AZUSA, Calif. – (Updated on January 10, 2012) – Monrovia, the leading grower of premium garden plants, has announced eight exclusive and three semi-exclusive new plant varieties for 2013. According to Nicholas Staddon, director of new plants, Monrovia is known for seeking out improved varieties that have better pest or disease resistance; interesting flower or foliage color; are more prolific in blooming or fruiting; or perhaps with a superior shape or habit.
“We work with the best breeders around the world to identify plants that will look better and grow better in your garden,” he said. “We have had the pleasure of working with plant explorer Dan Hinkley the past few years, and he’s brought us some fabulous plants we are delighted to bring to market. He uncovered the first purple-leafed Hydrangea in China that gardeners will love. Plus, a rare Pachysandra with lovely fragrant flowers.” Another exciting new plant, said Staddon, is the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year, the Wild Swan™ Japanese Anemone, chosen for its profuse blooming.
Below are all the 2013 exclusive and semi-exclusive varieties, alphabetized by botanical name.
Azara microphylla ‘Variegata’
USDA Zones 8 – 10
This dainty upright large bush or small tree has a fountain-like shape and arching branches. Its tiny half-inch-long green leaves are edged with a creamy white variegation — the first variegated one of the species. In late spring into early summer, the tiny petal-less flowers exude a vanilla fragrance. Flowers are followed in summer by orange-red berries. Evergreen. It will reach 15 to 25 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide. With pruning, it can be maintained at a smaller size. Care: Prefers partial shade to full sun. Needs weekly watering or more often in extreme heat. Another new addition to the Dan Hinkley Collection.
“It has a relaxed growth habit, especially in shade, but can be pruned into a columnar shape. I love its au natural look when left unpruned,” said Staddon.
Feelin’ Sunny™ Deodar Cedar
Cedrus deodara ‘MonKinn’ P.P.A.F.
USDA Zones 7 – 9
Sporting needles of golden-yellow, this dwarf spreading evergreen has an interesting irregular growth habit. Stunning when contrasted against darker green conifers and deciduous trees. A wonderful specimen for smaller spaces, rock gardens and containers. Attractive when trained into an upright form. Does best in partial to full sun, and once established, needs only occasional watering. Foliage doesn’t burn in full sun. Grows at a moderate rate to four feet tall, spreading to six feet wide.
“How could you not feel sunny when looking at this plant?” asks Staddon. “This was a chance sport of Feelin Blue Deodar Cedar, chosen for its outstanding blue color by the noted plantsman and longtime Monrovia Craftsman, the late Cliff Comstock.”
Red Darling™ Hibiscus
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Red Darling
USDA Zones 10 – 11
Red Darling is one of the best red Hibiscus selections on the market. It blooms profusely, nearly year round in warmer regions, with flowers that are a tantalizing blend of velvety red and coral. The base of each petal is deep cherry, and emerging from the center is large red pistil sporting bright gold pollen, inviting hummingbirds and butterflies. Exceptionally vigorous upright growth supports glossy deep green foliage in stunning contrast with the flowers. Moderate growth rate to six to eight feet high, three to four feet wide. Bred by Hiroshi “Hiro” Kuwabara. E.
“This is absolutely the best red Hibiscus we’ve ever seen. The color is so red the flowers look almost velvet,” said Staddon. “And, large pistils upon which a family of hummingbirds could perch!” He suggests placing it next to patios, entries and in courtyards, where it will be a brilliant focal point.
Hydrangea aspera Plum Passion®
USDA Zones 7 – 10
A Dan Hinkley Plant Collection® selection, this unique shrub was discovered in China – the first ever purple-leaved Hydrangea. Foliage is dark purple on the upper side of the leaf and rosy purple on the underside. Wispy, mid-sized lacecap flowers are somewhat insignificant in contrast with the striking foliage. This moderate growing, deciduous shrub will reach five to six feet tall spreading somewhat wider. Full to partial shade.
“This is one of the most unusual hydrangeas we’ve ever seen…almost to the point you wouldn’t think it’s a Hydrangea,” Staddon said. “A true conversation piece, it would look stunning next to yellow plants like the Golden Spirit Smoke Tree or any blue-leafed Hosta.”
Pachysandra axillaris ‘Windcliff Fragrant’
USDA Zones 6 – 9
Fragrant white flowers appear in early spring and repeat in autumn on this very special selection of Pachysandra. Glossy evergreen foliage provides an attractive groundcover for shade or partial sun. This perennial is a wonderful addition to Monrovia’s Dan Hinkley Collection®. Grows to four to six inches tall with a spreading habit. Requires full shade to partial sun and regular watering, especially in extreme heat.
“This fragrant Pachysandra was discovered in China and brought to us by Dan Hinkley,” explained Staddon. “This will be the new go-to plant for those seeking a shade-loving flowering groundcover.”
Picea glauca conica Tiny Tower®
USDA Zones 3 – 8
This slow growing conifer has a nice pyramidal habit reaching only four to six feet tall. Its dense bright green foliage turns an attractive gray-green when mature. Outstanding as an accent, small specimen or container planting. This variety will grow where others won’t. Ideal for small gardens. Bonus – it’s deer resistant. Prefers partial shade to full sun.
“This was discovered at our Oregon nursery,” said Nicholas. “We have long been searching for a small, tight compact Alberta Spruce, and this is it. It does well in a container and would make a fantastic living Christmas tree on the front porch, or indoor for a brief time.”
Taxus x media ‘Huber’s Tawny Gold’
USDA Zones 4 – 7
A dense, spreading shrub with attractive tawny-gold needles is an excellent foundation planting for a hedge, screen or border. Tolerant of sun or part shade, it provides excellent contrast when massed under the canopy of trees. Versatile and durable, tolerates shearing well. Slow growing evergreen will reach three to four feet tall and four to six feet wide. Very easy care, but needs weekly watering, more often in extreme heat.
“This is the last plant identified by Tom Huber, a noted nurseryman and Delaware Nurseryman Hall of Famer. His last wishers were that Monrovia would grow this plant for him,” said Staddon. “We were fortunate enough that his final instructions brought this stunning plant to us.”
We are pleased to partner with another outstanding breeder, Fall Creek Farm and Nursery to bring you three exciting selections from their new BrazelBerries™ Collection. This breeding program focuses on berry varieties that are easy to grow, with exquisite ornamental qualities and amazing fruit. Each selection has successfully passed rigorous trialing across many geographical regions and growing situations.
Anemone x ‘Macane001’ P.P.A.F. Wild Swan™
USDA Zones 6 – 8
Nodding buds open into pure white flowers and adorn tall stems above the lush deep green maple-shaped leaves. Their lilac blue underside is revealed when flowers are half-closed in morning and evening. It will bloom continuously and profusely from late spring through frost. Lovely massed in a woodland setting or spotted into wild rock gardens and its showy flowers make excellent cut flowers for arrangements. Discovered in Scotland, it was the recipient of Chelsea Flower Show 2011 Plant of the Year Award. While most Anemone tend to run, this variety has a tidy clumping nature, to 18 inches tall by 24 inches wide. Care: Needs regular watering – weekly or more in extreme heat. Prefers partial shade to partial sun.
According to Staddon, “This is the most floriferous anemone we’ve come across. When she looks at you face to face, you see lovely white flowers with yellow stamens. The backs of petals are a pretty amethyst…so whether you’re coming or going, glancing at this plant will afford an exquisite view.”
Rubus idaeus Raspberry Shortcake™ P.P. #22,141
USDA Zones 5 – 9
This is the world’s first dwarf, thornless red Raspberry. It has an endearing, rounded growth habit and is perfectly suited to large patio containers. It will fill out nicely in a pot or spread slightly in the landscape, and requires no staking! Self fertile, yielding full-sized, nutritious and super sweet raspberries in mid-summer. Raspberry Shortcake is a showstopper and will be a lovely addition to the balcony, patio, or garden.
Vaccinium corymbosum Jelly Bean™ P.P.A.F.
USDA Zones 4 – 8
This distinctive little gem of a blueberry looks fabulous from early spring to late fall. Brilliant green new foliage emerges in spring which gives way to darker greens with red hues throughout the summer and fall. In cooler climates, summer brings radiant red leaf edges along the sides and tips of its uniquely elongated leaves. Bountiful clusters of large, flavorful blueberries ripen in mid-summer with super sweet flavor like homemade blueberry jelly. It deserves a place front and center in the landscape or on the patio in decorative containers.
Vaccinium corymbosum Peach Sorbet™ P.P.A.F.
USDA Zones 5 – 10
A four-season showstopper, this compact blueberry is stunning with leaves ranging from peach to pink to orange to emerald green. Spring’s white, bell-shaped flowers will give way to an abundant summer crop of healthy, sweet blueberries mid-summer. In most climates, Peach Sorbet keeps her leaves through the winter when the foliage transitions to a rich eggplant purple. Water, a little spring fertilizer and an annual winter pruning is all she needs to perform – providing beauty and plentiful fruit. This variety is very suitable for warmer regions. Winner of an Outstanding Plant Award at the 2012 FarWest, one of the nursery industry’s leading trade shows.
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NOTE: High res images available upon request.
Background on Monrovia:
Founded in 1926, Monrovia is the leading grower of premium ornamental and edible plants, with more than 2,500 varieties. The company has introduced hundreds of improved plants, including more than 230 exclusives. Monrovia’s Distinctively Better® plants are nurtured in custom-blended, premium soil mixes, to produce healthy plants that flourish in the landscape. Monrovia soils and organic fertilizers are now packaged for home use. From its five, eco-friendly nurseries in Visalia and Venice Hills, Calif., Dayton, Ore., LaGrange, N.C. and Cairo, Ga., Monrovia distributes its plants through independent garden centers and re-wholesalers nationwide. The company remains a family owned entity. www.monrovia.com