Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) Final Trials Report 2015 Image: RHS/C. Sheppard Trials Office The Royal Horticultural Society Garden, Wisley, Woking, ...
Author: Jodie Potter
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Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) Final Trials Report 2015

Image: RHS/C. Sheppard

Trials Office The Royal Horticultural Society Garden, Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB

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Trial of Sunflower 2015 (Helianthus annuus) There were 137 cultivars, planted at RHS Garden Wisley. Entries 1-101 (cut flower and border types) were grown on the trials field, whilst entries 102 – 137 (dwarf types) were grown in containers at the Hill Top Border. Entries were invited from Fleuroselect and major UK seed retailers. The objectives of the trial were to:  assess currently available cultivars, suitable for the garden and/or for containers  recommend the Award of Garden Merit as appropriate.  demonstrate this group of plants to RHS Wisley Garden visitors over the flowering season. Recommendation for the Award of Garden Merit: The over-arching criteria for recommendation of plants for the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) are:  Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions  Available  Of good constitution  Essentially stable in form and colour  Reasonably resistant to pests and disease The Sunflower Trial Assessment Forum inspected the trial on six occasions during 2015 using the following criteria: quality of flower and foliage: period of flower: overall Impact: pest and disease resistance: ease of cultivation and germination The forum members were: David Arnold (Chair), David Creese, John Gibson, Tony Hender, Michael Holmes, Nick Morgan, Tom Sharples, Andrew Spiers, Alex Summers and Brian Taylor. Cultivation notes for container grown entries Seeds were sown under glass during late April, and the young plants were potted up into containers on 4 June; three plants per pot. Slow-release fertiliser was incorporated into growing media at 2g/l. Pots remained under glass until 11 June, then placed outside, once the risk of frost had passed. Irrigation pipes and a dosatron were installed at this time and used to water/feed the plants through the flowering season. A feed of Sangral at 3:1: 6 @10g/l was applied weekly through August. Plants were deadheaded periodically from late July and throughout August, as required, until the trial was lifted on 14 September. Cultivation notes for field grown entries: The trial bed was sprayed with contans, rotavated on 27 April 2015 and fertilised following the recommendations of our soil scientist, based on soil analysis: sulphur [email protected] 140g/m 2; sulphate of [email protected] 13.5g/m 2; epsom [email protected] 12g/m 2; sulphate of [email protected] 12g/m 2. Seeds were direct sown on 1 May at the following densities: entries1-35 = 21 seeds per 1m 2, entries 37-83 = 12 seeds per

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1m 2, entries 84-101 = 9 seeds per 1m 2. The cut flower types were supported with a cane on each corner of the block and some twine around the entire block. For the border types each plant was supported with a cane but where this was not sufficient additional support was provided using 6’ corner posts and twine around the plot. In early June all entries were sprayed with spruzit against aphid, and on 18 June a mix of fungicide and insecticide (systhane and aphox) was applied, followed by a further spray of insecticide (aphox) on 8 July. On 14 July a second sowing of cut flower types (entries 1-36) was carried out, at a sowing density of 15 seeds per m 2. During the trial period minor cases of fungal infection (Sclerotinia) were dealt with by removal of infected material: one plant of each of entries 18, 24, 67 and 86 were found to have developed fungal growth (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) around the stem. The RHS advisory webpage on Sclerotinia disease offers useful advice to the home gardener - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=272 On 23 July all plants were sprayed with epsom salts as a magnesium foliar feed. Additional fertiliser was also applied as follows: ammonium sulphate - 12g/m 2; sulphate of potash - 13g/m 2. Deadheading of multiflora types continued periodically throughout August into September as the flowers faded. Whilst the early-sown plants were lifted on 6 October mild autumn temperatures encouraged the second sowing of cut-flower types (entries 1-36) to produce good growth. All of these July sown entries achieved flowering before being lifted on 12 November.

The Forum Recommended the Society’s AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT (H2) to:

Border Grown: 18. Sunbright: AGM (H2) Sent by: Sakata Available from: Moles Seeds Characteristics: single, cut-flower type, but also good for the border. Height to 2.10m; average flower diameter 13cm. Forum Comments: deep orange, clean, later flowering, strong stems, good uniformity. Performed well. Holding large seed-heads well. 42. Goldrush: AGM (H2) Sent by: Seedsense Ltd Available from: Suttons Characteristics: dual purpose: cut-flower and border type, multiflora. Height to 1.8m; average flower diameter 15cm. Forum Comments: Superb display. Smaller flower size last longer. High proportion of good flowers, with heads held up at a good angle to view.

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67. Solar Power: AGM (H2) Sent by: Takii Europe (Sahin) Available from: Johnsons Seeds Characteristics: dual purpose: cut-flower and border type. Bicolour: burnt orange/yellow Height to 2.2m; average flower diameter 24cm. Forum Comments: Looking very good over a long season. Nice balance of flower to foliage. 85. American Giant: AGM (H2) Sent by: Seedsense Ltd Available from: Unwins Characteristics: Tall, single, border type. Height to 3m+; average flower diameter 30cm. Forum Comments: Best of this height & good for children. Strong stems. Big heads which look down at you so can see the flower. Consistent in height & head size. Good foliage.

88. Buttercream: AGM (H2) Sent by: Takii Europe (Sahin) Available from: Mr Fothergill’s Characteristics: multiflora, border type. Height to 1.8m; average flower diameter 18cm. Forum Comments: Early, floriferous, clean light yellow, consistent colour, strong stems, uniform. Container Grown: 102. Ballad: AGM (H2) Sent by: Ball Colegrave/Pan AmericanSeed Generally available in the UK Characteristics: dwarf type, suitable for containers. Average flower diameter 13cm. Forum Comments: One of the earliest cultivars, long season. Even growth, well-branched, floriferous, good foliage.

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113 Munchkin: AGM (H2) Sent by: Seedsense Ltd Available from: Nicky’s Nursery Characteristics: dwarf type, suitable for containers. Average flower diameter 10 cm. Forum Comments: Floriferous, long season. Even, well-branched habit, clean colour, good foliage. 131. Sunsation Yellow: AGM (H2) Sent by: Evanthia Generally available in the UK Characteristics: dwarf type, suitable for containers. Average flower diameter 17cm Forum Comments: good habit, well proportioned, vigorous, strong flower colour, glossy foliage.

133. Teddy Bear: AGM (H2) Sent by: Kings Seeds Available from: Kings Seeds, Thompson & Morgan, Suttons, Unwins, Moles Seeds. Characteristics: dwarf type, suitable for containers. Tight double flower form. Average flower diameter 10 cm. Forum Comments: striking double, large heads, rich yellow-orange, floriferous, performing well over a long period. 134. Waooh: AGM (H2) Sent by: Clause (Tezier) Available from: Suttons Characteristics: dwarf type, suitable for containers. Average flower diameter 10cm. Forum Comments: Plenty of flower. Long season. Well-formed structure, & habit, free-flowering, rich floral colour, good foliage.

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The Forum Recommended the Society’s AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT , SUBJECT TO AVAILABILTY, to:

Field Grown: 92. Greenburst: AGM (H2) Sent by: Seedsense Ltd Characteristics: multiflora, border type. Double flower, slightly reflexed petals. Height to 1.8m; average flower diameter 19cm. Forum Comments: Very uniform height, clean foliage, attractive buds, strong flower colour, excellent double.

Container Grown: 130. Sunsation Lemon: AGM (H2) Sent by: Evanthia Characteristics: dwarf type, suitable for containers. Average flower diameter 20cm. Forum Comments: clean pale lemon flower, contrast well against dark foliage, good height, long season.

H2 = Tender: can be grown outdoors once the risk of frost is over. STA = Subject to Availability

List of trial entries: Trial No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Name Cut flower types Eos Happy Face Ms Mars Sunspot Galilee Adami Galilee Miracle Maya Gold (Market Series) ProCut Bicolour ProCut Brilliance ProCut Gold ProCut Lemon

AGM

Sender

PRO-VEG PRO-VEG Burpee Europe Takii Europe (Sahin) PRO-VEG PRO-VEG PRO-VEG SeedSense Ltd SeedSense Ltd SeedSense Ltd SeedSense Ltd

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12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79

ProCut Orange ProCut Peach ProCut Red ProCut Red Lemon Bicolour Ronnie Solara Sunbright Sunbright Supreme F1 Tanja Vincent’s Choice Vincent’s Choice Deep Orange DMR Vincent’s Choice Deep Orange Vincent’s Fresh Vincent’s Pomelo Sunrich Gold Sunrich Lemon Sunrich Lemon Summer Sunrich Lime Sunrich Limoncello Summer Sunrich Orange Sunrich Orange DMR Sunrich Orange Summer Tiffany Tosca KB199 Cut flower and border types Cherry Rose Double Quick Entry not received Fireball Frilly Goldrush Harlequin Mixed Helianthus argophyllus “Gold & Silver” Helianthus debilis Sunny Babe Italian White Helios Flame Holiday Jade Key Lime Pie (debilis) Lemon Sorbet Magic Roundabout Mezzulah Moonshadow Moulin Rouge Pastiche Peach Passion Prado Gold Prado Red Shades Premier Lemon Premier Light Yellow Premier Orange Red Wave Red Sun Ring of Fire Ruby Eclipse Solar Power Golden Hedge Sonja Starburst Lemon Aura Starburst Lemon Eclair Starburst Panache Stellar Sun Summer Breeze Superted Tavor Flash Tavor Lemon Tawanchai Valentine

2015

SeedSense Ltd SeedSense Ltd SeedSense Ltd SeedSense Ltd PRO-VEG Benary Sakata Sakata PRO-VEG Sakata Sakata Sakata Sakata Sakata Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) Muller Bloemzaden BV PRO-VEG SeedSense Ltd SeedSense Ltd

2015

2015

PRO-VEG SeedSense Ltd SeedSense Ltd T&M Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) T&M T&M Benary SeedSense Ltd T&M SeedSense Ltd Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) SeedSense Ltd SeedSEnse Ltd T&M SeedSense Ltd Ball Colegrave/PanAm Ball Colegrave/PanAm Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) SeedSense Ltd Kings Seeds Kings Seeds SeedSense Ltd TaKii Europe (Sahin) Clause (Tezier) Benary SeedSense Ltd SeedSense Ltd SeedSense Ltd PRO-VEG Takii Europe (Sahin) PRO-VEG PRO-VEG PRO-VEG East West Seed Co. Thailand T&M

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80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137

Velvet Queen Claret Copper Queen The Joker Border types Full Sun Improved American Giant Hybrid Aureola Autumn Time [Mixed] Buttercream Earthwalker Giant Single (Tall Single) Giraffe Greenburst Kong Mongolian Giant Moonwalker Pike’s Peak Russian Giant Shock-o-lat Sungold Taiyo Tall Timbers Container types Ballad Bambino Big Smile Choco Sun Dwarf Yellow Spray Miss Sunshine Firecracker Fun Show Lemon Party Little Becka Micro Sun Munchkin Music box Orange Hedge Pacino Gold Pacino Series, Mixed Rio Carnival Santa Lucia Solar Flash Solar Chocolate Gold Solita Suntastic Jaune Bicolor Suntastic Jaune Coeur Clair Suntastic Jaune Coeur Noir SoMini Show Sunbright Kids Sunny Smile Sunsation Flame Sunsation Lemon Sunsation Yellow Sunshot Golds Teddy Bear Waooh PV201 Happy Face Eos

T&M Takii Europe (Sahin) Takii Europe (Sahin) SeedSense Ltd

2015

2015

2015 (STA)

2015

2015

2015 (STA) 2015 2015 2015

Takii Europe (Sahin) SeedSense Ltd Flecke-Saaten-Handel Gmbh Clause (Tezier) Takii Europe (Sahin) Kings Seeds Kings Seeds Burpee Europe SeedSense Ltd SeedSense Ltd T&M Kings Seeds Burpee Europe T&M T&M Kings Seeds Takii Europe (Sahin) PRO-VEG Ball Colegrove/Pan American Kings Seeds Kings Seeds T&M T&M Ball Colegrave/Pan American SeedSense Ltd H.W. van der Velde B.V. PRO-VEG SeedSense Ltd PRO-VEG SeedSense Ltd Benary SeedSense Ltd Kings Seeds Benary PRO-VEG Flecke-Saaten Handel Gmbh T&M PRO-VEG Kings Seeds Clause (Tezier) Clause (Tezier) Clause (Tezier) H W van der Velde B.V. Sakata Takii Europe (Sahin) Evanthia Evanthia Evanthia T&M Kings Seeds Clause (Tezier) PRO-VEG PRO-VEG PRO-VEG

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