Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
When shopping for cut flowers and plants for the cut flower garden, you won’t go wrong with award winning varieties. Here is some background on several of those.
Cleome Senorita Rosalita
This spider flower is a hybrid from Proven Winners that has probably received more awards than one can mention, over 70 in all at last count.
This was a top performer at the Michigan State University’s Garden Plant Showcase in 2010. It was also a favorite among visitors and the favorite of the trials manager at the Michigan State University horticulture and demonstration gardens in East Lansing. It was also among the best overall performers at the Cornell University trials in Ithaca, N.Y. This has been a consistent winner at Cornell year after year.
It is among the top ten varieties at the Mississippi State University’s Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station plant trials in Crystal Springs.
The other awards include being a top performer at the Colorado State University trials. It received an outstanding rating at Disney trials. This was also rated as excellent by the Boerner Botanical Garden in Milwaukee.
Suitable for all regions of the country, this plant is very adaptable. This has a silvery sheen to the foliage. The wispy blooms look delicate. It blooms throughout the season. The medium-sized flowers are dark lavender.
Reaching four feet in height and easy to grow, the thornless plants don’t need lots of water. They’re tolerant of extreme growing conditions, including humidity, heat, and cool weather.
Though the plants are said to be sterile, nonetheless mine did appear to
self-sow. This was the only spider flower I was growing at the time, and seedlings emerged in the garden the following year.
The spider flowers have a vase life of about a week. The stems are used as a large form flower.
The Scentropia Dark Blue heliotrope proved to be very popular at the University of Georgia trial gardens in Athens. It was ranked as the number two popular variety during the industry-wide open house as well.
Like all heliotropes, this makes a good cut flower. The stems have a vase life of about six days or so. They’re used as a medium filler flower for they add mass to floral designs.