Show Stoppers By Jasmina Radjevic and Tim Hodson

Last month, we shared with you some of the awesome merchandising, marketing, packaging and other sales concepts we learned about at the 2010 California Spring Trials. This month, we bring to
you some of the striking varieties that caught our eyes along the coast. Be on the lookout for these introductions in 2011.

Abutilon 'Lucky Lantern Tangerine'
We were first introduced to the Lucky Lantern series at last year's trials, where they were displayed on PlantHaven's "Visions of the Future" bench. We were happy to see these bell-shaped blooms as an official introduction this year. They offer a quick finish time and long retail shelf life. These plants are ideal for many gardening uses and applications.

Ageratum 'Diamond Blue'
Bred by Hem Genetics, ageratum 'Diamond Blue' is vigorous and produces strong branching. It shows great garden performance and is well suited for larger pots and landscapes.

Antirrhinum 'Rosey Dragon'
The Dragon series from Ecke Ranch represents three new upright growing snapdragons with open-faced flowers. And they smell great! These hardy plants bloom on into the heat of summer and still provide fragrance for home gardeners to enjoy.

Bacopa 'Scopia Double Blue'
The new Scopia Double series from Danziger includes three colors: White, Pearl and Blue. These decorative, large double flowers are outstanding performers in partial shade or full sunlight. They will look great in pots, hanging baskets and mixed containers.

Begonia 'Gryphon'
One of the most talked about new introductions this year, 'Gryphon', is a foliage begonia that combines majestic beauty with strength. This new variety from PanAmerican Seed will definitely make a dramatic statement at retail or in the garden, in mixed or combination containers. 'Gryphon' fits into existing begonia plug culture and is quicker to produce than vegetative foliage types.

Calibrachoa 'MiniFamous Compact Purple'
MiniFamous continues to play an important role in Selecta First Class' program. We loved the early blooming 'MiniFamous Compact Purple'. That bright color and mounding habit will make a bold statement in the garden. All of Selecta's MiniFamous Compact varieties are ideal for mono baskets and pots.

Calibrachoa 'Superbells Blackberry Punch'and 'Superbells Coralberry Punch'
Proven Winners has come up with an intense, unique color combination in 'Superbells Blackberry Punch' and 'Superbells Coralberry Punch'. This year's new Superbells Punch series is like last year's 'Pretty Much Picasso', only in calibrachoa form. Blackberry Punch boasts a rich, velvet-black throat on deep grape petals. Coralberry Punch has a reddish-black throat on coral-red petals.

Canna 'Tropical Bronze Scarlet'
American Takii achieved a breakthrough in cannas with 'Tropical Bronze Scarlet', the first bronze-leafed canna from seed. This extra-dwarf variety prefers warm, humid conditions and is water tolerant, so it can be used in and around ponds.

Coreopsis 'Coloropsis Salsa'
Skagit Gardens' new coreopsis series, Coloropsis, consists of three striking colors: Jive (white blooms with burgundy eye and orange center), Mambo (pale pink blooms with raspberry eye) and Salsa (golden yellow blooms with wide burgundy eye). These new varieties produce masses of flowers from early summer into fall, and thrive in full sun with minimal care.

Dahlia 'Dahlinova Hypnotica Rose Bicolor'
Fides North America introduced six new colors to its popular Dahlinova Hypnotica series, bringing the total to 11 colors. The new bicolored novelties were quite impressive. This uniform series is well branching and has a great habit. Only one cutting is needed per gallon container.

Dahlia 'Lucky Love'
The Lucky dahlias were one series at the GroLink location that stopped us in our tracks! The plants are uniform in habit and unique in color. These striped dahlias are very versatile, and the flowers don't get lost in the foliage.

Dianthus 'Diabunda Purple Picotee'
The Fleuroselect Industry Award winner 'Diabunda Purple Picotee' was definitely a sight to see in person at Syngenta Flowers. It is adaptable for production in small or large pots. These multibranched plants will present very well on retail benches.

Geranium 'Fusion Flame'
Ecke Ranch has added a brand new interspecific geranium to its lineup. 'Fusion Flame' features an intense, bright-red color — photos don't do it justice! This variety was designed to give growers a fast-growing, early-to-flower geranium for baskets, combination planters and pots that requires no PGR use.

Geranium 'Horizon Tangerine'
Three new colors have been added to Floranova's geranium Horizon series: Tangerine, Deep Red and Neon Rose. Horizon's small, neat foliage and large flowers on uniform flower stems make it an ideal choice for high-density production.

Gerbera 'Garvinea Lisa'
Florist de Kwakel introduced a unique selection of perennial gerbera this year with the Garvinea series. Uniform young plants come from tissue culture. Fourteen vibrant colors are offered. Garvinea varieties flower until late autumn and are winter hardy.

Gerbera 'Royal Deep Rose'
American Takii continues to develop its extraordinary gerbera line with the addition of Global Flowers' Royal series. New this year, 'Royal Deep Rose' has medium-sized flowers with attractive dark-green foliage. It also has a prostrate growing habit, which is important for the development of many buds.

Ipomoea 'Sweet Georgia Light Green'
GreenFuse Botanicals debuted a new line of sweet potato vine at this year's trials. The new company presented the Sweet Georgia ipomoea in six eye-catching colors: Bronze, Deep Purple, Light Green, Heart Light Green, Heart Purple and Heart Red. 'Sweet Georgia Light Green' really stood out, and it is more mounded than its predecessors.

Kalanchoe 'Romantic Rose'
The Greenex trial stop at Speedling always impresses us with its variety of Queen kalanchoe. Part of their WildFlowers collection, 'Romantic Rose' is a new addition for 2010-11 and boasts an interesting color and shape. The entire series can be enjoyed both indoors and outdoors.

Mandevilla 'Sun Parasol White'
The long-awaited addition to Suntory's Sun Parasol Original group debuted this year at the trials. It features a bushy habit with pure white flowers and a yellow throat. 'Sun Parasol White' boasts medium-sized flowers and glossy foliage, and it is a natural climber.

New Guinea Impatiens 'Magnum Lavender'
DŸmmen's new Magnum series stole a ton of attention at the breeder's Spring Trials site. These flowers were huge! Plants are strong, easy to grow and hold their color well. Six colors round up this series: Lavender, Blue, Salmon, Peach, Fire and White Blush.

Pansy 'Balconita Trailing Blue & White'
A revolutionary breakthrough, the Balconita series is the first truly vegetative trailing large-flowered pansy available on the market. Balconita is currently available through Oro Farms in five colors, with more to follow. Balconita varieties are great for early-season hanging basket production. They should be started early and grown cool for compact baskets.

Petunia 'Black Velvet'
Ball FloraPlant's 'Black Velvet' represents the world's only black petunia; it'll turn consumers' heads with its unique new color. Although beautiful as a standalone plant, it also partners well in combinations. 'Black Velvet' is adaptable to cold finishing programs with no PGRs needed if grown cool.

Petunia 'Novela Martha Washington Pink'
The newest addition to the Novela series from Oro Farms, Martha Washington Pink fits perfectly with all the unique varieties in the collection. It exhibits great production performance for premium baskets and tolerates various weather conditions.

Pot mum 'Cinnamon Pueblo'
The Yoder mums display at Syngenta Flowers' trial location showed a ton of stunning varieties. One of our personal favorites was 'Cinnamon Pueblo'. It features a daisy flower form and dark-orange flowers that complement the striking green eye. It has excellent color for year-round sales, especially for fall.

Verbena 'Tiara Lavender'
Cohen Nurseries introduced two new varieties to its Tiara verbena series. 'Tiara Lavender' and 'Tiara Bicolor Pink White' fit well with the series of single, large-sized flowers. They feature broad leaves with trailing habits.

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Jasmina Radjevic and Tim Hodson

Jasmina Radjevic is associate editor and Tim Hodson is editorial director of GPN. They can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.

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