New ornamental bedding plants for temperate regions

H. Lütken, B.T. Favero
The production of ornamental plants has a yearly turnover of several billions of euros with Europe being the major producer. There is increasing demand for novelty in the ornamental plant production and several strategies have been made to accommodate this request. However, they have mainly targeted potted plants and cut flowers and not bedding plants. In the Nordic countries, the growing focus on new Nordic cuisine has led to increased interest in native edible plants/urban gardening and it now seems that this trend is spreading to wild ornamental plants. This is shown in terms of the first horticultural nurseries are starting to sell indigenous plants as bedding plants. In order for the wild plants to be competitive with the domesticated cultivars that are often of foreign origin, it is important that they fulfil a plethora of features. One of the most important criteria is large and colorful flowers as well as attractive leaf features. Furthermore, the plants need to be easy to cultivate and as a consequence of climate changes, drought tolerance is highly appreciated. On the other hand, the advantage of the endogenous plants is that they are fully cold adapted as they occur in the wild in contrast to the more exotic plants frequently grown. In this context, urban landscaping in proximity of salted roads during winter is turning its interest to naturally occurring species from the Nordic flora, which are salt tolerant. In the current study, we review novel wild plants of different genera for their potential to be new ornamental bedding plants for temperate and cold regions. These plants include wild plants from Europe; Geranium argenteum, Dianthus superbus, Linum austriacum, Vincetoxicum hirundinaria and Rhodiola rosea. The plants are assessed in terms of their potential as bedding plants in urban environments in temperate/cold areas.
Lütken, H. and Favero, B.T. (2020). New ornamental bedding plants for temperate regions. Acta Hortic. 1288, 43-50
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1288.6
bedding plants, drought tolerance, salt tolerance, temperate climate, wild plants

Acta Horticulturae