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1995 ASCFG National Cut Flower Trials

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John Dole, Oklahoma State University


One of the most interesting parts of conducting the ASCFG Cut Trials is talking to the participants and reading the reports. Many participants commented on the record drought that hit much of the upper midwest and northeast. Others had more rain than they could handle. Not surprisingly, the difference in results between growers was amazing– a particular species or cultivar was both the best flower in the world to one company and the worst to another. Each year, however, a few species do well everywhere and this year was no different.

The Gomphrena Bicolor Rose from American Takii was a hit for just about everyone, receiving some of the highest scores of the year. The vigorous, productive plants produced large flowers on strong stems. It was used both as a fresh filler flower and a dried. The pink outer color seemed to darken after drying which provided an even greater contrast with the white center.

The five Benary’s Giant Dahlia Zinnias all scored well in the trial for being productive the whole season and easy to grow. Particularly outstanding were ‘Crimson Monarch’ and ‘Scarlet Flame’ which received exceptional remarks such as ‘the best zinnia ever’ and ‘the only cultivar to do well in our part of the country’. While some participants reported powdery mildew, the bane of zinnia production, the Benary cultivars appeared to have some resistance and mildew problems often appeared late in the season if at all. Look for more colors of this series to be included in the 1996 trial.

Asclepias curassavica ‘Silky Gold’ from Kieft made another great impression. This cultivar was included again in this year’s trial because it received only a limited test in 1994, but the same great results appeared. The novel pale-orange color and long, easy to cut stems were noted. Kieft’s Monarda hybrida Lambada also did well with the people looking for something different. The purplish spikes had an excellent vase life, dried well and had an interesting fragrance.

Not to be left out, Sakata included two cultivars which did particularly well. Statice Excellent Light Pink Shades wowed participants with great colors which were easy to sell. Plants produced many long-stemmed flowers and were drought resistance. The Celosia Sparkler Wine is another addition to this popular series, noted for its vigorous growth and strong stems.

The ASCFG National Cut Flower Trials were conducted by 45 growers and universities around the country. Seed were donated from several breeders and distributors. Evaluations were made by the growers themselves and included approximate yield per plant, stem length, market appeal, ease of cultivation, chance that the crop would be grown again the next year and comments. Twenty nine evaluations were returned to John Dole, Oklahoma State University for final compilation. Thank you to all of the participants for their work keeping records (many returned results despite a record drought in parts of the country) and to the seed companies for donating the seed. A special thanks to Randall Smith for helping me send out the seed and prepare this report.


  • Ammobium alatum
    • Bikini
  • Antirrhinum (Snapdragon)
    • Sonnet White
    • Sonnet Mix
  • Aquilegia vulgaris
    • Christa Barlow
    • Rose Barlow
  • Asclepias curassavica
    • Silky Gold
  • Aster
    • Matsumoto Blue Tipped White
    • Matsumoto Lavender
    • Matsumoto Pink Tipped White
  • Brassica (Flowering Kale)
    • Sunrise
    • Sunset
  • Carthamus
    • Yellow Grenade
  • Celosia
    • Pink Candle
    • Sparkler Formula Mix
    • Sparkler Wine
  • Euphorbia marginata
    • Kilimanjaro
  • Gomphrena
    • Bicolor Rose
  • Gypsophila elegans
    • Lady Lace
  • Helianthus (Sunflower)
    • Cutting Gold
    • Moonbright
  • Helipterium
    • Red Bonnie
    • Timeless Rose
  • Limonium (Statice)
    • Compindi Light Blue
    • Excellent Formula Mix
    • Excellent Light Pink Shades
    • Friendly Yellow
    • QIS Dark Blue XL
    • QIS Soft Pastel Shades
  • Linaria purpurea
    • Canon J. Went
  • Lobelia
    • Compliment Mix
    • Fan Cinnabar Rose (Pelleted seed)
    • Fan Deep Red (Pelleted seed)
    • Fan Orchid Rose (Pelleted seed)
    • Fan Scarlet (Pelleted seed)
  • Monarda
    • Lambada
    • Panorama
  • Zinnia
    • Giant Dahlia Crimson Monarch
    • Giant Dahlia Eldorado
    • Giant Dahlia Hallo
    • Giant Dahlia Rosa
    • Giant Dahlia Scarlet Flame

Participating Seed Companies – Annual Trials, 1995

Benary Seed

1444 Larson St.
Sycamore, IL 60178

Sakata Seed America

18095 Serene Drive
Morgan Hill, CA 95037

Kieft Bloemzaden B.V.

2209-B Bulson Rd.
Mt. Vernon, WA 98273

American Takii, Inc.

301 Natividad Rd.
Salinas, CA 93906

Participating Growers – Annual Trials, 1995

Marylyn Anderson
Flowering Meadow Farm
Damascus, MD

Frank and Pamela Arnosky
Texas Specialty Cuts
Wimberley, TX

Douglas and Gloria Austin
Austin Gardens
Flushing, MI

Phil and Dorothy Bartlett
Ocean View Farm & Greenhouses
Nantucket, MA

Lyn Bogdan
Orlando, WV

Lynn Byczinski
Fairplain Farm
Lawrence, KS

Leon Carrier
Gaithersburg, MD

Martin and Theresa Connaughton
Wilderness Flowers
Sante Fe, NM

Barbara Cosper
Cosper Flowers
Highlands, NC

Suzanne Dayton
Dayton Farm
East Hampton, NY

Janet Foss
Everett, WA

Roseann Greenberg
Forever Green Farm
Allentown, NJ

Jim Harbage
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD

Jeff Hartenfeld
Hart Farm
Solsberry, IN

Betsy Hitt
Peregrine Farms
Graham, NC

Jim & Liz Kelderhouse
Copper River Farm
Traverse City, MI

Kristen Keuhn
Kuehn Petals & Greens
Esparto, CA

Susan Lathrop
Busy Acres Flower Farm
New Haven, VT

Kathy Melmoth
Recipe Gardens
Pittsford, MI

Susan O’Connell
Fertile Cresent Farm
Hardwick, VT

Nona Perriman
Shinnery Hills Farm
Cheyenne, OK

Jackie and Charlie Pike
Texas Nature Treasures
Fort Worth, TX

Randall Smith/John Dole
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK

Vicki Stamback & Judy Rose
Bear Creek Farms
Stillwater, OK

Terri Starman
Univ. of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN

Robert Suzuki
Sunrise Ranch
Oxnard, CA

Rick Vilonen
Ben Brock Farm
North Amherst, NY

Cheryl Wagner
Wagner’s Homestead Farms
Belleville, MI

Lulu Wootton
Cape Farm
Marlboro, VT