New Varieties 2003

  • Primroses have long been a popular bedding plant. The Latin primus translates to first, indicating this important genus as being one of the first flowering plants of spring. Jelitto has always offered the rare, and the unusual, among the wide selection of species and seed strains.

    One of the first in flower, and one of the top selling plants, and so it should come as no surprise that we would find a red-leaf Primula, or Oxlip, quite intriguing. Add the beautiful pastel flowering colors of yellow, apricot, pink, red and white in April and May and you can imagine the potential. The copper-red color, on the wrinkled oval-shaped leaves, adds an interesting dimension throughout the season. A few green leaf plants might be produced but these can easily be sorted-out. 'Jessica' can be used for bedding, borders and flowering pot plants.

  • Candy is dandy and Lilies can be silly, but not this dwarf flowering Peruvian Lily. 'Dandy Candy' is a compact seed strain in beautiful colors growing to only 35 cm (17").

    Under greenhouse conditions, blooms can be produced the first year and, in cooler summer climates, will flower tirelessly all season from June - October. 'Dandy Candy' will tempt you with blossoms of light pink or pink with frosty picotee types. Others might be deep pink, bi-colored white with pink, or red. All flowers will include alluring dark stripes with yellow markings.

    'Dandy Candy' has very glossy green leaves that serve as beautiful addition to these vibrant colors. In addition to the container production potential for eventual use indoors or outdoors as a seasonal accent plant, cut flowers sometimes endure for two weeks, or more. 'Dandy Candy' will need winter protection.

  • Gardeners are familiar with the fragrant, annual Stocks. Long popular as a popular cut flower, it is widely grown in cooler summer climates and is sold elsewhere by florists the world over. The genus of nearly fifty species was named after the Italian physician, Pierandrea Mattioli (1500 - 1577). But its other common name, Brompton Stock or Night Violet, give an intriguing hint to the subtle charms of this Mediterranean species. And 'Pillow Talk' reveals its full potential as garden plant.

    Jelitto's new introduction is longer lived and more durable than the annual Stocks. Expect to grow this as a biennial or short-lived perennial. Sweet-scented, shimmering, wavy white blossoms, fading to pale pink, float above thick rosettes of silver-gray strap-shaped foliage from June to September.

    Found growing naturally in full sun in rock crevices, it is cold hardy in Zone 6 and requires only well-drained conditions, especially in winter. Growing sturdily to 45 cm (18"), 'Pillow Talk' will be well suited for container production and is perfectly easy-to-germinate.

  • Jelitto has had a fond association with Scutellaria alpina, the Alpine Skullcap, since it first offered in the 1982 catalogue. This wide ranging, and adaptable, species grows in the Pyrenees, Apennines to the Balkans, central Russia to southern Siberia. The flowers resemble little snapdragons.

    As recently as 1996, the company introduced the seed strain, 'Arcobaleno' that produced a wide array of colors: blue-violet, pale blue, white, pink, pale yellow and bi-colors. And now, we're pleased to offer the lovely pale yellow flowering 'Moonbeam'. Dozens of small hooded flowers on short, erect stems cover the plant in early summer and continue intermittently through September. The seeds resemble a medieval monk's cap. Its low 25 cm (10") bushy habit of small ovate leaves makes it a worthy candidate for container production.

    The Moonbeam Skullcap is an undemanding, hardy perennial for the sunny rock garden, the front of the border or in mixed containers.

  • Echinacea tennesseensis, is found very rarely in a few locations in Tennessee. It has been placed on the Endangered Species List. Until recently the species remained largely unknown in gardens. But its garden merits have become increasingly visible in the last few years. And it is the focus of some exciting breeding with other species. The Rocky Top Hybrids closely resemble the true Echinacea tennesseensis.

    The deep pink blossoms have well-spaced, very narrow upward-curving petals and cheerfully face in the same direction. A group of six or more plants creates the impression that the flowers appear like members of a small audience paying close attention! The 'Rocky Top Hybrids' are shorter 75 cm (30") than most Coneflowers species but significantly round out this very popular genus. Expect to hear more about the Rocky Top Hybrids in the next few years!

  • Gardeners loved the vegetatively grown 'Butterfly Blue' - the perennial plant of the year 2000 -, and the patented 'Pink Mist'. And professional growers were willing to meet the demand by expensively propagated plugs by cuttings. So why wouldn't the industry want the economic alternative of growing 'Misty Butterflies' from seed? Similarly compact leafy rosettes form tidy mounds (25 cm/ 10") and the long flowering perennial produces abundant pincushion-shaped flowers on wiry stems from May - September.

    Jelitto seed-grown Scabiosa 'Misty Butterflies' plants will be as durable and maintenance free as its deservedly well-known brethren. And butterflies will be drawn to this nectar source! Approximately, two-thirds of the 'Misty Butterflies' produce flowers that are the familiar lavender-blue and the remaining will produce luscious pink blossoms. Plant 'Misty Butterflies' in the front of the border, the rock garden or in mixed containers for season-long, trouble free flowering from May - September.

  • Mullein seems such an unflattering common name for a genus with so many beautiful species. We cannot think of any of our 15 Verbascum listings that we could be without. They are attractive, easy-to-grow and dependable. But certainly one of our favorites is Verbascum phoeniceum, the Purple Mullein. Jelitto introduced 'Violetta' in 1999 and has cracked the code on the carmine-pink flowering 'Rosetta' for 2003. Ad the white flowering 'Flush of White' and you have a lovely trio.

    Reliable and easy-to-produce from seed, 'Rosetta' produces tight rosettes of dark green, crinkled, oval-shaped basal leaves. 6 - 10 study spikes (60 cm/24") emerge in mid-late springs wrapped in delicate, paper-like cup-shaped blossoms on sturdy stems. 'Rosetta' is a tough, perfectly hardy perennial adapted to wide range of hot, or cooler, summer conditions. And the plants will gently self-sow around the garden in a manner silmilar to Digitalis 'Snow Thimble' or Salvia sclarea 'Vatican White'.

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