The international team from Suntory Flowers looks forward to greeting California Spring Trials visitors at a new location April 9 to 14. In addition to having our own exhibition at GroLink Plant Company in Oxnard, Suntory will have a strong presence in the garden beds at EuroAmerican Propagators in Bonsall.
Here is a sneak preview of the 2017 annual introductions from Suntory Flowers:
Surfinia continues to be the flagship brand for the Suntory Collection of annuals. These vigorous petunias are known for their weather tolerance and ability to go the distance all season, from early spring until frost. Some varieties will tolerate a light frost.
New for 2017 is Surfinia Heartbeat, an adorable novelty. White flowers have a pattern of pink hearts. The hearts grow with love and care under mild temperatures and adequate fertilizer. Plants have a compact mounding and trailing habit and offer excellent rain tolerance. Heartbeat is charming in hanging baskets, containers and window boxes.
A big addition to the Surfinia Sumo landscape class of petunias is Sumo Glacial Pink. Blooms are a light, frosty pink with vibrant pink throats. Vigorous plants create mounds of color that are perfect for landscape beds and very large containers. For growers, the plants are best suited to gallon pots instead of 4-inch. The new color is a nice contrast to the other three Sumos in vibrant Pink, Plum and Bold Lilac.
Suntory is rolling out a whole new generation of breeding in compact Surdiva scaevolas. This grower-friendly series is becoming even more so. The new varieties bloom two weeks earlier and are more densely branched and compact. They offer richer colors and superior floral coverage. Three new colors include Light Blue, Blue Violet and Fashion Pink, which has darker pink streaks in the fan flowers.
To differentiate between the new genetics and the tried and true Surdiva varieties growers and landscapers already know and love, the established ones will be designated as Classic – Classic Blue, Classic Light Blue and Classic Pink. White Improved already matches the new genetics.
New breeding for heat and weather tolerance have made lobelias an essential, versatile vegetative annual. Suntory has two series – Suntory Lobelia Trailing and Suntory Lobelia Compact. While the trailing is perfect for combinations and hanging baskets, the compact series is best for small pots and landscapes. New varieties include Trailing Purple with Eye and an improved Compact White.
Ruby Red is a breakthrough color in Senetti pericallis. The series is best known for vivid blues, purples and magentas. Ruby Red’s flowers have solid, deep wine red petals with dark centers. Plants match the original Senetti series in growth habit, producing a high flower count. Perfect for cool season sales and plantings.
The breeding wizards at Suntory Flowers have transformed the common bedding plant vinca into something spectacular with the new Soiree catharanthus. Soiree debuted last year with three series:
Soiree Crown — Flowers have a crown-shaped flower form, like if you cut the normal vinca flower with pinking shears.
Soiree Double — Elegant double flowers, a truly unique form.
Soiree Ka-wa-i-i — Profuse microbloomers covered with abstract-looking cartoon flowers. The word “kawaii” means “cute” in Japanese.
Crown is the most vigorous and Ka-wa-i-i is the most compact. All varieties feature superior branching; retain a tight, compact habit; have glossy green foliage and demonstrate exceptional heat tolerance. Soiree is perfect for summer retail programs and landscapes and will sizzle in the South.
New Soiree colors for 2017 are Double Orchid, a light bluish purple color, Ka-wa-i-i Pure White and Ka-wa-i-i Pink Peppermint.
Last, but not least, is a new niche series — Suntotis arctotis. Native to South Africa, these daisy flowers thrive in dry conditions. The breeders at Suntory Flowers have dramatically improved arctotis by increasing flower count, reducing leaf size and making the plants more compact with shorter flower stems and superior branching. No pruning is necessary in the landscape. Plants are versatile and suited to patio pots, hanging baskets, window boxes and landscape beds. Produce in 4-to 6-inch pots. The series debuts with three gorgeous colors — orange, pink and white.
For more information about Suntory varieties, visit www.suntoryflowers.com.
To register for the California Spring Trials, go to horticultureevents.com/CAST.