Of the items that you all have asked me to track down, this is the first that I have been able to find and bring to market. This is why I started this business- to give small scale American growers access to the same varieties as the huge corporate and international farms. These have theoretically been available to US growers before now, but at a high price and with a huge minimum purchase. By consolidating our buying power, we are now able to offer this exciting new crop to the smaller American flower grower.
The full range of 17 varieties is now available.
So what makes these so special and worth the price? These are an interspecific hybrid of Scabiosa caucasica and Scabiosa atropurpurea (Think 'Fama' x 'Black Knight'). They have combined the strength and large flower size of the perennial types with the color range of the annual types, while leaving behind the tangled and brittle tendency of the annual types. They come with a healthy dose of hybrid vigor as well. A significant portion of the cost is to pay the royalty to the breeder of this amazing line. They are patent protected and propagation is strictly prohibited. Got it? We only get amazing new varieties like these if we play by the rules and give the breeders their share (which they clearly deserve).
These are known to be highly productive, producing up to 50 stems per plant per season. At current prices over $1 per stem, you stand to make back your initial investment in the first harvest. These plants get large. They are kind of rangy looking, but we aren't in the business of looking at plants, we're here to sell flowers, right? Recommended spacing is 12" between plants in a double row in a standard 30-36" bed. Essentially dahlia spacing. I think fall planting or early spring planting will yield a much larger plant than those of us who planted in the summer.
Your rooted cutting will arrive pre-pinched, so you will start to get some branching immediately. You may choose to pinch once more before allowing the plant to flower.
Internationally, these scabiosa are very popular with designers right now, and are even starting to show up in mass market settings.
I have just spoken with representatives from Danziger, the breeder, and there are large national market campaigns about to launch promoting the use of this series. Even grocery stores and your wire-service small town florists will be looking for them soon.
There are large corporate farms in California now producing them in addition to Central American, Kenyan, Israeli and European farms, so we may eventually see the price per stem fall, but for now they are still a new and exciting item that can easily be provided to your local market.
Winter hardiness is still unknown, but they do very well planted in autumn, and can certainly take light freezing.
Available weeks 4-20
This is grown in a HALF TRAY.
TWO OF THESE 51-CELL "STRIP TRAYS" TAKE UP THE SPACE OF 1 STANDARD TRAY FOR SHIPPING PURPOSES.
6 week lead time
As always, order in quantities of 3 full trays per ship date. As these are half trays, you can order half trays of other items (such as chocolate cosmos and geum) and full trays to fill up your box. (for example 2 half trays + 2 full trays = 3 trays)
$1.79 per plug grown in a 51 cell tray, billed as 50
Photos courtesy of Danziger
Click HERE to view the cultural tutorial from Danziger