Latina, November 2018 – Breeding company Agriom from De Kwakel selected 12 hibiscus varieties from the cloning trials at Piante Keicher in Italy for the Hibiscus Group at the end of November. After a second, extended test phase, part of the new varieties will become available to South European growers in 2020.
“They are all plants that excel in terms of plant structure, flower color, leaf shape and leaf color and are especially suitable for growing under more southern climate conditions,” says pot plant specialist Jan ten Brinke of Agriom. “For example, this one with those bright yellow flowers and a red heart, that shows very beautiful and he also has fabulous showy so-called ‘candles’,” he points to the erect flower buds . “And that plant there with that compact, shiny green leaves and apricot-colored flowers with a pink heart, that’s a flower color that we do not have yet. So it really complements our Sunny Cities assortment. ”
In total Ten Brinke and Dieter Keicher (see photo) selected twelve plants from the cloning trials. Dieter Keicher leads the company in Italian Latina where the cloning tests have been carried out for four years. Agriom, Piante Keicher and a number of renowned Dutch hibiscus growers together form the Hibiscus Group that brings the Sunny Cities line to the market.
For the next test, a few plants are added to the twelve selections from tests from a previous year. “Like Amalfi and Verona, for example,” Ten Brinke says. ,, These two were previously selected by the participating Dutch growers of the Hibiscus group and will be available to buyers at the auction in 2019.”
Agriom and the Hibiscus Working Group proudly present the first new selections from their climate-specific breeding programme for the Sunny Cities line. In trials at the Piante Keicher nursery in Latina in Italy, the varieties Funchal, Sorrento, Sabaudia, Première, Lucca, Torino and San Remo Improved were found to be the most promising for cultivation in the warmer climate of South Europe.
The trial fields in the south of Italy are supervised by Dieter Keicher. Agriom and the Dutch members of the Hibiscus Working Group paid him a visit in mid-October. Piante Keicher is also a member of the working group. Besides fully grown plants, Keicher supplies cuttings and half-grown plants of the new selection line to growers in South Europe.