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...
Bee on Lavender feature

March 23, 2017

Allan Armitage: Plant Consumers Don’t Talk About Varieties; They Talk About Solutions

Allan Armitage says it's time to get in touch with our true audience and market plant solutions, not plant products.

Read More
Spin Top Gaillardia Series (Dummen Orange)

March 22, 2017

New Perennials and Tender Perennials for 2018 from California Spring Trials

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the true perennials and tender perennials that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. Here's a sampling of some of the varieties hitting retail shelves in 2018.

Read More
Zinnia Solmar Series (Floranova)

March 17, 2017

Phlox, Zinnias, and More for 2018 From California Spring Trials

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Latest Stories
Bee on Lavender feature

March 23, 2017

Allan Armitage: Plant Consumers Don’t Talk About …

Allan Armitage says it's time to get in touch with our true audience and market plant solutions, not plant products.

Read More
Spin Top Gaillardia Series (Dummen Orange)

March 22, 2017

New Perennials and Tender Perennials for 2018 from Cali…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the true perennials and tender perennials that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. Here's a sampling of some of the varieties hitting retail shelves in 2018.

Read More
Zinnia Solmar Series (Floranova)

March 17, 2017

Phlox, Zinnias, and More for 2018 From California Sprin…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Cosmos ‘Apollo’ (Floranova)

March 14, 2017

Begonias, Dahlias, and More for 2018 from California Sp…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Pennisetum First Knight Feature

March 11, 2017

Now is the Time for Growers to Plan for Fall Perennial …

If you haven’t already put in your orders for the items you’ll sell this fall, it’s time to start now.

Read More
Dianthus Pink Kisses Selecta Feature

March 8, 2017

Growing Tips for Selecta’s Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’

Kyle Peterson, Production Manager at Fessler Nursery, grew Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’ on a trial basis and says he was pleased with its performance.

Read More
Limbo GP burgundy picotee

March 7, 2017

New Petunias and Calibrachoas for 2018 from California …

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new petunias and calibrachoas that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Butterfly on a Pollinator Plant Feature

March 7, 2017

Allan Armitage: Why You Should Focus on the Functionali…

New crops are great, but Armitage says selling plants by function makes more sense.

Read More

March 5, 2017

2016 Young’s Plant Farm Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Young's Plant Farm in Auburn, AL.

Read More
kelly-norris

March 4, 2017

Kelly Norris Describes How Growers Can Help Plant the F…

The tough plant varieties unique to their regions could be the urban superstars of tomorrow.

Read More
Welby Gardens field trials

March 2, 2017

2016 Welby Gardens Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Welby Gardens in Denver, CO.

Read More
Zinnia 'Zahara XL Fire Improved'

March 1, 2017

2016 University of Minnesota Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for University of Minnesota in Morris, MN.

Read More
Geranium Combos feature

February 27, 2017

Tips for General Combination and Hanging Basket Product…

Bell Nursery’s Head Grower Tom Wheeler provides his recipe for success when growing premium combos that put on a show at retail.

Read More
Portulaca 'ColorBlast Tangerine'

February 26, 2017

2016 University of Georgia Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University Of Georgia trial gardens in Athens, GA.

Read More
University of Wisconsin field trial gardens

February 25, 2017

2016 University of Wisconsin Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Wisconsin display gardens at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station in Verona, WI.

Read More
Poinsettia 'Christmas Joy Marble'

February 20, 2017

5 New Varieties Shaking Up the Poinsettia Tradition

With poinsettias trending toward non-traditional colors, growers may find new opportunities to spread sales beyond the winter holidays. Here are five of the newest euphorbia varieties to hit the market that may play a role in redefining the future of the poinsettia market.

Read More
University of Tennessee trials overview (2015 University of Tennessee Field Trials)

February 19, 2017

2016 University of Tennessee Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville and Jackson, TN.

Read More
Reiman Gardens field trials

February 18, 2017

2016 Iowa State University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University in Ames, IA.

Read More