A new variety of zinnia developed by Sakata Seed, Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor Zinnia has been awarded gold medals at two of the world’s top flower competitions: All-America Selections (AAS) in the U.S. and Fleuroselect (FS) in Europe. This is the first Gold Medal awarded by AAS in 17 years, and this is the first time in the industry, in 17 years, that a single variety has been a gold medalist at both AAS and FS.
Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor Zinnia is notable for its distinct red and yellow coloration—the first time this coloration has been achieved in an interspecific zinnia hybrid. Conventional varieties have included bicolored flowers, but such varieties have not had consistent coloration, instead becoming monochromatic or having blurred color depending on the cultivation climate and sunlight. Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor Zinnia produces distinctly bicolored flowers that last longer under diverse conditions. The variety also received high acclaim at both flower competitions not only for the features of the Profusion series, including compactness of plant habit, good flowering count, disease resistance and continuous flowering habit, but also for the unique characteristic of gradual color changes from bicolored to shades of apricot, pink and rose as the flowers age.
Profusion zinnias are interspecific hybrids that were commercialized in 1999. Profusion varieties have won numerous awards at AAS and FS, and they are still popular worldwide leading zinnia varieties more than 20 years after introduction.
The zinnia is a plant that was originally native to the Americas. It was introduced to Europe in the 18th century and came to be cultivated as a horticultural species.
The market for zinnia seeds in the U.S. and elsewhere has been growing for the past three years, and Sakata expects further growth of the market in the future.