OSU Trial Results Reveal Top-Performing Annuals

August 5, 2011 - 11:18

This year's trials include some 5,000 specimens representing 727 cultivars developed by more than 30 seed companies from across the United States. A rudbeckia as bright as the desert sun, a gerbera the color of tropical fruit and a begonia with striking reddish undertones are this year's favorite ornamental plants following consumer evaluations.

A rudbeckia as bright as the desert sun, a gerbera the color of tropical fruit and a begonia with striking reddish undertones are this year's favorite ornamental plants following consumer evaluations undertaken as part of Ohio State University's extensive annuals trials in Columbus.

The judging — led by a group of volunteers, many of whom are master gardeners with OSU Extension and the Columbus campus' Chadwick Arboretum — took place in July and is the first of several evaluations to be conducted during the summer.

This year's trials include some 5,000 specimens representing 727 cultivars developed by more than 30 seed companies from across the United States. Among them are 457 bedding plant cultivars, 210 container plant cultivars, 56 shade plant cultivars and four mixed container combinations.

Top performers were Benary's rudbeckia 'Denver Daisy' (field trial), Ball Seed's gerbera 'Funtastic Mango' (container trial) and PanAmerican Seed's begonia 'Gryphon' (shade trial).

While the consumer evaluation concentrates on personal preference, the grower evaluation is more comprehensive and ranks plants according to flower quality, flower quantity, vegetative vigor, uniformity and overall ratings. The results of both evaluations will be available at http://ohiofloriculture.osu.edu (find the link to the results under the "Cultivar trials" tab) in early August.

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