Black is the new black, with a little yellow thrown in, and if you could wear Petunia 'Phantom' you would be on a catwalk in Milan, Paris or New York. Fortunately, it's in a bed or pot much closer to home. Officially launched at the HTA National Plant Show last June, the plant captivated audiences and continues to do so.
P. 'Phantom' gives a stylish edge to the bed or patio, its pinwheel pattern being sleek and sophisticated, elegant and eye-catching. The dark base colour forms a silky backdrop to the distinctive yellow star, which blushes with a dark purple pink around the edges. Ball Colegrave says many people never thought of mixing black in their garden colour palette.
'Phantom' has changed all that. This striking addition to the petunia patio market can go it alone or sit comfortably in combination plantings. Outstanding sales of rooted cuttings in the first year showed the industry excitement for having something so noticeably different to sell and something that could be marketed with premium margins for growers and retailers.
Having wooed 28 international judges to win the first ever industry award from Fleuroselect - the FleuroStar Award - 'Phantom' went on to scoop four further top national prizes as an outstanding annual plant and for breeding innovation at the HTA National Plant Show. At the Ball Colegrave 2011 summer open days, more than 1,200 customers named it their favourite.
"The flower has the appearance of a chic lady," says the team's entry. "But far from being demanding, these beautiful petunias continue to flower through the warmest summers and thrive in slightly drier conditions.
With an upright habit and good weather resistance, this unique variety will add class and draw admiring, envious glances."
Sunflower 'Waooh!' plants and seeds, Suttons Seeds
Petunia 'Black Velvet', Ball Colegrave
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