Archive | January 19, 2011

Bye, Bye Mr. Ichiban: The Discontinuation of Ichiban Hybrid Eggplant


“Dear Sir,

I’m an avid reader of your blog and I would like to know the answer to why I can’t buy ichiban eggplant this year. It’s the best.  Was it a crop failure?

Joe”

_________________________________________________________________________

Hi Joe,

I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but it is most likely that we will have to have a funeral for your dear friend, Ichiban Hybrid Eggplant.  He is no more.

If you have heard any rumblings through the gardening community in the last five years, then it was without a doubt about how Monsanto had tapped into the home gardening market by acquisitioning Seminis Seeds (to read more on this, click here).  This buyout has resulted in a number of changes, including the correction of varietial names that were illegally sold by Seminis to increase their offerings and desireability (see here) and the discontinuation of many varieties that were only offered to home gardeners.

Ichiban Hybrid is a casualty of this process, as it was not versatile enough to be offered for commercial growers.  The fruits are more prone to scarring and the plants are not as disease resistant as other types.

For now, many companies have replaced Ichiban Hybrid with Millionaire Hybrid (offered by American Takii Seeds and distributed through many seed catalogs like Jung and Burpee).  I have tried it in my trial gardens in 2010, but found that it lacked the flavor of the Ichiban and didn’t seem to produce as well in a side-by-side comparison.

The only hope of Ichiban Hybrid coming back from the ‘dead’ is if Monsanto/Seminis sell the breeding rights to another seed producer, or if  they bring it back themselves.  The likelihood of this occurring is about as good as pigs flying.

 

*************************************************************************

© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Introducing Viola ‘Shangri-La Marina’ F1, AAS Cool Season Bedding Plant Award Winner



Today’s new introduction is Shangri-La Marina F1 Hybrid Viola.  

This winning Viola cornuta is an early-flowering, mounding viola in a vibrant new color for this type. In trials, the 6-inch tall plants kept a low-growing mounding habit. Colorful and prolific 1¼  inch blooms have light blue petals with a velvety dark blue face that is surrounded by a narrow white border. Judges noted earlier (70 days from sowing to first flower) and showier blooms with noticeable drive-by flower power. Flower color was a consistent deep Marina blue throughout the season. This vigorous frost-tolerant biennial provides a solid mat of fall color until covered with snow followed by a great recovery in spring. Grow in full sun as a low edging in the garden or in hanging baskets and pots. Bred by Tokita Seed Co., Ltd.

AAS® Winner Data
Genus species: Viola cornuta
Common name: Viola
Unique qualities: Early flowering, new color
Flower color: Marina (light blue with baby face)
Flower size: 1.25 inches
Flower form: Single flower
Foliage color: Green
Plant type: Low growing, mounding habit
Plant height: 6 inches
Plant width: 12 inches
Garden location: Full sun
Garden spacing: 8 inches apart
Length of time from sowing seed to flower: 70 days Frost tolerant
Closest comparison on market: ‘Four Seasons Cooler Improved’

 

 

*************************************************************************

© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.