2019 California Spring Trials: Central Trials illustrated

Photo highlights from Ball Horticultural, Green Fuse Botanicals, GroLink, Windmill Nursery and Dümmen Orange

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Day 1
Stop: Ball Horticultural

Dr. Sonali Padhye, technical services manager at PanAmerican Seed, shows how Kabloom Calibrachoas are offered in multi-pellet format, with four seeds, either in monochrome or multi-color. The technology, deemed Precision Multi-Pellets (PMPLs), is on display at the Ball Horticultural stop. Kabloom is the only calibrachoa on the market available to growers from seed, and PanAmerican introduced six new colors this year. 

Leucanthemum x superbum Madonna is a seed variety that doesn’t require vernalization. This first-year-flowering Shasta daisy from Kieft Perennials is hardy in Zones 5a-9a and grow up to 10 inches tall.

Stop: Green Fuse Botanicals

Green Fuse Botanicals introduced a new Begonia Rex series for 2020 called Bewitched in three colors, White, Wintergreen and Red Black. Steve Jones, president, emphasized the fact that the plants can be used indoors or out, noting the robust popularity of houseplants. As part of its First Look pre-introduction program, the company also provided a sneak peek for what 2021 will have in store – three more colors in the Bewitched series – Cherry, Pink and Rose.

Combos are valuable products for growers and retailers. Westhoff offers FanciFillers, a selection of bold plants that includes novel textures and interesting foliage that dress up combinations, but are robust enough to stand on their own. FanciFillers Silver Strand, a Didelta hybrid, has velvety, silver foliage and a semi trailing habit. It grows from 6-8 inches tall. www.westflowers.us

Stop: GroLink

Soiree Kawaii from Suntory Flowers is a new collection of heat-loving plants that retain their mounded shape and constant color in containers and landscapes. Soiree Kawaii are micro-blooming Catharanthus, featuring deep glossy green foliage and vivid flower color. Kawaii is Japanese for “cute.”

Habit: Upright Habit. Height: 6-10 inches. Spread: 12-18 inches.

Evanthia Seeds & Plants showcased its Sunsation series once again, which features four varieties – Yellow, Flame, Lemon and Yellow Spirit. The sterile, pollenless sunflower features a compact habit, large flowers and is available to growers from seed.

Dora in the Heartbreakers series of heart-shaped tomatoes from Prudac doesn’t require PGRs or pruning. Prudac, a breeder displaying at the GroLink stop, stands for Production & Research for Urban Decoration and Consumption.

Day 2

Stop: Windmill Nursery

Crown Jewel begonias from J. Berry Nursery were bred for their colorful foliage, as well as heat and drought tolerance. This versatile collection is suitable for landscapes, containers, hanging baskets and as a houseplant. Pictured: Positively Peridot. 

Stop: Dümmen Orange

Dümmen Orange is introducing a new collection of Alpine plants called Fleur de Rock that includes delosperma Rock Crystal, available in multiple colors with a compact, low growing habit. Other varieties include delosperma Solstice, which has larger blooms than Rock Crystal, Iberis Spruzzo and Tuff Candy, Saxifraga Scenic Red and Scenic White, and Aubretia Rock On Pink.