Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
During the last year or so a number of outstanding cut flowers have received various awards. Here are highlights for some of those.
Angelonia was among the top five popular annuals in Florida. Angelface Blue Improved, a Proven Winners variety, was among the top 16 trial varieties at the Garden Plant Showcase in the Michigan State University plant trials in East Lansing. This received a perfect rating of five throughout the season at the Michigan trials. It had a great habit and color. All in all, the Angelface series has won over 50 awards thus far. This is part of the P.Allen Smith Platinum Collection. This strong, sturdy, vigorous plant has an upright growth habit with excellent branching. The very large blooms are bluish-purple. These are quite tolerant of humidity and heat.
Angelmist Spreading Purple Improved was an award winner at Colorado State University trials.
The Angelonia Serena series received awards as well. The Serena White was a North Texas Winners Circle winner. The series has also received the Mississippi Medallion Award, the Dallas Arboretum FlameProof Award, and the Louisiana Super Plants Award. Reaching about 1½ feet in warm climates, they have a slightly larger spread. These are well branched, easy to grow, and bloom all season long.
The angelonias are grown as annuals and as container plants.
They make great cut flowers.
Winky Single Columbines
The Aquilegia vulgaris Winky Single Series received a Fleuroselect Winner award. Over a foot in height with an almost equal spread, this perennial is hardy to zone three. The robust, upright plants are shrubby. They have very unique, outfacing blossoms on very sturdy stems. Winky Single blossoms open during the spring and early summer. These plants are tolerant of mildew.
New for 2011 is the Early Sky Blue WInky Single. These blossoms are white or pink in bud, and open to reveal the gorgeous blue blooms with white centers.
All in all, there are five colors in the series. This is also available as a seed mix.
The columbines are used as a small form flower. Though the vase life can vary slightly from one variety to another, these generally last for about a week.