16 April 2010

New annuals headed your way

I'm going to have a series of posts about what I saw during my recent trip to the California Spring (aka pack) trials. The focus of the trials is annuals, so today is a run down of the ones that caught my eye. I'll follow up with perennials, with some more general thoughts on the State of Plant Breeding Today, and What I Thought of California to come.

For lovers of black plants, Ball has a new black petunia (shown here in a mixed basket with calebrachoa):

I'm not a huge petunia fan (despite the fact I work with them) but I couldn't resist taking a picture of this petunia 'Cappuchino' from Dummen. Such an unusual color!

Nemesia seems to be a rising trend, we saw TONS of them. My favorite was this 'Metallic Blue' I think nemesia are lovely, but they've never performed well for me. It will be interesting to see if some of this glut of new varieties hold up better to the heat.

Cuphea seem to be moving into the mainstream. Several companies had new cupheas with HUGE flowers. Not sure how much I like them, but they are a nice change from the endless petunias and geraniums.

Another trend I am very happy about are the regal-type Pelargoniums (aka, geraniums). Regals are spectacularly beautiful with huge, bicolored flowers, but are notorious picky and hate heat. Many companies we visited had new series of regals they claimed were more heat tolerant and better performers. I hope they are right. I'd LOVE to see these types replace the boring old zonals.

I'm not much for standard cushion mums, but I really liked these mums: Just a few flowers on each plant, but each on the size of my hand! I really hope these catch on.

4 comments:

Andrew said...

Nice pictures. I know I'll be seeing petunia 'Cappuchino' (at least) at work. I've already got a few plant combinations in mind that I hope can work well with it but it seems like it's got hints of bronze, pink and yellow in there? I may actually give that one a try at home even though I'm generally not a huge fan of them either.

I'm hoping I'll be seeing that black one as well.

mr_subjunctive said...

I don't know what it is with Nemesia and Cuphea both, but we struggled to even keep our stock of both alive at work the last two years, much less have them in presentable form to sell. The Nemesia finally wound up on the planta non grata list as of this year, or so I've been told.

Greensparrow said...

Andrew,
I think you can expect to see the black petunias everywhere... Ball is a major company, and they were making a HUGE fuss about them.

Mr. S. Yeah, Nemesia is kinda a whimp. I've never had trouble with cuphea, but I don't know about these newer cultivars.

mr_subjunctive said...

The Cuphea bloomed fine; they were a problem because the leaves turned lumpy, with light spots at the top of each lump. I think I still have pictures somewhere. When it got bad enough, we threw them out, though now that I think about it, I don't think very many of them actually died on their own. They probably would have straightened out just fine in someone's yard or container or whatever, but they looked so miserable that nobody would buy them to find out. It seemed like edema, but we didn't have a good way to water them separately, the way things were set up, and even when we took a couple plants elsewhere and tried, the problem still happened.