I know it's hard to believe with pretty crummy weather in many parts of the country but spring is just around the corner, and with that comes the 2014 California Spring Trials! With hundreds of new variety introductions from dozens of breeders on display along the California coast, it can be a lot to take in.
If you plan on attending the trials and haven't finalized your travel plans, now's definitely the time to do so! For updated exhibitor information, go to www.californiaspringtrials.com , and check your inbox for GPN's Spring Trials Companion, which will be available in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, I'd like to share some sneak peeks of new varieties that will make their debut in California in April. I've been in touch with some of the breeders that will be exhibiting at this year's event, and they were kind enough to share some of their 2014 introductions with me. Here's a glimpse into what will be on display at a few Spring Trial locations. Be on the lookout for my next newsletter where I'll share even more sneak peeks with you!
Osteospermum 'Blue Eyed Beauty' (Ball FloraPlant )
New 'Blue Eyed Beauty' is a unique and exception multicolored osteospermum perfect for premium, early-spring sales. It will stand out at retail, making it ideal for end-cap presentation.
Viola ColorMax series (Sakata Ornamentals )
This new large viola series fills out containers and maintains its large flower size. With great weather tolerance, ColorMax provides tremendous color all season long. It has larger flowers than standard violas and is very free flowering. It is available in 10 colors (Purple Glow is pictured).
Calibrachoa 'Cruze Persimmon' (Green Fuse Botanicals )
Green Fuse Botanicals has added Persimmon — a beautiful orange bicolor variety — to its Cruze series of large, brilliantly colored calibrachoa. Plants feature a mounded plant form and work well in baskets and planters.
Begonia 'Summerwings Dark Elegance' (Cultivaris )
This stunning variety boasts deep-crimson, single flowers that contrast wonderfully against the deep maroon-black foliage. The habit is pendulous, but with exceptional branching, thus creating a tight teardrop of foliage and flowers as the season progresses.
Dahlia Grandahlia series (Syngenta Flowers )
With continuous flower bud development that is consistent through its lifespan, Grandahlia has rich, vibrant blooms that sit above the plant's canopy. Its versatility make this series ideal for 6-inch and gallon containers. Grandahlia will be available in five core colors (Orange is pictured).
What do you think of these new introductions? Are you attending the 2014 California Spring Trials? If so, what are you most excited about seeing? What plant characteristics do you look for when deciding what to add to your production? Shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . I'd love to hear from you.
— Jasmina