Winner Type: National
Variety Name: Ideal Violet F1
Species: barbatus x chinensis
Common Name: Dianthus
Type: Flowers from Seed
Breeder: PanAmerican Seed Co.
“This time-tested dianthus has held the attention of annual lovers for 15 years. Originally introduced in 1992, Ideal Violet colors a garden with 1½-inch single violet blooms. The reason for this “fan club” is cold and heat tolerance. Ideal Violet was bred in Valence, the South of France, where winter is quite cold and summer is very hot. This was an “ideal” location to breed a new dianthus. Mr. Guy Lassartesse bred Ideal Violet while exploring interspecific crosses between D. chinensis (China pink) and D. barbatus (Sweet William.) He combined the species looking for earliness to bloom and continuous flowering while plants endured cold temperatures. As summer progressed, Mr. Lassartesse found plants that thrived in the sun-baked earth. These crosses he noted and saved. His observations and hybrid crosses resulted in the crème de la crème Ideal Violet plants.
These petite plants will reach about 10 to 12 inches tall and branch about a foot wide. In southern climates, Ideal Violet can color a fall and winter garden while withstanding considerable cold. Unlike other annuals, ‘Ideal Violet’ tolerates a wide variation in seasonal temperatures. In northern areas, Ideal Violet deserves a place in the early spring garden next to pansies and violas. Easy to grow with minimum garden care, Ideal Violet is recommended for any container plantings.
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