. Take into account some of these new introductions for a crop mix that helps your customers realize the true benefits of plants.

Read More
BallSeed-WebTrackToGo-app Feature Image

January 5, 2016

Ball Seed Launches WebTrack To Go App For Mobile Phones…

The app is available for free in the Google Play and iTunes app stores, and serves as a companion to Ball’s full WebTrack business management system.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]