What’s in a Plant Name?
09.02.2024 - 11:23
/ Frederick Leeth
A few weeks ago, I went to the garden center to buy some pansies to put in decorative pots by my front porch. In my experience, pansies hold up even after the mums bite the dust, and they provide color just about as long as anyone has a right to expect color from a garden plant.
I arrived and found a bounteous assortment in a myriad of hues, including orange, which somehow looks less garish in fall than it does in May. The thing that stopped me in my tracks was that about twenty-five percent of the pansy display space was devoted to something new—”Icicle Pansies”™. These pansies, specially packaged and displayed under their own colorful promotional banner, were eye-catching . According to the copy on the banner and the plant tags, they are guaranteed to bloom in the fall, overwinter, and bloom the following spring. It sounded like a good deal, the plants were plump and healthy, and two seasons of bloom would more than justify the premium price.
This reminded me of similar experiences I have had recently in a number of different garden centers. Last spring as I shopped for perennials, I was drawn to a special display area that was reserved exclusively for Etera™ Perennials. This contained many different plant species, all potted in coconut fiber pots that were surrounded by special cardboard covers featuring the Etera logo. Making my way to the roses I saw a vast expanse of pink, two-gallon pots containing the popular Groundcover Roses™. The copy in the little brochure attached to the plants said that they were brought to me by a plant industry genius named Anthony Tesselaar. Mr. Tesselaar’s roses are low growing cultivars with red, pink, white or yellow blooms. The copy described them as being totally carefree, abundantly
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