Monrovia Announces New Plants for 2008

Sep 8, 2007

“AZUSA, Calif. (September 18, 2007) — Monrovia, the leading grower of premium ornamental plants, is introducing 18 new plant varieties for 2008, 14 of which are exclusive introductions for Monrovia. According to Nicholas Staddon, who heads up the company’s New Plants Team, the new introductions feature three special collections, including four stunning Heuchera, three cold-hardy Hibiscus with extra-large blooms and a more compact growing habit, and two new Crape Myrtle varieties from the National Arboretum. These and other exciting new plants are listed below in alphabetical order:

Leon’s Purple Delight™ Lilac Hibiscus
Alyogyne huegellii ‘MonLeon’
USDA Cold Zone 9 – 11

This beautiful evergreen shrub is a prolific bloomer of royal purple flowers with an occasional light lavender blossom. Discovered by Monrovia craftsman Armando Leon, it is a sport of Alyogyne ‘Santa Cruz’, and is prized for its exceptionally strong root system. While other dark flowering Alyogynes don’t tend to have a great longevity in the landscape, this variety has shown good endurance and is far less susceptible to summer root and crown rot diseases. Ideal shrub for borders, entryways or hedges in warmer climates or used as summer annual elsewhere. Full sun. Moderate grower to six feet tall, four feet wide. A Monrovia exclusive introduction.

Golden Jackpot™ Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea ‘MonSam’
USDA Cold Zone 10-11

This unique discovery by Monrovia craftsman Sam Huang is a branch sport of Bougainvillea Purple Queen®. It has the same intense purple flower bracts, but features fabulous chartreuse, yellow-to-golden foliage. The striking contrast between foliage and deep purple bracts is stunning. Golden Jackpot has a dense, mounding habit and prefers dappled shade. Makes a stunning accent plant and is ideal for brightening up a shady spot in the garden. It is a slower grower and has fewer thorns compared to the parent plant. Medium growth rate of four to five feet per year. A Monrovia exclusive introduction.

Cabernett Dracaena Palm
Cordyline australis ‘Cabernett’
USDA Cold Zone 9 – 11

A sport selection of Cordyline ‘Red Star’, this variety has beautiful glossy dark Cabernet wine-colored foliage. A mature specimen may reach six feet tall with multiple branches displaying arching sword-shaped leaves. Provides a bold accent for both container and landscape gardens, with its vase-shaped weeping leaves. Extraordinarily long tapered blades. The glossy sheen to leaf is highly unusual for a Cordyline. This was brought to Monrovia from a breeder in the Southern Hemisphere. A Monrovia exclusive introduction.

Torbay Dazzler Dracaena Palm
Cordyline australis ‘Torbay Dazzler’
USDA Cold Zone 9 – 11

This magnificent foliage plant has spiky, finely striped variegated leaves with an array of highly unusual colors: bold cream, yellow and green stripes and margins with red at the base of the leaves. A native of New Zealand, Torbay Dazzler makes an excellent container plant for patios and a stunning accent plant in the garden – as a single specimen or in a triangle of three. This plant has been in huge demand in England for past few years and now available to North American gardeners. Monrovia is delighted to be one of the growers of this up and coming variety.

Burgundy Spire Dracaena Palm
Cordyline ‘Burgundy Spire’ PPAF
USDA Cold Zone 9-11

Aptly named, Burgundy Spire displays deep burgundy to rich chocolate foliage, and is a fast grower, reaching spire heights of eight feet tall with age. This is the darkest of Cordyline australis varieties, and the foliage holds longer on the trunk than other Cordyline. Provides a rich colored accent for both container and landscape gardens. This is an Anthony Tesselaar International introduction for 2008.

Magical® Green Fountain Smoke Bush
Cotinus coggygria ‘Kolcot’ Plant Patent No. 14120
USDA Cold Zone 4 – 8

Magical Green Fountain was brought to Monrovia from a breeder in Netherlands, who is one of Europe’s leading breeders for the cut flower industry. The seashell pink flowers have an extra long blooming season, backed by emerald green foliage with a purple tinge on outer leaf. In autumn, the leaves turn a golden yellow. This variety is a shorter, more compact variety, reaching six to eight feet tall and wide. The plumes are on strong stems and can be harvested and used in cut flower arrangements. A Monrovia exclusive introduction.

Lavender Twist™ Redbud
Cercis canadensis ‘Covey’ PP #10328
USDA Cold Zone 5 – 9

This fantastic tree was a discovery by nurseryman Tim Brotzman, who found the plant in a friend’s garden in northern Ohio. It has a fabulous cascading habit. Rich pink flowers adorn the naked branches in spring. After blooming season, large heart-shaped leaves appear, then turn a wonderful rich yellow before it goes deciduous. Due to her cascading habit, it makes a wonderful accent plant. Lavender Twist will grow as high as we stake it. We’re staking 4 – 5 feet high and allow branches to cascade down.

Exclusive Heuchera Collection
Monrovia is working with noted breeders Charles and Martha Oliver, who are finding native Heucheras in the wild, throughout the United States, looking for specific desirable traits, and cross breeding them to create some of the most exciting Heucheras to hit the market in recent years. Monrovia is pleased to introduce four exclusive varieties for 2008. All have larger flowers, with stems that are strong enough to support the big blooms. They are especially disease resistance and they are great growers. These new hybrids combine very large showy flowers with purple and silver foliage.

Crystal Spires Coral Bells
Heuchera x ‘Crystal Spires’ PPAF
USDA Cold Zone 4 – 9

This is a very vigorous, floriferous, large Heuchera with silver, netted with purple-green leaves (darker purple than shown in the photo) and relatively large cream-white flowers from purple buds on erect 24-inch stems.

Caroline Coral Bells
Heuchera x ‘Caroline’ PPAF
USDA Cold Zone 4 – 9

A medium-size Heuchera with softly patterned silver and purple foliage and relatively very large, showy cream-white flowers from purple buds on erect 18-inch stems.

Moonlight Coral Bells
Heuchera x ‘Moonlight’ PP #17434
USDA Cold Zone 4 – 9

The 16- to 20-inch tall Heuchera ‘Moonlight’ impresses with striking purple and silver-frosted foliage, dramatic dark purple stems and luminous pale green flowers. These distinctive traits, along with the largest individual flowers known on any Heuchera in the trade, make for an excellent and mysterious looking accent in any garden.

Rose Majestic Coral Bells
Heuchera x ‘Rose Majestic’ PP # 17414
USDA Cold Zone 4 – 9

Rose Majestic is a large Heuchera with softly patterned silver and purple foliage. It has large, clear-pink flowers on dark purple, sturdy, erect 26-inch stems. This variety has an especially long bloom time in late spring to early summer.

Exclusive Cold-Hardy Hibiscus Collection
Monrovia is introducing three stunning varieties of Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Flemings Hybrids’ for 2008. They are the hardiest hibiscus known, down to -30 degrees F. They have increased disease resistance and stand up to drought, wind and flood conditions better than other cultivars. Their large10 – 12-inch blooms with overlapping petals are absolutely stunning. Yet the shrub has a very compact growth habit with the average height about four feet.

These Fleming hybrids are very easy to grow and trouble-free once established. Prefer full sun, in fertile to average soil that is well drained, but doesn’t like to dry out. Good air circulation is key to produce best flowers and strongest stems.

The species is a tall perennial native to eastern and southern North America, where it grows in moist places, marshes and on lakeshores.

David Fleming Hibiscus
Hibiscus moscheutos ‘David Fleming’ PPAF
USDA Cold Zone 4 – 9

This stunning variety has relaxed flowers in bold ruby red with high-contrast stamens and bright yellow anthers. It is a spectacular summer bloomer with upright rounded form. The ruby red flowers combine well with outstanding palmate maroon-tinted foliage to give a great tropical feel to the herbaceous perennial border. It has great form with strong upright stems and nice rounded habit.

Stardust Hibiscus
Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Stardust’ PPAF
USDA Cold Zone 4 – 9

Lipstick pink blooms with a small red eye and exotic darker venation are accented with pale pink stamen and yellow anthers. The large flowers have a notible relaxed form. Foliage is maple-like and soft green accented with purple. The beautiful large pink blossoms are produced over a long season. Plant has great form with strong upright stems and nice rounded habit.

Strawberries & Cream Hibiscus
Hibiscus Moscheutos ‘Strawberries & Cream’ PPAF
USDA Cold Zone 4 – 9

Unique bi-colored flowers of strong, hot pink fading to a pale pink with a glowing red center, give the illusion that the flower is double. It blooms over a very long season and each flower is 10 inches wide, laying flat for a dramatic look. The four-inch lance-shaped leaves are a shiny green.

New Crape Myrtles from the National Arboretum
Monrovia is one of a few growers that collaborates closely with the National Arboretum on new introductions. We bring some of their discoveries to our nurseries and test sites for observation – some times as long as six or seven years, during which time we evaluate the plants under a variety of conditions and report our findings. These new introductions, Arapaho and Cheyenne are the first hybrid Crape Myrtle cultivars derived from controlled hybridization of three species of Lagerstroemia: L. indica, L. fauriei, and L. limii. This resulted in the best features of each species.They are extremely resistant to powdery mildew and are great flowering varieties

Arapaho Crape Myrtle
Lagerstroemia indica x faueri ‘Arapaho’
USDA Cold Zone 7 – 9

Arapaho features beautiful bark, true red summer blooms and maroon-tinged foliage with brilliant fall color. Glossy, heavy-textured dark green leaves are tinged with maroon and turn red-purple to maroon in the fall. Its panicles of flowers are prolific. Looks great planted in groups, as a hedge or as a small street tree. This small upright tree has an upright growth, reaching 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide in 10 years. It will flower best in full sun, but can grow in partial shade although flowering will be reduced. Grows well in hot, difficult sites.

Cheyenne Crape Myrtle
Lagerstroemia indica x faueri ‘Cheyenne’
USDA Cold Zone 7 – 9

Cheyenne has panicles of vivid red flowers in the summer. Its beautiful exfoliating bark reveals light reddish-tan trunk, and, the glossy green foliage turns maroon in the fall. This variety is stunning in groups as a hedge or on its own as a small tree. Cheyenne has a more rounded growth habit and will reach eight and 10 feet tall and wide.

Ever Red™ Fringe Flower
Loropetalum chinense ‘Chang Nian Hong’
USDA Cold Zone 7 – 9

This new dwarf variety is the first Loropetalum to feature deep vivid-red flowers and will bloom profusely from late winter to early. Its extremely dark chocolate burgundy foliage retains its color year round spring and provides a stunning contrast to the red fringe flowers. Use to create high contrast effects in beds and borders. Evergreen shrub. Full to partial sun. Moderate growth to six feet tall and wide. This was a seedling selection by Dr. Michael Dirr.

Flower Carpet® Pink Supreme Ground Cover Rose
Rosa x ‘NOA250092’ PPAF
USDA Cold Zone 4-10

The latest in the successful Flower Carpet series of roses is Pink Supreme. Its lovely bubble-gum pink blooms, tinged with white have a wonderful golden-yellow stamen. It is very floriferous with an extra long flowering period. This rose has been bred for higher disease resistance, particularly black spot and mildew. Pink Supreme has a more compact growth habit, requiring no pruning to maintain a compact garden growth, reaching two and a half feet tall and four feet wide. Deciduous. Full sun. Moderate grower.

For more information on these plants, or to search for retailers who are carrying the new varieties, please visit www.monrovia.com

Background on Monrovia:
Monrovia is one of the world’s largest producers of container grown plants, with more than 2,000 different varieties. Since it was founded in 1926 by Harry E. Rosedale, the company has introduced hundreds of patented plants, more than 200 of which are Monrovia exclusives. Monrovia plants are shipped to independent garden centers nationwide from its nurseries in Visalia and Venice Hills, Calif., Dayton, Ore., Springfield, Ohio, LaGrange, N.C. and Cairo, Ga. Throughout its history, Monrovia has pioneered many new technologies and new plant introductions. It remains a family owned entity. To find the nearest garden center that carries Monrovia plants, visit www.monrovia.com.