Mar 7, 2016
Spring Trials Preview – Part 4 By Jasmina Dolce

As I write this, the sun is shining bright and it’s just about 60 degrees here in Chicago. Spring is on its way! And that also means the California Spring Trials are just around the corner … 31 days to be exact.

The participating breeders have so many new varieties and programs in the works, and they’ve been kind enough to share some of their newest introductions with me. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing some of these new introductions that will make their debut next month.

For those of you attending the trials, have you finalized your itinerary? If not, be sure to check out GPN’s Spring Trials Companion to help you plan your route.

But in the meantime, here’s a glimpse into what will be on display:

Heucherella ‘Plum Cascade’ (Terra Nova Nurseries)

Heucherella 'Plum Cascade' 14-05 copy

‘Plum Cascade’ is the latest addition to this fantastic group of groundcovers and basket spillers. It boasts a breakthrough color, is easy to grow and will add to Terra Nova’s existing line of trailing heucherellas.

Calibrachoa StarShine series (Selecta)

Calibrachoa 'StarShine Pink'

This new calibrachoa series features novelty colors that are truly striking in hanging baskets. StarShine has a stable star pattern and strong garden performance. It is grower friendly, too!

Begonia Sprint Plus series (Benary)

Beg Sprint Plus Series copy

The entire Sprint Plus series is 10 to 14 days earlier than competing varieties. It is bred for uniformity and timing across the series and within colors. It has reliable seed availability, great vigor as young plants, and even needs less PGRs.

Dianthus ‘Pinball Wizard’ (Plant Haven)

Pinball Wizard 2015

Not only is this eye-catching bloom a bold bicolor of crimson red and peppermint pink, but it is intensely fragrant and prolific. It is perfect for potted plants early in the season and also makes an outstanding perennial garden performer for the main spring selling season.

Gaillardia SpinTop series (Dümmen Orange)

Gaillardia 62456_SpinTop Yellow Touch_125 copy

SpinTop showcases large, dazzling blooms that do a great job at attracting pollinators. This exciting new series is first-year flowering, midsized in the landscape, and blooms continuously for lots of color and long-season interest.

Pericallis ‘Senetti Ruby Red’ (Suntory)

Senetti Ruby Red copy

‘Senetti Ruby Red’ is a breakthrough color. Deep red-wine flowers have solid colored petals and dark centers. Plants match the original Senetti series in growth habit, producing a high flower count.

Salvia ‘Killer Cranberry’ (Sunset Western Garden Collection)

Salvia Killer Cranberry

Masses of magenta flowers on tall spikes lure honeybees and hummingbirds. Introduced by Cultivaris, ‘Killer Cranberry’ features dense, fragrant foliage and drought resistance. It can be used in borders, garden beds and containers.

Veronica ‘Vernique Shining Sea’ (Green Fuse Botanials)


A new addition to the First Light Perennials collection, ‘Shining Sea’ is a unique new variety. It possesses medium-blue flowers, but a few white petals peek through the overall blue, giving it a bicolor effect. Like all Vernique veronica, it requires no vernalization to flower and is programmable.

Which varieties are you looking forward to seeing the most? What catches your eye when deciding on varieties to add to your production? Shoot me an email and let me know!

— Jasmina

Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at

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