The Big Reveal By Jasmina Dolce

Hundreds of new introductions made their debut at the 2013 California Spring Trials. Here are some of our favorites.

Last month, we focused on the overall trends we picked up in California during Spring Trials. In this issue, we’ll share with you some of the new varieties that were unveiled at the multiple breeder stops. With so many new introductions on display, it’s impossible to include them all. So here’s a snapshot of some our favorites. Whether they boast unique colors, disease resistance, weather tolerance, garden performance or fragrance, these varieties made a statement.

To see more photos and videos from the 2013 California Spring Trials, go to


Hula is a new series of calibrachoa bred by Dümmen. It features rich tropical colors with an appealing “hoop” of color in the center. One of the most striking of the collection is ‘Hula Hot Pink.’

With the addition of four new colors — Blue, Pink Vein, Red (pictured) and White — to the series, Selecta’s MiniFamous Double is now a true complete series. These unique double calibrachoas are great for differentiating your program.

Proven Winners continues to add to its successful Superbells line with ‘Superbells Pomegranate Punch’. It presents a true deep-red with a prominent black center. It has a lovely mounding habit and can be used in monoculture hanging baskets or mixed combinations.


Although Benary focused more on its new facility in Watsonville than its breeding efforts this year, they did add a new begonia to its popular Nonstop Mocca series. ‘Nonstop Mocca Cherry’ sports intense cherry-red, fully double flowers over rich bronze foliage. It fills well and will present nicely at retail.

Belgian mum

GroLink introduced three new Belgian mums this year. Here is ‘Antica Bronze’. This new variety boasts a beautiful dark bronze color and fantastic shelf life. It is adaptable to any size container and is suitable for early October sales.


Bred by Thompson & Morgan, we were introduced at Cultivaris to this digitalis-isoplexis hybrid, which displays a unique bicolor. ‘Illumination Flame’ is a versatile plant can be used in the landscape or even in containers on its own or in combinations.


At the Fides stop, Red Fox added a new subseries to its Dahlinova dahlias: Temptation. ‘Dahlinova Temptation Golden’ features dark leaves, semi-double flowers, and resistance to heat and mildew.

French marigold

The new Alumia series, offered through Floranova, delivers large blooms and strong branching stems. It is available in six colors; ‘Alumia Vanilla Cream’ is a unique softer yellow not typically seen in marigolds.

Calla lily

Golden State Bulb Growers added three new colors to its Callafornia Callas this year. ‘Pink Sorbet’ is a lovely new introduction. It has off-white blooms with a subtle pink edge on top of spotted leaves.


Ball Ingenuity’s new cockscomb, ‘Twisted’, displays a vivid red color. It is easy to grow and fast to finish. ‘Twisted’ has a long-lasting shelf life and is easy to care for in the garden.


After years of work, Green Fuse Botanicals’ Windchimes series offers consistently early flowering upright varieties with a more robust habit. Four new colors have been added, including ‘Windchimes Upright White-White’.


‘South of the Border Chipotle’ is Hort Couture’s newest ipomoea. This compact-growing spiller provides great color and texture to combinations. It is versatile for sun or shade and is easy to grow.


As the first vegetative gomphrena on the market, Sakata’s Pinball stands apart with its strong mounding habit and vibrant color. The series exhibits strong landscape performance and exceptional heat and drought tolerance. Three colors are available, including the lovely ‘Pinball Snow Tip Lavender’.

EuroAmerican Propagators’ ‘Pink Zazzle’ is a unique plant and flower. It is a low-water-use plant with very long-lasting blooms. ‘Pink Zazzle’ can be used both indoors and outdoors.


‘So Lovely! Pink’ is a new low-maintenance offering from HGTV Home Plant Collection that boasts huge, hydrangea-like blooms. It is great for use in landscapes, containers and hanging baskets.

‘TWOinONE Shadow Orange’, an Elsner PAC introduction, is an excellent landscape geranium. It has great weather tolerance and is low maintenance. This interspecific variety performs well in the shade.


Syngenta’s new gerbera ‘Cartwheel Strawberry Twist’ will add exciting, rich variation to displays. It exhibits shades ranging from buttery yellows with a hint of pink to deep strawberry with a hint of yellow and anything in between.

The voluminous Patio Gerberas at Florist Holland looked sensational in large containers. The large flowers can be picked for months on end and enjoyed in a vase indoors. One of the latest editions, ‘Grand Canyon’, has explosive purple-pink flowers.


Flowering earlier than other heleniums, Skagit Gardens’ ‘Short ‘n’ Sassy’ blooms continuously from summer through fall. It features stunning bright-gold and orange flowers on 12- to 18-inch plants.


A new addition to Proven Winners’ heuchera collection, ‘Dolce Cinnamon Curls’ exhibits a neat, compact habit. It displays a blend of coppery orange, red and purple tones. Ruffled leaves show bright magenta-red undersides. It is hardy to Zones 4 through 9.


Fides’ kalanchoe ‘Sunkissed Pink’ displays a range of rosy pink, orange and yellow tricolor flowers. This new variety has an early flower response for early sales.


‘Bicolor Lilac Stream’ is one of two new introductions in Danziger’s popular Stream series. This fast grower is heat tolerant and grows all through summer. It is ideal as a filler in mixed containers, hanging baskets and window boxes.

New Guinea impatiens

This new bicolor variety from Dümmen, ‘Petticoat Blue Star’, has large, gorgeous blooms. Petticoat varieties are less vigorous New Guinea impatiens compared to the Magnum series.


‘Starcluster Lavender’ is part of Syngenta’s new series of pentas. Large flower clusters are supported by strong stems to ensure consistent quality at retail. New flowers form over spent blooms; no deadheading is required.


Enduro is a new series of landscape verbena offered through Ball FloraPlant. This strong performer is hardy to the low teens, so it can be planted in summer or fall. It also can withstand the heat and tolerates powdery mildew. Three colors are currently available, including ‘Enduro Rose’.


Westflowers has expanded its Crazytunia line of petunias with the addition of ‘Crazytunia Terracotta’. It features unique coloration that goes from light yellow to reddish pink.

‘Surfinia Heavenly Blue’ is one of three new gorgeous colors added to Suntory’s petunia collection. It is a fast-growing profuse bloomer and can withstand the harshest weather conditions.

Last year, American Takii introduced its Trilogy series of petunia. Now they’ve added three new colors rounding out the collection. The addition of ‘Trilogy Blue’ make the collection a true series.

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

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