2012 Field Trials Reports: Colorado State University

Tecoma 'Bells of Fire'

Trial Manager: Dr. James E. Klett, Professor and Extension Landscape Horticulture Specialist, Colorado State University, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Campus Delivery 1173, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1173, [email protected]

Planting Dates: May 22, 25, and 31, and periodically through June 14.

Number of Entries: Approximately 1,100 varieties from twenty companies

Weather: Extremely hot and dry with days over 90°F in July, August and into September. Little to no rainfall from early July to mid-September. Many days the temperature reached 100°F.

Trial Website: www.flowertrials.colostate.edu

Best of Show: Dahlia ‘XXL Hidalgo’(Dümmen USA) This plant brings a unique class to the garden dahlia category and was a standout without special care. The flowers are relatively large and are noted for having a deep, rich “butter-French” color. Flowering started early and continued strong late into the season, complimented by the dark green foliage. This dahlia will add stature and glamour to the typical garden.

Best New Variety: Lantana ‘Luscious Berry Blend’ (Proven Winners) Besides the prolific flowering, this variety was an eye-catcher due to a beautiful blend of bright flower colors.  The plants had great vigor and formed a dense canopy. Another superior feature of this varieties is that it produces virtually no fruit or seeds and saves its energy for a constant show of blooms.

Best Novelty Plant: Tecoma ‘Bells of Fire’ (Plug Connections) Both the foliage and flowers of this plant have a very tropical look. Besides the unique appearance, flowering often begins as a small plant in the greenhouse and continues throughout the summer. The blooms are reminiscent of those on a trumpet vine. The flowers are quite showy and are an attractive blend of orange-red.

Top Performers

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Lemon Slice’ (Proven Winners)

Pelargonium ‘Caliente Fire’ (zonal geranium) (Syngenta Flowers)

Impatiens‘Impreza White’ (seed) (PanAmerican Seed)

Impatiens ‘Super Sonic Magenta 08’ (New Guinea impatiens) (Syngenta Flowers)

Petunia ‘Whispers Star Rose’ (vegetative spreading) (Syngenta Flowers)

Impatiens‘Sun Harmony Salmon’ (New Guinea impatients) (Danziger)

Verbena ‘Lanai Deep Purple’ (spreading) (Syngenta Flowers)

2012 “Best Of…” Winners

Best Angelonia: Angelonia ‘Carita Purple’ (Syngenta Flowers) This angelonia variety performed well in a container but looked remarkable in the ground. Outstanding features included the many flowers with a deep, rich purple color on an attractive, vigorous plant with good foliage color.

Best Argyranthemum: Argyranthemum ‘Everest’ (Danziger) Attractive blue-green foliage combined well with the large, white, daisy-like flowers. Blooming was strong and continued through the heat of the summer and late into the season. Plants were uniform in growth habit and slightly larger than most other argyranthemums.           

Best Begonia boliviensis: Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’ (Benary)
This begonia surprised some since it was grown in full sun during a very hot summer. Evaluators noted that it was “tougher than you think.” Not only did it survive these conditions, it thrived as evidenced by the robust, seed-grown plants and uniform growth habit. Flowering was strong through the season, and the blooms are a wonderful fiery shade of red-orange. Colorado’s higher light exposure makes the leaf become more bronze in color.

Best Begonia xhybrida: Begonia ‘Whopper Rose With Green Leaf’ (Ball Ingenuity) The adjective “whopper” used in the name is definitely not a misnomer. Its impressive overall vigor is immediately noticeable in the large, uniform growth habit as well as the sizeable flowers. Beautiful green leaves compliment the bright, rose-colored flowers. Plant growth excelled in full sun, and it is reported this variety does just as well in shade.

Best Calibrachoa:  Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Lemon Slice’ (Proven Winners) The Striking yellow and white bicolor pattern on the flowers is very showy even as a small plant in the greenhouse. Prolific blooming and good vigor made this variety very popular with evaluators, who also ranked it high for consideration for both “Best of Show” and “Best New Variety.”

Best Coleus: Plectranthus ‘Wasabi’ (Ball FloraPlant) Bright chartreuse foliage and a vigorous growth habit make this plant a standout from across the garden. Up close, the ruffled leaf edge adds some textural interest.  Its vigor was impressive, and it grew to be a large plant even in full sun.

Best Combo: Kwik Kombos Night in Pompeii (Syngenta Flowers) This combo has excellent balance in all areas, as no one plant dominated the other (lobelia, petunia, verbena). The striking color combination created a mysterious, moody appearance. A nice blend of large and small flowers makes this combo visually interesting as well. The growth habit is very symmetrical, and flowering occurs from the center all the way to the edge throughout the summer.

Best Diascia: Diascia ‘Darla Deep Salmon 11’ (Syngenta Flowers) Prolific blooming gave this variety an impressive canopy of salmon flowers throughout the summer despite the intense heat. Flower color remained steadfast in the full sun, and flowers were relatively large.

Best Ivy Geranium: Pelargonium ‘Grand Idols Purple’ (Fides Oro) Prolific, bright flowers combined nicely with the full plants and uniform growth habit. The unique flower color was more of a rose or neon pink than purple as described in its name.

Best Zonal Geranium: Pelargonium ‘Caliente Fire’ (Syngenta Flowers) Impressive color dominates this plant ― from the rich red flowers to the unusually dark green foliage. The color contrast is striking, but so is the prolific blooming and overall uniformity. It grew well despite a summer of unusually intense heat. The exceptionally good branching habit of this variety brings together its European and American breeding

Best Impatiens (seed): Impatiens ‘Impreza White’ (PanAmerican Seed) The floriferous, clean white flowers on this variety made an impressive display with the dark green foliage. Growth habit and flowering was very consistent on each plant. The variety is also noted for remaining manageable in greenhouse production as well as its ability to hold and not stretch in the pack.

Best Lantana: Lantana ‘Little Lucky Pot of Gold’ (Ball FloraPlant) The plants were dark green and loaded with rich, gold flowers, which created a magnificent contrast. The growth habit was very uniform. This plant was bred for borders and also makes an excellent groundcover.

Best Lobelia: Lobelia ‘Magadi Blue’ (Selecta) Despite two weeks of unexpected temperatures near 100°F in June, flowering remained strong even late into the season on this variety. Blue flowers had a small white eye that shows well with the dark green foliage. Plants had good vigor and no dieback.

Best Marigold: Tagetes ‘Christy Orange Improved’ (Ameriseed) Relatively large orange flowers were noted as being “super double” due to their high petal count. Short, compact plants with dark foliage not only contrasted nicely with the orange flowers but had the added feature of not lodging despite the overhead watering. This created a problem for some other marigold varieties.
 
Best Osteospermum: Osteospermum ‘Serenity Dark Purple’ (Ball FloraPlant) Rich, dark purple flowers were large and very showy. Blooming continued throughout an exceptionally long, hot summer. These healthy plants were noted for having a nice, tight growth habit.

Best New Guinea Impatiens:  Impatiens ‘Super Sonic Magenta 08’ (Syngenta Flowers) Beautiful, rich, red flowers had blue undertones that created a unique shade of magenta. Blooms were huge and very showy. The overall growth of the plants was large but had excellent uniformity.

Best Petunia (veg-mini): Petunia  ‘Littletunia Blue Vein’ (Danziger) This plant was characterized by prolific flowers that had attractive dark veins streaking through the petal. The plants were exceptionally vigorous and enveloped the container to create a “ball made of flowers.”

Best Petunia (veg-spreading):  Petunia‘Whispers Star Rose’ (Syngenta Flowers) Intense flowering resulted in blooms covering the plant to the point where you could hardly see any foliage. Flowers were a striking combination of white flowers with a rose “star” pattern. The plants were compact early on in the greenhouse but had exceptional vigor and uniformity in outdoor trials.

Best Petunia (seed-spreading):  Petunia ‘Trilogy White’ (American Takii) The prolific flowers had a crisp, clean white color making a striking display. The plants did not lodge and maintained a uniform, mounded growth habit. The blooms were relatively large.

Best Purslane/Portulaca: Portulaca ‘Happy Trails Deep Red’ (PanAmerican Seed) The flowers had a very deep red color with double petals. The plants were vigorous, taller than most varieties and had good foliage color.

Best Scaevola: Scaevola ‘Bombay Dark Blue’ (Syngenta Flowers) Dark blue flowers were very numerous throughout the season. Plants liked the unusually hot summer, and the growth habit remained tight and uniform.

Best New Guinea Impatiens For Sun:  Impatiens ‘Sun Harmony Salmon’ (Danziger) These plants were specifically bred for high sun tolerance, and many varieties in this category looked good. Despite the strong competition, ‘Sun Harmony Salmon’ was selected as the best for its abundant flowers and vigorous, yet uniform plants. It was impressive when grown either in the ground or in a container.

Best Torenia: Torenia ‘Summer Wave Large Amethyst’ (Suntory) These robust plants had green foliage that was dark and glossy. Abundant flowers were noted for having a deep blue amethyst color that made a nice contrast with the foliage.

Best Spreading Verbena: Verbena ‘Lanai Deep Purple’ (Syngenta Flowers)
Competition for the “Best Of” was quite intense in this category, but the abundant dark purple flowers won the day for this variety. The plants were vigorous, but very uniform and maintained good blooms throughout the season.

Additional Plants Rated as Superior in 2012

Lobularia ‘Lavender Stream’ (Danziger) This variety was a standout for its unique rich purple flower color. It was also chosen for its superior growth habit, which had excellent controlled vigor. Evaluators stated that it “plays well with others” and would not overgrow other plants in a border.

Ornamental Millet ‘Jade Princess’ (Ball Ingenuity) This was one of the most unique and eye-catching plants in the garden due to the large, fuzzy seed head. As the flower inflorescence emerges, the color begins with a rich maroon and chartreuse that matures into a solid dark maroon plume. The large fluffy flower panicle that emerges from the foliage brings to mind the image of a fox sneaking through tall grass. The foliage is a wide, chartreuse-colored leaf blade.

Leave a Reply

More From Variety Trials...

September 27, 2017

New Mum Intros From California Spring Trials 2017

For fall gardening product selection, you can't go wrong with offering mums. Here are a few of the new introductions that we saw at California Spring Trials 2017 that will be making their retail debut in 2018.

Read More

August 7, 2017

Standout Plants from the 2017 Ohio State University Field Trials

Cultivate'17 attendees had a chance to visit the annual and container trials at The Ohio State University to see how some of the newest plant introductions are performing. Here's some of the new plants that stood out.

Read More

April 18, 2017

Cool Combos From CAST 2017 – Editor’s Choice

With container gardening becoming more of a lifestyle among consumers than a trend, and breeders continuing to put more effort in container mixes and components, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't share some of the special combinations that not only caught my eye at California Spring Trials, but absolutely took my breath away and made me want to immediately get started gardening.

Read More
Latest Stories

September 27, 2017

New Mum Intros From California Spring Trials 2017

For fall gardening product selection, you can't go wrong with offering mums. Here are a few of the new introductions that we saw at California Spring Trials 2017 that will be making their retail debut in 2018.

Read More

August 7, 2017

Standout Plants from the 2017 Ohio State University Fie…

Cultivate'17 attendees had a chance to visit the annual and container trials at The Ohio State University to see how some of the newest plant introductions are performing. Here's some of the new plants that stood out.

Read More

April 18, 2017

Cool Combos From CAST 2017 – Editor’s Choic…

With container gardening becoming more of a lifestyle among consumers than a trend, and breeders continuing to put more effort in container mixes and components, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't share some of the special combinations that not only caught my eye at California Spring Trials, but absolutely took my breath away and made me want to immediately get started gardening.

Read More
Lupinus Staircase Series (Green Fuse Botanicals)

April 11, 2017

Begonias, Celosias Among Dr. Allan Armitage’s Favorites…

Check out some of Allan’s top picks from his final day at CAST 2017, which included visits to Green Fuse Botanicals and Floranova.

Read More
Rex Begonia container mix at Green Fuse Botanicals

April 11, 2017

Green Fuse Botanicals’ Rex Begonias and First Looks; Fl…

Here are the highlights from Green Fuse Botanicals and Floranova on the last day of CAST 2017.

Read More

April 7, 2017

Hort Couture Wows With Farm to Table; Florist Holland R…

On the last day for GroLink and the second to last for the Greenhouse Grower team, the wealth of genetics, marketing programs, and announcements were pleasing to our eyes, ears, and hearts.

Read More

April 7, 2017

California Spring Trials Day Five: Notable New Plant Va…

See some of the new varieties for 2018 displayed at Ball Horticultural and GroLink Plant Company on day five of California Spring Trials 2017.

Read More

April 7, 2017

PanAmerican Promotes Pentas, Plug-and-Play, and Veggies…

On Day 5 of the California Spring Trials, the Greenhouse Grower team hit the Southern California Trials and saw a multitude of new introductions and exciting programs.

Read More

April 7, 2017

CAST 2017: Musings of a California Spring Trials Rookie…

The number of opportunities presented to me are enough to make me rethink my location, but I still have a lot of big decisions to make for the future.

Read More

April 6, 2017

Dr. Allan Armitage’s Top Picks From Ball and GroL…

Here are Dr. Allan Armitage’s five variety picks, plus one display, from on Day 5 of CAST 2017.

Read More

April 6, 2017

Dümmen Orange Provides Retail Concepts; Terra Nova Offe…

Greenhouse Grower hit the Central Coast of California on our Day 4 of California Spring Trials, and what we saw was inspiring and exciting.

Read More

April 5, 2017

California Spring Trials Day Four: New Plant Intros fro…

The Greenhouse Grower team saw loads of memorable plants during day four, as it visited Dümmen Orange, Chisan Orchids, and Windmill Nursery. Dümmen had several notable introductions, including Wild Romance New Guinea impatiens in Blush Pink and White, which inspired the theme of its displays. One of the standout displays was its perennial combos with some new leucanthemum additions. Chisan Orchids in Los Alamos, CA, with Israeli breeders Hishtil, Jaldety, and Cohen Propagators, was a new stop on the route this year. Hishtil has a new gaura series out that includes a compact, low-growing variety, ‘Baby,’ with a mass of pink blooms. Cohen displayed Verbena ‘Mickey Red Rose,’ a unique bi-color that looks like a mixed combo, and Jaldety featured an interesting Cyperus prolifera. Windmill Nursery was the last stop of the day, with breeders Terra Nova Nurseries, Kientzler, J. Berry Nursery, and KiwiFlora. Terra Nova had several new heuchera for show, including ‘Onyx,’ which is a mounding, […]

Read More

April 5, 2017

CAST 2017: Musings of a California Spring Trials Rookie…

Set-aside all the varieties - I have come to the realization that being a grower is where I belong.

Read More

April 4, 2017

California Spring Trials Day Three – New Intros f…

Check out some of the great new plant introductions for 2018 the Greenhouse Grower team encountered on day four of California Spring Trials 2017.

Read More

April 4, 2017

Takii’s New Breeding Efforts; Sakata Seed America Turns…

Day three on the trail took us to the last three stops in the north, American Takii, Sakata Seed America, and Floricultura, which showcased a number of companies.

Read More

April 4, 2017

CAST 2017: Musings of a Spring Trials Rookie – the Last…

Although there are so many companies in this business, it still seems like we are all part of the same team. We strive to find solutions to the problems we share. We all get worked up over each other’s introductions. But what’s most exciting is that we all make the future of horticulture something to write home about.

Read More

April 3, 2017

Pacific Plug and Liner Highlights Camp Perennial, Growe…

Greenhouse Grower's second day of California Spring Trials 2017 offered some interesting new marketing efforts. Here's a look at what we saw, and what you need to know.

Read More

April 3, 2017

Benary is the Talk of the Trials

Benary changed the game this year, in a few different ways. From the new distribution announcement, connecting virtual reality with gardening to social media, drones, and helicopters, day 2 of CAST was a wild ride.

Read More