Global Plant Breeder Announces New University Trial Garden Award

CANBY, Ore. – Terra Nova Nurseries today announced its Centaurea ‘Snowy Owl’ variety was the recipient of the “Best New Variety” award at Colorado State University’s (CSU) Fort Collins Annual Trial Gardens. The trials took place during the recent annual growing season, spanning May to October 2020.

This is the third consecutive year a Terra Nova Nurseries annual variety has received a “Best of” award at CSU’s Annual Trial Gardens; Terra Nova’s Begonia T REX ‘Ruby Slippers’ and Artemisia MAKANA Silver won CSU’s “Best Novelty” awards in 2019 and 2018, respectively.

“Our breeding team is thrilled to have won another top award at this year’s CSU Annual Trial Gardens,” said Rebecca Orr, who oversees plant trials for Terra Nova Nurseries. “This year marks a ‘Hat Trick’ for Terra Nova Nurseries at CSU, and we are happy to see the continued recognition of our top-quality annuals in addition to the great perennials we are known for.”

Terra Nova’s Centaurea ‘Snowy Owl’ was selected as “Best New Variety” in the 2020 Annual Trial at CSU based on its interesting textural element, beautiful gray color, high visibility in the garden, and uniformity. The annual variety also showcased its toughness during a 24-hour period that experienced a 60-degree Fahrenheit drop in temperature and 2-4 inches of snow.  

“This plant manifested its durability,” said Vaughn Fletcher, well-known horticultural consultant and strategist. “It is such a durable and uniform variety with color stability, and it was definitely the most unusual variety in the trial.”

CSU’s 2020 “Best of” annuals were judged by select horticulture students, faculty, industry representatives, public horticulturalists, and advanced Master Gardeners in August, and winners were determined by the trial garden’s advisory committee in September.

The CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden evaluates the performance of different annual plant cultivars under the unique Rocky Mountain environmental and growing conditions, characterized by high altitude, intense solar radiation, drying winds, severe hailstorms, large fluctuations between day and night temperatures, and a season-long need for irrigation.

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