Take a Sneak Peek at CAST
After cancellation in 2020 and rescheduling to summer in 2021, California Spring Trials (CAST) is set to return to spring. The industry will convene in California to learn about the latest and greatest introductions that the breeding community has to offer. The dates are March 30-April 3.
Here is just a sampling of some of the new varieties scheduled to make their debut this year.
LANTANA BANDOLISTA SERIES Bandolista has outstanding vigor, habit, and color coverage that combine for summer-long performance. It is well-branched and has a slightly trailing habit that is ideal for hanging baskets and mixed combinations. Sterile variety selections ensure maximum flowering. Available in Coconut, Mango (pictured), Pineapple, and Red Chili.
CALIBRACHOA ‘COLIBRI EXOTIC RED BLING’ This variety combines large, eye-catching red blooms with a dash of golden bling. The Colibri Bling series has an exciting star pattern that stands out in the garden. Its controlled growth makes it a well-behaved member of any combo or hanging basket.
ECHINACEA POLLYNATION This first year flowering echinacea is from seed and sports large flowers in striking colors. It is very early flowering, with a well branching plant habit. PollyNation has outstanding heat and drought tolerance for strong mid- to late-season sales and makes for a perfect patio and garden plant.
FLOWER KALE ‘CRYSTAL DEEP RED’ This new color along with Pink are new additions to the Crystal series, which features glossy leaves. Deep Red has a brilliant red center surrounded by deep green leaves, while Pink’s center is framed by bright green leaves. The two new colors join Red and Snow.
SALVIA SALGOON SERIES There are five new introductions to the series — Lake Onega, Lake Baikal, Lake Titicaca, Lake Victoria, and Lake Garda — joining last year’s introduction Strawberry Lake. Salgoon has a uniform compact growing habit and is known for its strong genetics, heat tolerance and heavy bloom set.
CELOSIA FLAMMA This series has exceptional heat tolerance in the field and stuns with early, uniform flowering. Available in five vivid colors and one mix (Orange is pictured), Flamma provides vibrant plumes of color that won’t fade. Its compact habit provides many branches in a pot.
BIDENS ‘SPICY ELECTRIC WHITE’ An excellent introduction for early spring programs, this bidens has a vivid yellow on pure white. The plants have a compact, upright habit, which makes them ideal for quarts and other small-sized containers in early spring. They can also be incorporated into mixed combinations.
PELARGONIUM ‘SANTANA DARK RED’ This new series of interspecific geraniums works well in both containers and hanging baskets with its improved heat tolerance. Dark green foliage provides a striking contrast to the large, oversized blossoms. Well-matched in flower timing and habit, this series offers a full color range.
BUDDLEJA ‘BABY BUZZ BASKET PINK’ The first buddleja for hanging baskets. Produces full-sized flowers — 6- to 8-inch warm, candy-pink tones with orange centers. Up to 5 months of continual flowering. It re-blooms May through September. Great for pollinator gardens because it is loved by butterflies, bees and hummingbirds and is deer resistant.
PETUNIA ‘SURFINIA XXL SALMON VEIN’ This new breeding from Suntory Flowers is more upright and controlled in its growth habit, producing grandiflora blooms spanning 4 to 5 inches. These varieties are day-length neutral – good for Southern and early markets. New varieties joining XXL Taffy Pink are Salmon Vein and Watermelon Jazz.
PACIFIC PLUG & LINER
DELPHINIUM ‘DELGENIUS BLUE FABULOSA’ The newest addition to the Delgenius lineup, Blue Fabulosa has more traditional delphinium colors with rich indigo blue semi-double flowers and a white bee. Blue Fabulosa is very similar to Glitzy only the flower color is closer to blue versus purple and the bloom time is earlier.
COLEUS ‘MICROBLAZE MATCHSTICKS’ This micro-coleus has a unique foliage pattern with a habit perfect for small pot programs and decorative container mixes. It’s versatile for full sun and shade with stunning color and high impact.
RUDBECKIA AUGUST This series of eye-catching summer flowering perennials show off masses of flowers in modern and appealing colors. The semi-double blooms grow beautifully in large containers for showpiece displays or make a great home garden cut flower.
PEPPERS FROM HEAVEN Peppers From Heaven are small, sweet peppers great for hanging baskets and 6- to 7-inch pots. The compact plants produce lots of fleshy fruit that mature from green to glossy color (red, orange and yellow varieties are available). Plant three plants in one pot for a fuller look.
VERONICA ‘SKYWARD PINK’ This veronica offers a high flower count on a dense, upright habit and boasts continuous blooming. Its durability ensures plants grow and ship without breakage for more saleable plants. Also available in Blue. Pollinator-friendly and powdery mildew resistant.
PEROVSKIA BLUESETTE This novelty variety has a controlled habit, early flowering and early finishing. Bluesette works well at the front of the landscape, in a single premium patio container or in mixed combo. Produces a pleasing fragrance and attracts bees and butterflies. Hardiness Zones 4a to 9a.
INTERSPECIFIC IMPATIENS SOLARSCAPE This interspecific impatiens from seed provides unbeatable color in full-sun landscapes and containers. Performs just like vegetative varieties with the flexibility of seed. Available in four colors plus one XL variety.
VERBENA ‘LASCAR ORANGE LAVA’ This is a fiery red verbena with a creeping and spreading habit — a garden spectacle, like lava oozing along the ground. It won’t fail to draw attention. Lascar is early-blooming and wide-branching, and grows beautifully in hanging baskets and combos.
GREEN FUSE BOTANICALS
STREPTOCARPUS ‘LADYSLIPPERS AZURE’ A classic houseplant has all new life with ‘Ladyslippers Azure’. Not only great timing for Pantone’s color of the year, Azure delights consumers with dozens of blooms every day of the year. Extremely simple culture helps ensure grower and consumer success.
DAHLIA ‘LABELLA MEDIO FUN PINK FLAME’ This new introduction has a beautiful blend of pink and white bicolor blooms. It has a very stable pattern and the bright contrast of the blooms to foliage will catch the eye of gardeners. Ideal for the quarts to 5-inch pots.
LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA ‘LOVELY SKY’ This first-year flowering perennial is well suited for herb, courtyard and patio gardens, providing fragrance both in the garden or indoor, when dried after harvesting. Plants are highly attractive for bees and other pollinators. Plant height is up to 12 to 16 inches tall and are ideal for 4- and 5-inch pots.
CYCLAMEN SUPER SERIE ELEGANTE This midi-flowered cyclamen is perfect for warm climates. It flowers earlier and faster than other cyclamen and does not suffer from heat stress. The uniform-built Elegante has a bit more open plant structure than other cyclamen.
PETUNIA FLOWER SHOWER SERIES This new series builds on the popularity of the two new Crazytunia varieties from last year: Mayan Sunset and Patrick Star. The trailing petunias are heat, drought and weather tolerant. ‘Flower Shower Golden Harvest’ is pictured.
Stephen Kloosterman is the Managing Editor of Greenhouse Product News.