Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
If you’re shopping for the best possible cut flowers and varieties for your cutting garden, look for award winning varieties. The eustomas or lisianthus will never let you down. Here are details on a few of those.
There are several award winning varieties of these cut flowers that did well during 2010 plant trials. At the Bear Creek Farms cut flower trials in
Oklahoma, located in zone six, the top performers included Excaliber, Mariachi, and Rosita as well as the Arenas. There is both a white and red in the Arenas series. The ABC 1-3 was also a best seller.
The Vulcan Purple Picotee also performed well at plant trials. This has very large, purple, cup shaped flowers. The petals are thick and sturdy. Vulcan is a new variety for 2011, and was well liked among the cut flower growers.
The ABC 1-3 Misty Blue was a best performer at the University of Guelph in Canada. This double flowered variety blooms early to mid-season. Easy to grow, these plants produce lots of stems for cutting. The top quality very full, richly double flowers have whirls of white and purplish-blue. This is a variety of Eustoma grandiflorum in the ABC, double flowered series.
The ABC series are uniform blooming plants. Easy to grow, these are carefree plants. They produce lots of stems for cutting. These have high quality, very full flowers with lots of petals.
The ABC colors include ABC 1-3 Green with pale green blooms that have some white coloring. These bloom rather early.
ABC 1-3 Yellow has pale pastel petals. ABC 2-3 Misty Blue is a mid-season bicolor with white and blue-purple petals. There is also ABC 2-3 Misty Pink, which is a very beautiful bicolor of white and pastel pink.
ABC-24 Yellow Improved generally has pure pastel yellow petals though some have touches of white. All of these are new for 2011.
The original eustoma was a native wild flower called the prairie gentian. It has been domesticated and bred as a cut flower. Now it has become a staple in the cut flower industry. These are used as a medium form flower. Somewhat reminiscent of roses, they can have a vase life of up to two weeks.