Sunday, February 24, 2013

Simplify, Part II

Streptocarpus 'Essue'
Story # 90, Part II


      From ‘Insanely Simple:  The Obsession that Drives Apple’s Success.’  By Ken Segall

      “One word is better than two words”

                ‘Ittie Bittie’ plants for Miniature Gardens


                ‘Mini’ plants for Miniature Gardens?


Saturday, February 23, 2013


Streptocarpus 'Essue' - Heirloom variety
Hybrid by Gary's Specialty Plants

Story # 90,


      From ‘Insanely Simple:  The Obsession that Drives Apple’s Success.’  By Ken Segall

      “With perfect clarity, it tells customers who you are and what you sell”

                            Gary’s Specialty Plants

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Will there ever be a micro Sinningia better than 'Li'l Georgie'?

Sinningia 'Li'l Georgie' with 20 buds grown by Gary's Specialty Plants
Story # 89,

Will there ever be a better micro mini Sinningia better than ‘Li’l Georgie’?

      The trial is over.  Sinningia ‘Li’l Georgie’ is exceptional in every way.  It is a cute miniature flowering houseplant.  Once established it flowers continuously in medium to high light.  It has been shown to be capable of many flowers and buds.

      The story about Nematanthus ‘Cheerio’ showed that it has survived 35 years in production because it could be propagated by vegetative cuttings, by any grower that was interested.

      The limiting factor with ‘Li’l Georgie’ will be continued propagation by tissue culture.

      The current successful tissue culture propagation and tricky rooting has involved a lot of trial and error.  ‘Li’l Georgie’ will require a dedicated grower committed to its widespread distribution.

      Without that supply line, it will disappear, with no other practical method of propagation.

      Is there any other micro mini Sinningia out there to challenge it   

               I don’t think so!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Let’s make a Nematanthus ‘Cheerio’ with Yellow flowers!

Nemanthus australis - self-branching

Story # 89,

Let’s make a Nematanthus ‘Cheerio’ with Yellow flowers!

      I was lucky to get a piece of Nematanthus australis with Yellow flowers shared by Bob Stewart when he showed it at the Mid Atlantic Gesneriad Show.

      So far my two plants are self-branching but show no sign of flowers.  The leaves are similar sized to N. ‘Cheerio’ but are not as shiny.

      We need to be crossing this Yellow flowering clone into everything that’s available and see if we can get a Yellow ‘Cheerio’.

      Are there any hybrids using N. australis out there?

Nematanthus australis is great but could be improved

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Will there ever be a Nematanthus better than 'Cheerio'?

Nematanthus 'Cheerio'
Story # 88,

Will there ever be a Nematanthus better than ‘Cheerio’?

      Nematanthus ‘Cheerio’ has survived as a very special minor flowering plant since it was created by Bill Saylor of Brewster MA in 1977.  A hybrid between two species, N. wettsteinii and N. radicans (gregarious), which by great fortune inherited the best from both parents, plus vigor.

      N. wettsteinii is the smallest Nematanthus species with shiny leaves and orange candy corn - like flowers.  N. radicans has shiny leaves but does not flower quickly.  Both grow slowly.

      N. ‘Cheerio’ has midsized shiny leaves with an orange guppy shaped flower at every leaf axil.  It is seen occasionally in the commercial system in hanging baskets.

      I was fortunate to have known Bill Saylor and his wife Carol.  I visited him several times where he would show me his hybridization projects.  He was an expert in the Gesneriad family of plants and was a genius in seeing the possibilities in hybridizing.  Most of the named Nematanthus hybrids were created by him.  I don’t know of anyone dedicated to the genus Nematanthus now. 

      So what’s so good about ‘Cheerio’?

      People are attracted to the leaves which are shinier than you would think possible.  The bright orange flowers make the common name ‘Goldfish Plant’ seem believable. 

       Over the years, we have grown and sold tens of thousands of ‘Cheerio’s

     I don’t see any other Nematanthus variety that is better!