New Varieties 2006


  • Native to Eastern North American woodlands, Chelone lyonii typically grows to 80 cm (30'') tall, and in garden settings might require an early pinching to maintain a tidy habit later in the season. Jelitto is delighted to introduce the dwarf growing 'Pink Temptation'.

    Unlike its close relatives 'Pink Temptation' will not require any pinching, as it matures into a compact, 40 - 50 cm (15"-18") sturdy upright clump. The overlapping lustrous green to 8 cm (3"), broadly ovate, serrated leaves - which taper to a sharp point - make this a very attractive foliage plant that resembles the tender New Guinea Impatiens. These qualities will make an outstanding container plant for garden center sales.

    The common names Turtlehead and Snakehead aptly describe the tightly clustered brilliant blossoms - pretty in pink from late summer to fall. Chelone lyonii 'Pink Temptation' is perfectly cold hardy to Zone 6 and prefers evenly moist garden soils. It is perfect for semi-shaded borders, in mixed containers, or the woodland garden. 'Pink Temptation' is also available in easy-to-germinate JELITTO GOLD NUGGET SEEDS®.


  • Legendary botanist, Dr. Lucy Braun, found a single plant of a dwarf form of Coreopsis auriculata (The Maysville Daisy) on limestone cliffs, high above the Ohio River town of Maysville, Kentucky in the 1920s. Long thought to be sterile, Jelitto has coaxed seeds from this dwarf plant and continued breeding and selection work resulting in the exciting 2006 seed strain introduction of 'Elfin Gold'.

    'Elfin Gold' mimics the best characteristics of Dr. Braun's original discovery, shows only slight variability, and is easy to produce from Jelitto seeds. Dozens of fresh yellow-orange daisies (unique to Coreopsis) are held aloft (6"/15 cm) on short stems and appear weekly over a long season from May-September. The rounded blossoms, with petals that are notched on the outer edges, gently poke above neat mouse-eared leaves.

    Pinching and clipping old blossoms is worthwhile and simple. Afterwards, 'Elfin Gold' remains tidier than the dozens of other Coreopsis lanceolata and grandiflora selections that routinely look bedraggled after deadheading. 'Elfin Gold' maintains tidy clumps of thick basal foliage and is easy-to-grow, needing little more than ordinary garden soil and sun or semi-shade to produce a wonderful multi-month show. Need a sun-loving plant for mixed containers, a groundcover or edging plant? Try semi-drought resistant 'Elfin Gold'!


  • The low maintenance and drought tolerant Echinacea pallida grows primarily in sunny, rocky sites in the eastern portions of the prairies of the Great Plains in the United States. It is the only coneflower species with white pollen. This Jelitto selected seed strain evokes a dancer at a traditional Hawaiian luau (feast) despite the fact that it is actually a tough prairie coneflower. The dramatically reflexed, very narrow, white petals with a pink tinge, drooping from orange-brown cones conjures images of swaying dancers and south Pacific breezes.

    xThe blooms are slightly fragrant, attract butterflies and would be a nice addition to a cut flower arrangement. Elegant 'Hula Dancer' grows on single, unbranched slender stems to 80 cm (32") and is perfectly cold hardy to -25° C (-20° F). 'Hula Dancer', is as much at home in the garden as it would be on the prairie, and looks great planted together with other durable Jelitto selections - Chrysanthemum 'Brightside', Penstemon 'Sunburst Amethyst' and Verbascum 'Wedding Candles'. Plants are deer resistant and hardy to Zone 5. 'Hula Dancer' is also available in easy-to-germinate JELITTO GOLD NUGGET SEED®.


  • The mostly short-lived Gaillardias have always been top-selling perennials. Easy-to-germinate, simple to produce, their boldly colored flowers are a favorite with retail customers. Larry Vickerman, former Director of the Dyck Arboretum is always on the lookout for different characteristics among native plants. While botanizing in Colorado he found a larger flowering Gaillardia and shared seed of this beauty with us many years ago.

    Jelitto has been working on this strain since. And with great pleasure we can finally introduce 'Amber Wheels'. It differs from other Gaillardia with its extremely large golden blossoms with fringed petals and prominent lovely amber-red centers. It is usually only seen in the true wild form which has much smaller flowers. 'Amber Wheels' flowers from early summer until frost. It is a truly long lived perennial that actually improves with age. Plants persist in the garden where others perish in soils that are not perfectly well drained in the winter. This impressive perennial will grow from 75 - 80 cm (30"- 32"), prefers full sun and well-drained soils, and can withstand dry conditions. 'Amber Wheels' is winter hardy in Zone 4.


  • At last, after years of careful selection, a Jelitto seed strain has been produced from 'Midnight Reiter', the legendary Geranium with dark reddish-purple leaves and dark to mid blue- flowers. 'Dark Reiter' comes 98% true from seed and is more economical to produce than tissue cultured plants. The dark reddish-plum foliage contrasts beautifully with the intensive blue-lilac flowers in mid summer. The foliage retains its dark color during the summer, and like all good red-leaved Geranium forms, 'Dark Reiter' is slow growing, reaching only 25 cm (10").

    Cold hardy to Zone 5, it prefers sunny to partially shaded summer conditions that are not too hot or dry. For dramatic color combinations plant Geranium 'Dark Reiter' with Stachys 'Silky Fleece' or Lavandula 'Hidcote Superior'. 'Dark Reiter' is also available in easy-to-germinate JELITTO GOLD NUGGET SEED®.


  • Evening Primroses are simple, easy-to-grow perennials with eye-catching saucer-shaped flowers in an array of colors, often flowering during the night. The bright golden, lightly scented flowers of 'Yella Fella' open during the day and attract bees and butterflies from mid to late summer. The flower buds are orange red and add additional interest in combination with the large golden flowers and the deep green foliage.

    This Jelitto seed strain is fully hardy to Zone 4. The sturdy 40 cm tall (15,5") stems and the leaf undersides are covered with distinct whitish hairs that makes 'Yella Fella' more tolerant of dry conditions than its relatives in the Oenothera fruticosa group.

    'Yella Fella' will light-up the late season garden with a carpet of reddish colored foliage, from frost until early spring and is an excellent border perennial for group-plantings. Plant 'Yella Fella' in the border with Chrysanthemum 'Brightside', Penstemon 'Sunburst Amethyst', Salvia pratensis 'Swan Lake', and Stachys 'Silky Fleece'.


  • We are delighted to introduce the purple flowering seed strain 'Sunburst Amethyst', the second jewel in the Penstemon Sunburst Series. 'Sunburst Ruby' has become very popular with growers. Likewise, 'Sunburst Amethyst' is an attractive winter hardy and heat tolerant perennial with shimmering, glossy green foliage. It maintains a compact bushy habit and doesn't shrivel in the summer's heat and humidity.

    This Penstemon gem has dozens of slender flowering stems, slightly taller 50 cm (20") than 'Sunburst Ruby'. Each one is loaded with purple, white-throated thimble-shaped blossoms from mid to late summer. 'Sunburst Amethyst' is an easy germinator as well and, if sown early in the year, will flower reliably the first season.

    Just like 'Sunburst Ruby', Amethyst is winter hardy to Zone 6 (and possibly colder). The Sunburst Series Penstemons are great for retail sales, landscape use, in planters, the rock garden or for sweeping drifts in the border. Little maintenance is required to keep them in shape and looking polished.


  • Sedum selskianum is a lovely, very rare species that is commonly misidentified and confused with Sedum ellacombianum. Sedum selskianum is easy to identify. All parts of the plants are hairy - even the flowers. The species grows on rocky hillsides along the Amur River, the dividing point between China and Russia. 'Goldilocks' aptly describes the lovely golden late summer blossoms. The attractive narrow, hairy, lance-shaped leaves enhance these tight, non-running clumps.

    As an added bonus, it flowers the first year if sown early, a characteristic exceedingly uncommon among sedums grown from seed. 'Goldilocks' is taller than most of the common low-growing species. It forms neat, deciduous hummocks about 20 cm (8") for the front of the border, containers or for formal edging in lean, unenriched soils. Besides planting together in rock gardens or troughs with other Jelitto sedums, complementary planting partners include Dracocephalum perreginum 'Blue Dragon', Oenothera macrocarpa 'Silver Wings' and Thymus serpyllum 'Magic Carpet'.


  • Many forms of the common Lambs Ears are known for various leaf shapes and sizes. A truly dwarf form has not been available until this year's Jelitto introduction of 'Silky Fleece'. The soft, silky silver-grey foliage of 'Silky Fleece' is irresistible! This diminutive plant - only about 5 cm (2") tall - forms soft, dense mats that will carpet well-drained, sunny sites. A mass planting of 'Silky Fleece' is a superb easy to maintain ground cover choice that will tolerate poor, well-drained dry soils.

    The upright flowers, with tiny plum colored, summer blossoms, grow to 25 cm (10") high in sandy soils, and to 35 cm (15") in heavier soils. Deadheading is recommended, especially in rich soils. Hot and less humid conditions are preferred. 'Silky Fleece' is a magnificent foliage plant. Beware. Customers will want to touch Silky Fleece! Plant 'Silky Fleece' in the larger rock garden, or as an edging plant where it would be lovely in a mixed container planting, adding contrasting texture and foliage color. Plants are winter hardy through Zone 5, and possibly colder if drainage is excellent during winter.

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