Colorado State University Releases Annual Plant Trial Results
Best of Show: Argyranthemum 'White Butterfly'
Since 1971, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., has held plant trials for annuals. Cool season trials began in 2003 and perennial trials in 2006. The purpose of the trials is to evaluate annuals performance under Rocky Mountain environmental conditions, characterized by high altitude, intense solar radiation, dry winds, hailstorms, large temperature fluctuation and season-long need for irrigation.
In May and June of 2016, hundreds varieties of annuals - 572 varieties in sun beds, 67 varieties in shade beds, 407 varieties in sun containers, and nine varieties in shade containers - were planted at the university's trial garden. Among these were petunias, begonia, lavender, salvia and hibiscus.
Care was taken throughout the trial to make sure that every plant received adequate water and fertilization, and was properly maintained throughout their growth cycle. No insecticides were applied, and no herbicides applied after planting. Fungicides were applied to three varieties in sun beds as a preventative measure; other than that, no fungicides were applied after planting.
Plants were judged in early August by horticulture students, faculty, industry representatives, public horticulturalists and master gardeners. In September an advisory committee made up of industry professionals re-evaluated the top rated entries to ensure quality and selected the 2016 winners.
The Best of Show and Outstanding Plant winners, based on vigor, uniformity, floriferousness, and tolerance to stress, are as follows:
Best of Show - Argyranthemum 'White Butterfly'
Best New Variety - Lantana 'Lucky' Red
Best Novelty - Begonia 'Jurassic' Red Splash
Other Outstanding Plants:
Angelonia 'Archangel Cherry Red'
Geranium (interspecific) 'Caliente Fire'
Lantana 'Lucky Sunrise Rose'
Phlox 'Gisele Hot Pink'