Les Exceptionnelles 2016

Les Exceptionnelles® 2016

August 26, 2015, was another big day for horticulture, with the final judging of the plants entered in the Les Exceptionnelles® 2016 competition.

Based on the overall voting scores, the cannas, coleuses, dahlias, mealycup sages, and moss roses were particularly popular with Jardin Daniel A. Séguin visitors. Of course, DECO-Style plants were also a hit with those who voted for this Quebec-based program. Here are the Les Exceptionnelles® 2016 winners.

canna cleopatra 2016

Canna ‘Cleopatra’

‘Cleopatra’ canna

‘Cleopatra’ is a little gem that immediately attracts attention when in flower thanks to its variably patterned, bright orangey red, yellow, orange, or white blooms, often with splashes of chocolate brown adorning leaves or a stem. Or this canna can feature large dark purple leaves and orangey red monochromatic blooms. This surprising variability provides an ever-changing spectacle throughout the plant’s growing season. The ‘Cleopatra’ canna can vary from 1.2 m to 2 m (4 ft. to 6 ft.) in height and 60 cm to 70 cm (24 in. to 30 in.) in breadth. ‘Cleopatra’ is not a recent discovery, but was recently reintroduced commercially using the tissue culture technique because it is hard to find in bulb form. It’s a perfect choice for today’s gardens, both in containers and flower beds. Cannas grow in full sun.

Height:

1,2-2 m

Spread:

60-75 cm

Light:

Full sun

plectranthus scutellarioides 2016

Plectranthus scutellarioides Under the Sea™ Fish Net

Under the Sea™ Fish Net coleus

The Under the Sea™ coleus series from Hort Couture has been turning heads since it was introduced at the California Spring Trials in 2011. Generally featuring deeply indented leaves, these hybrid coleuses bred by students at the University of Saskatchewan resemble coral and denizens of the deep, whence the name of the series. The new Under the Sea™ Fish Net cultivar has oval, lime-colored leaves with lance-shaped crenelated edges and a profusion of dark red veins. It corresponds perfectly to the deeply crenelated leaf type that inspired the shape of this coleus series. Under the Sea™ Fish Net is a large, vigorous, very erect coleus. It can reach 55 cm to 70 cm (22 in. to 28 in.) in height and 35 cm to 40 cm (14 in. to 16 in.) in breadth. Its primary leaves are very large, but its secondary leaves are fairly small.

This coleus can lend a maritime flavor to both container and flower bed arrangements. You’ll want to grow the Under the Sea™ coleuses for their original, rather wild-looking appearance, contrasting their unusual beauty with that of other vigorous plants. Gardeners who want to add a touch of originality to their arrangements should try one of these coleus selections from Canada, especially the new Under the Sea™ Fish Net cultivar. This coleus can be grown in full sun, partial shade, or shade.

Height:

55-70 cm

Spread:

35-40 cm

Light

Full sun, partial shade or shade

 
bidens campfire Fireburst 2016

Bidens Campfire™ Fireburst ‘KOIBID1346’

Campfire™ Fireburst biden

The Campfire™ Fireburst bidens sports a bloom that is orangey red around the edge and yellow at the base, an unusual color combination for this genus. The orangey red becomes redder in cool weather, Whereas the hotter the climate, the more the color tends toward yellow. In addition to having a spectacular two-toned bloom, this plant attracts bees. They hover over the foliage and flowers, which intermingle with neighboring plants. The flower is sterile, but laden with pollen. No need to deadhead—withered blooms fall off by themselves. Once well established, the plant has no problem withstanding heat and drought conditions. The plant, which grows in full sun, can reach 25 cm to 30 cm (10 in. to 12 in.) in height and 45 cm to 50 cm (18 in. to 20 in.) in breadth. As the company that markets it says: Plant me anywhere, anyhow—I’M EASY TO GROW! Who could ask for more?

Height:

25-30 cm

Spread:

45-50 cm

Light:

Full sun

begonia tuberhybrida nonstop 2016

Begonia tuberhybrida Nonstop® MOCCA Bright Orange F1

Nonstop® MOCCA Bright Orange tuberous begonia

The Nonstop® MOCCA series, created by the renowned plant breeders at the German company, Benary, is a unique series featuring dark, coffee-colored leaves with serrated edges reminiscent of Italian cappuccino. This series offers a level of beauty and performance that has been long appreciated by producers and consumers alike, for both container and flower bed arrangements. The large, orange-colored double blooms, with their luminous and flamboyant variations, make an elegant contrast to the dark, coffee-colored foliage. The blooms, which generally measure 10 cm (4 in.) across, are rose-like in shape. This long-flowering plant can reach 20 cm to 25 cm (8 in. to 10 in.) in height and 30 cm to 38 cm (12 in. to 15 in.) in breadth.

Nonstop® MOCCA Bright Orange is ideal for gardeners who want to create a “chocolate garden” featuring dark foliage and blooms. The flowers are edible and have a slightly acidic flavor. They’re great for adding an elegant touch to dishes. The cultivar does well in full sun to partial shade. This plant will always live up to expectations as it tolerates temperature extremes well and keeps on blooming even during heat waves.

Height:

20-25 cm

Spread:

30-38 cm

Light:

Full sun or partial shade

 
dianthus barbatus jolt 2016

AllAmerica Selections Dianthus barbatus interspecific 2015 Jolt™ Pink

Jolt™ Pink interspecific dianthus 

This plant, grown from seed, won an All-America Selections 2015 award because it is a barbatus dianthus, which is the most heat tolerant of the cultivars currently available on the market. It also branches out well. It flowers throughout the summer, reaching 40 cm to 50 cm (16 in. to 20 in.) in height and 30 cm to 35 cm (12 in. to 14 in.) in breadth. Its pink color palette is simply electrifying. And the pale green flower buds contrast beautifully with its spherical pink blooms. As the flowers are sterile, this plant does not reseed itself. Jolt™ Pink is superb in both container and flower bed arrangements and adds brilliant color to cut flower bouquets. Deadheading enhances flowering.

A modern take on a plant our grandmothers loved to grow, this plant attracts pollinators, especially butterflies. The flower is edible and possesses medicinal properties. It loves full sun and moist, well-drained soil, but can tolerate many soil types, from clayey to sandy soils. It even does well in cool temperatures. In short, it’s an easy plant to grow, and doesn’t need pinching. A truly exceptional plant. What more could you ask for?

Height:

40-50 cm

Spread:

30-35 cm

Light:

Full sun

plectranthus scutellarioides campfire 2016

Plectranthus scutellarioides Campfire™ ‘UF12823’

Campfire™ coleus

Coleuses have been immensely popular in recent years, with their vibrant colors adapted to both sun and shade. The search for a coleus with velvety leaves of a perfect rusty orange color is over: The Campfire™ cultivar from Ball FloraPlant, with its rusty red color, is very different from other cultivars currently on the market. This very vigorous coleus can reach 50 cm to 75 cm (20 in. to 30 in.) in both height and breadth, branching out naturally into a perfect mound. Its bright, lustrous foliage brightens up container arrangements and adds showy splashes of color to flower beds. It’s also a prime choice for shade gardens. What’s more, this self-sufficient plant looks stunning all alone in a pot. Coleus tolerates many types of soils, but make sure the soil stays slightly moist.

Height:

50-75 cm

Spread:

50-75 cm

Light:

Shade

 
salvia farinacea mannequin 2016

Salvia farinacea Mannequin™ Blue Mountain

Mannequin™ Blue Mountain mealycup sage

Mealycup sage requires almost no maintenance, apart from regular watering during heat waves. So it’s perfect for flower beds and container arrangements. The Mannequin™ Blue Mountain cultivar was the chosen to kick off the Mannequin™ series from Hort Couture in 2015. So it serves as the standard for developing subsequent cultivars. Its spectacular growth habit and the size of its blooms are its main assets. Having double the number of chromosomes of other species in its genus, the tetraploid Mannequin™ Blue Mountain produces the biggest mealycup sage flower on the market. This mealycup sage, with its spikes of electric blue white-throated flowers, will lend an elegant touch to your garden decor. It grows vigorously from early summer to the first frosts. It loves full sun and can reach 40 cm to 50 cm (16 in. to 29 in.) in height and 30 cm to 50 cm (12 in. to 20 in.) in breadth. This cultivar was developed by American company GardenGenetics, which is well known for its genetics research and breeding of unique plants.

Height:

40-50 cm

Spread:

30-50 cm

Light:

Full sun

portulaca grandiflo mojave 2016

Portulaca grandiflora Mojave® Fuchsia

Mojave® Fuchsia moss rose

The moss roses in the Mojave®series, commercialized by Proven Winners, did very well at Jardin Damiel A. Séguin in summer 2015. The Mojave® Fuchsia cultivar has simple, five-petaled flowers in vibrant shades of fuchsia. The bloom’s yellow center contrasts beautifully with the fuchsia petals, producing a dazzling effect. Like all moss roses, its flowers open when the sun’s out and close when the clouds roll in. Flowering is initiated in dry conditions. Its green stems, sometimes slightly reddish, bear small, fleshy, elongate leaves. This semi-trailing succulent can reach 10 cm to 20 cm (4 in. to 8 in.) in height and 30 cm to 40 cm (12 in. to 16 in.) in breadth. Once well established, moss roses do well in hot, humid, and even drought conditions. It also tolerates poor, sandy soils. A slightly moist, well-drained soil is ideal for optimal performance. Moss roses are grown in full sun. 

Height:

10-20 cm

Spread:

30-40 cm

Light:

Full sun

 
alocasia low rider 2016

Alocasia Low Rider™

Low Rider™ alocasia

The herbaceous plants in the Alocasia and Colocasia genera are becoming increasingly popular with Quebecers. Alocacias are large-leaved, tropical herbaceous plants in the Araceae family. The Low Rider™ alocasia is a hybrid commercialized by DECO-Style. This superb plant is a miniature version of the Portora cultivar, created by brilliant plan breeder LariAnn Garner. She also created the beautiful ‘Calidora.’ The leaves of Low Rider™ are thicker than those of most colocasias, which gives it a more robust appearance. Its shiny, indented leaves are moderately erect and the plant has a very upright growth habit. This compact plant can reach 30 cm to 60 cm (12 in. to 24 in.) in height and breadth. It is perfect as a focal point in container arrangements and is also attractive in flower beds. Low Rider™ grows in sun or shade. Even though this alocasia is not hardy in Quebec, it can tolerate lower temperatures, as it is hardy to Zone 7b. A truly magnificent plant.

Height:

30-60 cm

Spread:

30-60 cm

Light: 

Full sun or shade

begonia autumn ember 2016

Begonia ‘Autumn Ember’

Autumn Ember begonia

Interest in tropical plants has continued apace in recent years, and the new ‘Autumn Ember’ begonia, with its slightly puckered leaves and warm cinnamon orange color, is sure to please. The underside of the leaves is a rusty red, which will be popular with gardeners looking for original-looking foliage. This little tropical gem, commercialized by DECO-Style, will soon be available in Quebec. Its unusual appearance, rare among rex begonias, should fire up lovers of outdoor and indoor plants alike. This compact, slightly spreading, moderately tall plant can reach 20 cm to 25 cm (8 in. to 10 in.) in height and 25 cm to 35 cm (10 in. to 14 in.) in breadth. ‘Autumn Ember’ grows well in the shade and needs very little light, but also does well in the sun.

Greenhouse Grower named it one of the plants with the most fashionable new foliage in 2015. It’s also one of the incomparable Martha Stewart’s favorite begonias.

Height:

20-25 cm

Spread:

25-35 cm

Light:

Full sun or shade

 

Les Exceptionnelles®: easy and reliable plants!

Les Exceptionnelles® is a registered trademark of the Fondation en horticulture ornementale de l’ITA de Saint-Hyacinthe (Foundation in Ornamental Horticulture of the Saint-Hyacinthe Institute of Agri-food Technology), a non-profit organization that administers the school’s Daniel A. Séguin Garden, and whose mandate is to promote and support the development of knowledge in ornamental horticulture throughout Quebec. Chosen by both the public and by experts, the title Les Exceptionnelles® is awarded to new plant introductions that stand out for their garden performance, ease of cultivation and resistance to insects and diseases.

Choosing a plant bearing the logo Les Exceptionnelles® not only makes life easier for gardeners, but also supports a Foundation that, year after year, tests hundreds of new plant introductions in order to select the very best for your garden.

The Les Exceptionnelles® programme is also part of a partnership that combines the expertise of four public gardens in Quebec: the Daniel A. Séguin Garden, the Montreal Botanical Garden, Laval University’s Roger Van den Hende Botanical Garden and the Reford Gardens.