Picture-perfect poinsettias

Features - Events

The 8th annual poinsettia trials at N.G. Heimos Greenhouses included more than 150 traditional and nontraditional varieties from top breeders.

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January 6, 2016

All photos: Cassie Neiden

More than 200 people made the trip to Millstadt, Ill. to see which poinsettia varieties stood up to the test in 2015. Brand new varieties were mixed together with classic bestsellers. In addition to iconic red bracts, whites, yellows, greens, salmons and a variety of pinks filled the greenhouse from early to late-season and small to large vigor. And this year, breeders and/or sales experts from Beekenkamp, Syngenta, Ball-Selecta and Dümmen Orange traveled in to walk potential customers up and down the aisles of the trial, explaining the mindset behind the breeding and hearing customer feedback.

Here are some selections that stood out.

Christmas Tradition

Ball-Selecta

A classic red that harnesses the holiday spirit, this variety’s deep green leaves and bright, pointed bracts complement a full-blooming cyathia. According to Ball’s catalog, Christmas Tradition responds in 9.5 weeks for use in the late-season.

PON 57

Beekenkamp

This new trial variety — yet to be officially named — showed off medium-sized bracts with a slight ruffle. PON 57’s stems were strong, and appeared as though they’d hold up well in sleeves.

Wintersun White

Ball-Selecta

WinterSun White’s, oak-shaped bracts boast sturdy stems and is said to be good for both painting and decoration in the early season.

Christmas Feelings Red Cinnamon

Ball-Selecta

The entire Christmas Feelings series is a bestseller for Selecta, but Red Cinnamon stood out prominently in the trial for its dynamic, marbling peach-pink and yellow bracts in a proportional, low-medium vigor.

Harlequin Red

Beekenkamp

There was no variety quite like Harlequin on the floor. While some breeders train bracts to showcase a more ruffled look, this Beekenkamp option takes a step further by allowing its deep-red bracts to fold backwards, creating a rounded look. Beekenkamp also boasts Harlequin’s ability to be grown as a single or multi-stemmed plant and its suitability for cut flower production.

Glace

Dümmen Orange

One of RED FOX’s specialty varieties, Glace appeared dainty and chic. The bright white bracts were some of the smallest on the floor, and they complemented the deep green foliage at a medium vigor.

Autumn Leaves

Dümmen Orange

A new early-season variety for 2016, Autumn Leaves gives off a soft pastel look with its muted pink and yellow bracts.

Charon Red

Beekenkamp

This is another classic variety, which showed great uniformity and the classic V-shape customers search for. Charon Red is very vigorous, and is suitable for 6- to 8-inch pots, according to Beekenkamp’s catalogue.

Ice Punch

Ecke

Fuchsia-colored bracts with bursts of white in between showed off an oak shape, and the full cyathia was also an eye-catcher. Ecke also boasts adaptability to a “wide range of container sizes.”

Gold Rush

Ecke

Claiming to be the “first true golden poinsettia on the market,” Gold Rush quickly caught the attention of passersby. The golden bracts hold their own, but also complemented nicely with classic reds.

Titan Red

Syngenta

A cold-grow variety with long, pointed red bracts and deep-green foliage is said to have “excellent” keeping quality in the early season.

Luv U Pink

Ecke

This Euphorbia hybrid is a mid-season, vigorous variety with an abundance of small, bright-pink bracts softly outlined in white. Full-blooming cyathia is not a focus here, as the attention is directed outward toward the bracts themselves.

Neva

Syngenta

Neva’s bract look is more rounded to a point than the Titan series, and blooms in the mid- to late-season with a medium to large vigor.

Maron

Syngenta

Maron is an open-genetics plant bred to have large, salmon-colored bracts with lighter-green foliage in the early- to mid-season.