The New Cultivars
Introduced by Paul Ecke Ranch
‘Heirloom Red’, ‘Heirloom Peace’ and ‘Heirloom Pink’
This family has silver gray-green leaves with white variegation on the margins. Bracts are held up and cover the leaves. In this crop the Heirloom Peach bract color resembles that of Maren, while the Heirloom Pink bract color resembles that of Peterstar Pink. Growth habit is moderate with good branching. The response time ranges from 8 to 8.5 weeks.
‘Peterstar Orange’ and ‘Peterstar Silverbells’
These are new colors in the Peterstar series. Peterstar Orange is a deep orange-red. (A similar color, but a shade lighter and with more pink, was introduced as ‘Noblestar’). Growth habit is the same as others in the Peterstar series.
The Peterstar Silverbells bract is a soft, pink-marble and white that is a shade darker than the bract of ‘Peterstar Marble’. The variegated foliage has more green but otherwise resembles that of the Heirloom series. Silverbell’s growth is less vigorous than others in the series.
‘Splendor Pink’ and ‘Splendor White’
Pink and White join ‘Splendor Red’ to provide late color on plants with dark-green foliage. Splendor White resembles Freedom White but with a little more yellow. Splendor Pink has rose-red bracts, deep to medium in hue. The growth habit is the same as that of Splendor Red. Responses also are close (9.5 weeks for Red, and 9.7 weeks for Pink and White).
‘Success Coral’, ‘Success Light Pink’ and ‘Success Pink’
These new colors in the Success series provide late color on plants with light-green foliage. The bract color of Success Light Pink is a uniform pale-pink with red veins at the base of the bract. Success Coral and Pink bract colors are somewhat similar; both are intense, but the coral shows more red.
Success Pink is a hot pink but "lighter" than than that of ‘Coco Hot Pink’. In turn, the pink coloration of Success Coral and Sonora Salmon Pink is similar.
The growth habit of the new Success colors is the same as that of ‘Success Red’. All colors in the series have a response time of 9 to 9.2 weeks.
Ecke Trial Poinsettias
Appearance, bract and foliage color are almost identical to that of Pink Peppermint; the differences are subtle. The primary difference is the finish time – 54-97 at 7.5 weeks is an early-season variety, while Pink Peppermint finishes in 8.2 weeks. Plants are sturdy and keep well in the greenhouse past maturity.
This is an early (7.2 weeks) variety with medium-red bracts. The variegated medium-dark green leaves have a narrow yellow margin. Growth habit is moderate, with sturdy stems, and a semi-spreading habit.
The bract color on 852 is a flat-red, a shade lighter than that of Freedom Red. Foliage is dark green. Plants are short, with good branching and a strong, very upright growth habit. Plants finish in 8.5 weeks.
The red bract color on 877 is a shade darker and more vibrant than that of Freedom Red. Dark-green, oak leaf-shaped leaves resemble those of Pepride. Growth habit is upright, with good breaks from the pinch. With a finish time of 9.5 weeks, 877 shows potential as a late red.
Introduced by Fischer
This novelty drew much attention with its red, "curly" outer bracts, which have some green variegation; the inner bracts are darker and somewhat flat. The bracts need time to fully dev-elop before leaving the greenhouse.
Foliage is medium-green. The growth habit of Carousel is upright. It breaks well from the pinch, and it has medium vigor. Response time is 9.5 weeks.
‘Cortez Dark Red’ and ‘Cortez Fire’
These are new colors in the Cortez series. Dark Red is a deep red that is more intense than the red of Cortez Red; it is reported to also have a longer response time. Finishing times are almost uniform: 8.6 weeks for Dark Red, and 8.4 for Red.
The bract of Cortez Fire is red with some orange undertones. The rounded growth habit for both resembles others in the series. All have dark-green foliage and moderate vigor.
The medium-pink bracts of this variety contrast nicely with highly visible dark-green leaves, which have center bands of yellow. Growth is upright and very compact, but we observed that plants need more long days to develop height. This crop does not break well from the pinch. Response time is 8.5 weeks.
The oak leaf-shaped bracts and leaves of Pizarro have deeper notches than do those of Pepride; we saw some resemblance to the Sonora series. The bract color is bright red. Growth is sturdy, upright, and very compact. As with Goldstar Pink, Pizarro needs more long days to develop height. Response time is 9.2 weeks.
‘Sonora Dark Red’ and ‘Sonora Salmon Pink’
These new colors in the Sonora series have dark-green, oak leaf-shaped foliage and a compact growth habit. Sonora Dark Red bract color is similar to that of Cortez Dark Red in intensity but is slightly darker. Sonora Salmon Pink is a reddish pink, similar to that of Success Coral and Pink. Response time is 8.8 weeks for both Dark Red and Salmon Pink.
Introduced by HMA Dummen
‘Coco Hot Pink’
The wide, hot rose-pink bracts of this variety are held up; the foliage is dark green on plants with a spreading, upright growth habit. Coco Hot Pink has medium vigor and breaks well from the pinch with minimal stem breakage. It keeps well in the greenhouse past maturity. Response time is 7.8 weeks.
‘Spotlight Marble’, ‘Spotlight Pink’ and ‘Spotlight White’
These are new colors in the Spotlight series. The Marble bract has yellow to white-cream margins and rose-pink centers that cover one-half-or-more of the bract in most cases. The Pink bract color ranges from medium to deep pink, and is more muted than the bract color of Nutcracker or Peterstar Pink.
The White’s bract is a creamy white, similar to the bract color of Snowcap. All have large bracts that are held up, and very dark, green foliage. All branch well with a vigorous, spreading growth habit. Stem breakage occurs with stem breakage when plant growth regulators are not applied.
Spotlight Dark Red and Pink (8.5 weeks) finish ahead of Spotlight White and Marble (8.8 weeks). Keeps well in the greenhouse.
Author’s Note: Oglevee Ltd. did not trial any new cultivars.