2012 Field Trials Reports: Dallas Arboretum

Celosia 'Intenz'

Trial Managers: Jimmy Turner, Senior Director of Gardens, 8617 Garland Rd., Dallas, Texas, 75218, jturner@dallasarboretum.org

Jenny Wegley, Senior Research and Greenhouse Manager, 8617 Garland Rd., Dallas, Texas, 75218 jwegley@dallasarboretum.org

Field Trial location(s): Dallas Arboretum, Dallas, Texas

Date planted: Week 19 (May 7 to May11)

Number Of Entries: More than 3,300 entries for spring and summer trials)

Trial Website: www.dallasplanttrials.org, www.dallasarboretum.org, www.FlameProofPlants.org

Weather: We caught a break this year compared to our triple-digit heat of last year. We had no record-setting triple digits this year. Overall, our summer was very pleasant and mild. We did hit over 100°F on several occasions, but nothing like the summer of 2011. The one factor that did do damage to some material was our lower humidity at the peak of our summer. This caused burn and stress on several cultivars.

Pest/disease outbreaks:  No signs of disease or pests with these trials.                                        

Unusual occurrences: Low percentage of humidity throughout our summer.

Top Performers

1.  Catharanthus ‘Cora Cascade Strawberry’ (vinca) (Goldsmith Seed)

This new color in the ‘Cora Cascade’ series adds a wow factor to a series that already stands out.  A dark pink flower with a darker center trails about 2.5 feet long. ‘Cora Cascade Strawberry’ is a constant bloomer throughout the summer heat. Plant in a hanging basket to achieve the total affect. This cultivar performs like others in the series with 100 percent germination and less than six weeks to finish in a 4-inch container.

2.  Celosia ‘Intenz’ (Ball Ingenuity)

This new celosia has multiple points of interest. Dark green leaves with bright purple blotches compliment electric-pink flower spikes. ‘Intenz’ did take a short break in the extremes of our summer. Once the night temperatures cooled down, it re-bloomed. It was very quick to root from a plug and it filled out a 4-inch or quart container in 3-5 weeks. ‘Intenz’ looked awesome in retail containers, but performed exceptionally well in-ground.

3.  Gazania ‘Gazoo’ series (Goldsmith Seed)

There’s nothing like a great gazania to spice up a spring landscape. ‘Gazoo’ is a seed variety with baseball-sized flowers that come in orange, red and yellow with solid center as well as orange, red and yellow with darker-colored bordered centers. This series will last all summer long if you plant in early to mid-spring to allow the roots to establish before the extreme heat starts. Feed on a regular basis so chlorosis does not occur. ‘Gazoo’ has a very high germination percentage, takes less than a month on the mist tables and is five weeks to finish in a 4-inch container.

4. Acalypha ‘Tiki Tropical Tempest’ (Plug Connection)

What a perfect foliage plant for any landscape! Lime- to dark-green large leaves cover this compact 4-foot tall specimen. Plant in full sun in the landscape or in a container. It is very easy to root from a plug and fills out a one-gallon pot in 6 to 8 weeks.

5.  Heliotropium ‘Simply Scentsational’ (Proven Winners)

We have had little success with heliotrope in our past trials, but ‘Simply Scentsational’ is what it says — sensational and scented. One plant can reach 2 feet across, and mild blue flower panicles cover this plant all summer long. The hotter it is the better! This is a very easy plug transplant and will finish in a quart in about 3 to 5 weeks.

6.  Begonia semperflorens Heat Elite series (Michell’s)

Begonias can be the best or worst-looking plant in your garden. The Heat Elite series will get your early spring landscape off to a fast start. This is a very vigorous seed variety that blooms in early spring. It will continue until the temperatures are constantly above 100°F. This series is available in deep rose, rose, white, pink, red, scarlet or a mix. This is still a B. semperflorens, but it does not have the meatball look often seen with this species. There was some inconstancy in germination percentage and it still takes forever and a day on the mist table, but this series out-performed the competition in the landscape. The fast growth and large size of this series are best showcased in pots larger than 4 inches on the retail shelf.

7.  Ageratum ‘Blue Diamond’ (Hem Genetics Seed)

Ageratum does one of two things for us — lives or dies. There are only a few cultivars that have worked well for us in the past; we will now add ‘Blue Diamond’ to this list. ‘Blue Diamond’ has a compact habit that does not lodge in the middle summer. The leaves stay a dark green and do not fade with high temperatures. ‘Blue Diamond’ has a perfect height; at 18 inches tall, it is great for the front or the back of your landscape and is covered in purple-blue button flowers. We had 100 percent germination this season. It was on the seed table for less than a month and finished in a 4-inch pot in less than 5 weeks.

8.  Salvia splendens Sizzler series (Floranova)

This is a great plant — a perfect series for early spring color in part sun. ‘Sizzler’ comes in a wide range of colors. Several of the cultivars have bicolor-bracts, which create exciting color contrasts in the landscape. Sizzler had nearly a 100-percent germination with all of its cultivars. It was very quick on the mist table — less than a month, and finished in a 4-inch pot in less than 4 weeks.

9.  Pelargonium Tornado series (Goldsmith Seed)

Pelargonium varieties have come a long way regarding heat tolerance. Several years ago, we could not get one to last until mid- June. We are seeing the majority of heat tolerance in the vegetative series. Tornado is a seed series that out-performed most pelargonium series this year in our trials. Tornado is an ivy geranium that comes in a variety of colors. This series had close to 100-percent germination and finished in 6 weeks in a 4-inch container.

10. Hibiscus ‘Mahogany Splendor’ (PanAmerican Seed)

This is another one of those plants that does not need to flower to create a focal point in your landscape. This dark burgundy, 5-foot tall hibiscus is perfect for the landscape or a large pot. The maple-shaped leaves are very attractive and stand out from a distance. ‘Mahogany Splendor’ is a seed-grown variety that is relatively quick on the tables and has a high germination percentage.


Leave a Reply

More From Variety Trials...

July 28, 2015

J.R. Peters’ Founder Dies At 97

J.R. Peters announced that its founder, Robert (Bob) Peters has died. Here is how his family and coworkers honored him: It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Robert (Bob) Peters, 97 years old, founder of the Robert B Peters Company. Our mentor, father and grandfather passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on July 18 in Allentown, Pa. He was a true floriculture chemist who designed and formulated the earliest Peters Fertilizer Products that still carry his name today. Born October 12, 1917 in Hanover, Pennsylvania, he was the oldest of 6 brothers. He made his home in Allentown where he started his first business, Peters Horticultural Services, in his mother’s garage in 1947. Bob was happily married for over 50 years and has 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. His passion for plant nutrition began in 1947 after he completed his service in […]

Read More
2016 SHSG covers.indd

July 28, 2015

SHS Griffin Releases 2016 Catalog In Print And Expanded Digital Formats

SHS Griffin has announced the release of its annual seed and plant catalog for the 2015-16 season. Available in both print and digital formats, the 2016 catalog features more than 400 new and improved varieties from the industry’s leading breeders. The 262-page print catalog covers the company’s full seed portfolio — more than 3,400 cultivars of annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, herbs and vegetables. From the SHS Griffin vegetative offering, the complete spring-annual assortment from Syngenta Flowers is featured, alongside new introductions and top sellers from nine top suppliers such as Proven Winners, Dümmen Orange and Suntory. More than 120 vegetative perennials from Syngenta Flowers are also included, including several SHS Griffin exclusives. The SHS Griffin 2016 digital catalog includes all of the product information and photography from the print edition, and more. For the first time, SHS Griffin has added a range of digital-only bonus content: detailed crop culture, quick […]

Read More
Cal-Poly fields

July 28, 2015

Cal-Poly To Preserve Campus Agricultural Land

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo will no longer consider development of nearly 43 acres of prime agricultural land just west of its campus core, as the university proceeds with the two-year process of updating its campus master plan. In May, the university had released an update to its Master Plan that indicated that almost all of its orchards, horticulture facilities and field sites may be repurposed for future development of university housing and other campus infrastructure. Most of the land in question is classified Class 1 farmland. The acreage is used now for lemons, grapevines, mandarin oranges, a deciduous orchard and silage for the university’s livestock. The proposed changes would have directly affected the current orchard plantings and other long term plans for the department, according to a letter from Scott Steinmaus, the horticulture and crop science department head. Steinmaus encouraged industry members to submit their comments to the university. An […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Medal of Excellence Award

July 6, 2015

Get To Know The 9 Variety Finalists For Editor’s …

Greenhouse Grower‘s Evening Of Excellence reception is rapidly approaching. Here, you can learn more about the varieties that are finalists for the Medal Of Excellence Editor’s Choice and Industry’s Choice Breeding Awards. Thank you to the 2015 sponsors of Greenhouse Grower‘s Medal Of Excellence Awards, Landmark Plastic, Nufarm and Stockosorb. Editor’s Choice Asclepias ‘Monarch Promise’ (Hort Couture) Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Salvia Grandstand Series (Green Fuse Botanicals) Scabiosa ‘Kudos Pink’ (Hishtil Nurseries) Industry’s Choice Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Bidens BeeDance Series (Suntory Flowers) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Lobelia ‘Starship Deep Rose’ (Kieft Seed) Vinca Valiant Series (PanAmerican Seed)     Join us Monday, July 13 in Ballroom 2 at the Columbus Convention Center to find out which varieties will receive the coveted awards. The reception begins at 5:15 p.m. and the ceremony […]

Read More

June 17, 2015

Green Leaf Plants Plans Two Open House Events June 25-2…

Green Leaf Plants will hold two open house events this summer to give the public a chance to view trial gardens, take guided tours and learn about new varieties and programs. Both events will be held at Green Leaf Plant's facility in Lancaster, Pa. The event in July will coincide with Penn State University Extension Trials in nearby Manheim.

Read More
Gazania hybrid 'Amber Ice' (Cultivaris)

April 17, 2015

The 80/20 Theory Approach To Inventory Selection Is Put…

Tim Runte of Calloway Gardens is a member of Greenhouse Grower's Medal Of Excellence For Industry's Choice Panel. Here, he shares how he determines which plants shown at this year's California Spring Trials will make the cut at his retail stores.

Read More
Dummen_SunStandingseries_Salmon Pink1

April 15, 2015

Dümmen Group Updates Confetti, Debuts New Mixes And Con…

At two separate locations, the Dümmen Group presented its new take on several lines of plant genetics from the many companies under its brand umbrella. For the second year at Edna Valley Vineyards in San Luis Obispo, the Dummen Group presented new varieties of Red Fox plants, along with the HGTV HOME Plant Collection. Meanwhile, Dummen Group held its second trial location about 30 minutes up the road, at BarrelHouse Brewery in Paso Robles. Both locations were beautiful settings, but the vineyard provided especially lovely panoramic views through the tasting room window.

Read More

April 15, 2015

McHutchison’s Vaughn Fletcher Reviews New Offerin…

Vaughn Fletcher with McHutchison Horticultural Distributors is part of Greenhouse Grower's Medal Of Excellence For Industry's Choice Panel. Fletcher recounted some of the standout varieties he saw while visiting Suntory Flowers and Westhoff during California Spring Trials.

Read More
PAC Elsner_Pelargonium 'Bermuda Pink'

April 15, 2015

Kientzler Makes First Independent Display At Spring Tri…

The Spring Trials exhibit at Windmill Nursery in Buellton is a fairly new location as of 2014, and it continues to evolve, with a number of new suppliers presenting their wares. Kientzler, Terra Nova Nurseries and PAC-Elsner presented new varieties while McConkey, Pelemix and Dramm promoted their products.

Read More
Hort Couture_Asclepias Monarch's Promise

April 15, 2015

Hort Couture Boosts Butterflies With ‘MonarchR…

The new milkweed 'Monarch's Promise' aims to improve butterflies' forage options, and it's already working. Plus, chck out the action from GroLink's 11 displaying companies.

Read More
Costa Farms' Season Premier 2015

February 4, 2015

Costa Farms’ 2015 Season Premier Reveals Newest V…

The annual Season Premier at Costa Farms in Miami, Fla., is the industry's very first peek at new varieties for debut the following year, even before the California Spring Trials, heralded widely as the jumping off point for new varieties. This year's event revealed breeders' best and brightest new varieties for 2016, shown in field trials, landscape trials and containers at Costa Farms tropical trial gardens. Plant breeders presented their new varieties to buyers and members of Lowe’s grower panel. Growers, brokers and other allied industry members, including Home Depot growers and buyers, were also able to peruse the grounds to see how the new varieties fared in the winter trials. Later this season, the hot and humid conditions at Costa’s summer trials will help identify the true performers.

Read More

January 28, 2015

All-America Selections Introduces Additional 2015 Winne…

All-America Selections has announced more 2015 AAS Winners, bringing the grand total of introductions for the 2015 gardening year to 25. The seven winners join the 12 announced last November and six announced last July. This year, AAS has had the most winners in one year since 1939.

Read More

November 24, 2014

Succulents And Miniatures Offer Variety And Easy Growi…

Succulents and miniatures are great starter plants for brown-thumb gardeners. They deliver visual appeal, color and texture without a fuss. Here are some of the newest varieties on the market.

Read More

November 18, 2014

2014 Field Trials Results: Best Of Show Varieties [Slid…

Find out which varieties made Best of Show at the 2014 Field Trials.

Read More

November 14, 2014

University of Florida Poinsettia Trials Will Be Held De…

Poinsettia trials event at the University of Florida will be held on December 9 in Gainesville, Fla.

Read More

November 14, 2014

University Of New Hampshire Hosts 2014 Poinsettia Trial…

The University of New Hampshire will host 2014 Poinsettia Field Trial Open House at its Macfarlane Greenhouses facility on December 4 to 6.

Read More

November 4, 2014

2014 Field Trials Results

Greenhouse Grower asked trial managers to share their top performers this year. See which varieties were true standouts.

Read More

November 4, 2014

2014 Field Trials Results: Welby Gardens (Denver, Colo.…

Check out Greenhouse Grower's 2014 Field Trials Results for Welby Gardens in Denver, Colo.

Read More

November 4, 2014

2014 Field Trials Results: Texas A&M AgriLife Resea…

Check out Greenhouse Grower's 2014 Field Trials results for Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Overton, Texas.

Read More

November 4, 2014

2014 Field Trials Results: Oklahoma State University (S…

Check out Greenhouse Grower's 2014 Field Trials results for Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla.

Read More

November 4, 2014

2014 Field Trials Results: Colorado State University (F…

Check out Greenhouse Grower's 2014 Field Trials results for Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

Read More