Jan 23, 2019
A Sneak Peek at Spring Trials – Vol. 1 By Jasmina Dolce

Can you believe the 2019 California Spring Trials are almost here? In exactly two months, breeder companies from around the world will gather along the California coast to showcase their latest and greatest new variety introductions. It’s a great opportunity for growers, retailers, brokers and other industry folks to learn about what’s coming up the pipeline in order to start planning for next year and beyond.

Those two months will go by fast, so if you haven’t begun planning your journey through California just yet, now is definitely the time to start. With 18 stops and more than 50 exhibitors, creating an itinerary can be quit overwhelming. Luckily, you can schedule your Spring Trials appointments easily at www.springtrialsregistration.com.

In the meantime, I’d like to share some sneak peeks of some of the introductions you’ll see along the coast this year. The breeder companies have been kind enough to share some of their new varieties with me, so here’s a glimpse into the 2019 California Spring Trials.

Stay tuned, I’ll be sharing even more over the next few weeks.

Penstemon ‘Pentastic Blush’
Hishtil Nurseries

Penstemon Pentastic Blush - Hishtil

The Pentastic series shows tremendous results. No PGR is needed, and it presents a uniform growth habit and flowering. It has a long flowering season and big, bell-shaped flowers. ‘Pentastic Blush’ is a new color addition to the series.

Leucanthemum ‘Betsy’
Green Fuse Botanicals

Leucanthemum Betsy - Green Fuse Botanicals

‘Betsy’ is bred to be the largest shasta daisy ever! Flowers are 5 to 7 inches across. It is day length neutral and requires zero cooling, so it can be scheduled for any time of the year regardless of climate. ‘Betsy’ is hardy to Zone 4.

Petunia ‘Headliner Dark Saturn’
Selecta One

Petunia Headliner Dark Saturn - Selecta One

This new novelty in the Headliner series features a deep, velveteen purple center with a creamy yellow halo. These petunias make perfect baskets and pots, and boast early flowering for a fast finish with dramatic color.

Tagetes filifolia ‘Dropshot’
Hem Genetics

Tagetes Dropshot - Hem Genetics

Part of Hem Genetics’ Edible Ornamentals and Herbs program, ‘Dropshot’ is an interesting and very attractive annual herb that is part of the marigold family. It is utilized for its flavorful finely divided foliage that tastes like sweet anise. It is great for salads and can be used like tarragon for soups and seafood.

Pericallis ‘Senetti White’
Suntory Flowers

Pericallis Senetti White - Suntory Flowers

The new White color addition to Senetti provides contrast in the popular assortment. Flowers have white petals with striking dark blue-gray eyes. It thrives in cool conditions and matches the classic Senetti group.

Phlox ‘Opening Act Ultrapink’
Walters Gardens

Phlox Opening Act Ultrapink - Walters Gardens - Proven Winners

Ultrapink is a new member of the Opening Act series with fluorescent rose-pink flowers. It is an interspecific phlox that blooms over two weeks earlier than Phlox paniculata varieties. Its dark green, glossy foliage is disease resistant.

Will you be attending the California Spring Trials? If so, what are you most excited about seeing? What characteristics do you look for in new plant introductions? Shoot me an email at [email protected], and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

— Jasmina


Jasmina Dolce

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

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