Monrovia Announces 2009 New Plant Introductions

Aug 7, 2008

Monrovia, the leading grower of premium plants, is introducing 22 exclusive and semi-exclusive new plant varieties for 2009. According to Nicholas Staddon, director of new plants, “Research shows that home gardeners seek out plants that are improvements over existing offerings. So we continue to look for new varieties that are hardier, healthier, more pest and disease resistant and offer interesting characteristics such as habit, fantastic color.”

Highlights for 2009 include Agapanthus orientalis 'Baby Pete' PPAF, a Monrovia exclusive. Baby Pete was chosen for its compact habit and much longer bloom period due to its almost seedless trait. A new African Iris is a Monrovia exclusive; Dietes x 'NOLA alba' Katrina™ PPAF, a stronger growing, hardier, more floriferous variety that is far less susceptible to crown rot than other Dietes, making the plant a winner for the South and South East.

Another first are three new Chamaecyparis lawsoniana varieties grown on a root stock that is resistant to Phytophthora lateralis – a disease that has caused the demise of many lawsoniana's over the last two decades. This rootstock was developed by Oregon State University and is marketed under The Guardian™ Series. We have used this new rootstock on several varieties: 'Blue Surprise', 'Golden King', 'Silberstar', and 'Yvonne'.

Monrovia's new Itoh Peony Collection will excite gardeners. For many years, it was assumed crossing an herbaceous peony with a tree peony was impossible. After years of research and disappointment, this great feat was accomplished and Monrovia is offering four stunning beauties.

The latest Flower Carpet® rose is the much-awaited 'Amber'. The name reflects the color of the flower when in full bloom, fading to a beautiful seashell pink. And here's the big bonus, Amber is the first fragrant Flower Carpet®; this new introduction has all the markings of a winner.

Below is a complete list (in alphabetical order) of Monrovia's 2009 exclusive and semi-exclusive varieties:

Baby Pete Agapanthus
Agapanthus orientalis 'Baby Pete' P.P.A.F.
USDA Cold Zone 8 – 11
This superior Agapanthus is almost seedless, making it flower longer than other selections. Baby Pete has a nice compact form and displays an abundance of blue to mauve flowers with a bluish stripe on extremely short stems of only 10-plus inches tall, compared to 24 inches of similar varieties. Its foliage has an improved appearance, with shorter, wider leaves than other dwarf varieties. Prefers full sun to partial shade, it is excellent planted along a pathway, grouped at an entryway, or combined with other perennials in a container. The foliage will reach just eight inches in height.

Narrow-leaved Clumping Bamboo
Bamboo-Borinda angustissima
USDA Zone 8 – 9
Angustissima, meaning extremely narrow, has the most delicate foliage of all Borindas. This is a rare plant species, valued for its delicate foliage and its extremely narrow, clumping growth habit. Mature plants will develop a vase shape, growing 16- to 18-feet tall by three- to four-feet wide. Tolerant of heat and drought, it is well suited for the West Coast and Southeastern region of the U.S. It prefers dappled shade and can be used as a stately accent specimen, magnificent screen, or hedge planting. Interesting to note: the first plants came from the Giant Panda reserve in Woolong, Sichuan. This variety is somewhat hardier (to 15°F) the root system however has withstood temperatures to 7°F. Historically this plant was propagated by division, a slow process, and thus has had limited availability. The plant is now being propagated by tissue culture, making this terrific plant more widely available.

The Guardian™ Series Chamaecyparis are grafted onto the disease resistant root stock Guardian™, which is resistant to Phytophthora lateralis

Blue Surprise Port Orford Cedar – The Guardian™ Series
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Blue Surprise'
USDA Zone 6 – 9
This cultivar has exceptional steel-blue foliage with a soft appearance, complemented by a purplish cast during the winter months. A fairly slow growing conifer with a narrow upright frame, it will reach six feet tall. A fine specimen plant, it is ideally used as a focal point near the house or well positioned in a shrub border. It prefers full sun/part shade and well-drained position in the garden.

Yvonne Port Orford Cedar – The Guardian™ Series
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Yvonne'
USDA Zone 6 – 9
This outstanding cultivar has flattened sprays of bright golden foliage with a conical shape growing eight to10 feet tall in ten years. It prefers full sun for best coloration and makes an excellent accent plant near an entryway or in a shrub border. Yvonne has a neat conical habit with very bright golden foliage during summer. The plant enjoys a full sun/part shade and well-drained position in the garden.

Golden King False Cypress – The Guardian™ Series
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Golden King'
USDA Zone 6 – 9
Golden King has bluish-green foliage tipped in bright gold, accented by graceful, cascading, fan-shaped branches. It is a robust conifer growing 30 to 40 feet tall and 15 to18 feet wide. Foliage may grow darker green with age. Excellent as individual specimen, as an informal windbreak or as a privacy screen. Moderate-growing to 30 to 40 feet high, 15 to 18 feet wide. The plant enjoys a full sun/part shade and well-drained position in the garden.

Silberstar False Cypress – The Guardian™ Series
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Silberstar'
USDA Zone 6 – 9
This stunning variety has silver-blue foliage, accented by graceful, cascading, fan-shaped branches. It is a robust conifer growing 30 to 40 feet tall and 15 to 18 feet wide. Full sun to partial shade,

Sapphire Indigo™ Clematis
Clematis 'Cleminov 51' P.P. #17012
USDA Zone 5 – 9
This award-winning Clematis is prized for its profuse, bluish-purple, dramatic flowers and compact growth habit. Light green foliage makes a magnificent backdrop to the dark purple-blue to dark violet flowers with dark violet stamens. Flowers begin to bloom in late spring and continue well into autumn. A slow grower, It has an upright, twining habit growing 15 to 20 inches tall, higher if provided support, and prefers full sun to partial shade. It is perfect in a decorative container or trained to a low fence or mailbox post. Clematis Sapphire Indigo was awarded a bronze medal at Plantarium 2004, one of the most important horticulture shows in the world.

Katrina™ African Iris
Dietes x 'NOLA alba' P.P.A.F.
USDA Zone 7 – 11
Exotic white flowers with yellow-orange markings appear continuously in quick succession on tall stalks. This superior selection has increased tolerance to heavy, poorly drained soil and hot, humid environments. Louisiana nurseryman Peter Perrino selected this plant for its landscape durability and its refined appearance. In Southern regions, this variety is resistant to root and crown disease, unlike the species. It will not set seedpods, resulting in a prolonged bloom period. Improved foliage is a brighter green with wider and longer leaf blades. A Monrovia exclusive introduction.

Santa's Delight® Japanese Holly
Ilex X Santa's Delight®
USDA Zone 6 – 9
Santa's Delight has extraordinary variegated, shiny foliage with a deep blue-green center with a wide creamy-white margin, changing to a pink tone in fall.. Bright red berries complement its striking foliage and persist well into the winter season. Selected from a row of Ilex Argenteo Marginata in Northern Ohio, it is a proven winter survivor where similar varieties have failed. An evergreen shrub, it will develop a pyramidal shape and grow 10- to 12-feet tall by six-to eight-feet wide.

Mary Ann Lantana
Lantana 'Mary Ann'
USDA Zone 7 – 11
This new Lantana was selected for improved cold hardiness and its compact growth habit. It has bicolor orange, yellow and pink flower clusters blooming from spring to late fall. This evergreen shrub will grow 30 inches tall and wide and is hardy in zone 7 climates. This colorful shrub looks great in a perennial or shrub border.

Those who admire the colorful and exotic flowers of tree peonies, put prefer the perennial growing cycle of its herbaceous counterpart, will love the Itoh peonies, also known as intersectional hybrids. In the quest to create a true yellow herbaceous peony, Toichi Itoh, in 1948, was the first to successfully cross a tree Peony (P. lemoinei) with an herbaceous (garden) Peony (P. lactiflora.) Other breeders followed in his footsteps, creating new varieties of stunning color, combining the best traits from both parents. However, these great plants were slow to multiply and far too expensive thus unaffordable to many to become well known by the gardening public. Some divisions were selling for $1,000 each.

This all changed in 2004 when a Canadian tissue culture laboratory discovered the closely guarded secret to produce Itoh peonies in vitro. Monrovia, adept at bringing unique and hard to propagate plants to market, partnered with this laboratory to introduce an assortment of Itoh peonies. Itoh peonies resemble tree peonies with a domed, vigorous growth habit and large double flowers with disease-resistant lacy, dark green foliage. Like herbaceous peonies, the Itoh hybrids are winter dormant providing decades of enjoyment in the garden. Itoh peonies can provide up to 50 blooms in a single season due to their ability to produce primary and secondary buds. They will grow two to three feet tall and wide. They offer an increased color range, greater vigor, and excellent resistance to peony blight (botrytis paeoniae).

Monrovia is offering, for the first time, large plants of blooming age that are sure to ignite a passion for peonies across the continent.

Bartzella Itoh Peony
Paeonia (Itoh) 'Bartzella'
USDA Zone 4 – 8
One of the most famous of all intersectional hybrids, Bartzella, has fragrant, bright yellow, double flowers and distinctive dark green leaves. A mature plant can produce blooms up to nine inches across and have a pleasant, slightly spicy scent. This cultivar has a strong, erect habit and will reach 24 to 32 inches tall and wide.

Cora Louise Itoh Peony
Paeonia (Itoh) 'Cora Louise'
USDA Zone 4 – 8
Cora Louise has large semi-double flowers that open a pale pink, quickly fading to white with striking dark lavender flares. The blooms have a soft pleasing scent and are a wonderful addition to any spring bouquet. This variety can produce up to 50 blooms in a single season and will grow 24 to 32 inches tall and wide.

Julia Rose Itoh Peony
Paeonia (Itoh) 'Julia Rose'
USDA Zone 4 – 8
With red buds opening to striking peach pink blooms, 'Julia Rose' is a fabulous way to add color and fragrance to a garden. The large, four- to six-inch blooms have a soft, spicy scent. This variety has deeply toothed emerald green leaves and a nice rounded shape. It can produce up to 50 blooms in a single season and will grow 24 to 32 inches tall and wide.

Kopper Kettle Itoh Peony
Paeonia (Itoh) 'Kopper Kettle'
USDA Zone 4 – 8
'Kopper Kettle has large eight-inch, copper-orange, semi-double flowers with a darker center and occasional yellow streaks in the petals to add to the beauty of these blooms. With its distinct flower color and handsome dark green foliage, this brilliant beauty is a showstopper!

Sequestered Sunshine Itoh Peony
Paeonia (Itoh) 'Sequestered Sunshine'
USDA Zone 4 – 8
This selection has large five- to seven-inch, bright canary yellow, single flowers with occasional semi-double blooms with showy red stigmas and a ring of yellow stamens. The coarse foliage has a nice grass green hue and contrasts nicely with the bright yellow blooms. This selection will grow 32 to 36 inches tall and wide. A flower show guaranteed to inspire!

Angel's Blush® Flowering Cherry
Prunus serrulata 'Taizo'
USDA Zone 5 – 9
Discovered in a Glendora garden in Southern California, this stunning flowering cherry was selected for its distinct double flowers and floriferous character. In spring, pink buds open to white flowers with a delicate pink blush and have up to 30 petals per bloom. This deciduous tree has attractive bright green foliage and will grow six feet tall and wide. A Monrovia exclusive.

Jack® Flowering Pear
Pyrus calleryana 'Jaczam'
USDA Zone 5 – 8
This dynamic cultivar is hailed for its dense, compact, symmetrical growth habit. In early spring, this upright deciduous tree is a cloud of pure white flowers. It has glossy, dark green leaves with brilliant, crimson-red fall foliage and 3/4-inch yellow-green fruit. Preferring full sun it will grow 15 feet tall by 10 feet wide and is ideal as a low maintenance street tree or small-scale specimen plant. Jack is disease resistant and ideal for urban gardens.

Flower Carpet® Amber Ground Cover Rose
Rosa x 'NOA97400A' P.P.A.F.
USDA Zone 4 – 10
The latest in the Flower Carpet family is Amber – the first fragrant variety. It too has the same compact growth habits and floriferous nature as the previous Flower Carpet Roses, but with improved disease resistance. Amber's red tinged, semi-double, fragrant blooms are peachy-orange with a yellow center, gradually fading to a soft seashell-pink. The growth habit is vigorous and arching with dense foliage. It will grow two feet tall by three feet wide – a perfect low maintenance groundcover.

Sunny Knock Out® Rose
Rosa 'Radsunny' P.P.A.F.
USDA Zone 4 – 9
Slightly larger than previous Knock Out Roses, this selection is similar in its disease resistance and dark green foliage. It has single, fragrant flowers that open bright yellow and fade to a light creamy color. In full bloom, the contrast between flowers and foliage delivers a beautiful show. This hardy deciduous shrub has an upright habit and will grow four to five feet tall and three to four feet wide and can be used in many different landscapes.

Declaration Lilac
Syringa x 'Declaration'
USDA Zone 5 – 7
Developed by the National Arboretum, this outstanding cultivar has dramatic, large clusters of deep, reddish-purple fading to a powder blue, fragrant flowers. With maturity, this deciduous shrub will grow eight to nine feet tall by six to seven feet wide in an open, upright habit. In the landscape, it can be used as a flowering informal screen, background planting or as a single flowering specimen. Provides beautiful fresh cut flowers for a fragrant spring bouquet. It performs best in traditional cooler lilac-growing regions.

Glory Bush
Tibouchina lepidota
USDA Zone 10 – 11
Tropical plants are a great way to get fascinating, vibrant color in the garden or patio. This Glory Bush is covered with two-inch violet-purple flowers, it's difficult to beat the of this species. In late summer, this plant seems to bloom effortlessly becoming. Its attractive foliage has smaller and brighter green leaves than most Tibouchina and is accentuated by rosy-red flower buds. Easily maintained with periodic pruning, it's an amazing specimen for a tropical landscape or equally impressive in a decorative container.

Magical® Fantasy Weigela
Weigela florida 'Kolsunn' P.P. #13567
USDA Zone 4 – 8
This unique selection comes from Peter Kolster, a cut flower breeder from the Netherlands, who chose it for its outstanding bold variegated leaves and prolific flowering. It has dark green leaves with a broad creamy-white margin that become greener with age. In full bloom, it is a profusion of solid pink flowers. Requiring full sun to look its best, it will grow three to four feet tall and wide. It can be used in shrub borders or foundation plantings and is a nice complement to dark evergreen plants. A Monrovia exclusive introduction.

NOTE: High resolution images are available

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
Judy Lynes 310/752-4400 ext. 124