2018 Southwest/West Floriculture Field Trials: Colorado State University

Colorado State University’s (CSU) showcase garden in Fort Collins, CO, is home to its annual flower trials, which this year included around 1,100 different varieties from 25 participating companies.

Trial Manager Jim Klett, Professor and Extension Landscape Horticulturist at CSU, says the trials got off to a bit of a shaky start when a bad hail storm on May 22 required the replanting of some of the containers trials. June and July were polar opposites this year. June had cooler temperatures and some moisture, while July temperatures were very warm with many days above 90°F. August exhibited some moisture the first two weeks, then the weather was pretty typical for the season. September was unseasonably warm and broke records after many days of warmer temperatures hovering at 90°F. The moisture during the year


Most judging for the trial was done electronically on cell phones and tablets and that worked well for most attendees. Attendees liked  the method and saved a lot of time in determining Best Of’s for the second evaluation of the plants held on September 11, 2018. Klett says it was difficult to choose the Best of Show variety.

Best of Show

Salvia ‘Big Blue’

Best New Variety

Rudbeckia ‘Rising Sun AS Chestnut Gold’

Best Novelty

Artemisia ‘Makana Silver’

 Top Performing Varieties

Angelonia ‘Archangel Raspberry’
Begonia semperflorens (Shade) ‘Megawatt Pink Bronze Leaf’
Celosia ‘Kelos Fire Scarlet’
Coleus ‘FlameThrower  Serrano’
Dahlia ‘Temptation Orange’
Geranium (interspecific) ‘Caliente Coral Salmon’
New Guinea Impatiens ‘Sun Harmony Blushing Orchid’
Petunia (seed) ‘Easy Wave  Silver’
Verbena ‘Lanai Upright Twister Watercolor’
Vinca ‘Tattoo  Papaya’

Consumer Choices

Coleus ‘Premium Sun Mighty Mosaic’
Dahlia ‘XXL Tabasco’
Canna ‘Cannova Bronze Scarlet’
Celosia ‘Dracula’
Lantana ‘Lucky Sunrise Rose’

Best of Cool Season

Best of Show Pansy – ‘Freefall XL Purple Face’

Best of Cool Season

Best of Show Pansy – ‘Freefall XL Purple Face’
Best Purple/Blue Pansy ‘Pansy Inspire Plus Blue Blotch’
Best Light Blue Pansy – ‘Inspire Plus Marina Improved’
Best White Pansy – ‘Cats White’
Best Yellow Pansy – ‘Spring Matrix Yellow Improved’
Best Novelty Pansy – ‘Cats Purple & White’
Best of Show Viola – ‘Endurio Blue Yellow with Purple Wing’
Best Light Blue Viola – ‘Bel Viso Marina Improved’
Best Yellow Viola – ‘Bel Viso Yellow’
Best Purple Viola – ‘Admire Deep Purple’

CSU also has a three-year perennials trial underway. Check its website to see the results when their posted.

2017 Colorado State University Field Trials Results