Interspecifics on the Rise

June 11, 2013 - 09:43

Four years ago, we were introduced to the breakthrough breeding of Calliope, Syngenta's interspecific geranium. Growers were instantly amazed and the popularity of interspecific geraniums has been growing ever since.

What's not to love about these hybrids? They are prolific bloomers, exhibit strong heat tolerance, are edema resistant, and most importantly, they are naturally very well branching. When combining the trailing habit of the ivy and the upright habit of the zonal, you end up with this excellent performer in baskets and containers as well as in the garden.

Fast forward to now, and it seems like many other breeders out there have added some competition to the interspecific category. This trend was quite evident at the 2013 California Spring Trials. New interspecific varieties made their debut all along the coast this spring, and here are some of our favorites!

At the Fides Oro trial location in Santa Paula, we were introduced to three new varieties by Oglevee: 'Boogaloo', 'Dixieland' (pictured) and 'Groove'. They all have a nice shape and stay compact in baskets.

Down the road at Ball, Selecta debuted its Double Take series of interspecific geraniums. These plants boast a very high flower count on extremely strong, durable plants. Here is 'Double Take Scarlet'.

Dümmen introduced its Cumbanita and Sarita lines over the past couple years but continues to expand their offerings. One of the most eye-catching new varieties this year was definitely the uniquely bicolored 'Sarita Sunstar Red'.

Proven Winners announced it would enter the interspecific geranium cateogry and is now offering Syngenta's Calliope and Caliente lines but under the names Boldly and Timeless.

Are you growing any interspecific geraniums? What do you think of these new introductions to the category? Send me an e-mail anytime, and let me know. I'd love to hear from you!

— Jasmina

P.S. To see more images from the 2013 California Spring Trials, go to We've uploaded hundreds of photos onto our gallery. Also, don't forget to check out the Spring Trials videos on Hort TV.

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