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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Petunia ‘Sparklers Mixed’: New style petunia

Posted by Graham Rice on 02 Dec 2012 at 06:28 PM

Petunia 'Sparklers Mixed', developed from seed sent to T&M by a customer. Images ©GardenPhotos.comFor many years Thompson & Morgan have been offering a reward for new plants discovered by their customers and that the company introduces in their catalogue. Now I know some people have been a little sceptical about this offer but in fact quite a few T&M customers have had their new plants taken up and received the reward.

Plants that T&M have introduced which originated from a find by a customer include: Digitalis ‘Primrose Carousel’, French marigold ‘Mr Majestic’, nasturtium ‘Flame Thrower’, Sweet Pea ‘Ballerina Blue’ and also a vegetable, Tomato ‘Sungella’. Now there’s also a new Petunia, ‘Sparklers’.

A white form petunia with unique star-shaped flowers was found by T&M customer Edward Cragen of Bexleyheath in Kent and in 1998 he sent seed to Thompson & Morgan. Their plant breeding team set to work to stabilise the variety and add new colours and this year have introduced ‘Sparklers Mixed’ (above, click to enlarge), a mixture of colours, all with these unique starry flowers. Also, the leaves are pointed to match the flowers.

‘Sparklers Mixed’ was trialed all over Europe by Fleuroselect, the pan-European organisation that trials new plants and gives awards to the best. Last year Petunia ‘Sparklers Mixed’ was recognised as an Approved Novelty, confirming it as new, different and without off-types that would spoil the display.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how to find or breed new plants, and perhaps win that £500, take a look at T&M’s detailed guide to finding or developing new plants.

You can order seed of Petunia ‘Sparklers Mixed’ from Thompson & Morgan, or order plants of Petunia ‘Sparklers Mixed’ from Thompson & Morgan



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