In my last e-newsletter, I shared some sneak peeks from the breeders that will be on display this year at the California Spring Trials. Today, I'm going to continue the sneak peeks. If you're planning on attending the trials, be on the lookout for these beauties. And if you're unable to attend this year, don't worry. We'll have plenty of articles in GPN and e-newsletters going out following the event, where we'll cover some of the varieties and trends introduced along the coast.
So check out some of these new introductions, and keep in mind this is just a handful of what will be debuting in California in April. I'll be sharing even more with you in the weeks to come.
Tomato 'Indigo Fireball' (Burpee Home Gardens )
Growers are looking for new tomato varieties they can add to their programs to excite customers but also have good seed quality. Indigo hybrid tomatoes offer unique health benefits and delicious fruit, filling the need for something new. Fireball and Kumquat are new to the series for 2015.
Gerbera 'Garvinea Sweet Surprise' (Florist Holland )
Garvinea varieties may look like ordinary daisies, but when planted in a garden border or a decorative pot they display unique features. Most remarkable is Garvinea's non-stop flowering from early spring until first frost. 'Garvinea Sweet Surprise' is one of the new varieties with remarkably large flowers in a bright purple color.
Echibeckia Summerina series (Pacific Plug & Liner )
Echibeckia Summerina is a brand new series exclusive to Pacific Plug & Liner that is the result of an intergeneric cross between rudbeckia and echinacea. Echibeckias have the appearance and fast growth of rudbeckia with the hardiness and disease tolerance of echinacea. Flowers are huge — 3 inches in diameter — and can last two to three months.
Petunia Surfinia Sumo series (Suntory )
As the name implies, the new Surfinia Sumos are big and bold. Plants produce mega mounds of color and are full of big flowers. This vigorous series is perfect for large containers, baskets and landscape beds. Growers should produce them for sale in 6-inch pots or larger. Colors include Sumo Pink, Sumo Plum and Sumo Bold Lilac.
Vitex Daytona Heat Series (EuroAmerican Propagators )
Daytona Heat is a new series featuring three new vitex (Petty Blue is pictured). These petite shrubs are compact and have tremendous flower power. Each pancile has a profusion of blooms that create a candelabra appearance against deep-green foliage.
Chrysanthemum Jasoda series (GroLink )
Available in six colors, the new Jasoda family of Belgian mums features uniform size and flower time, and excellent branching with no pinch required. They are ideal for summer shaded production and suitable for pot tight growing in small containers.
Digitalis 'Foxlight Ruby Glow' (Darwin Perennials )
'Foxlight Ruby Glow' offers a bold color in digitalis with flowers that face outward for better show. It blooms all summer long and has a lower input cost for a great profit margin at wholesale.
What do you think of these new intros? If you're going to the trials, what do you look forward to seeing in person most? Shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org , and let me know! And if you need some help planning your Spring Trials route, go to www.californiaspringtrials.com  and check out GPN's digital Spring Trials Companion .
— Jasmina