At its 40th Annual Gala Dinner on June 13, Fleuroselect presented its first Fleuroselect Industry Award to the Dianthus x barbatus ‘Diabunda Purple Picotee’, bred by Har Stemkens of Syngenta Flowers in Enkhuizen, Netherlands.
In this first trial competition of its kind, Fleuroselect breeder members submitted six new and innovative bedding plants for judging by a panel of more than 25 industry-wide experts representing the horticultural press, growers, retailers, plug producers, breeders, seed distributors and plug suppliers.
In order to provide fair trial conditions, the entries’ sources were anonymous; comparison varieties were used as references, and plants were grown and displayed at six different locations during the week 24 FlowerTrials: Ball, Beekenkamp Plants, Benary, Fides, Florensis and Syngenta Flowers. Judges were asked to visit at least four locations to score each variety versus its comparisons on point-of-sale performance, commercial potential and “wow” factor. A special feature of this new trial was the timing. Entries were judged over four days during the FlowerTrials, and the winner was announced immediately.
While ‘Diabunda Purple Picotee’ walked away with the major honors, each of the runners-up was judged to be preferable to existing comparison varieties. Dianthus ‘Diabunda Rose’ from Syngenta Flowers, begonia ‘Smarty Apricot’ and celosia ‘Smart Look Romantic’ from Benary, and calibrachoa ‘MiniFamous Double Lavender’ and osteospermum ‘Deluxe FlowerPower Copper Amethyst’ from Selecta Klemm will be hitting the market as new and exciting introductions.
Joel Goldsmith of Goldsmith Seeds, president of Fleuroselect, and Jan Sijm of Hem Genetics, chairman of the award committee, noted that more than 70 percent of the judges had given a resounding “yes” when asked whether the variety deserved the award. An excellent score of 8 out of 10 for presentation and the affirmation from 90 percent of the judges that the variety was preferable to the comparisons confirmed ‘Diabunda Purple Picotee’ as a real winner.
According to a Fleuroselect press release, judges were enthusiastic about the attractive color and suggested that the striking purple and white color combination gave the variety a bright, festive look. They also raved about the uniformity, floriferousness and excellent quality of the plants.
In accepting the award, Gerard Werink of Syngenta Flowers explained the concept of the name, a combination of dianthus (dia) and abundant flowers (bunda). The new dianthus can be cultivated for early spring, summer and even autumn sales, which makes it unique among the dianthus family. Unique for growers is that diabunda is almost day-length neutral and needs less growth regulation than regular Dianthus x chinesis.
For more information, visit Fleuroselect’s website .