feature story

fresh flowers: new and noteworthy

Florists’ Review editors select new flowers that demand your attention.



by KELSEY E. SMITH


New varieties of flowers create buzz among growers and breeders every day, but when a particular color or form has not been available before, or when a plant is marketed as a cut flower for the first time, it is especially exciting for florists to know about it so they can stay ahead of the competition with the most distinctive flowers in production. The flowers shown on these pages are not inclusive of all new varieties on the market but rather are our editors’ picks of the latest and most interesting. All are currently in production, so ask your favorite supplier for these and other fresh offerings. (Roses have been excluded from this article because new varieties will be featured in our January issue.)

a Considered to be one of the whitest Delphiniums ever, ‘Aurora White’ (Elatum group) has a slim flower spike with a dense cover of double flowers. The flower, which has excellent uniformity, is the fourth cultivar in the “Aurora” series, which also includes ‘Aurora Deep Purple, ‘Aurora Blue’ and ‘Aurora Lavender.’ Photo courtesy of Flower Council of Holland
 

b Expanding its scope beyond the violet color family, this species of Limonium is now available in an array of new colors including ‘Pink Activa,’ ‘Yellow Activa’ and ‘Bronze Activa.’ Each variety has strong stems and is available year-round. Vase life is approximately 14 days. Photo courtesy of Esmeralda Farms; Miami, Fla.

c The ‘Hulk’ Hydrangea, which comes from the “Antique” family, offers a distinctive mix of greens and blues as well as a larger bloom—8 inches in diameter—than most Hydrangeas. Stems are a minimum of 10 inches (25 cm) long. ‘Hulk’ has a vase life of approximately seven to 10 days. This variety will be in full production year-round beginning in January 2007. Photo courtesy of Fresca Farms; Miami, Fla.
 

d Previously available only as blooming plants, Magnolias are now available as cut flowers exclusively from The Magnolia Company. The medium-size blooms, the stems of which are 8 to 12 inches long, are available from May through October. These relatively short-lived flowers are popular for weddings and other special events. Photo courtesy of The Magnolia Company; Barberville, Fla.

e Poinsettias have been revived as cut flowers at the Paul Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, Calif. New hybrids are being produced specifically for cut-flower use and have a two- to three-week vase life. The most popular form of cut poinsettias is the “Renaissance” series, shown, which is available in red, white, pink, marble (white bracts with distinctive pink centers) and peppermint (soft pink bracts with red flecking). The “Jester” series also shows promise for cut-flower use. Current availability is mid-November through December. Photo courtesy of Paul Ecke Ranch; Encinitas, Calif.
 

f The ‘Diva Maria’ calla (Zantedeschia), available from October through May exclusively from CallaCo, a division of Golden State Bulb Growers, adds color to the standard calla. The flower, which is a striking lavender color on the outside and white on the inside, has a graceful form and superior vase life. ‘Diva Maria’ is the first release in CallaCo’s new Callafornia Divas™ series. Photo courtesy of CallaCo, a division of Golden State Bulb Growers; Moss Landing, Calif.

g With lush, fluffy inflorescences, ‘Jade’ Trachelium joins its purple predecessor with an unusual jade-green color. The flower, commonly known as throatwort, is available year-round and has a vase life of 14 to 21 days. Photo courtesy of Esmeralda Farms; Miami, Fla.
 

h The intriguing ‘Hocus Pocus’ Anthurium causes viewers to do a double-take. With two spathes instead of one, the flower, at first glance, appears as though it is two Anthuriums. The uppermost spathe looks like a porch roof protecting the second spathe below. The color—dark brown with red veins, against which the spadix contrasts beautifully—is striking as well. Photo courtesy of Flower Council of Holland

i Although there is no true green-blossomed Dianthus variety, Dianthus ‘Amazon,’ which is available in pink, red and hot burgundy, can be cut six to 10 days before expected flowering time, in the green stage, producing these verdant flowers. It is available year-round and has an excellent vase life of up to three weeks. The green Dianthus will bloom in the vase after six to 10 days. Photo courtesy of GlobalRose.com; Miami, Fla.
 

j ‘My Pink’ baby’s breath (Gypsophila) adds a captivating pink option to traditionally white flowers. It has rich inflorescences, a sturdy stem structure and long vase life of 14 to 18 days, and it is available year-round. Photo courtesy of Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm; Beit Dagan, Israel

k Providing a contemporary contrast of white and green, the new ‘Grace’ variety of calla (Zantedeschia) improves on its legendary cousin, ‘Green Goddess,’ in several ways. The flower is smaller and more tapered than ‘Green Goddess,’ making it look less fragile, and the green of the bract is brighter. This variety is currently most available from August through December, but efforts are under way to cultivate it year-round. It has an excellent vase life of more than six weeks. Photo courtesy of Flower Council of Holland
 

l The ‘Montego Bay’ Oriental trumpet (OT) lily has a rich peach/orange center that fades to a golden yellow. ‘Montego Bay’ is primarily available during autumn and has a vase life of around 14 days. Cross-breeding has produced blooms that are more upright with the stem than perpendicular to it. Photo courtesy of Brand Flowers; Carpinteria, Calif.

m A new blue/white bicolor variety of Lisianthus (syn. Eustoma), ‘Piccolo,’ is a showy, top-flowering single bloom variety. The flower, commonly known as prairie gentian, is white with deep purple edges and a green inner center. It is available year-round and has a vase life of approximately 14 days. Photo courtesy of Esmeralda Farms; Miami, Fla.

n Gerrondo®, a cushion-type Gerbera with nearly 500 layered petals, has hit the market with eight varieties in the “Terra Universe” series, all named after planets. The flowers are available year-round, and vase life ranges from 13 to 20 days, depending on variety. The variety shown is ‘Terra Mars.’ Photo courtesy of Terra Nigra B.V.
 

o The ‘Neon Purple’ Dianthus offers a departure from the reds, whites, pinks and bicolors typically found on this flower. It is available year-round and has a vase life of 10 to 14 days. Photo courtesy of Esmeralda Farms; Miami, Fla.


You may contact Kelsey Smith by e-mail at ksmith@floristsreview.com or by phone at (800) 367-4708. 
 

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