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New Varieties 2005


  • Gardeners are becoming more sophisticated in their search for new and better plants. Professional growers are stepping-up to provide the latter, but often require perennials that they can grow easily and efficiently. In addition, American Native plants are becoming more valuable and popular. Coreopsis pubescens 'Sunshine Superman' fits the bill. The name Coreopsis comes from the Greek koris (bug) and opsis (like), describing the tick-like appearance of the seeds. Coreopsis pubescens, the Star Tickseed, a USA native from Illinois south to Texas across to Florida has been an underused garden perennial that is a breeze to grow.

    'Sunshine Superman' is a very low-growing (25 cm/10"), compact and bushy selection of this popular genus with somewhat hairy foliage. Medium sized golden flowers with orange centers are opening steadily from June until late September when early frost finally stops Superman quicker than kryptonite. "Sunshine came softly through my a-window today". If you're looking for hidden meaning in the lyrics of 1960s pop phenom, Donovan, you're on your own! We're happy to leave those revelations to nurseryman, Dale Hendricks, of North Creek Nurseries. He coined the plant name, 'Sunshine Superman' and wellÉ it seems to fit. (You had to be there in the '60s).


  • 'Rupert's Pink' represents a vast Jelitto improvement over the lanky and variable European species, Dianthus carthusianorum which possesses pink to purple-red flowers on stems, sometimes stretching to 60 cm (24") or more. The fact that it has been continuously in cultivation for over 400 years demonstrates that it does indeed have something good going for it. 'Rupert's Pink' has even more. Short, compact, bushy stems (only 20 cm/8") carry tight clusters of large, intense rosy-red flowers - a combination rarely seen in the Charterhouse Pink's-Group.

    'Rupert's Pink' has very narrow almost grass-like, medium green leaves for year round interest, and is ideal for small container production. Dianthus carthusianorum are easy to grow from seed and have proven to be very drought resistant, sun-loving perennials. Use this lovely Dianthus in the front border, or the rock garden, together with Heuchera 'Dale's Strain', Scabios 'Pincushion Pink' and Sedum 'Summer Glory'. 'Rupert's Pink' attracts butterflies, and is easy to produce from seed.


  • Nobody seems quite sure where the unflattering common name of Sneezeweed came from. It doesn't seem to contribute significantly toward nasal problems, but in the unlikely event that it does this to you, may we offer "Gesundheit" (Bless you)! Jelitto has been working on this strain for almost seven years. We think the breeding and selection work has been worthwhile. It has the similar low-growing and early summer flowering characteristics as the popular relative Helenium 'The Bishop', a vegetative hard to propagate selection.

    But 'Tip Top' is more free flowering, easy to grow from seed, stays shorter (60 cm/24"), and possesses a more compact habit overall. A lovely spherical black-brown cone highlights the deep yellow ray florets with their notched petals. Your late summer-fall garden will be in Tip Top shape with the addition of this lovely Helenium. 'Tip Top' will look terrific together with Echinacea 'Magnus', Heuchera villosa var. macrorhizza, Stokesia laevis alba 'Träumerei' and Stipa tenuissima. Folklore suggests that tears from Helen of Troy moistened the dry soil around Helenium, a favorite plant of the mythological Greek Sun God, Helios. But we'll never know whether Helen sneezed.


  • Until now, there were few Chrysanthemum maximum or Shasta Daisy selections that grew as easily and reliably year in and year out as 'Becky'. Luther Burbank, the legendary California breeder, introduced the original Shasta Daisy (named for nearby Mt. Shasta) to USA gardeners over one hundred years ago. Over the years, breeding work continued and many of the cultivars proved to be attractive bedding plants, but surprisingly delicate once they experienced the rigors of the average garden.

    Since the 1930s - at least - a durable but sterile Shasta-type selection was passed along in the Southern USA from one gardener to the next. It remained nameless until the late 1980s, when it became better known as 'Becky'. Its renown spread quickly and 'Becky' became the 2003 Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year. After years of breeding and selecting using 'Becky' parentage, Jelitto finally has a wonderful seed alternative to this award-winner. 'Brightside' can be easily produced from seed and shows all the valuable characteristics known only from its parents.

    'Brightside' is a vigorous grower, displaying very healthy leaves all the way down it's sturdy stems - a characteristic not often seen in Shasta Daisies. Dozens of brilliant medium-sized blossoms are held on top of durable, branched stems and make a compact bushy habit up to 80 cm/32". After flowering from June to August the foliage remains attractive and disease resistant. This is a major step forward for seed-grown Shasta Daisies. 'Brightside' is certain to find a perennial niche in every garden.


  • It is always a great pleasure to introduce a truly versatile perennial seed strain. Originating from a cross between a Mexican and U.S. species, this has proved to be an astonishingly durable perennial, stretching across borders from the Americas to Europe.

    'Sunburst Ruby' knows no boundaries. It has survived winter temperatures as low as (-25°C/-13°F) and doesn't shrivel in the summer's heat and humidity. A profusion of white-centered, ruby-red, tubular-shaped blossoms are held aloft on sturdy (40 cm/16") stems from June-August. The spent flowers can be removed and will ensure re-bloom. This graceful, bushy (45 cm/18" wide) hardy perennial, with its shimmering, narrow, glossy green foliage, has impressed us all season long.

    Growers will be happy to know that seeds sown early enough will produce flowers the first year, and an abundance the second season. The naturally compact habit of 'Sunburst Ruby' is yet another reason why we rank this as an excellent container plant for impulse garden center sales. Plant 'Sunburst Ruby' in the rock garden, mixed planters or in sweeping drifts in the border. Aside from well-drained soil and a sunny position, little is required of this low-maintenance perennial.


  • Jelitto is delighted to add Salvia pratensis 'Rose Rhapsody' to our assortment of Meadow Clary Sages, as we launch the Ballet Series for 2005. Together with last year's introduction of the white flowering 'Swan Lake', Jelitto's unusual color offerings have turned the cold hardy, but usually, plain Meadow Clary Sage, into a worthy cottage garden and perennial border plant.

    Mounds of light green, wrinkled, aromatic foliage (historically used as a flavoring for beer and wine) support upright 50 cm (20") dense spikes of distinctively hooded, pink blossoms from June-August. Cut away the spent flowering stems and you can expect a second flowering by September. In addition to 'Rose Rhapsody' we have also added 'Meadow Ballet Blend' to the Ballet Series with a wide colorful range of blue, violet, white and pink shades.

    'Rose Rhapsody', 'Swan Lake' and 'Meadow Ballet Blend' are very easy-to-produce from Jelitto seeds and will flower the first year after sowing. The Ballet Series is undemanding in any well-drained soil in full sun and creates a feast for bees, butterflies and the human eye.


  • Sedum acre 'Oktoberfest' comes from breeding work conducted in Bavaria where, of course, joyous harvest celebrations are held each autumn. Sedum acre is one of the most familiar of all low-growing sedums. It is known as Stone Crop or Wall Pepper because it is commonly seen growing on stonewalls and tastes like pepper. As early as Roman times it was prized by herbalists, and at various times it has been used as a cure-all for everything from gout to scurvy.

    The common species is distributed widely across Europe and in far-flung places from Greenland to the southern tip of South America. Many forms are known with various shapes and colors of the leaves but all are bright yellow flowering. 'Oktoberfest', on the other hand, is heavy blooming and the first brilliant creamy-white flowering Wall Pepper, just like you'd expect from the foamy head on a fine Bavarian lager.

    'Oktoberfest' is a vigorous grower with fresh-green foliage and forms dense carpets. You need not to worry about 'Oktoberfest' being cold hardy or drought resistant. This beautiful little sedum is tough as nails.


  • If you randomly asked ten gardeners if they had any idea what an Orpine or a Livelong was, they probably would not have a clue. Both are common names for Sedum telephium. If you asked the same ten gardeners to name a single "tried and true" Sedum, widely recognized by the public, more than a few would answer confidently, Sedum 'Autumn Joy'. A suspected hybrid between S. spectabile and S. telephium, 'Autumn Joy' is without question one of the truly stalwart, tough-as-nails perennials.

    'Emperor's Waves' is an exciting Jelitto select form of one of the parents of this legendary cross with a plant habit similar to 'Matrona'. Umbels of lovely purplish-red flowers the color of red licorice, sit on top of the sturdy dark stems of 'Emperor's Waves'. It displays a very healthy growth habit with bluish-green foliage and looks lovely in the garden year in and year out. For a display that will be hard to match, plant together with Chrysanthemum 'Brightside', Coreopsis 'Sunshine Superman' and Helenium bigelovii 'Tip Top'.


  • For the last several years, we've taken a close look at various Succisella on the Jelitto trial fields and kept coming back. At first glance, this European species (on the endangered list in Germany) did not strike us right away as a blockbuster perennial. On the other hand, the pleasant subtleties could not be ignored, either. While highly rated new perennials came and went, Succisella was still there and always at its best.

    'Frosted Pearls' has proven to be a very long-lived perennial displaying a set of dark green basal leaves year in and year out. Countless little pearl-like blossoms sit on top of heavily branched 80 cm/32" tall stems from June until September. The rounded inflorescences, resembling the shape of the popular Knautia macedonica flower have white petals with bluish anthers, while the blossom buds have a pink flush. From a distance, the summer flowers appear all white, but on close inspection, can sometimes appear very pale blue or very pale pink.

    'Frosted Pearls' likes sun to partial shade in soil that doesn't dry out. Plant Succisella together with Rodgersia henrici-Hybrids, Hostas, Alchemilla mollis and Trollius chinensis 'Golden Queen'. Heavens knows why Succisella inflexa would be commonly known as Devils Bit. There's no aura of evil or devilish mischief here. Far from it.

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