The 2004 Way Hot 100: Annuals

I Love This Plant

The 2004 Way Hot 100: Annuals

April 15, 2004

Old familiar friends and some new faces. For cutting, borders, pots and baskets.

[49] Agrostemma Githago 'Milas' Beloved cottage garden flower recently rediscovered by cut-flower trade. Willowy sprays of pink flowers. Up to 3 feet tall.
[50] Angelonia Angel Mist? series. Sun or shade, containers or beds, easily grown, many colors. Spires of little orchid lookalikes in blue, purple, white, pink and bicolor. Grow in summer when heat wipes out other plants.

[51] Begonia Coccinea 'Sinbad' Lustrous green leaves overlaid with silver, pink flowers all summer. Strong erect plant, about 2 feet tall.

[52] Calibrachoa (Million Bells®.) Great in containers or hanging baskets, good mixer. Flowers like tiny petunias, in white, blue, pink, yellow and other colors. Long bloom, hardy in mild climates, very heat tolerant. Look for new series Super Bells®.

[53] Cleome Sparkler Series First dwarf (3 feet) spider plant, for front and middle of the border. 

[54] 'Black Magic' Elephant Ears (Colocasia). Big tropical leaves. Goes with almost anything in a container. Perennial in mild climates.


[55] California Poppy Breeders improved upon perfection with 'Apricot Chiffon', 'Mahogany Red'.

[56] 'Alamo Fire' Texas Bluebonnet Mutation of legendary wildflower discovered in the wild. Deep rose pink and white.

[57] 'Strawberry Fields' Sweet Pea "Luscious, delicious, reminds us of a bowl of  fresh berries with a touch of cream."(Shepherd)

[58] 'Harlequin' Marigold. Reintroduction of Victorian favorite. "Riotously tacky and disturbing in masses." (Davis) 

[59] Symphony Osteospermum Series of daisies with pale pastel petals, blue centers. Cream, lemon, vanilla, peach, orange. For beds or pots. Favorite: 'Orange Symphony'.

[60] 'Purple Majesty' Millet Nearly black, striking if a bit farmy looking. Up to 5 feet tall, good for backbone of a border. May reseed in mild climates.

[61] Phlox Intensia Series Abundant bloomer, also a workhorse – tolerates heat, withstands autumn chill, slow to get mildew.

[62] 'Prairie Sun' Rudbeckia Black-eyed Susan with a different look: petals are deep yellow with pale yellow tips, green eye.

[63] Scaevola Aemula Blue Wonder® Trailing habit made for hanging basket. Long blooming.

[64] Sutera Cordata (Bacopa) Tiny leaves and flowers in blue, white, salmon, pink. Blooms in shade, "doesn't look exhausted by September." (Davis) Favorites: 'Breeze Indigo', 'Breeze Upright Lavender', 'Giant Snowflake'.

[65] Profusion Series Zinnia Long season of summer color, good in beds or containers, no deadheading needed. Orange and white are best.


COLEUS: A veritable from-the-outhouse-to-the-penthouse success story.

[66] 'Inky Fingers' Irresistible foliage plant with dainty palmlike leaves. "Diminutive scale belies sturdy robust demeanor." (Cooper)

[67] Solar Series Offers sunproof foliage that won't fade. Other vivid varieties for sun or shade: 'Dip't in Wine', 'Merlot', 'Sedona', and 'Ash Blond'.


IMPATIENS: Busy, busy breeders! Hundreds (thousands?) of new varieties – from sneerable to sensational.

[68]  Fanfare? A breeding breakthrough in New Guinea impatiens. Trailing habit, big blooms, in fuchsia, orange and lavender.

[69] 'Jungle Gold' First impatiens for shade with yellow flowers.


PETUNIAS: Nearly every nursery displays breeder wonderworks.

[70] Wave® series Easy care, no deadheading or cutting back required. Very wide spreading. Tons of medium-sized flowers, purple, pink, other colors. "'Lilac Wave' is as self-cleaning as a modern oven." (Druse)

[71] Supertunia® Series "I love their spreading habits and free-flowering character." (Walheim)