Caladium Cultivars Developed at UF
These caladium varities were developed by Dr. Zhanao Deng and Dr. Brent Harbaugh of the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a selection of the most recent developments.
'Berry Patch' is a new, spotted, fancy-leaved caladium variety. For overall plant quality, 'Berry Patch' received the highest scores among the varieties tested in both growing seasons (2005 and 2006). It has shown superior tuber production in the replicated field trials, consistent with growers' trials of 'Berry Patch' (T. Cantwell-Bates). With a vigorous growth habit, 'Berry Patch' can quickly fill a landscape space with many leaves. Additionally, 'Berry Patch' resists sunburn. These characteristics allow 'Berry Patch' to perform well in the landscape in full sun.
'Cherry Tart' is an attractive lance-leaved caladium variety with a novel combination of leaf characteristics (including bright red color, slightly undulate leaf margins, and a broadly cordate leaf shape). It was released in April 2011 by UF/IFAS. 'Cherry Tart' is well suited for producing pot plants and hanging baskets. It produces large numbers of bright red leaves and performs well in sunny and shady landscapes. Information about tuber availability and propagation agreements can be obtained from the Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc.
'Cranberry Star' is a new variety with a unique combination of leaf and tuber characteristics that make it ideal for use as a potted plant or for growing as an accent or border plant in shady landscapes. 'Cranberry Star' produces bright white leaves with green veins, similar to the leaves of 'Candidum', one of the most popular caladium varieties. However, 'Cranberry Star' is distinct in that it has numerous bright purple spots on its leaves. 'Cranberry Star' is intended for use in containers and shady landscapes. Its performance was outstanding, both in pots and landscapes. Information on tuber availability and propagation agreements can be obtained from the Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc.
Dr. Brent™ is a red, lance-leaved caladium variety with a unique coloration pattern (bright red with colorful blotches). This variety produces a fair amount of tubers, and it sprouts early. As a result, it can quickly develop many large leaves. Dr. Brent™ has excellent resistance to leaf sunburn and chilling injury. These characteristics make this variety well suited for container forcing and landscape use.
'Fairytale Princess' produces a superb number of brightly colored, wide-lance to heart-shaped leaves with a bright red center and netted red secondary veins. 'Fairytale Princess' produces an attractive, mounding plant in the landscape. The plants are tolerant of sunburn and can perform very well in both sunny and shady landscape locations.
'Firecracker Red' produces many large leaves with intense red color and performs well in sunny landscapes and large containers. 'Firecracker Red' had excellent overall landscape performance ratings during its growing season. It was the tallest cultivar evaluated in this test. 'Firecracker Red' had similar performance in pots compared to the other red-leaved cultivars tested. Although 'Firecracker Red' has potential as a container plant, it appears to be better suited for use in the landscape.
'Garden White' belongs to the white fancy-leaved cultivar group. It's very vigorous, large-leaved, tall, and sun-tolerant making it ideal for use in sunny landscapes or large containers. Landscape performance ratings were excellent for 'Garden White,' producing full plants with many colorful leaves and little sun burn. If used in small pots, 'Garden White' would perform best if de-eyed tubers were treated with a growth retardant.
'Red Hot' produces large, brightly red, glossy, wide-lance leaves. This plant tolerates sunburn very well and has demonstrated excellent performance in sunny landscapes. 'Red Hot' is more vigorous than 'Florida Red Ruffles' and produces taller plants with longer and wider leaves when grown in ground beds.
Strawberry Star™ is a fancy-leaved caladium with a primarily white leaf face and attractive red spots. Strawberry Star™ caladium sprouts earlier, produces high-quality container plants, demonstrates better landscape performance, and yields more tubers than earlier comparable varities. These improvements make it a desirable replacement for 'Marie Moir' and an additional sun-tolerant variety for the landscape plant palette.
Summer Pink™ has huge heart-shaped leaves adorned with glowing pink veins. This plant is well-suited for use in large patio containers and shady landscapes.
'Summer Rose' was intended to replace 'Rosebud.' 'Summer Rose' is similar in color and container performance to 'Rosebud,' but has a higher tuber yield and performs better than 'Rosebud' does. In addition, its petioles are red purple at the leaf attachment and gradually darken to brown at the petiole base. In the landscape trial, 'Summer Rose' was taller with larger leaves than 'Rosebud,' but similar in height and leaf size to 'Candidum' and 'Carolyn Whorton.' It had excellent performance ratings all through the growing season. Plant performance of 'Summer Rose' in containers was similar to that of 'Rosebud' and 'Carolyn Whorton.' Since 'Rosebud' is known as an excellent pot plant, these results indicate 'Summer Rose' also has potential for use as a potted/container plant.
Tapestry™ is a fancy-leaved variety with large, attractive pink blotches and red petioles. With vigorous growth and the ability to produce numerous leaves that are sunburn tolerant, Tapestry™ performed very well in trial growing seasons, receiving high performance ratings.
The leaves of 'Tricolor Butterfly' are lance-shaped and have a thick central main vein in dark green and numerous large veins radiating from the central vein and in dark green. Interveinal areas are white or red-purple, depending on growing conditions and leaf maturity, and are often translucent, making the main veins very prominent. 'Tricolor Butterfly' is intended for use in containers and landscapes. Its performance was outstanding both in pots and landscapes. 'Tricolor Butterfly' performs better in partially shady locations.
The leaves of 'White Butterfly' are lance-shaped and have a white penniform venation. The central and main veins and the interveinal areas are white, and the margins are green. 'White Butterfly' is intended for use in containers and landscapes. Its performance was outstanding both in pots and landscapes. 'White Butterfly' can do well in sunny or shady landscape locations.