Allan Armitage Picks His Favorites From Proven Winners, Danziger, and Syngenta During 2016 California Spring Trials
From “crazy” petunias to container pentas, there was plenty that caught my eye during the final day of 2016 California Spring Trials.
Heucherella ‘Red Rover’ (Proven Winners)
I believe that heucherella will be the next heuchera. Not that heuchera will disappear, but that as people continue to say “Please, not another heuchera!”, heucherella will take up some of the slack. They have already proven to be excellent landscape performers and can be efficiently and effectively produced. The Proven Winners perennial team showed off ‘Red Rover,’ and its large leaves and vigorous habit made me stop and stare.
Petunia Amoré Series (Danziger)
I am not sure how many more petunias America can stand before we collapse under their weight, but I have been saying that for 20 years, and here I am extolling another one. This series from Danziger is probably closest to the Crazytunias from Westhoff. I especially liked Queen of Hearts followed by Fiesta, but all colors appeared to be uniform and floriferous.
Pentas Falling Star Series (Syngenta)
I have always been a fan of pentas for its flower power and heat tolerance. This new series from Syngenta has taken pentas to another dimension, one that cascades from baskets and containers. I am not sure how this will be accepted in the marketplace, but its effectiveness as a spiller in mixed containers should give it traction.
Scaevola ‘Purple Haze’ (Danziger)
This selection by Danziger was by far the best fan flower I saw on the entire trip. It is vigorous, strong-stemmed, and absolutely packed with purple flowers. Need I say more? I think this is an outstanding addition to scaevola.
Cyperus ‘Prince Tut’ (Proven Winners)
The more grasses the better, and the more interesting the grass, the better it will sell. This selection of cypress grass from Proven Winners is a great addition to the “Tut” group, shorter than the King and taller than the Baby. Plants should perform well in most of the country, doing well in the ground or in mixed containers.
Pelargonium Calliope Medium Series (Syngenta)
I have no doubt that this will be a huge item. The standard Calliopes (now known as Large Calliope) from Syngenta have already proven their value, but with the more compact habit of the Medium Calliopes, their future is all but assured. This fine breeding brings growers and consumers an excellent improvement to an already outstanding plant.