Nightfall Snowbell (Styrax japonicus ‘JFS 6SJ’) was chosen by voting attendees as the People’s Choice winner in the 2022 Farwest Show’s New Varieties Showcase. That makes it a sweep for the introduction from J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co., which also won the New Varieties Showcase Best in Show award from Farwest’s professional judges. It also won a Retailer’s Choice Award from the Garden Center Group at the show.
Nightfall Snowbell was one of 61 outstanding new selections on display at the 2021 Farwest Show and available from at least one show exhibitor. It was bred by Oregon Nurseries’ Hall of Fame member Keith Warren for JFS, which is based in Boring, Oregon. The show ran Wednesday, August 24 through Friday, August 26, 2022 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.
“The many great attributes of this weeping tree caught the attention of our attendees and judges alike,” said Heather Cyrus, event and education manager for the Oregon Association of Nurseries, which produces the show.
Nightfall Snowbell combines the deep purple foliage of Evening Light Snowbell with the gratefully weeping form of greenleafed cultivars such as Fragrant Fountain. It features purple emerging leaves with green undertones, which contrast with pearly white flower buds in spring. They open to reveal creamy white, bell-shaped blooms. The leaves darken as the season continues. It is available from J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.(Booth #19026) as #10 containers and multiple bare root sizes.
In the People’s Choice Awards, the runners-up in the voting received Awards of Merit as follows:
- Midnight Express™ Redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘RNI-RCC3’ PPAF), introduced by Upshoot LLC. It boasts velvety-looking, deep burgundy foliage which stands out amongst other dark leaved redbuds with its upright habit, straight trunk, fast growth and dark color. It has the typical pink, pea shaped spring blooms to compliment the healthy foliage and appealing shape, and has a straighter trunk. The plant is available in bareroot and potted liners from Robinson Nursery (Booth 18028), Hans Nelson & Sons Nursery Inc. (Booth 17056), Blue Heron Farm (Booth 20057), Arrowhead Ornamentals (Booth 8025), Ekstrom & Schmidt Nursery (Booth 16015), and Proven Winners (Booth 8055).
- Hibiscus SUMMERIFIC™ Edge of Night (Hibiscus × ‘Edge of Night’ PPAF, CPBRAF), introduced by Walters Gardens. It offers late-season color, and large (7–8-inch) bubblegum pink flowers with darker pink veining, and the shrub has a large, mounding habit with jet black foliage. The plant is available as 2 gallon containers from Walla Walla Nursery Co. Inc. (Booth 8051).
- Velveteeny™ Smokebush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Cotsid1’ PP30328, CPBR5837), introduced by Sidhu & Sons Nursery. It is a compact selection half the size of its parent (‘Royal Purple’) with the same beautiful, rich foliage, making it ideal for patio planters and small spaces in yards. The plant is available as 6cm liners, quart liners, and #1, #2, and #3 pots from Sidhu and Sons Nursery Ltd.. (Booth 19047).
In the judges’ voting, the runners up received Awards of Merit as follows:
- Vinho Verde Weigela (Weigela florida ‘Smnwfbgv’ PPAF), introduced by Spring Meadow Nursery. It was discovered as a variegated sport on a seedling whose parents were golden ‘Briant’s Rubidor’ and burgundy ‘Naomi Campbell’. It has lime green leaves set off with a bold, black margin. A light crop of red-pink flowers appears in late spring, but the foliage is the main draw. The plant is available in 2-gallon containers from Farwest exhibitor Walla Walla Nursery Co. (Booth #8051).
- Invincibelle Sublime™ Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘SMNHRL’ PPAF, CPBRAF), bred by Tim Wood and introduced by Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs. It is a fullsized smooth hydrangea with cloud-like mophead flowers on sturdy stems. The plant is available in 2¼-inch, 4-inch and quart containers from Farwest exhibitors Walla Walla Nursery Co. (Booth #8051), Oregon Pride Nurseries Inc. (Booth #8032), Alpha Nursery Inc. (Booth #18019) and Fisher Farms (Booth #13043).
- Pretty Parasols Coneflowers (Echinacea ‘JS Engeltje’), introduced by Concept Plants. It is a low-maintenance, high endurance coneflower with strong stems that flowers from July through November, with flowers appearing one after another, not opening at the same time. They appear at different heights, giving a “wild” look with multiple flowers on each stem. The plant is available in 1-gallon containers from Farwest exhibitor Walla Walla Nursery Co. (Booth #8051).
All of the New Varieties Showcase selections are viewable at https://farwestshow.com/new-varieties-showcase/