Saturday, July 20, 2024
Plant Palette

Best new plant survey with native shrubs and groundcovers

By Daniel Fuller

Buying in newly-bred plants is always a risk for nursery businesses. Retailers have to gamble on whether consumers will buy their stock, and wholesalers don’t know whether landscape architects are going to specify them.

Ozbreed surveyed both landscape architects and consumers. Landscape architects filled in the study during our Right Plant, Right Place webinar which was held with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), with 500 landscape architects attending. Garden enthusiasts were surveyed through the Kurrajong Heights Garden Club.

The aim was to see which of our upcoming cultivars each market would find appealing. The results were that landscape architects will specify some of our new plants in up to 90% of their upcoming projects. While they didn’t agree on all plants, landscape architects and consumers both loved a number of new varieties which we expect will be very popular.

Space Saver™ Melaleuca,  is a fastigiate shrub, ideal for narrow spaces. It displays masses of beautiful white flowers. It does require staking in pots and while it establishes within the landscape.

Groundswell™ Hibbertia, is a variety which handles heavier frosts and heavier soils, unlike the common form. While it does climb up structures, it shines as a dense ground cover that improves soil health, blocks weeds, and controls erosion in both coastal and inland landscapes.

Ground Hug™ Myoporum was popular with both markets. The flowers are beneficial for pollinators. However, they are not as showy as other varieties. It shines with its ornamental foliage being cleaner than other forms with short internodes. Its impressive foliage density makes it an excellent weed suppressor.

Variegated Mundi™ Westringia, a variation on our popular Mundi Westringia fruticosa ‘WES05’ PBR, retains the key features of Mundi Westringia, but with white variegation. Landscape architects rated the variegated version highly, while consumers were more interested in other plants.

Both consumers and the Landscape architects preferred the westringia with gold variegation, Goldie Box™ Westringia. This cultivar takes the bulletproof attributes of Grey Box™ Westringia fruticosa ‘WES04’ PBR and adds a bit of drama with the variegation.

Landscape architects went crazy for Aussie Hedge Bush™ Rhagodia, which our head breeder Todd believes will become the go-to plant for inland Australia. It’s one of the best-performing hedging plants for extreme drought ever bred. Consumers also loved the plant, though they didn’t rate it quite as highly as landscape architects. Consumers were also less enthusiastic as landscape architects about a ground-covering variety called Aussie Flat Bush™ Rhagodia, which has similar characteristics but with a prostrate habit.

Hopefully these findings help take the guesswork out for nurseries as you look into varieties that will help your business turn a profit. To learn more about our Ozbreed Easy Access (OEA) program for nurseries, visit this webpage: https://www.ozbreed.com.au/ozbreed-easy-access/

Alternatively, email horticulture@ozbreed.com.au to learn more.

Landscape architect favourites

Aussie Hedge Bush™ Rhagodia spinescens ‘SAB02’ PBR Intended

White Box™ Westringia fruticosa ‘WES10’ PBR

Blue Horizon™ Eremophila glabra prostrate ‘EREM1’ PBR

Aussie Flat Bush™ Rhagodia spinescens ‘SAB01’ PBR

Space Saver™ Melaleuca armillaris ‘Mela01’ PBR

Variegated Mundi™ Westringia fruticosa ‘WES09’ PBR

Ground Hug™ Myoprorum insulare ‘MYIN01PBR’ intended

Groundswell™ Hibbertia scandens ‘HBS01’ PBR Intended

Goldie Box™ Westringia fruticosa ‘WES11’ PBR

Coastal Pink™ Correa alba ‘COR10’ PBR

Straightup™ Hibbertia scandens ‘HBS02’ PBR intended

Consumer favourites

Ozbreed Flat White™ Pandorea jasminoides ‘PJ01’ PBR

Ground Hug™ Myoprorum insulare ‘MYIN01PBR’ intended

Groundswell™ Hibbertia scandens ‘HBS01’ PBR Intended

Thriver™ Eremophila sp. ‘Erem01’ PBR Intended

Space Saver™ Melaleuca armillaris ‘Mela01’ PBR

Goldie Box™ Westringia fruticosa ‘WES11’ PBR

White Box™ Westringia Fruticosa ‘WES12’ PBR Intended

Aussie Hedge Bush™ Rhagodia spinescens ‘SAB01’ PBR Intended

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