Monrovia Announces New Plant Varieties for 2011

Aug 27, 2010


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AZUSA, Calif. – August 26, 2010 – Monrovia, the recognized leader in bringing improved plant varieties to independent garden centers, has announced its new introductions for 2011.

“We have three new additions to our Dan Hinkley Collection®,” explained Nicholas Staddon, director of new plants, referring to the noteworthy varieties discovered by the renowned plant explorer. “Plus two gorgeous new Itoh Peonies that have extra large blooms.”

He adds that Monrovia has greatly expanded its line of edibles, including an array of stone-fruit trees, wine grapes and bramble fruits. The new, exclusive Angel Red® Pomegranate ripens earlier and is juicier than other varieties, plus has soft seeds that are easier to eat. “But the standout edible for next year is the Bountiful Blue™ Blueberry. It has the most striking blue foliage,” he added. “We seek out great new edible varieties that are attractive and fit well into an existing ornamental garden.”

Monrovia's consumer research indicates that water-wise plants are increasingly important to gardeners – even in regions like the Northwest and Southeast that are not thought of as drought areas. Adding to its current water-wise offerings, Monrovia introduces a line of succulents, including cold hardy succulents like Sedum (Stonecrop), Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks) and Delosperma (Ice Plant); and more tender succulents like Aloe, Aeonium, Echivereria, Crassula (Jade) and Senecio (Blue Finger).

New varieties of the Sun Parasol® Mandevillas will be introduced next year, too. “These new hybrids have been available in North America for just a few years and we've had a tremendous response to the ones we've been growing,” said Staddon. “They are super floriferous and will bloom with shorter daylight hours, so we can enjoy the flowers as early as February, depending on variety, while we must wait until April or as late as June with other Mandevillas.” Considered a breakthrough in breeding, Sun Parasols are valued for their intense flower color and glossy foliage.

Below are plant details for the exclusive new varieties and Dan Hinkley Collection.

Pink Yuletide Camellia
Camellia sasanqua 'MonDel' P.P.A.F.
Zone: 7 – 10

A sport from the extremely popular red Yuletide Camellia, its blooms are pink, centered with bright yellow stamens. It is fragrant, and a beautiful addition to the winter garden. An excellent choice for a colorful hedge or screen, espalier, or border shrub, this moderate grower will reach eight to ten feet tall and wide. A mid-season bloomer, Pink Yuletide prefers filtered sun and regular watering, weekly or more often in extreme heat.

Blue Balloon® Bluebeard
Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Korball' Blue Balloon®
Zone 6 – 9

The growth habit of this fantastic new Bluebeard is very spherical, like a blue balloon when in full bloom. The striking deep blue flowers appear from August through September and are attractive to butterflies and bumblebees. The leaves, which are dark green with silvery hairs beneath, emit a lavender fragrance. This deciduous broadleaf shrub is quite tolerant of most soils, but prefers fertile, well-drained soil and full sun. Cut back previous year's growth in spring to encourage strong, new branches that will form a dense shape and encourage abundant flowering.

Angel Red® Pomegranate
Punica granatum 'Smith' PP# 16578 Angel Red®
Zone 7 – 11

Angel Red is a new Pomegranate with bright red fruit that ripens earlier than other varieties and the tree bears heavily. The uniform fruit contains more antioxidant juice than any other variety, and the seeds have the soft texture of champagne grapes so they may be eaten along with the pulp. Discovered as a sport, Angel Red is both a palate pleaser and a healthy food. Reaches 15 feet tall. Requires 200 chilling hours.

Bountiful Blue Blueberry
Vaccinium corymbosum 'FLX – 2' P.P.A.F. Bountiful Blue
Zone: 6 – 10

Monrovia's new exclusive Bountiful Blue has the bluest summer foliage of any Blueberry on the market, making it a great ornamental plant as well as a fantastic edible. It offers a heavy set of large, super sweet berries. Pretty white blooms appear in spring and red fall foliage adds a spark of color. Although it will set fruit alone, Bountiful Blue is more prolific when planted near another blueberry such as Sunshine Blue. Semi-evergreen in warmer climates. Prefers full sun and acidic soil. This semi-dwarf moderate grower will reach three to four feet tall and wide.

Itoh Peonies

Those who admire the colorful and exotic flowers of tree peonies, but prefer the perennial growing cycle of herbaceous Peonies, will love the Itoh Peonies, also known as intersectional hybrids. They tend to resemble tree Peonies with a domed, vigorous growth habit and large double flowers with disease-resistant lacy, dark green foliage. After the flowering cycle, gardeners will enjoy the handsome bush for the remainder of the season. Once established, Itoh Peonies have an extended blooming period, with as many as 50 blooms in a single season due to their ability to produce primary and secondary buds. They are excellent in cut flower arrangements. They will grow to three feet tall and wide and continue to improve with age.

Trademarked Name TBD
Paeonia (Itoh) 'Smith Opus 2' PPAF
Zone: 3 – 8

This variety has large flowers, up to six inches across, in an exquisite, ever-changing blend of colors. When opening, blooms appear mostly pink, but are actually light yellow heavily flushed with deep lavender pink. As flowers mature, the pink and yellow fades to pale white with faintly tinged with pink, with a large dark burgundy flare in the center. Blooms appear early May through end of June. Finely cut dark green foliage and a rounded form to three feet tall and wide, make this an excellent landscape plant. Prefers full sun.

Trademarked Name TBD
Paeonia (Itoh) 'Smith Opus 1' PPAF
Zone: 3 – 8

This herbaceous perennial features large flowers that appear orange when first opening — rare among intersectional hybrids – fading to a beautiful, peachy-yellow in full sun. Large contrasting dark-red central flares are extremely prominent. Its heavy flowering is due to its higher than average number of secondary buds. This new cultivar has a vigorous growth habit with narrow finely cut foliage that is disease resistant. Prefers full sun.

New from the Dan Hinkley Collection
Mountain Pepper
Drimys lanceolata
Zone: 9 – 10

A refined, medium-sized evergreen shrub for mild climates, with creamy-green, perfumed blossoms resulting in glistening black fruit in autumn. The distinctive oval, deep glistening green foliage is held along astoundingly beautiful red young stems, making for a standout in the garden or fantastic hedge. Prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained yet moist soil. In colder areas, chose a sheltered spot away from cold winds. Will reach 10 to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide.

Cathedral Gem Sausage Vine
Holboellia coriacea 'Cathedral Gem'
Zone: 6 – 10

This durable, easy-to-grow evergreen vine has glossy trifoliate leaves and clusters of white, highly perfumed flowers in late winter and early spring. Its large, lavender-pink sausage-shaped fruit make it an unusual choice secured to a trellis, arbor, fence or winding through large shrubs or trees. Prefers partial to full shade. Stems will reach 25 feet long. This superb selection was found growing on the wall of Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire, U.K.

Ritak Sausage Vine
Holboellia latifolia 'Ritak'
Zone: 6 – 10

Evergreen vine with stems to 25 feet. Blossoms late March to May. Clusters of purple-lavender, cinnamon-scented flowers appear in early spring, often followed by large, fleshy lavender-pink fruit. Excellent draped over a trellis, arbor, fence or winding through large shrubs or trees. Prefers partial to full shade. This superior selection was collected and named by Dan Hinkley in remote Northeastern Nepal near the village of Ritak, at more than 10,000 feet elevation.

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 ships plants exclusively to independent garden centers and re-wholesalers nationwide. The company remains a family owned entity.

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