Four major new winning plants from Europe
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

February 26, 2017

AAbove, Double Pink Mania Calibrachoa, and Lewisia elise Ruby Red. Below, Zinnia Profusion Red, and Petunia hybrida MyLove Orange.




For some weeks now I have been writing these pieces on topics that I enjoyed reading in journals such as Nature. I hope that some of you enjoyed some of the newer ideas as much as I did.

This week it is back to plants, specifically annual flowers that are new and winners of the Fleuroselect Gold Medal. Fleuroselect is the European version of the North American All-American Selections organization.

I will not put these in any particular order, so they are not ranked here. The first is Double flowering pink Calibrachoa with early flowering, mounded habit, and great summer performance. Better filling of flowers, larger flowers, and better summer performance. A Gold Medal is awarded to a breakthrough in breeding and this Calibrachoa fits the bill. The jury specially appreciated Double PinkMania!’s desirable pink double flowers, semi-trailing plant habit and continuous flowering season. The latest beauty in the MiniFamous® series stands for: Double Pink, Double Power!

MiniFamous® Double PinkMania! fits all medium-sized Calibrachoa growing schemes and can be grown as a single plant or in a mixed basket. Thanks to interbreeding, the root system has been strengthened making this Calibrachoa a great performer in all climates. The sturdy roots and stable colour ensure an excellent shelf life whereas the magnificent double flowers attract the eye at any point of sale. Gardeners will be swept away by the vibrant pink colour and continuous gar-den performance from May to October. MiniFamous® Double PinkMania!, stunning and strong!

Calibrachoa was named after Antonio de la Cal y Bracho, a 19th-century Mexican botanist. Closely related to Petunia, this species shows external differences and fertilization factors that clearly distinguish these two plant types. Root stability, very early flowering and a long flowering period characterises MiniFamous® Double.

The second gold Medal winner this year is Lewisia Elise Ruby Red. Following on from the highly successful Lewisia Elise Mix, Elise Ruby Red is a stunning, single coloured Lewisia cotyledon which allows producers to grow another single colour alongside Elise White and Mix. Its abundant, continuous flowering provides a delicate looking, yet very strong pot or garden plant that will flower for four to five months after sowing until the first frosts. Elise Ruby Red blooms continuously throughout summer, lighting up beds, borders, containers and rock gardens. Tolerating heat and drought well, Lewisia Elise Ruby Red is also perfectly happy with cooler temperatures and will overwinter with protection from wet weather.

Gold Medals are awarded to the latest accomplishments in breeding. The Fleuroselect jury was genuinely impressed with the single, captivating colour and outstanding growing performance and therefore awarding Elise Ruby Red a Fleuroselect Gold Medal. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend? Not anymore. Please step aside for Elise Ruby Red!

What the grower was waiting for! A single, separate colour of first year flowering, Lewisia cotyledon with an excellent germination rate and uniform plant habit. As this Winner does not require vernalisation, Elise Ruby Red can be produced so much faster. This newcomer will stand out at retail for its unique new, radiant colour and excellent shelf life. Consumers will marvel at this sun-loving succulent in bright red that stands up to heat and drought perfectly and blooms and re-blooms again all summer long. Elise Ruby Red, a single-coloured Lewisia now available in one season! Height 12-15 cm, spread 15-20 cm, rosette shaped plant form.

Lewisias are native wildflowers from the Pacific Northwest and from the Rocky Mountains in the US. They were collected by Meriwether Lewis in the early 1800s during his quest for the Northwest Passage. Traditionally grown as perennials in alpine houses, new breeding brought the Lewisia Elise series which flowers in its first year, making a bright and attractive annual bed-ding plant.

Zinnia hybrida ‘Profusion Red’ is the third new and Gold-Medal-winning cultivar for coming years from Fleuroselect. Real red richness... that’s what Profusion Red is all about. This brand new breeding achievement in Zinnia combines a unique, red flower with the strength and beau-ty of the famous Profusion Series. As red is the #1 colour for landscaping, this new variety has an extremely high commercial potential. Very easy to grow, Profusion Zinnias are annuals that love a humus-rich, evenly moist soil. They bloom profusely from early summer until first frosts and are an excellent choice for borders, beds and large containers. This newcomer, Profusion Red will be an equally excellent performer in all climates!

The jury especially praised “the striking, genuinely red colour which is an addition to the entire segment and will carry the strong reputation of the series for quality and innovation into the next generation.” Profusion Red, plenty of real, red flowers for a spectacular patio or garden!

The first true red Zinnia of its type on the market! This winner is perfectly suited for spring bedding and summer pot production. Growers will see their turnover increase thanks to this Zinnia’s short production time and strong disease tolerance. Retailers will appreciate this maintenance-free annual with its long shelf-life and striking colour for eye-catching bench displays. Thanks to its strong disease tolerance and self-cleaning flowering habit, Profusion Red is easy to maintain in the garden. An entirely new red hue, available as of 2017! Height 35 cm, spread 50 cm, compact bush shaped plant form.

Zinnias are named after the German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn. The annual used to be unpopular because it was easily affected by disease. State of the art breeding strongly improved the disease resistance of Zinnia and turned it into a great garden performer. The ‘Profusion’ Zinnias from Sakata stand for heat and humidity tolerance, disease resistance, easy maintenance (no dead-heading required), pretty flowers and compact growth.

The final of four winners of Gold Medals is Petunia x hybrida MyLove Orange. Petunia is a genus in the family Solanacea, subfamily Petunioideae. With MyLove Orange, the Italian seed breeder Farmen has stretched the boundaries of classical production and created the next generation of reliable, versatile, floriferous Petunia.

Butterflies in your stomach, a raised pulse... It’s love at first sight with this powerful Petunia. MyLove Orange is the first male-sterile Petunia that is resistant to cold and hot temperatures. This beauty provides a strong, orange colour splash in any garden setting, ranging from the patio over the balcony to ground cover. MyLove Orange is a low maintenance plant with an excellent disease and weather tolerance ensuring maximum consumer satisfaction.

The Fleuroselect judges particularly appreciated MyLove Orange’s excellent growing performance with resistance to high temperatures as well as its superior, long flowering season. Amore, amour, Liebe, ... MyLove Orange will charm gardeners across the world.

Thanks to its extraordinary branching habit, this award winner can be grown in plugs or in the pack without pinching or the use of growth regulators, at lower temperatures than other Petunias. MyLove Orange will be an instant success at retail due to its compactness and longer shelf life. The vibrant colour will appeal instantly to the consumer, who will adore this Jasmin-scented Petunia for its multitude of flowers in the garden or on the terrace from early Spring to late Autumn. MyLove Orange, a Petunia that will enchant the entire supply chain. Height 20-25 cm, spread 50-60 cm, bush shaped plant form.

There are several more winners that are not mentioned above, and I shall try to get those in within the next few weeks.


  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row