2013 Cut Flowers of the Year
Members of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, Inc. have selected the Fresh, Woody Stem, and Bulb Cut Flowers of the Year for 2013. The evaluation is based on the cultivars’ performance in the ASCFG National Cut Flower Trials, and recommendations from cut flower growers across the country. The winners for 2013 are:
Stock ‘Katz Cherry Blossom’
From a series named for PanAmerican Seed product manager Philip Katz, this cultivar is was noted by growers for its uniform flowers and consistent stem length. Its improved heat tolerance and fast crop time compared to traditional column stocks allow it to be grown earlier and later in the season, and by growers who are not usually able to produce it in warmer climates. Tunnel production is recommended for overall improved quality and for weather protection. Floral designers appreciate its subtle coloring and delicate fragrance. Five percent of PanAmerican Seed’s worldwide net seed sales of the Katz stock series will be donated to PanCan for Pancreatic Cancer research.
This native plant produces small white flowers in summer, and masses of hot pink berries which ripen into the fall. It’s relatively easy to cultivate as a cut flower crop, with fruiting stems as long as 60 inches. Fruit form on the current season’s growth. Plants tend to spread via underground suckers when they settle into a prime spot. Stems are harvested when most of the fruit is well colored; waiting too long might result in the older fruit turning brown.
Ranunculus ‘Super Green’
Funky and ‘avant garde describe this unusual cultivar, which combines the bright, cheery colors of traditional ranunculus with green, leafy inner petals. ‘Super Green’ is available as a mix or in individual colors. As with traditional ranunculus, plants grow best in cool weather and are particularly well suited to minimally or non-heated tunnels during winter and spring. Stems grow up to 24 inches. Vase life can be 5 to 10 days, if the hollow stems are handled carefully. Jennie Love, of Love ‘n Fresh Flowers in Philadelphia, says ‘Super Green’ flowers are very sturdy and hold up extremely well for detailed designs like corsages and hair combs. The unique coloration of the green centers is perfect for being highlighted in these pieces and often elicit excited comments from my clients. A western grower likes its long harvest window, as flowers become more intensely green as they open.