Florall Awards showcase the best in new plant introductions from Belgian plant suppliers

Rudy Raes from Destelbergen scooped up Florall’s Gold Trophy.

WAREGEM, Belgium: Belgium’s premier horticultural trade show Florall was back in Waregem Expo on Tuesday 1 March 2022. True to tradition a panel of expert judges voted for the best growers and the most spectacular breeding breakthroughs.

Primula, Viola and Myosotis breeder, seed supplier and young plant grower Rudy Raes from Destelbergen won Florall’s Gold Trophy for its Primula acaulis ‘Rubens Antique Rose’ featuring soft pastel hues. The Florall Awards are known for being Belgium’s green industry’s version of the Oscars.

‘Rubens’ is a series of double primroses that all have dark green, slightly wrinkly foliage that nicely contrasts with large, double blooms.

Antique rose is the latest addition to Raes’Rubens series, which are exuberant in flowering.

The jury praised the plant’s new colour, the compact shape of the bicoloured blooms and the unexpected fragrance. The plant produces masses of flowers which are gracefully fringed. The plant is weather proof and is an absolute showstopper on balconies and patios.

Didier Hermans accepted Florall’s Silver Trophy for Leucothoe axillaris Opstal55

Leucothoe axillaris ‘Opstal55’ (Curly Gold), submitted by Dutch plant breeders agent Plantipp,  scooped up Florall’s Silver Trophy.

When they first shoot, young leaves of ‘Opstal 55’ (Curly Gold) come in  orange and red hues before maturing to a bright yellow for summer.

The plant’s curling leaves are very peculiar. ‘Opstal 55’ (Curly Gold) has a dense, compact growth habit and grows approximately 60 cm tall and 40 cm wide. This evergreen shrub does well in acidic, moist, and well-drained soils and thrives in full sun as well as in partial shade.

According to the jury, the curling leaves, its foliage colour change in autumn and improved disease and pest resistance are the plant’s biggest assets. Leucothoe axillaris ‘Opstal55’ makes a perfect landscape or border plant.

Finally, grower Tom Leybaert from Moerbeke won Florall’s Bronze Trophy for its Azalea Star Style® lila

Azalea Star Style Lila features spider-type flowers in spring. The plant thrives in  sun or partial shade and is easy to maintain. It is hardy and can tolerate temperatures down to -10°C. Star Style grows about 50 cm tall and is available in 3 colours (pink, lila and white).

Bronze for Leybaert’s Azalea Star Style Lila.

The jury praised the series’ lila colour variant because of masses of compact flowers. The fact that three colour variants are immediately available is a commercial added value. The flower and leaf shape are an absolute first within the species.

The jury of the Florall Awards consists of:

  • Marc Verachtert, a horticultural journalist
  • Jarne Depaepe, AVBS the Belgian board for ornamentals growers, florists and landscapers
  • Bart Verelst, AVBS, the Belgian board for ornamentals growers, florists and landscapers
  • Surrender Roelands representing horticultural research institute PCS
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