Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Several of the globe amaranth or gomphrenas varieties received prestigious awards during plant trials around the country.
Gomphrena Fireworks was one of the most outstanding. It received so many awards. It was named one of the best new varieties at the Oklahoma State University trials in Oklahoma City.
Gomphrena Fireworks was also named a favorite at the University of Guelph Trial Gardens in Guelph, Ontario. In addition, it was named two of the top five varieties at the University of Illinois Arboretum. The trials took place in the Miles C. Hartley Selections Garden in Urbana. At Illinois it was also named a favorite as well as one of the best new varieties.
Michigan State also named it as one of the top five varieties following trials at the Michigan State University Horticulture Gardens in East Lansing. At Colorado State University trials at Fort Collins, it was named one of the best new varieties.
As if that wasn’t enough, Fireworks globe amaranth was also named a Classic City Award Winner in the annuals category at the University of Georgia Trial Gardens in Athens.
Fireworks globe amaranth has large, hot pink blooms with vivid yellow tips. These open on sturdy, tall stems. Nearly four feet wide, these plants produce lots of stems for cutting. The plants can reach four feet or so in height.
The Fireworks plants are especially adapted to adverse growing conditions. They will tolerate drought, heat, and extreme summer weather conditions. They’ve been described as being ‘tough as nails.’ They bloom throughout the growing season. This is among the most floriferous of the globe flowers.
Fireworks globe amaranth wasn’t the only variety to receive various honors. Las Vegas Purple Gomphrena was named one of the best new varieties at Oklahoma State University trials in Oklahoma City.
In addition, the Las Vegas series was among the top five varieties at Texas A & M trial gardens, which took place at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton.
The stems of Las Vegas globe amaranth are about 1½ feet tall. The series includes three separate flower colors—white, purple, and pink as well as a formula seed mix. The seeds are available from Stokes and other sources.