Suntory takes a sunny road trip
This 1971 Airstream trailer was the focal point of Suntory Flowers Cultivate'21 booth.
Matt McClellan

Suntory takes a sunny road trip

With new varieties like Granvia Gold and Sun Parasol Sunbeam, Suntory Flowers' Cultivate'21 show was a burst of sunshine through the clouds.

July 16, 2021

Suntory’s Cultivate’21 booth called to mind the great road trips of the past, with a vintage 1971 Airstream trailer as the centerpiece. The Airstream was completely retrofitted on the inside to be a comfortable space for Suntory and Sun-Fire Nurseries personnel to have meetings away from the noise of the trade show floor.

The Airstream made many attendees stop in their tracks, but as they looked closer they would see the Granvia display complementing the silver trailer. The letters spelling Granvia were made from dried flowers.

Granvia Gold is a Bracteantha that is new for 2021. The common name is strawflower, and the flowers have a bloom size of 3-5 inches.

“I call it a super strawflower,” says Delilah Onofrey, marketing director for Suntory Flowers. “I’ve even called it a Bracteasaurus because compared to the strawflowers on the market not only is the flower bigger but the whole body is so much bigger. If you visit the trial gardens and they’re near each other, it just dwarfs the rest of them and makes this amazing landscape specimen.”

The Granvia Gold strawflower has been racking up awards, including a Best of Show from Plantpeddler, a Director’s Select and Best of Species from Penn State University and a Top 10 Performer from the University of Minnesota, all in 2020.

© Matt McClellan
Sun Parasol Sunbeam, the new yellow mandevilla on display at Cultivate'21.

Onofrey says that in addition to stellar landscape performance, the Granvia also works well in containers, like the whiskey barrel set out on the porch. It also has been found to be resistant to mildew and rust.

Granvia is another breeding success from Andrew Bernuetz, the Australian breeder also responsible for Suntory’s scaevola, Princettia euphorbias and Grandaisy argyrantheum.

One of the other top attractions at Suntory’s Cultivate booth was Sun Parasol 'Original Sunbeam.'

This mandevilla is earlier to flower than standard options and is more self-branching with no pinching required. This early flowering (2-3 weeks), quick-finishing mandevilla hybrid performs great in high light conditions with no fading or washing out on the blooms. According to Suntory, it’s one of the only yellows on the market. New for 2022, its upright, bushy habit performs well in containers. With the introduction of Sunbeam, Sun Parasol now offers seven colors.

If you want a chance to see the Airstream in action, you have a few chances this summer. The Suntory Alive with Flowers Airstream tour continues July 28-29 in Litchfield, Michigan for a visit to Raker-Roberta’s Trial Garden. Next, the Airstream travels to Cresco, Iowa for Plantpeddler Variety Day August 6.

For more, check out