Oct 13, 2020
2021 Standouts at CSU By Jasmina Dolce

Colorado State University hosts one of the country’s most extensive flower trials each year, with 22 participating breeders and more than 1,000 varieties in sun and beds as well as containers. This was the 26th year of the summer trial, and GPN contributor Vaughn Fletcher visited the garden the last week of July to evaluate the new 2021 introductions.

In his October article, “Bold and Bright 2021 Annual Introductions,” Vaughn highlights selections he observed at CSU that displayed color saturation, exceptional vigor, floriferousness and overall vibrancy.

He says, “This trial site is unique because of high altitude, intense solar radiation, low humidity levels, and wide day and night temperature fluctuations. These climate conditions impact the hue, value and chroma of flowers resulting in intense colors.”

Below are some of the standouts from the trial. To read Vaughn’s full evaluation, click here.

Calibrachoa ‘Calitastic Raspberry’

Calibrachoa Calitastic - Westhoff

The Calitastic series features 20 varieties and has been in summer trials and spring production programs for the past few years. Raspberry is one of five new colors for 2021. It displays a unique, saturated raspberry color and controlled growth habit. Applications include quarts, mixed containers and hanging baskets.

Dahlia ‘Labella Grande Purple Improved’

Labella Grande dahlia - Beekenkamp

This year, more than 60 dahlia varieties were represented in the CSU trial. The environment provides ideal growing conditions for foliage quality and flower development. The Labella series has 11 colors with large formal and decorative flowers. Grande Purple was one of the most colorful dahlias in the trial and boasted strong stems, excellent branching and no color fading.

Salvia ‘White Flame’
Ball FloraPlant

Salvia White Flame - Ball

The versatility of the salvia gene pool has created multiple spring production and consumer applications. Ball FloraPlant offers an extensive assortment, and ‘White Flame’ is their first white introduction. It mainfested outstanding color, vigor and upright architecture. The white inflorescence above the foliage canopy creates eye-catching appeal and long-distance color.

Lantana ‘Gem Compact Pink Opal’

Lantana Compact Gem - Danziger

Danziger has made significant introductions in lantana, beginning with Santana in 2014 and last year with Gem and Gem Compact. The Gem Compact series is characterized by earliness, compactness, excellent color retention, minimal cycling and vibrant colors. Pink Opal was one of the most recognizable in the lantana trial, with striking yellow inner umbels and dark pink or magenta outer umbels.

Petunia ‘Surfinia Purple Starshine’
Suntory Flowers

Petunia Surfinia - Suntory

Suntory introduced two new novelty petunias for 2021: ‘Surfinia Heartbeat Improved’ and ‘Surfinia Purple Starshine’. Purple Starshine was particularly colorful and vivacious with a well-defined and striking bicolor pattern. This variety offers heat tolerance, a mounded and spreading habit, and a prolific flower canopy. It will make an outstanding component in mixed combinations.

Coleus ‘Colorblaze Royale Pineapple Brandy’
Proven Winners

The coleus market continues to expand each year with new forms, vibrant hues and distinctive textures. This new variety demonstrated excellent performance in field and container trials this summer. What sets it apart from other coleus varieties is the upright architecture, short internodes and layered foliage. It retains its chartreuse foliage with burgundy-bronze stems and margins with no flower development.

Petchoa ‘SuperCal Royal Red’

SuperCal - Sakata

Royal Red will replace Crimson Red and manifested the most intense and highly saturated red flowers in the CSU trial. This variety, like the rest of the series, can be grown in quart production in addition to mixed containers and baskets. SuperCal varieties provide superior performance with strong rain recovery, self cleaning, heat tolerance, flower stability and floriferousness.

Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at jdolce@greatamericanpublish.com.