Top Performing Plant Varieties from 2017 Field Trials

Each year, Greenhouse Grower asks field trial managers across the country to share their results with us, including how weather affected their trials, new ideas they tried, and the varieties that made their top performer, best of show, and consumer favorite lists.

This year, wild swings in weather, from heat waves and unseasonably cool weather to gale-force winds and pounding rains, kept field trial managers on their toes, but overall most of the sites came through just fine.

Thirty-five varieties appeared on Top Performer lists more than once this year, with Salvia ‘Mystic Spires Improved’ (Ball FloraPlant) and Alternanthera ‘Purple Prince’ (PanAmerican Seed) appearing at least five times. Petunia ‘ColorRush Pink’ (Ball FloraPlant), and Petunia ‘Supertunia Lovie Dovie’ (Proven Winners) appeared on Best of Show lists four times.

Keep in mind that this is a non-scientific poll, because not every location trialed every variety, and plants listed here are in no particular order, as many of them are not ranked specifically. Also, not all of the top performer varieties are listed.

Trial Managers Trying New Things

Trial managers were more adventurous this year and added several new projects. Oklahoma State University started no-till trials for its in-ground plants. Michigan State University added succulent trials, and The Ohio State University trialed in real time with Virtual Reality. University of Wisconsin’s faculty used its trials to promote special topics, such as ceremonial tobacco for the Ojibe tribe and screening onions for flavor by local chefs.

This slideshow includes some of the varieties featured on field trial gardens top performer lists, and you’ll find plenty more trial information from universities, public gardens, and grower trials across the U.S. under the Varieties tab on GreenhouseGrower.com.

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...

April 19, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Intros from Syngenta Flowers, Hishtil, Jaldety, Cohen Propagators, Bailey Nurseries, and More

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Syngenta Flowers, Hishtil, Jaldety, Cohen Propagators, Nir Nursery, Bailey Nurseries, and Sunset Western/Southern Living Plants.

Read More

April 19, 2018

CAST 2018: Dr. A’s Favorites From Syngenta Flowers, Bailey Nurseries, and More

From an exciting perennial to a new white begonia, Allan Armitage says these showstoppers deserve recognition.

Read More
GG-and-Benary-Team

April 19, 2018

Spring Trials Rookie Inspired by Connections

The Allan Armitage Scholarship recipient has added a number of industry connections during his time at California Spring Trials, and discusses what that means to him and his career.

Read More