Selecta One: Distinctive Summer Trial Selections By Vaughn Fletcher

This month’s focus is on the diverse and innovative annual introductions from Selecta One.

Selecta One breeding has been dynamic and innovative, beginning with the calibrachoa MiniFamous Doubles in 2006 and continuing with many Fleuroselect winners since 2012, including dahlia ‘Dalaya Yogi’, petunia ‘Sweet Sunshine Provence’, calibrachoa ‘MiniFamous Double Pink Mania’ and calibrachoa ‘MiniFamous Double Pinktastic’. There are many significant genera in the annual portfolio, and I will focus on specific varieties that were exceptional performers in the southern trials, Ohio and Colorado this summer.


There are six double varieties in the Neo series characterized by a more vigorous habit than the Uno series. We have used these early blooming varieties since their introduction in mixed containers and baskets. The assorted colors, consistent double flowers, retail presentation and garden performance have been outstanding. Double Amethyst, a core variety was one of the most dramatic petunias in the North Carolina trial with its tone-on-tone radiant shades of amethyst. There are 18 varieties in the Neo series comprising bicolors, solid colors, strikes and doubles. All varieties have a five-day flowering window and are components in more than 26 Trixi recipe combinations.


This new introduction (pictured above) for 2019 is part of the diverse Uno series comprising 20 varieties of classic core colors, eyes, doubles and stars. This series is consistently more compact than the Neos and is utilized in quarts, combinations and more than nine of the Trixi recipes. I described the performance of the award-winning Uno Double PinkTastic in an earlier article this summer from the southern trials, and the new Uno Pink Strike with tricolor flowers of yellow, rose and pink was one of the most floriferous and, as the name suggests, most striking in the Colorado State University container trial.


This dark leaf series comes out of dahlia Dalaya breeding, and four colors have been introduced for 2019: Purple, Red, Golden Yellow and Lavender Pink. The flowers contrasted strikingly with the dark foliage in full sun beds in the southern trials, and it maintained its dark foliage with minimal fading. The plants manifested vigor and strong upright branching. The foliage and flowers were consistently nonfading in the Ohio State and Colorado State trials. My favorite was Purple with flowers positioned above the canopy and the vibrant purple flowers contrasting with the foliage. Dark leaf dahlias have excellent retail appeal, and the City Lights series will work in 6-inch, gallons and mixed containers as a thriller. We have competing dark leaf series in the marketplace, and this series is reflective of one of Selecta One’s breeding goals, a broad portfolio of competing varieties.


This medium vigorous series is comprised of 10 colors including two new colors for 2019: Pink + White and Red. This Red is an excellent replacement for Devi with earlier timing. There are five name changes for 2019 to reflect and match flower colors. This series has generated strong sales for many seasons with its distinctive novelty bicolor flowers. It has application in quarts, gallons, and mixed containers and matures at 14 to 16 inches. The Rose + Yellow Eye manifested durability, flower stability and was an eye catcher in the southern trials. The Red in the Colorado State trial was vigorous with dark foliage and deep red flowers positioned well above the canopy.


Selecta One’s geranium program currently includes the Moonlight, Sunrise, Marcada and Royal series. The new Super Moon geranium is possibly the harbinger to a new dark leaf vigorous series. This variety in multiple trials demonstrated outstanding heat tolerance and manifested the attributes of floriferousness, dark foliage, vigor and strong upright branching. Based on summer performance, this variety has excellent application in 6-inch, gallons, mixed containers and beds.


The new Headliner introductions for 2019 are Raspberry Swirl and Starry Sky Burgundy. This series now includes over 20 diverse and unique varieties including the Skies, Veins, Picotees, Stars and solid colors. Night Sky is currently one of the top selling petunias in the market. The Swirls and Stars, with dramatic and well defined color separation, are eye catchers. This series, with a mounded habit and early flowering, is compatible in quarts, mixed containers and baskets. Raspberry Swirl 19 was one of the most stunning and distinctive varieties in the Youngs trial in Alabama.


This compact Starlet series is comprised of 14 varieties including solid colors and four stars. The three new introductions for 2019 are Lavender Star ‘19, Magenta Star and Pinot Red. This series is characterized by excellent branching, earliness, and consistent flowering and timing. The new introductions were in multiple trials this summer and Pinot Red was one of the most dramatic deep red petunias. Magenta Star was also in multiple trials and manifested a well-defined, nonfading and consistent star pattern, which was stunning. It was one of the best performers at the Colorado State trial in early August.


This series was introduced a few years ago, and it continues to impress in production, at retail and ultimately for the consumer. Selecta continues to enter this series in multiple trials throughout the country because it demonstrates incredible heat and drought tolerance with a prodigious flower canopy that is unrivaled. I have visited trials throughout the country for many years, and this is one series that withstands extreme weather conditions and continues to impress with its floriferousness and color saturation until frost. I chose to include Light Violet because in the Metrolina trial it was exceptional. Application includes quarts and mixed containers.


This tender perennial for 2019 is comprised of three colors: Dark Purple, Pink and Orange. Orange is a color breakthrough in this species. The series was entered in summer trials throughout the country, and the performance was exceptional. We have many outstanding choices in salvia, but very few provide the stature of this series. It is vigorous and upright with a large corolla and dark calyxes. The plants have dark foliage, excellent branching and a robust upright architecture maturing at 36 inches in the trials. This is a season extender with outstanding flowering through the fall season. The series demonstrated heat and drought tolerance throughout the summer.
Production application will require a PGR program, and the information is available from Selecta. The suggested container sizes include 6-inch, gallons and as thrillers in large mixed containers. The series has tremendous potential in landscape programs where size, performance and unrelenting color are required.


Selecta offers four verbena series: Pops, Lascar, Blues and the novelty BeBop. This provides a wide range of growth habits and colors. There are no new introductions for 2019, but I want to describe one of my favorites, ‘Lascar Mango Orange’. This is one of 11 colors in the Lascar series, characterized by uniformity, earliness, and full centers with multiple applications in quarts, gallons, mixed containers and baskets. This high impact, vibrant color is unique among all verbena series in the market. The inflorescence is a striking coral/orange with a dark center. The market is deficient at the present time in the orange tones and this verbena provides an essential
component to the spring assortment.

Vaughn Fletcher

Vaughn Fletcher is president of Fletcher Consulting. He has been in the horticulture industry since 1971, working in many areas including landscaping, garden center and greenhouse production, greenhouse and nursery sales and sales management. He can be reached at [email protected]

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