NC State Floriculture

1999 Winter Annuals Summary

Douglas A. Bailey
Department of Horticultural Science

Appreciation is expressed to Bernadette Clark and Paul Lineberger and his staff at the Horticultural Field Laboratory for all of their technical assistance. In other words, they did the work! If you would like a copy of the entire report in PDF format (requires Acrobat Reader), click here.


Pansies have become the most popular annual for mid-autumn to late-spring color in the Southeast. Intensive breeding programs selecting for unique flower colors, large flower size, greater flower number, and temperature tolerance have led to many new and exciting cultivars to choose from for use in the landscape. With all the different cultivars available, selecting which ones to grow for customers (and which ones to plant in the landscape) can be a difficult task. During November 1998 through April 1999, we evaluated 155 pansy, 16 viola, 19 dianthus, 6 English daisies, 6 stock, 3 calendula, and 2 campanula varieties; and recorded how well they performed in the North Carolina landscape.

The trial gardens are located at the North Carolina State University Horticulture Field Laboratory, 4301 Beryl Road, in Raleigh. The site is located on lat. 35°47'N, long. 78°42'W with an elevation of 400 feet. Transplants grown in 2.5" x 2.2" containers were planted in the trial garden on 3 November 1998, and plant spacing in the trial was 10" x 12" (in-row x between-row spacing). Twelve plants of each entry were used to evaluate the performance of single-color cultivars, and 24 plants (two rows) were evaluated for each mix.


Table 1. Solar energy, temperature and precipitation from November 1998 through April 1999 and 30 year temperature and precipitation averages for Raleigh, NC.


Daily average solar radiation received (Langleys/day)

Daily average temperature (°F) and percent change from 30 year avg

30 year average daily temperature (°F)

Monthly precipitation (inches) and percent change from 30 year avg

30 year average monthly precipitation (inches)



51.3 (-1%)


2.72 (-20%)




46.5 (+8%)


3.63 (+9%)




44.4 (+10%)


5.77 (+52%)




44.4 (+5%)


1.89 (-50%)




46.4 (-7%)


4.27 (+2%)



63.1 (+4%)
1.93 (-43%)

Weather during the winter and spring of 1999 was extremely mild . Temperatures in December (+8%), January (+10%), February (+5%) and April (+4%) were above normal (Table 1 and Figure 1). November (-1%) and March (-7%) were slightly below normal. Overall, the seasonal daily average temperature was 49.3, 3% above (1.4 °F above) the 30 year average of 47.9 °F for the same time period.

Precipitation fluctuated during the six month trial with three months well below average, two months with near average precipitation, and one month well above average (Table 1 and Figure 2). Overall, we received 20.2 inches of precipitation, which is 7% below our 21.8 inch average precipitation for the six month period.


Figure 1

Figure 1. Daily minimum and maximum temperatures for Raleigh, NC from 1 November 1998 through 30 April 1999.


Figure 2

Figure 2. Rainfall received in Raleigh, NC from 1 November 1998 through 30 April 1999.

The fertilization program for the plants consisted of a preplant incorporation of 17-17-17 and monthly broadcasts of 15.5-0-0 through March. No pesticide applications were made during the evaluation in order to document major pest problems, and no major pest or disease problems were noted throughout the trials.

Plants were given a visual rating by the same individual once a week for 22 weeks beginning 25 November 1998 (week 48 of 1998), three weeks after planting through 21 April (week 16 of 1999). Entries were evaluated for plant size, flower number, flower size, and attractiveness of flowers (consistency between plants in an entry, whether flowers are borne upright and easily visible, and attractiveness of flower color). The rating scale used ranged from 1 (very poor) to 5 (excellent), with 0.5 unit increments; a 0 rating indicates all plants of the cultivar died. Weekly ratings were averaged to provide an overall rating for the entire season. We used the seasonal average ratings to select the N.C. State Leaders of the Pack and the NCSU Exceptional Performance Winners.

Sources of Seeds and Plants

We are indebted to the following companies for supporting our 1998-99 winter trials. The companies are acknowledged in the Leaders of the Pack and Exceptional Performance Winners lists by the abbreviation that appears to the left of the company name:


«» AAS -- All-America Selections, 1311 Butterfield Road, Suite 310, Downers Grove, Il 60515
«» AT -- American Takii, Inc., 301 Natividad Road, Salinas, CA 93906
«» BALL -- Ball Seed Co., P.O. Box 335, West Chicago, IL 60185
«» BEN -- Ernst Benary of America, Inc., 1444 Larson Street, Sycamore, IL 60178
«» BG -- Bodger Seeds Ltd., 1800 North Tyler Avenue, Lompoc, CA 91733 3618
«» FN -- Floranova, 106 Third Street, San Juan Bautista, CA 95045-1362
«» GOLD -- Goldsmith Seeds, Inc., P.O. Box 1349, Gilroy, CA 95020
«» GRS -- Grimes Seeds and Plants, 11335 Concord-Hambden, Concord, OH 44077
«» NOV -- Novartis Flower Seeds, Inc., 5300 Katrine Avenue, Downers Grove, IL 60515-4095
«» PA -- PanAmerican Seed Co., P.O. Box 438, West Chicago, IL 60185
«» SAK -- Sakata Seed America, Inc., 105 Boronda Road, Salinas, CA 93907
«» WALL -- Waller Flowerseed Company, 400 Obispo Street, Guadalupe, CA 93434

Appreciation is also expressed to Fafard, Inc., P.O. Box 26, Anderson, SC 29622; and to the North Carolina Commercial Flower Growers' Association for their donations to and support of the 1998-1999 winter annual trial garden.

N.C. State Leaders of the Pack

The following were selected in 1999 as "Leaders of the Pack." They were selected for consistent, dependable full-season performance as a source of color and beauty in the landscape. The cultivar source is shown in parenthesis.

  • Dianthus
    • Bicolor: 'Floral Lace Picotee' (BALL), 'Floral Lace Violet Picotee' (BALL)
    • Pink: 'Diamond Blush Pink' (SAK), 'Floral Lace Light Pink'
    • Red: 'Floral Lace Cherry' (BALL)
    • Purple: 'Diamond Purple' (SAK)
    • Mix: 'Floral Lace Mix' (BALL)
  • Pansies
    • White--Clear: 'Delta Pure White' (NOV)
    • White--'Fama Dark Eyed White' (BEN)
    • Yellow--Clear: 'Ultima Beacon Yellow' (SAK), 'Universal Plus Primrose' (GOLD), 'Fama Golden Yellow' (BEN)
    • Rose--Blotch: 'Bingo Rose w/ Blotch' (PA)
    • Blue--Clear: 'Baby Bingo Lavender Blue' (PA), 'Universal Plus Marina' (GOLD), 'Baby Bingo Denim' (PA), 'Fama Blue Angel' (BEN), 'Crystal Bowl Supreme Sky Blue' (SAK), 'Crystal Bowl Supreme True Blue' (SAK), 'Atlas Blue' (BG), 'Ultima Blue Beacon' (SAK), 'Crystal Bowl True Blue Improved' (SAK), 'Baby Bingo Midnight' (PA)
    • Blue--Blotch: 'Maxim Marina' (SAK), 'Maxim Supreme Blue' (SAK), 'Accord Blue Blotch' (GOLD), 'Experimental Delft' (FN)
    • Blue / White: 'Bingo Blue Frost' (PA)
    • Purple--Clear: 'Fama Purple' (BEN)
    • Purple--Blotch: 'Universal Plus Violet Blotch' (GOLD), 'Purple Jester' (PA), 'Rally Lilac Cap' (PA)
    • Purple / White: 'Skyline White/Purple Wing' (NOV)
    • Black--Clear: 'Halloween' (PA)
    • Mixes: 'Baby Bingo Winter Blues Mix' (PA), 'Fama Lilac Shades' (BEN), 'Universal Plus Blotch Mix' (GOLD), 'Fama Love Song' (BEN)
  • Violas
    • White: 'Splendid White' (SAK)
    • Pink / White: 'Penny Orchid Frost' (GOLD)
    • Blue / White: 'Penny Azure Wings' (GOLD)
    • Purple / White: 'Penny Violet Beacon' (GOLD)
    • Yellow: 'Sorbet Yellow Delight' (WALL), 'Penny Primrose' (GOLD), 'Penny Yellow' (GOLD)
    • Blue: 'Penny Blue' (GOLD), 'Experimental Silver' (FN), 'Moonbeam' (FN)
    • Blue / Yellow: 'Splendid Blue & Yellow' (SAK)
    • Purple: 'Penny Violet Flare' (GOLD)
    • Mixes: 'Jewel Mix' (AT), 'Penny Lane Mix' (GOLD)

NCSU Exceptional Performance Winners

Each year, the best of the best, those cultivars that exemplify outstanding performance during the trials, will be recognized as Exceptional Performers. The winners are judged on full-season performance and are recommended as outstanding selections for our region. Growers, retailers and landscapers are encouraged to consider these cultivars first for their color needs. Only seven cultivars were selected from 207 entries in the 1998-1999 winter trial:

  1. Viola, 'Sorbet Yellow Delight' (WALL)
  2. Viola, 'Penny Azure Wings' (GOLD)
  3. Viola, 'Penny Violet Flare' (GOLD)
  4. Viola, 'Splendid Blue & Yellow' (SAK)
  5. Viola, 'Penny Violet Beacon' (GOLD)
  6. Pansy, 'Baby Bingo Lavender Blue' (PA)
  7. Viola, 'Jewel Mix' (AT)

Top | Back

Floriculture Home | Floriculture Group | Commercial Floriculture Leaflets | Floriculture Research Reports | Floriculture Software | Plug Research | Horticultural Substrates Lab | Ornamentals & Turf Insects | Insects & Related Pests | NC State Disease Clinic | Horticulture Home | JC Raulston Arboretum | Nursery Crops | Consumer Hort

Contact Webmaster
*This site is best viewed with Netscape 4.X or later and Internet Explorer 5.X or later.*