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CAST Highlights: Perennials

Chris Beytes, Bill Calkins, Paul Pilon & Jennifer Zurko
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Echinacea Double Scoop Deluxe (Darwin)
The Double Scoop collection, with their showy double flowers, is getting an upgrade (the collection is 12 years old now, believe it or not!). The new ones are called Double Scoop Deluxe. The line has been improved for habit; it’s now more compact, just like Darwin’s popular Sombrero Echinacea. The series gets two new colors, Watermelon and Strawberry. Raspberry and Orangeberry carry over from the old series. Zone 4.

Centaurea Silver Swirl, Salvia Silver Scent, Stachys Little Lamb (Darwin)
This new collection of three silver-foliaged perennials includes a culinary sage; a small-foliaged, compact lamb’s ear; and the highlight of the collection, Centaurea Silver Swirl, a bright silvery white that will illuminate the border of any garden at night. Zone 5.

Dianthus Pashmina (Selecta One)
The Pashmina series is a true perennial groundcover dianthus, bred for continuous blooming. Three colors to start—Berry Red, Magenta and Pink+White—with more coming. Zone 5.

Leucanthemum Whisker White (Green Fuse)
Green Fuse has introduced a handful of new daisies in the past few years, but this one stands out as the first daylength neutral “crazy daisy” type. Zone 5.

Leucanthemum Sweet Daisy Shelly (Dümmen Orange)
Sweet Daisy Shelly is a cute and compact first-year flowering Shasta daisy, reaching just 4- to 6-in. tall with a near-perfect mounding habit. It’s great as a potted plant or in the landscape. Zone 4.

Article ImageLavender LaDiva Papillon White (Dümmen Orange)
LaDiva Papillon White is a Spanish lavender with clear white flags—something that’s hard to achieve on a white lavender. Of course, the vast majority of lavenders sold are not white … perhaps a good crisp, clear one will help move the needle for white lavender. Zone 6.

Iberis Candy Sorbet (Dümmen Orange)
Traditionally, the bright white flowers on iberis are in bloom very early in the season—before garden centers start to get busy in spring, which limits sales opportunities. Last year, Dümmen introduced White Shadow, which adds a couple of weeks to the flower time of their standard iberis, helping reduce this challenge. This year, they took moving the bloom season of iberis to a whole new level with Candy Sorbet. This one, you start in December and finish for JULY sales. Yep, a summer iberis! Granted, it’s not pure white like White Shadow; instead, it’s a beautiful lilac pink. The plants on display at CAST weren’t in bloom (hey, it wasn’t July yet!), but we saw pics and really think this one has potential. Zone 6.

Gaillardia Spin Top Mariachi Red Sky (Dümmen Orange)
SpinTop Red Improved is a clone of their best-selling variety and now is a more prolific bloomer, producing more flowers per plant. As a new addition to the SpinTop series, Mariachi Red Sky livens up the garden with its cheery, colorful red spoon-tipped flowers. Zone 3.

SalviaArticle Image Salute Neon Pink, Noble Knight, Noche, Caramia Rose (Dümmen Orange)
Four new Salvia nemerosas from Dümmen Orange this year, including Salute Neon Pink, an addition to their original S. nemarosa series.
Noble Night is the beginning of another new S. nemarosa series bred for huge flowers and dark stems. It’s said to flower early and fit nicely in 2.5-quart pots.

Noche is a stand-alone S. nemarosa with an extremely dark calex and flower. The novel characteristic of Noche is that even when the blooms fade, the plant still looks nice with the dark profile.

Lastly, we think Caramia Rosa is going to be a hit with growers because of its size and vigor: three liners will fill a 3- or even 5-gal. pot and grow 2.5 to 3 ft. tall in landscapes. All four are Zone 3 hardy.

Echinacea Mooodz Jealousy, Imagination, Devotion (HilverdaFlorist)
Three new first-year flowering echinaceas in the Mooodz series (yes, three Os). Each is named for an emotion: Jealousy is a cool green flower, Imagination is purple, and Devotion is a spicy orange/red. Mooodz are propagated from tissue culture, so expect a fast finish and tons of flowers. Zone 4.

Veronica Candela (Dümmen Orange)
Here’s a true first-year flowering Salvia longiflora series that will catch eyes with its crisp, clean foliage and large, colorful flower spikes. The cultivars are well matched in plant size and flower timing. Zone 3.

Armeria Dreameria Vivid Dreams (Darwin)
Darwin adds a deep purple called Vivid Dreams to the relatively new Dreameria series of Armeria. Dreamerias are known for excellent, season-long flowering compared to traditional varieties. Heat-tolerant plants work well in the landscape and containers. URCs are available callused, to help growers in production. Zone 5.

Caryopteris Emerald Crest (Darwin)Article Image
If you’re looking for a great plant for late summer or fall programs, add Emerald Crest to the list. It’s smaller than other caryopteris on the market, reaching around 30 in. at maturity, produces attractive glossy, green leaves, and develops clusters of rare blue flowers. Zone 6.

Agastache Honeysticks (Dümmen Orange)
Honeysticks is a collection of three sweet new agastache cultivars from Dümmen Orange. They’re so sweet, the pollinators absolutely love them. You’ll love them too, for their ease of production, compact habit and season-long flowering. Zone 6.

Gaura Monarch Pink (Dümmen Orange)
The new Monarch series of gaura are compact to medium in size, but produce loads of large, bright flowers to bring cheer to mixed containers and perennial borders. Zone 6.

Dianthus Sugar ‘n Spice (Benary)
“Sugar and spice and everything nice” perfectly describes this new standalone interspecific vegetative dianthus. With its multicolored appearance, it produces an eye-catching display. It has huge, highly serrated flowers on well-branched plants. The long-lasting flowers make an awesome presentation in containers or the landscape. Zone 3.

Rudbeckia Pawnee Spirit (Benary)
BenaArticle Imagery introduced this new Rudbeckia hirta as a more compact version of Denver Daisy. Pawnee Spirit is also earlier than others, with large flowers that stand up to rain. Growing up to 20 in., Pawnee Spirit is a nice rudbeckia for large patio pots. Zone 5. GT

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