2001 California Pack Trials Part I By Bridget White and Beth Meneghini

Variety Information

Ball FloraPlant

With 127 new varieties added to their line-up, Ball FloraPlant and Simply Beautiful have more introductions than could be covered in a brief description. Among those that will be most popular with growers are the following.

The ‘Double Wave’ series, with its vigorous habit and semi-double flowers, is sure to be popular with petunia lovers. The Double Wave series, which is not as vigorous as the ‘Wave’, features six colors: Lavender (shown), Misty Lilac, Pink (shown), Purple, Rose and White (shown).

Another popular series for Ball has been the ‘Luminaire’ trailing snapdragon series. Touted as the most vigorous trailing snap on the market, the Luminaire series adds four new colors (all shown) this year to its existing four colors. New colors are Bronze & Yellow, Deep Yellow, Hot Pink and Orange & Yellow.

If you thought impatiens couldn’t be new, wait until you see Ball’s new ‘Pixie Mini-Impatiens’ line. Boasting six colors – Burgundy Rose, Red, Red Bicolor, Salmon Orange, Rose Pink and Pink Bicolor (shown) – Pixie is loaded with petite blooms that make a big impact.

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To its existing line of ‘Crystal’ Phlox, Daehnfeldt adds the ‘Diamond’ series. Diamond phlox look more like traditional phlox in petal and leaf shape but offer a more solid petal bloom than other phlox varieties. Diamond phlox are available in seven colors – White with Carmine Eye, Pink, Coral, Rose with Lilac Eye, Red, Carmine Rose and Blue with Dark Eye – and a mix.

Daehnfeldt’s most notable Gerbera introductions for 2002 are in the mini varieties. To the single Deep Rose/Red Shades, Daehnfeldt adds three new colors – Rose Shades, Orange Shades and Yellow Shades (pictured on pg. 32) – and a mini mix (shown). In the full-sized ‘Festival’ Gerberas, Daehnfeldt has added a golden yellow with eye and improved the yellow and red varieties for habit.

The last bedding plant introduction Daehnfeldt offers for 2002 is a new color in its ‘Carnival Impatiens’ series. Carnival Lavendar Blue is an exciting introduction for Daehnfeldt because its color is very close to a true blue.

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EuroAmerican Propagators

Five new varieties join the Athens Select line for 2002. One standout is Heliotropium ‘Azure Skies’ (shown). This heat-tolerant heliotrope sports light lavender flowers in a low-growing, mounding habit.

Cuphea ‘Firefly’ brings its won’t-fade magenta flowers to the Athens Select lineup. The plant’s uniquely shaped blooms and non-stop color glow in the summer sky just like its namesake. Firefly will perform well in combinations or as a stand-alone plant.

EuroAmerican’s Texas Superstars are field-tested by the Texas A&M Agriculture Program. Petunia ‘Laura Bush’ (shown), named after the newest First Lady, is a vigorous grower with fragrant, violet flowers. A coleus, hamelia, lantana and phlox round out this series of heat lovers.

EuroAmerican has also partnered with Progeniflor to offer the best of the Great American Cities Rex Begonia series. Seven plants selected for their bright colors, uniformity and year round vigor will be offered. Each of the plants show an incredible range of vivid foliage colors and are excellent shade performers. Just a few of the offerings: ‘Denver Lace’, ‘Maui Mist’, ‘Chicago Fire’ and ‘New York Swirl’.

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Goldsmith’s new F1 hybrid ‘Kiss’ gazania series has a uniform and controlled plant habit – so growth regulators are not needed. Kiss sports large, daisy-like flowers on short, sturdy stems and forms full, beautiful bouquets. Kiss gazanias are available in seven colors – Bronze, Bronze Star, Golden Yellow, Orange, Rose, White and Yellow – and a formula mix (shown).

‘Ramblin” petunias are Goldsmith’s introduction into the trailing petunia market. Ramblin’ petunias flower two weeks earlier than competitive lines and are more compact and easier to maintain on the bench. All four colors in the Ramblin’ series – Burgundy Chrome, Nu Blue (shown), Peach Glo and Shades o’ Pink – are free-flowering, with flowers occurring over the entire plant, including the crown. Also available in a formula mix. In addition to the Ramblin’ series, Goldsmith has added a violet variety and improved the white variety of its ‘Ultra’ series. There are also two new colors, Light Lavender and Rose, in the ‘Fantasy’ series.

Goldsmith said they had substantial demand for their ‘Liberty’ series, hence the ‘Liberty Classic’ Hybrid Snapdragon series. Liberty Classic still offers sturdy, shapely 18- to 22-inch spikes and a broad color range of nine colors and a formula mix.

Goldsmith’s new Hybrid African Marigold series, ‘Inca II’, will also be a familiar series to growers. Inca II improves upon and replaces the ‘Inca’ series. Bred to be shorter (12-14 inches tall) and 7-10 days earlier than Inca, Inca II has a similar neat habit and large, fully double flowers on strong stems. Available in four colors – Gold, Orange, Primrose and Yellow – and a formula mix. Á

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The Flower Fields

The Flower Fields answers the consumer craving for variegated foliage with its new series of New Guinea impatiens. Gone are the small, scraggly flowers of the 1970s. The ‘Painted Paradise’ series features large, round flowers and excellent branching. Six colors – Red, Pink, Lilac, Deep Pink, Orange and White (shown) – create a striking contrast against the unique, variegated foliage.

Five new colors join the ‘Sun Chimes’ series of diascias: Peach, Blush, Blush Pink, Trailing Rose (shown) and Trailing Red (shown). These versatile plants thrive in any container, from 4-inch baskets to garden beds and borders. Sun Chimes’ large flowers bloom continuously from spring to fall. Shown are Trailing Rose and Trailing Red.

Sweet-smelling ‘Sachet’ Nemesias can be grown cold for early spring sales. These compact bloomers are ideal for small pots and add accent color. New this year are ‘Parfait Sachet’, with coral-rose flowers, ‘Plum Sachet’ and ‘Lilac Sachet’ (shown).

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Proven Winners

This year, Proven Winners is promoting a new series of fuchsias. ‘Shadow Dancers’ sport a compact, upright habit, perfect for baskets, pots or window boxes. ‘Shadow Dancer Betty’ has the fullest flowers in the series. Her blooms feature red sepals with a double white corolla. ‘Ginger’ adds a touch of pastel to the series with coral pink sepals and a single white corolla. ‘Marcia’ adds striking color contrast with brilliant red sepals, a magenta corolla and dark green foliage.

Several additions will join the ‘Supertunia’ family next spring. This line of industry favorites now boasts a series of fragrant doubles. Dark Blue (shown), Purple, Pink and Pink Veined have a dense trailing habit and an affinity for hot, sunny weather.

The new ‘Supertunia Minis’, White, Blue and Blue-Veined (shown), are a breakthrough in petunia breeding. A full-flowering habit and extreme weather resistance are packed into dainty blooms. They require no deadheading or pinching and will bloom through the fall.

Sometimes called creeping zinnias, sanvitalias are lush growers that thrive in full sun. ‘Sunbini’ (shown) is free-flowering and ideal for baskets and window boxes. Covered with dainty yellow flowers, Sunbini can take the heat of summer and keep right on blooming.Á

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S&G Flowers

S&G makes a new introduction with its Gazania ‘Gazoo’ series. The six colors of the Gazoo series – Clear Orange, Clear Yellow, Clear Vanilla, Orange with Ring, Red with Ring and Yellow with Ring – offer a unique, clear, non-striped flower. Plants are vigorous with large flower size.

Begonia growers will be glad to see the new color in S&G’s ‘Varsity Bronze Leaf’ series. Though not offering any new flower colors, the entire Varsity series has been improved for a truer bronze leaf color and for plant habit. The Varsity Bronze Leaf series is offered in Pink, Rose, Scarlet and White (shown). S&G is also introducing a new Bronze Leaf Bicolor in its ‘Eureka’ Begonia series.

While offering new colors in pansies, impatiens and petunias, S&G’s main introductions in these areas for 2002 will be in new mixes. Breeders have developed two new mixes in the popular ‘Cajun’ impatiens series: Blue Bayou Mix and Jambalaya Mix (shown). The ‘Impulse’ Impatiens series is adding Coral Reef Mix and Cool Water Mix. The ‘Delta’ Pansy series is adding Cool Water Mix, Tri-Color Mix and Monet Mix. And, in petunias, S&G has added ‘Bravo Cool Water Mix’, ‘Hurrah Parfait Mix’ and ‘Hurrah Coral Reef Mix’.

S&G’s verbenas are also making a big splash. A white variety (shown) has been added to the ‘Tukana’ series, four colors – Blue, Red, Purple and Carpet Blue – have been added to the ‘Babylon’ series, and Coral with Eye has been added to the ‘Obsession’ series.

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Growers who favor large-flowered pansies will be happy to hear that Sakata has improved its ‘Majestic Giants’ series and is relaunching the series as ‘Majestic Giants II’. Seven colors – Red with Blotch, Rose with Blotch, Yellow with Blotch, Ocean, Purple with Blotch (shown), Blue and White and White with Blotch – and a mix are offered in the series, which has been improved for earlier and longer lasting flowering.

The ‘Explorer’ series is Sakata’s entry into the spreading petunia market. According to Sakata, Explorer petunias are the earliest to flower in the spring and will continue to flower even under the short days of fall. Flowers are 2-3 inches wide and have a shiny, waxy texture that repels water. Available colors in the series are Rose Pink, White, Coral (shown) and Lavendar.

Sakata has also added a new series of F1 Ranunculus called ‘Bloomingdale’. The Bloomingdale offerings are all color mixes with 60-70 percent true bicolor and 30-40 percent solid colors. Colors include Rose Pink Bicolor Shades (shown), which ranges from white with rose pink edge to bright rose and pale pink; Blue Bicolor Shades, which ranges from white with deep blue edge to bluish white; Orange Bicolor Shades, which ranges from orange yellow with red edge to deep orange to pale peach; and Purple shades, which ranges from deep purple to light lavender.

Color offerings to existing pansy series include the 2001 AAS winner ‘Ultima Morpho’ (pictured on page 32); ‘Ultima Scarlet & Yellow’, which has a deep scarlet upper petal and a yellow lower petal; and ‘Regal Blue & White with Blotch’, which has deep blue lower petal, white upper petals and a dark blotch.Á

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The Antirrhinum F1 ‘Palette’ Series makes its introduction with a wide variety of colors: Bronze, Deep Rose, Lavender Eye, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow and a Formula Mix (shown). The Palette Series features dwarf plants that bloom early and continue flowering all season.

Takii’s new Dianthus Heritage series, all three colors of which were Fleuroselect winners, is expected to be a big success because plants bloom early, with a low temperature requirement to initiate flowering. Available in Rose Eye, Crimson, Purple and White, plants are “knee-high” with sturdy stems, allowing them to do double duty as cut flowers.

In pansies, Takii breeders focused their efforts on creating some popular solid colors for the ‘Iona’ series. New colors introduced this year are Yellow, White and Ocean (all shown), which is a bright blue-purple with blotch. Iona pansies sport medium to large flowers 3-3 1/2 inches in diameter.

Gardeners are demanding more scented flowers, and Takii has responded by expanding its fragrant Stock series, ‘Harmony’. New colors include White, Violet, which is a deep red-lavender, and Deep Rose ( all shown), which is a deep pink – almost a true red.

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Waller Genetics

With five new color introductions to its Panola ‘Panache’ F1 series – Rose with Blotch, Royal Purple, Orange, White and Yellow with Blotch (shown) – Waller’s combination viola and pansy line offers a variety of color. The Panola series has an early and uniform flowering time among colors (5-day window). Plants are vigorous, yet remain compact under a wide range of conditions. Panolas are free-flowering, resistant to stretch in warm climates and have high germination rates.

Waller’s Portulaca ‘Margarita’ F1 series has two new color introductions for 2002 – Apricot (shown) and Lemon – and a new Pastel Mix. The Portulaca Margarita series has a well branched, mounding habit that ships with ease. The Margarita series has large semi-double flowers that are early blooming and free-flowering.

Verbena ‘Calypso’ series is the first F2 verbena on the market. Seeds that germinate quickly and uniformly grow into vigorous seedlings. Available in three colors (see p. 80 for photo) – scarlet, white and scarlet with eye – and three color combinations, Calypso Verbenas grow 10-12 inches in height and spread 9-12 inches. With its semi-trailing habit, this series is ideal in pots, hanging baskets and garden beds. Proven drought resistance and tolerance to mildew.

Both the ‘Sorbet’ and the ‘Babyface’ F1 viola series are introducing new color varieties in 2001. Sorbet adds Antique Shades, a rich burgundy color; Black Delight, the only true black viola on the market; Black Duet, a combination black and purple; and Red Wing, which is a combination yellow and red. The Babyface series adds a new White (shown) and mix.

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