Feb 12, 2013
Spring Trials Sneak PeekBy Jasmina Dolce

With the 2013 California Spring Trials beginning in just less than two months, I figured now would be a good time to share some sneak peeks with you. Hopefully those of you who will be attending have all your travel plans in order. If you have yet to plan your trip, though, feel free to use our digital 2013 California Spring Trials Companion to help with all your planning needs. You can also go to www.californiaspringtrials.com to view a directory of all exhibitors including contact information, directions and maps for each trial location.

You can now also use OFA’s new central reservation system (www.horticultureevents.com/CAST) to book your Spring Trials appointments. Attendees can arrange appointments through the website to create personalized itineraries which can be printed or viewed via a mobile site.

I’ve been in touch with some of the breeders exhibiting at the 2013 California Spring Trials, and they were kind enough to share some of their new introductions with me. Here’s a glimpse into what will be on display at a few trial locations. Keep in mind, this is only a handful of the new varieties that will be on display at the trials. Be on the lookout for my next newsletter where I’ll share even more sneak peeks with you!

Mandevilla ‘Sun Parasol Red Emperor’ (Suntory Flowers)

As part of the Giant group of Sun Parasols, Red Emperor boasts even more large flowers than Giant Crimson in a vibrant, bright red. The Sun Parasol Giant series boasts the biggest flowers (3 to 5 inches each), vigorous growth and superb disease resistance. This premium beauty is perfect for trellises and is extremely heat tolerant.

Verbena Enduro Series (Ball FloraPlant)

The new Enduro series is ideal for summer production – it won’t flush out of flower in the heat. This is a vigorous and hardy landscape verbena in an upgraded purple color and two more new colors. Finished height is 8 to 12 inches and it spreads 18 to 24 inches.

Gerbera ‘Garvinea Sweet Honey’ (Florist Holland)

This year is particularly special for Florist Holland as the National Garden Bureau declared 2013 the “Year of the Gerbera.” Garvinea is a remarkable series of garden plants with an extraordinary and unique feature: continous outdoor flowering from early spring until the first frost. ‘Garvinea Sweet Honey’ is one of the four new colors in the series.

Gomphrena Pinball Series (Sakata)

As the first vegetative gomphrena on the market, Pinball stands apart with its strong mounding habit and vibrant color for higher retail sell-through. The unique texture and continuous flowering make Pinball an ideal component plant for mixed containers. Three colors are availble: Purple, White and Snow-Tip Lavender (pictured).

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Pomegranate Punch’ (Proven Winners)

This new variety offers great deep rose-red blooms with a prominent black-red center, and the same Superbells heat tolerance and disease resistance growers and retailers expect. The deep bicolor blooms of Pomegranate Punch will add drama and depth to any combination container. This full sun variety will reach a height of 6 to 10 inches and will spread 12 to 24 inches.

Osteospermum ‘White Lightning’ (Burpee Home Gardens)

The new White Lightning spring daisy can grow in any climate. It is a beautiful, traditional white daisy flower that tolerates heat, rain and cold for three-season shelf life. It has a habit/performance similar to osteospermum ‘Voltage Yellow’.

What do you think of these new introductions? Are you attending the 2013 California Spring Trials? If so, what are you most excited about seeing? What plant characteristics stand out to you? Shoot me an e-mail at [email protected] I’d love to hear from you.

– Jasmina

P.S. Have you read my article in the February issue of GPN yet? I wrote about my experience in Costa Rica while I participated in Florexpo Week. Click here to learn about Florexpo’s production protocols, as well as the company’s new programs and varieties.

Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at [email protected]

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