New Organization Promotes Worldwide Performance Trials

New Organization Promotes Worldwide Performance Trials

International Plant Selections, Inc. is a newly formed organization committed to bringing new plant material from hybridizers worldwide to the gardening public. Through the various functions of the operations IPS will be able to assist in funding plants of the future. At the same time, IPS aims to raise public awareness of the advantages of buying, planting, and growing new, verified performers. IPS will provide services to hybridizers by verifying plant performance through selection evaluations and trials, assisting them with plant propagation, promoting the new products, and offering assistance with patent and royalty administration. It is the goal of IPS to assist in the development of worthy new cultivars, a process which many in the industry avoid due to the exorbitant cost and time-consuming demands required.


IPS is grounded in the belief that quality new plants are the lifeblood of the green industry. This belief has come from hearing requests from nurserymen and horticulturists around the world. “We are searching for marketable products that will serve this universal need,” explains Jo Roberson, IPS President, and co-owner of American Daylily & Perennials with her husband Jack, hybridizer of the All-American Black Eyed Stella (PP#7909). Although IPS was only incorporated in 1995, its formation is the result of many years of thought and planning. The Robersons have had ten years experience working with the All-American Daylily Selection Council and its director, Angelo Cerchione.


The IPS selection and trials program is composed of key elements for providing product reliability through plant evaluation by qualified horticulture professionals. “The industry professionals participating in our trials will be a real key to its success,” says Jo. “We are fortunate to have participants representing the various type operations—greenhouse, field, and container—and locations which span many horticultural zones. A bonus element among our cooperating sites is ‘non-industry’ participants such as botanical gardens, theme parks and universities.”


The trials will be open to many types of plants including perennials and woody ornamentals. Early plant entrees include lantanas, daylilies, hydrangeas, roses and cannas, with hostas soon to come. These genera have led the way, but the door is open for other categories. Only superior plants may be submitted for test, and IPS insures this by the minimum requirements that must be met. Applicants must have adequate knowledge and data sufficient to complete an entry application form, and the preliminary plant score will be reviewed by the IPS Board. Hybridizers are encouraged to contact Jo Roberson if they are interested in information about the IPS program.

Criteria for plant evaluation have been and will continue to be reviewed and refined by specialists in each genus. General criteria for evaluation—characteristics which would apply to a wide variety of plants—include growth habit, zone hardiness, ease of propagation, resistance to diseases and pests, improvement in comparison to available plants of similar quality, beauty, market appeal, and the range of commercial and/or residential uses for the plant in a variety of regions and markets. Some of the criteria that plants will be judged by in the trials will be species-related, since pertinent features may be unique to a particular type of plant. The trials will be conducted indoors, out, or both, as appropriate. The trial period may run from 90 days to 2 years, depending on the type of plant.


During the formative years of IPS, plant evaluation had to be held to a minimum. Now that a computer program is underway to assist with data compilation and tabulation, the numbers can grow. The first two IPS selections, announced in July 1996, include a lantana camara, Patriot™ Cherry and a daylily, Perfect Peach Glory. Peach Glory is the first in a series of Glory™ daylilies introduced by Dr. Roberson. “It’s a knock-out of a beauty,” says Jack McCorkle of McCorkle Nurseries in Dearing, GA. “Clear peach bloom with heavy substance, lovely foliage and growth habit – all around, a real winner!” This compact, vigorous plant is distinguished by the heavy substance of its warm peach blooms, its fragrance, and lush attractive foliage which makes it a welcome addition to landscape or container plantings. Patriot™ Cherry is the latest offering in the Patriot™ series of lantanas. Widely used in the South, lantanas are increasingly being used as annuals further North. The Patriot™ lantanas are a breeding breakthrough developed by Dr. Roberson, who received the FloraStar® award for his ultra compact lantana Patriot™ Rainbow (ppaf)* in 1994. Patriot™ Cherry, noted for its mounding form, true red color and consistent performance, is another winner in the Patriot™ series. Both of the new IPS selections are available for spring ’97 from top growers.

Information: Contact – Jo Roberson (816) 224-9119

* Subsequent to this press release, U.S. Patent #9837 has been awarded