FloraStar has expanded its trialing and awards program to now include new varieties of shrub and landscape roses and perennials. As part of the program, the winning varieties will be promoted to commercial growers, the consumer and business press and consumers throughout North America using print, radio, TV and the Internet.
FloraStar trials are conducted year-round. The Fall/Winter Trial is for plants that finish any time between September and February. The Spring/Summer Trial is for plants that finish any time between March and August. The trials are conducted at 20 North American sites that include commercial finished growers, young plant growers and universities. Certified FloraStar judges are responsible for the production and evaluation of the trials at each site.
Each entry is evaluated against a commercially recognized comparison variety. Judges look for improvements that benefit both the grower and the consumer including such things as plant habit, color, form of flowers and foliage, pest and disease resistance, shipability and overall appeal. Awards are then presented to the winning varieties. FloraStar can also assist breeders in securing plant variety protection and establishing distribution channels for the new varieties.
FloraStar is now accepting entries of new varieties of shrub and landscape roses and perennials, as well as the traditional container-grown plants, for the spring and summer 2007 trials. All entries must be submitted by Oct. 1.
The spring and summer trial is designed for all plants that can finish during March through August 2007. Varieties must be new to commerce and will be supplied as a plug or liner (along with plants of a comparison variety) to twenty official trial sites.
The cost is $200 per entry for all spring or fall trials. Shrub rose and perennial varieties, evaluated for summer and overwinter performance, are an additional $200. FloraStar requires 400 plants of the entry and 400 plants of the comparison. FloraStar will provide labels that exclude company names, ensuring an impartial trial at all 20 trial locations.
Benefits for breeders include testing on cold hardiness, outdoor disease resistance, humidity tolerance, pollution resistance and a fair, thorough judging of their new genetics against their competitors. Award-winning varieties will receive instant market recognition, including name recognition for new plant programs, press releases in horticulture magazines, advertisements in several leading grower magazines, displays at several FloraStar trade-show booths, and mailings of brochures and handouts to leading industry sales representatives.
For more information, contact FloraStar at firstname.lastname@example.org  or (916) 375-6540.