News Release Distributed 03/21/14By Allen Owings LSU AgCenter horticulturist
HAMMOND, La. – Six bedding plants have been named national All-America Selection winners for the 2014 gardening season. They include Serenita Pink angelonia, Florific Sweet Orange New Guinea impatiens, Sparkle White gaura, NuMex Easter ornamental pepper, Akila Daisy White osteospermum and African Sunset petunia.
Serenita Pink angelonia is a compact, tough plant, ideal for very hot and humid temperatures in Louisiana. This Serenita variety features a unique deep pink flower not usually seen in angelonias. The AAS judges praised this entry for being drought- and heat-tolerant while continuing to produce a large number of flower stems all season long.
Another group of great angelonias for Louisiana is the LSU AgCenter Super Plant Serena angelonia. The Serenitas are dwarf versions of Serenas.
Sparkle White gaura was outstanding in the trial gardens at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station in 2013. It is a floriferous and graceful plant with an exceptionally long bloom period. This gaura flowers early and has a more controlled growth habit. It will give home gardeners a great show in containers and in garden beds. Gaura is great for butterfly gardens.
Florific New Guinea impatiens creates high color impact in shade or semi-shaded garden locations. This variety has unique salmon-bicolor flowers. Considering the downy mildew problems with our common impatiens, the New Guinea impatiens are a great alternative.
The NuMex Easter ornamental pepper creates compact plant displays. This variety produces small clusters of four to six fruits on top of the plants in a color range from lavender to light yellow – and when fully mature, a light orange. The colors of the fruit resemble the pastel colors of Easter eggs.
Akila Daisy White osteospermum has a clean-looking daisy flower sporting a pale center. It is early-flowering and has a nicely controlled habit and excellent branching. Free-flowering performance will give the home gardener a great show in containers and gardens beds.
African Sunset petunia is the first orange-flowering petunia from seed. It was very impressive and appealing at California Spring Trials in 2013. Bloom will be good for spring or fall planting in Louisiana. Flowers show attractive designer-colored, orange-hued flowers. Mounded spreading plants are 12 inches tall and spread up to 32 inches.
The LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station evaluates many new and exciting flowers each season, including past and potential future all-America Selections winners. The LSU AgCenter’s award-winning official AAS display garden is located at the Botanic Gardens at Burden in Baton Rouge.
You can see more about work being done in landscape horticulture by visiting the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station website. Also, like us on Facebook. You can find an abundance of landscape information for both home gardeners and industry professionals at both sites.
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