Several plant breeding companies showcased varieties at the 2019 California Spring Trials with new genetics that solve problems, are more resilient or have unusual characteristics.
The highlight at the Ball Horticultural stop during the 2019 California Spring Trials was new Beacon Impatiens from PanAmerican Seed, a new Impatiens walleriana series bred specifically to be resistant to impatiens downy mildew. The series took 10 years of breeding work and will be available for the 2020 season in six colors and two mixes.
MICHELLE SIMAKIS
Cats Viola wittrockiana from Benary is a new series of pansies that are a result of breeding back in what many plant breeders try to eliminate — striping due to stress during production. The Spirograph effect has been stabilized and is available in five colors. The series is still being developed and will be officially introduced in 2020 for the 2021 season. 
MICHELLE SIMAKIS
Syngenta Flowers also debuted a downy mildew resistant Impatiens walleriana as part of its new XDR program — a collection of plants with “extreme disease resistance” to common diseases. Imara XDR impatiens includes nine colors in its launch year. Cora XDR, a new vinca that is similar to classic Cora Catharanthus roseus but genetically different, as it’s resistant to Phytophthora, also debuted at Spring Trials. Like the Imara and Cora varieties that came before, Syngenta says the XDR series hold up in shipping and perform on the shelf for retailers and in the garden for consumers.  
MICHELLE SIMAKIS
Sakata Ornamentals’ SunPatiens are known for their garden performance in sun or rain, and they are one of the top-selling plants for the breeding company. However, the plants can be susceptible to wilting, a problem Sakata says it has solved by using improved genetics in its breeding work. The company introduced four new colors in the lineup this year, including Compact Orchid Blush.
MICHELLE SIMAKIS
Ringo Rosa from Spring Meadow is a landscape rose crossed with R. hulthemia, which is found in the desert and features an eye-catching red blotch. The blooms open a bright golden yellow and eventually fade to white with a pink center, creating a tri-colored plant. USDA Zones 4 to 8, Height/width 3-4 feet.
MICHELLE SIMAKIS