Cornell University 2016 Field Trial Results

Cornell University 2016 Field Trial Results

Trial manager Kendra Hutchins reported that it was an unusual summer in Ithaca, NY, for the Cornell University field trials. Starting in March and continuing through the summer, the trials had lower than normal precipitation levels. By July, the accumulated departure from normal precipitation values was -6.75 inches.

Given the severe drought conditions, Cornell University issued a water use restriction. Although the trials continued to be watered (with non-potable water, in accordance with University restriction measures), the conditions at the trial site were quite a bit different from normal, and some of the 150+ varieties trialed did not fare so well this year. Other plants, however, thrived despite the hot, dry conditions, and these tended to be the favorites at Cornell University’s Field Day in August.

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Ten Top Performing Varieties/Series:

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Pomegranate Punch’ and ‘Grape Punch’ (Proven Winners)
Artemisia ‘Quicksilver’ (Proven Winners/EuroAmerican Propagators)
Marigold ‘Taishan Yellow,’ ‘Taishan Gold,’ and ‘Taishan Orange’ (Ball Ingenuity)
Alternanthera ‘Purple Prince’ (PanAmerican Seed)
Alyssum ‘North Face White’ (Floranova)
Solenostemon ‘French Quarter’ (Ball FloraPlant)
Marigold ‘Cheerleader Gold’ and ‘Cheerleader Orange’ (Floranova)
Petunia ‘ColorRush Blue’ (Ball FloraPlant)
French Marigold ‘Fireball’ (PanAmerican Seed)
Cyperus papyrus ‘Prince Tut’ and ‘King Tut’ (Proven Winners)

Consumer Favorites:

Arygyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ and ‘White Butterfly’ (Proven Winners)
Ageratum ‘Cloud Nine Rose’ (Floranova)
Catharanthus ‘Soiree Kawaii Coral’ (EuroAmerican Propagators/Suntory Flowers)
French Marigold ‘Strawberry Blonde’ (PanAmerican)
Pelargonium ‘Timeless Lavender Improved’ (Proven Winners)
Solenostemon ‘French Quarter’ (Ball FloraPlant)

Trial Manager Kendra Hutchins’ Personal Favorites:

Zinnia elegans ‘Solmar Rose’ (Floranova): “This cultivar did very well throughout the trial period, producing bloom after long-lasting bloom. The rose color is my favorite color in the Solmar series; the cheerful pink contrasts with the green foliage in a fetching way.”

Petunia ‘Supertunia Picasso in Purple’ (Proven Winners): “Although I can’t say that petunias are my favorite flower, I love this vigorous, floriferous variety for its unique flower color, which grew on me (so to speak). This particular cultivar is the best in the Picasso series that I’ve seen, producing mounds of color.”

Lantana camara ‘Lucky Red’ (Ball FloraPlant): This cultivar started off a little straggly, but became a favorite by the end of the season. The color combination is jaunty; between the colorful blooms and the textured foliage, ‘Lucky Red’ provides plenty of visual interest.