Save The Date: Dallas Arboretum Field Day

Verbena 'Princess Blush'

Over the past several years, the Dallas Arboretum Trial Gardens have become a top resource for measuring the heat tolerance and landscape performance of new plant varieties.  After meticulously recording trial results throughout the year, senior director of gardens Jimmy Turner presents these findings in a colorful and entertaining style at the Aboretum’s annual Field Day. This year’s event will take place on June 27, 2012.

Every year, thousands of annuals, perennials, tropicals and bulbs are put to the test of the Field Day motto: “If we can’t kill it, no one can.”  Nearing a decade in his current position, Turner says the past year’s trials redefined the Flameproof label he and his staff award the top performers each year.

If you saw any weather-related news in Texas last year, you will recall that it was a year of drought, wildfires and record high temperatures.  Most of the state had little to no rainfall throughout the spring and summer, and homeowners experienced water restrictions like never before.  During the most unfavorable conditions for plant growth in decades, the Dallas Arboretum trialed more varieties than ever before, testing more than 7,000 different plants in the past year.  Turner and staff are focused on reporting measured trial data, without showing bias toward any particular breeder or personal plant preference, and will be adding a live data link to their website within the next year.

Some of the heat tolerant varieties that impressed last year included the gaillardia ‘Gayla’ series and otemeria ‘Baby Pink’ (voted best in container plantings) from Danziger, as well as verbena ‘Princess Dark Lavender’ and ‘Princess Blush’ from the Southern Living Plant Collection.  Some surprising Texas heat resistant varieties also made the cut. Turner and senior trials manager Jenny Wegley included heliotrope ‘Simply Scentsational’ from Proven Winners and interspecific pelargonium ‘Graziosa’ from Dummen USA on their list.

Beyond testing for heat tolerance, the year-round trials at the Dallas Arboretum include fall plantings that encompass hundreds of pansy varieties and other plants with cool season color.  Among the consistent top performers in this group are the Nature series pansy from Takii, snapdragon ‘Arrow’ from Syngenta and dianthus ‘Supra’ from Hem Genetics.

This year the cool season trials included extensive studies of various hellebores. Typically a difficult genus for hot Texas production schedules, the results revealed at the Field Day aims to help growers select cultivars with a higher success rate in the South. The Arboretum’s trial of dahlias as a fall crop is also of interest to growers with an extended southern growing season.

The Field Day promises to showcase some of the toughest plants available. Pre-registration costs $15 at DallasPlantTrials.org until June 20, and on-site registration on the day of the event is $25, including dinner after the presentation. In addition to the Field Day results, visitors can tour the only All-American Selections trial in Texas, view the spectacular Dale Chihuly glass exhibition and discover why MSN named the Dallas Arboretum one of the top places in the world to see spring flowers.

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Suntory Grandessa argyranthemum - feature

September 18, 2017

Breeders Open Availability for Unrooted Cuttings; Here’s How Growers Will Benefit

With new avenues for buying young plants for vegetative production, growers should have an easier time finding availability and receiving shipments of unrooted cuttings for the coming seasons.

Read More
Ball, Tagawa Succulents Partnership

September 14, 2017

Ball Seed to Partner With Tagawa Greenhouses on New Succulent Offerings

The new program includes in-demand retail products that are popular with younger shoppers, allowing growers to easily build a comprehensive succulent program and stay on-trend in the marketplace.

Read More
Strait-Laced Elderberry

September 10, 2017

Check Out the Top Varieties On Display at Farwest 2017

A panel of plant experts, along with show attendees, selected their favorite offerings during the Farwest 2017 New Varieties Showcase.

Read More
Latest Stories
Suntory Grandessa argyranthemum - feature

September 18, 2017

Breeders Open Availability for Unrooted Cuttings; Here&…

With new avenues for buying young plants for vegetative production, growers should have an easier time finding availability and receiving shipments of unrooted cuttings for the coming seasons.

Read More
Ball, Tagawa Succulents Partnership

September 14, 2017

Ball Seed to Partner With Tagawa Greenhouses on New Suc…

The new program includes in-demand retail products that are popular with younger shoppers, allowing growers to easily build a comprehensive succulent program and stay on-trend in the marketplace.

Read More
Strait-Laced Elderberry

September 10, 2017

Check Out the Top Varieties On Display at Farwest 2017

A panel of plant experts, along with show attendees, selected their favorite offerings during the Farwest 2017 New Varieties Showcase.

Read More

September 5, 2017

Hort Couture Announces New Propagation and Broker Partn…

The new grower-propagator partners are deeply vested in the independent garden center channel with propagation expertise, as well as finished production focused on the independent grower.

Read More
Helianthus Sunfinity (Syngenta Flowers)

September 3, 2017

Growing Tips for Helianthus Sunflower ‘Sunfinity…

This annual sunflower is a profuse bloomer with strong branching that produces multiple flowers per plant from spring to fall.

Read More
Ball Seed Field Day 2017

September 2, 2017

Highlights from Ball Seed’s Annual Field Day and Landsc…

Attendees of the one-day event had the opportunity to see new plants in up-close-and-personal trials, and engage with speakers and product experts.

Read More
Bidens Popstar (Kientzler)

August 31, 2017

Allan Armitage: Why I’ve Become a Fan of Bidens

The rather boring plant with mundane daisy-yellow flowers has morphed into a vigorous plant carrying colorful flowers that seems to be comfortable in most of the country.

Read More

August 29, 2017

27 New Impatiens for Spring Color in 2018

Gardeners love impatiens because they are one of the few plants that offer stand-out, splashy blooms for shady areas, and in some cases full sun. There's no shortage of new introductions this year to choose from for your 2018 product mix. Here are 27 new and improved varieties to consider offering to your customers.  

Read More
Calandiva kalanchoes (Dümmen Orange) Feature

August 28, 2017

Lifestyle Plants Are in Full Bloom for Consumers

The latest decorating trends indicate consumers want hassle-free, colorful plants with big flowers — and growers are finding unique ways to cash in on these luxury-item sales.

Read More
Cuphea Fairy Dust Pink (Proven Winners) feature

August 26, 2017

Kelly Norris: Noteworthy Plants That Caught My Attentio…

Imagine the modern consumer getting so excited about a new plant that they shared the experience with a friend, perhaps not even a fellow gardening consumer.

Read More

August 20, 2017

Proven Winners and Kentucky Nursery and Landscape Assoc…

This year, KNLA is combining its summer outing with the Proven Winners Landscape Roadshow for an informative event that will take place on September 21.

Read More
Four Star 2018 Catalog

August 18, 2017

Four Star Greenhouses’ 2018 Catalog Includes New Variet…

The new catalog is available in both print and digital formats, and features information on new trays that allow for more plugs per square foot.

Read More
Francis Kwong, PanAmerican Seed

August 15, 2017

Ornamental Seed Scientist Francis Kwong Dies at Age 65

Kwong was most recently the Director of Seed Technology for PanAmerican Seed, and his research was instrumental in the development of calibrachoa, angelonia, and other plants.

Read More
Candy Tops Snapdragons Series (Sakata Ornamentals)

August 3, 2017

Five Characteristics Breeders Want in Top-Performing Sp…

New spring annuals have to provide something for everyone — longevity, durability, performance, and more — if they want to meet breeders’ high standards for market-worthy plants.

Read More
Petunia 'Headliner Pink Sky" (Selecta)

August 3, 2017

Why Eccentricity is the New Black in Spring Annuals

Consumers judge plants by appearance, color impact, and ease of maintenance, which is why retailers want new spring annuals that are novel standouts.    

Read More

August 1, 2017

39 New Vegetables and Herbs for 2018

New vegetable and herb introductions for 2017 offer unique shaped fruits, distinctive foliage, intense flavors, improved disease resistance, high yields, and more. Here are 39 new vegetable and herb varieties to consider for your product mix in 2018.

Read More
2018 Griffin Catalog

July 31, 2017

Griffin Releases Print and Digital Versions of Its 2018…

The 250-page print catalog features more than 350 new varieties from leading breeders, while the enhanced digital version has extra features on crop culture, grower tools, and more.

Read More
Emerald-Coast-Growers-Guide-Feature-Image

July 27, 2017

Emerald Coast Growers Offers Updated Guide on its Newes…

This year’s guide features new varieties while maintaining Emerald Coast’s ornamental grass program and expanding its perennial plants line.

Read More